Online Business Networking
This is the tenth and final chapter of the Relationship Networking Series. We would all agree that face to face connection with our prospective clients is very powerful. But now our definition of face-to face has expanded to include online business networking. Let’s explore just how it works.
What About On-Line Networking?
Is it any different from attending Mixers? Well you don’t have to leave your desk and a lot can be conducted in your pj’s. It does take more time and patience. But many of the same principles apply:
- Connecting and getting known
- Getting to know people and building relationships (engagement)
- Being helpful
- Sharing what you know
How Does Engagement Work Online?
- You find a platform where you are most likely to meet your typical prospect. Choose just one to start.
- You lurk around for a while, noticing what people talk about and share.
- You follow people after checking them out to see if you think there is common interest and values. (follow, friend, plus)
- You join a group or community related to your business interests.
- You read every post that appears. You will want to discover the most convenient way to be notified. All social media platforms offer notifications or e-mail or both.
- You show your support by letting the writer know that you are there, and by liking or plussing their posts. And you share their post with your followers.
- You add a comment that adds value to the post; you answer questions.
- Depending on the group rules, you begin to share something of interest to the group. Note: Your adverts are not of interest. This is social media networking and is NOT online advertising.
- You build your network by friending/circling people whose work you appreciate.
- You eventually begin posting to the Public (regular feed) and various groups you attend.
- You participate in people’s live events and share them with your circles and friend groups.
- The above is what I call “learning the platform culture” Know that they are all slightly different.
- When you are confident in one platform, try following this process on another platform.
Host Your Own Live Event
Eventually, you will want to take a more pro-active role in your networking.
This is a screen capture of one of my recent Being Your Own CEO Success Circles. We have met every Tuesday at the same time for the past four years. As you can see, there are 10 people engaging here face -to-face. Introductions happen, screen and link sharing happens, laughter happens and eventually business happens.
This is done in the YouTube Event environment and the session gets recorded and uploaded to my YouTube Channel. Not everyone can come into what we call the “green room or film strip” and many people simply watch the live event from my website Success Circle Video page and interact with other participants in the comment stream. You are invited to add this to your calendar and join us.
Other people who were not able to attend at the time, can go in and watch the re-play and interact via text with other viewers and participants. This is particularly useful for people in incompatible time zones.
This type of networking allows us to significantly expand our reach to people anywhere in the world where there is internet.
Mindset Monday Challenge
Please share your experience of online networking here. Where is the best place to connect with those you have not met before? What process do you follow? Do you engage with people personally or do you use an automatic posting service like Buffer or Hootsuite?