During these quarantine days, online networking is the only way to go. Everyone is online right now either looking for new opportunities or willing to help those in need. So if you’re looking to start or grow an online business this is the perfect time to provide value, engage with others, learn and teach as well as create or enhance your personal brand. However, it’s very easy to get caught up and distracted in the online world and before you know it, you can be caught up scrolling for hours and accomplishing nothing. Plan in advance how much of your time will you devote to online networking as well as how you prefer to use that time. For example, will you dedicate 5x per week for one hour to online forums reading and responding to comments, posting content and/or a certain amount of time participating in organized virtual networking events? Having an intentional schedule to follow will not only keep your organization but it will also make your networking experience more purposeful.
Considering which online platform is best for you is also very important, you want to choose the platform where your target audience hangs out most. Regardless of the platform/s you choose, make sure to be honest with yourself and others about your intentions, goals and always lead with providing value and information that can help others. If you’re looking for online networking opportunities for your entrepreneurial endeavors, check out: Linked In StartupNation EventBrite, Meetup, PartnerUp, Facebook Groups to name a few.
Below I’ve listed five tips to help make the best out of your online networking experience.
1.Clean up your Digital Presence
Before you start to increase your network activity, make sure that you have a clean, error-free profile and resume that represents you and your accomplishments in a professional manner. Get rid of any pictures or personal posts that you wouldn’t want a potential employer or client to see.
2. Be Proactive
Make new connections daily and take some time to engage and build relationships. This is something that I personally am currently working on and sometimes find difficult to make time for but it’s crucial especially if you are a starting entrepreneur. Some of the places you can build new connections are on Facebook groups, Linked In groups and forums, reaching out and introducing yourself to new connections and followers.
3. Provide Value & Show up Like a Leader
Providing value will not only show you as a leader in your industry but it will also help build your personal brand and reputation. You can start by possibly sharing interesting articles or videos in your industry and posting feedback/comment on it. You can also write your own article on Linked in and/or post videos. You can also post tips and videos solving a problem that your target audience has, answer questions that come up either in regards to your content or questions that are posted on forums. The list goes on and on of ways you can provide value and showcase your expertise. What’s important for you to consider is what feels natural to you and what resonates with your audience.
4. Add a Personal Touch
Share a unique story or something others can relate to. Adding personal touches not only shows your unique personality but it also helps you connect with others. It helps build relationships and trust. Post about your day or some behind the scenes pictures/videos, people want to know your human and if they can relate to you.
5. Have your Elevator Pitch/Bio Statement
The purpose of the elevator pitch is to quickly let others know what your expertise is, any accomplishments and/or what makes you unique. It’s supposed to ignite a conversation that can potentially lead to a prospect. A key element of being able to speak about what you do is being comfortable doing it in a concise manner that flows naturally. Being able to pitch yourself and the work you do in a way that comes off genuine, confident and humble; takes practice. If you would like tips on creating your elevator pitch, check out my blog How to Create an Impressive Elevator Pitch. Most social media sites such as Linked In, Instagram and Facebook, have bio sections, it’s crucial that you have a well-written bio statement that communicates what you do and who you help clearly but most importantly, that speaks to your target audience.