In today’s digital age, online networking has become an indispensable resource for professionals, entrepreneurs and business owners looking to expand their reach and establish meaningful online connections in business. No matter what business you’re in, harnessing the power of networking online can open doors to new opportunities and business growth.
However, it’s not just about attending random online networking events, it’s also about discovering some online network strategies to build a strong network and not just add names to your database. As with face-2-face networking, online networking is far more powerful for your business when you build relationships with other business owners and establish your expertise, consistency and reliability, so you are the go-to person in your industry for your network.
It’s commonly known that it’s ‘not what you know, but who you know,’ that makes the biggest impact to your business growth. And it absolutely applies to networking online in the same way. Building a strong online network can be achieved so much faster when you’re part of a networking group or community, with all members looking to support one another and drive growth.
So what are some useful networking strategies that will support you to build your strong online network? Here’s our 5 essential tips to optimise making the most out of your virtual connections:
- Define Your Goals
Before diving into online networking, it’s crucial for to define your goals and what you want to achieve through online networking, to get the most value for your time. Yes, you want to build a strong online network, but why? As well as increased opportunities for revenue growth, are you seeking mentorship or aiming to expand your industry knowledge? Are you looking for speaking opportunities, or partnership opportunities? Clearly identifying your objectives will enable you to tailor your networking strategy accordingly. By understanding your goals, you can focus your efforts on connecting with the right people and engaging in meaningful conversations that align with your goals.
- Craft Your Personal Brand
When it comes to networking online, your personal brand serves as your digital identity. It represents your expertise, values, and unique qualities that set you apart from others. Take time to cultivate and curate your personal brand across your online platforms, including your professional website, LinkedIn profile, and social media accounts. Ensure your online presence reflects your skills, accomplishments and passions. Consistency and authenticity are key elements in building a strong personal brand, as they will help attract like-minded professionals and potential collaborators.
- Attend a Variety of Online Networking Events
These days, there are an enormous amount of online networking events available to business owners, gaining significant popularity, especially over the last couple of years with the pandemic and lockdowns. Business leaders have now discovered the convenience and value of building online connections and professional relationships, while networking online. These networking events provide a unique opportunity to connect with professionals from various industries, regardless of geographical boundaries. It’s worth researching virtual events relevant to your field of interest, as well as industry conferences, webinars and online meetups. However, with the large number of networking events available online, it’s important to prioritise quality over quantity. You want to ensure that the events you attend will align with your original goals. If you are focussed on building a strong online network, then it’s important to choose events and groups where participants have similar goals and aspirations. Otherwise, it’s just lip service! And actively participating in these events by introducing yourself, engaging in discussions, and exchanging contact information with fellow participants, will also support you to build a strong network. Remember to follow up after the event to nurture connections and explore potential collaborations.
- Join Online Communities
Not all online networking is the same! Online communities will offer opportunities to connect and build relationships on a regular basis; weekly, fortnightly or monthly. Joining an online community can offer business leaders and professionals more opportunity to establish online connections, by leveraging time and consistency. They offer a valuable space for professionals to connect, share knowledge, and build relationships with regular, ongoing events. Seeking out and joining relevant groups or community platforms, organisations like Scalepreneurs, can provide more opportunities to build relationships outside of your normal geographical location. Social media platforms or industry-specific websites are also a good option for increasing and building an online network. Relationships will build faster when you engage in conversations, share insights, and offer assistance where possible, within the community. By actively participating in these communities, you can establish yourself as a credible professional and expand your network organically. Be sure to contribute regularly and provide value to the community, as this will enhance your visibility and attract meaningful connections.
- Maintain Your Relationships
Networking online, just as in face-2-face, is not a one-time activity, it requires consistent effort and nurturing. Once you’ve established online connections, it’s essential to maintain and strengthen those relationships over time. Regularly reach out to your contacts, congratulate them on their achievements, share valuable resources, or simply engage in casual conversation. Networking is a two-way street, so be willing to offer assistance and support to your connections when they need it. Building and maintaining a robust network is a continuous process which requires time and dedication, but the rewards can be substantial in terms of opportunities for personal and business growth.
We mentioned it earlier, but it’s worth considering how to prioritise quality over quantity when it comes to the networking events you choose to participate in. Scalepreneurs is a platform where you can build meaningful and lasting connections with like-minded and ambitious business owners around the world. With fortnightly online events, you can become known within the community as an expert in your field. You’ll be meeting regularly and consistently with other business leaders who are all working together to support each other’s growth. Find out more here if you want to use the power of online connections to achieve uncapped opportunity for exponential results, with strategic shortcuts.
Online networking has transformed the way professionals connect and collaborate. By leveraging these few essential tips, you’re well-equipped to make the most of your online networking and pave the way for long-term success. More than anything, it takes time and consistency to build a strong online network, actively engaging with and nurturing your online connections and offering value. By building genuine relationships and providing value to others, you can create a thriving online network that opens doors to new opportunities, collaborations, and success for your business; it’s not just about what you can gain, but also about what you can contribute to others.
If you want to know more about the value of online networking, reach out to us at Scalepreneurs. We’re happy to discuss the multiple ways we can support you in building your strong online network.