Your colleagues, clients, and potential partners live on the Internet. In the modern world, if you want to be successful as a professional, you have to learn to use a variety of resources. Networking has traditionally centered on meet and greets at various corporate functions. It’s allowed people to use their family and friends to build contacts that can help them get ahead. This still works, however there’s an alternative way to build those important contacts that you must take into account. It’s new networking on the Internet, a practice that can help your career take off. Here are some resources to get you started.
Of all the social media sites, LinkedIn has the most utility for helping you connect to people who might help your career. LinkedIn has the important distinction of linking professionals of all ages and fields. While the CEO of a target company might not be on Facebook, or might make his Facebook private, most will be accessible through LinkedIn. You have the option to pay for a premium membership, which will allow you to send direct messages to people you might like to meet. Because LinkedIn requires you to pay to send those messages, users aren’t inundated with spam. This makes them more likely to read and respond to your inquiry. Alternatively you can use Linkedin groups to connect directly with others.
Ask for what you want via Facebook
Some people have success by reaching out to people via Facebook and Facebook groups. These individuals have a compelling story about why they are different and should connect. People live on Facebook now, and they tend to be much more comfortable having real conversations through that medium. Don’t be afraid to make initial contact there, understanding that you haven’t lost much if the Facebook enquiry doesn’t work out.
The marvellous world of hashtags
There are many ways a business or professional might use hashtags to network. If you are a company that participated in a charity golf outing, you might post your pictures using the corporate hashtag, allowing people to search and find you. It’s an excellent way to cross-promote your business and product, taking advantage of the marketing done by whatever event you happened to attend. You can use a derivative strategy on Instagram, where you might post videos from an event you are sponsoring or attending. If you happen to get in the post shared by influencers, people will learn about you just from following the videos of that event. This is especially critical if you’re trying to build connections among younger people/milennials.
Don’t be afraid to use the Internet to your advantage as you look to build your professional network. The people who can help you now live online, and they are often willing to entertain what you have to say, as long as it is done professionally. Just understand that different mediums have different tones. If you’re able to fit in with the online medium you’re using, you will build connections with people you might have never otherwise met. The Internet casts a wide net that many young business people are using to their benefit today.
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