Online networking is easier than conventional outreach programs. It is simply more convenient and also efficient because of real time correspondences. The various online networking events make the quest more certain of accomplishing the objectives. However, online networking has its own challenges. What used to be niches have become common platforms. Anyone can embark on online networking without much of an investment, legacy or even worthwhile promises. The highly competitive domain has been chockablock for many years now.
You need a well crafted strategy for online networking. You would always find networkers and you would continue to grow your network but the real agenda is to capitalize on such connections, to explore opportunities and possibilities, to achieve business goals and also to have some fruitful or meaningful networking experience. Wasting time is surely not on anyone’s wish list. Here are some pragmatic tips to make the most of online networking.
1. Find common ground when you engage in any networking exercise. Networking is a mutually beneficial association. There is no partnership or a joint venture. What online networking may lead to is a separate issue. At the outset, it is all about mutual benefits. This can only be assured when there is some common ground. If one party doesn’t have anything worthwhile to offer, then networking has little significance. What that person may be able to offer in the foreseeable or distant future is not of priority concern before, during or after an event.
2. Many online networkers go overboard with their commitments and some are overzealous at the prospects. Do not get drawn to over commitments and hyped up or excessively enthused engagements. Being rooted in the realities, knowing what is achievable and what should be welcomed with a pinch of salt is quintessential.
3. Interact with all potential candidates who can help your business interests or professional objective. But limit your interactions to precisely what matters. Online networking often has more bandwidth than what real meetings offer. There is more room to sway and swerve. The more distracted your focus is and the more off the point your conversations are, the fewer shall be the rewards from the particular online networking initiative.
4. Always move on if a particular contact is of little or no use. Do not shy away from letting go of all futile contacts. There is no dearth of people who would have the ability to make a difference for you. Likewise, you should have a proposition that is positively altering for your contact. Holding onto unrewarding networks or contacts will not pay off in the short term.
5. Always follow up with your online contacts during and after an event. Keep a tab so you can ensure every contact has been corresponded with at least once. Reaffirm the common ground, interests and goals post an event.