Best Practices For Networking Online
Work from home (WFM) is the new normal for everyone, bloggers included. While the new routine doesn’t affect most parts of a blogger’s day-to-day existence, it bids adieu to traditional face-to-face networking opportunities. If conference venues used to set up physical spaces to meet authority figures before, apps are now ensuring virtual spaces can accomplish the same.
The following article will highlight ways to find and connect with elite speakers in your niche when you’re locked down at home. You’ll also learn how to enjoy the process and start deploying e-networking strategies immediately.
Discover Various Networking Opportunities
Online networking is quite similar to doing so offline. With a bit of work, it’s easy to get on board. Here’s a list of places for finding networking groups online when you’re engaged in WFM:
Live Chat Option
Chatting live with brand personas or authority figures works online just like it works at a physical conference. You can interact via websites, video conferencing apps like Zoom, or social media platforms such as Facebook Live.
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Register On Q&As
One of the key objectives of attending a conference for most bloggers is bagging the chance to speak with industry experts. At a conference, this might happen in the hall or around the venue after a speaker’s presentation. The virtual equivalent of this is the AMA or ‘Ask Me Anything’ typically seen on Reddit and Quora.
Discussions With Likeminded People
Another opportunity sorely missed during quarantine is group discussions. For example, the ‘Birds of a Feather’ discussion at MozCon uses predefined topics or cues prepared by the speaker. When this is translated to an online setting, such groups will be localized, small, and often held over Zoom calls.
Interact As Much As Possible
One of the best ways to network online is by being an active part of discussions, chats, and Q&As. Thanks to virtual reality, you can be present in multiple virtual spaces simultaneously. Accordingly, make use of every opportunity to produce meaningful interactions as demonstrated below.
Add Value To Conversations
Set your goal to share insightful or memorable moments in your interactions while networking. For example, imagine you’re following a thread where a user comments that the PHP elephants are cute. You can add value by inserting a picture of the official PHP elephant plush toys or a link to its official Twitter profile.
One surefire way to reach a wide audience is by supplementing information delivered by main speakers. For instance, if the keynote speaker is answering a question on the engagement rate for email marketing, you can jump in and answer it if you can demonstrably add value and make a positive impact.
Cite Trustworthy Sources
Whenever you share information, remember to add trusted proofs to support your position. For example, when you’re talking about Twitter banning ads related to COVID-19, also add a reference link that underscores the point.
Connect With Contacts Socially
Oftentimes, you return from a conference with a handful of industry experts as your friends on Facebook, Instagram, or LinkedIn. Why shouldn’t it work virtually too? Send invites to influencers and authority figures you interacted with at virtual events within 24 hours to ensure they don’t forget about you.
Stay In Touch
While it’s easy to send a virtual request via any of the dozen social media platforms, your requests may not always be accepted. Because of this, you need to ensure the follow-up process with the authority figure is extraordinary.
The trick is to develop a rapport with the other person rather than being blunt about connecting. For instance, you can review the conversation you had before thanking them for the opportunity to connect.
Try to regularly engage in meaningful conversations at least once in a week with the new connection. You can do so by liking their recent article on LinkedIn, commenting under a funny share on their FB timeline, or showing love for their Instagram uploads.
Enjoy The Process
Networking isn’t always black and white. In order to produce a positive impact from industry experts that you connect with virtually, enjoy the experience first. Overall, keep your goals for networking in mind instead of stressing out about it.
Networking is all about engaging in impactful and meaningful conversations. Even though offline conferences and events will be canceled for the foreseeable future, there are several virtual options worthy of further exploration. Bloggers can explore Q&A forums, join live chats or discussions to find industry experts virtually from home today.
Adding insightful comments on threads online creates a memorable impact just like it does offline. It’s even more convenient now. Above all, remember to stay in touch and have fun when connecting virtually to leave a lasting impression.