At different points in time, you must’ve heard about the importance of networking. Among other things, you should know that networking has the ability to work absolute wonders for your career. Alongside that, it boosts your social standing. To get a full rundown of the benefits of networking, you can click here. However, one piece of knowledge that isn’t particularly common is how excellent online networking can be.
While it might seem like a letdown for some people, especially in comparison with meeting individuals face to face, online networking is particularly beneficial. It offers you everything that traditional networking does, but you can do it from the comfort of your home.
Sadly, not everyone is great at this form of networking. That, my good friend, is why I’ll be giving you the ultimate guide to networking with people online. By following these tips, you’ll be well on your way to a network that is as excellent as it is efficient.
Get to know the person beforehand
By this statement, we don’t mean that you should travel several miles to introduce yourself to your prospect. What we mean is that you should do whatever research you can. The last thing you want to do is to shoot a direct message or an email and be completely lost for words when they reply because you don’t know enough about them to continue the conversation. So, while you shouldn’t go around poke nosing, you should find out one or two things before you try connecting with the person you intend to meet. LinkedIn makes this easy by displaying their profile and achievements for you to view.
Don’t neglect the gatekeepers
Every important person has a gatekeeper of some sort. They might seem like they’re on a lower rung at the ladder of success, but without them, you cannot meet the person at the top. So, even if it’s in a call, ensure that you’re polite to the secretary. When you’re leaving a message and the assistant replies, make sure that you treat them with respect. Without them, you’re not likely to gain access to the important individual you want to meet.
Add value before anything
This principle applies to traditional networking as it does to online networking. If you’re going to connect with someone, you have to make sure that you’re bringing something to the table. Instead of going in, guns blazing with requests about how you want them to fund your new business idea, go in with how that business idea can help them. Value first, requests later.
Timing is important
A platform like LinkedIn isn’t exactly an instant messaging platform. But, it does offer that feature. You can text people anytime and get a response almost immediately. However, that doesn’t mean that you should leave a text at 12:30 am and expect your networking prospect to reply. In fact, some might even consider it rude.
Keep it short and simple
Especially if you’re trying to establish a relationship with an important person, you should know that they’re busy. So, as much as you can, keep your conversation short. If it’s an email, try to keep your sentences crisp and concise. If it’s a normal text, make sure you don’t send long paragraphs. They already have enough reading to do. If you’re adding to that, they’ll probably not look twice in your direction.