By Chi Chi Okezie
Online networking is becoming increasingly popular and can be a great means of leveraging in-person networking. Having a digital component adds a variety of benefits to improve your engagement with others. You can extend your reach in the virtual world, share more information (and vice versa) and expand your learning capabilities. It can also break down the barriers associated with time and space.
Listed below are proven methods for utilizing the internet to build meaningful connections.
The process of online networking may result in your initial contact not being face to face. In this regard, it is important to establish credibility and trust with your counterparts. This can be achieved by having a current and complete profile on social media platforms. When requesting an invitation, add a personal note or message. Express your intent for connecting ie. wanting referrals / lead generation, needing to make contacts within a certain industry or interested in the other person’s expertise. Be as authentic and sincere as possible to foster trust.
Take advantage of additional apps and connecting tools to enhance the communication between your counterparts. Consider adjusting settings to get timely notifications. Also, when traveling or attending events in person, reach out to people within your networks to meet up with them on site or at the networking venue. Make sure to refresh and update apps to further improve their efficiency.
Ethics and Integrity
As you are building relationships online, it is essential to maintain the same ethical behavior that you would conduct in person. Be respectful and show a genuine interest in the other person. Add value by opening up your networks and be accessible for exchange and business. Keep your word and follow through with promises made.
Use these tips to advance in your networking endeavors. Broaden your reach and scope for creating enriching and worthwhile relationships.
Chi Chi Okezie is owner/producer of SIMPLEnetworking, LLC in Atlanta, GA. Learn tips, tactics and techniques from the Champion Networker! Visit the SN Official Website: http://www.snseminars.com to read excerpts of her books, sign up for her newsletter, register for events and classes or visit her blog!