You must master networking if you want to grow your business or advance your career. You can get leads and referrals through effective networking, which will allow you to become an expert in your field.
This guide will show you how to master online networking. In this guide, I will teach you how to build your network, connect with influential people, and reach your professional or business goals. Ready? Let’s get started!
Establish long-term networking goals
Before you do anything else, it is important to establish your long-term goals for networking. Clear goals will guide you in your approach to networking. You should make your goals specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, time-bound, and SMART.
Your business goals should be aligned with your networking goals.
If your business goal is to get more businesses to buy your human resource software, this could be your goal:
- Each month, generate one new sale
You might need to establish sub-goals in order to achieve your goal. You could, for example, set the following goal:
- Five sales meetings per month
- Get connected with 30 HR professionals
These sub-goals must align with your overall target. These sub-goals are based on the assumption that you will secure five sales meetings if 30 HR professionals connect you. You can expect one sale from five meetings.
It is easy to see how subgoals connect to your overall goal. These types of goals are yours to set.
Pick Your Most Important Social Channels
The next step in any online marketing campaign is to identify the right social media channel for you. You should consider where you wish to be present and where your customers are most active.
You have many social media options. Linkedin might be a good choice if you are interested in professional networking. You might also consider Instagram and YouTube if your goal is to be a speaker or online influencer.
Do not try to be everywhere. It will be harder to make an impact if you try to do too much. You can choose one or two social media platforms to help you network.
After you have chosen your preferred social network channel, get familiar with the platform. Each platform is different and requires a different approach.
Connect with Relevant People
After you have set your goals and chosen the right channel, it is time to begin networking. It’s a good idea to create a list of people I want to network with based upon my target audience.
There are many ways to create a list with people you wish to network online. Here are some examples:
- Google My Business: Google My Business is a tool that you can use to search for companies you want to target if you work in a marketing agency. This will allow you to identify the people in your business that you should meet.
- Online Lists: Listings such as the Inc. 5,000 are great for finding relevant B2B networking opportunities online.
- You can use a variety of tools to reach influencers . Buzzsumo, for example, helps you find people with a large following on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook.
You should set aside some time to compile a list of people you are interested in connecting with online. I recommend creating a list with 100+ potential contacts.
Now that you have a list of people to target and a list of contacts, you can start your online networking.
Your approach should be determined by the platform you choose. LinkedIn allows you to send a request for connection directly to the person you wish to connect online. You should follow the person on Instagram if you are using Instagram.
Once you have made a connection, it is important to keep yourself visible. You can subscribe to their newsletter and comment on or like the content they post.
Try to show them that you are interested in their work, and start a conversation.
An email finder can be used to locate the contact information of a person. There are many great email finders. Hunter is the most popular. You can also use it as an alternative to Hunter.
Send them a message after a few likes or comments. Send an email to introduce yourself.
Here is a sample request for connection:
*Hi [NAME],* *I hope you’re doing well. Your posts have been very interesting to me. I enjoyed your comments about [insert what you like in their recent content]. I am writing to you because I noticed that you have [Insert Problem]. I believe I could help you. I would be glad to offer something free of charge. * *All the very best,* *[YOUR NAME]*
It is clear and concise. You may not get a reply, but that is okay.
Start a conversation
Let’s suppose that some people have accepted your request for connection. Congratulations! It’s now time to have that conversation. How can you approach someone you haven’t met to build a relationship?
Finding common ground is the key. These are some of the things you can do:
- A comment on a topic: “I saw your latest post/tweet/article.”
- A shared connection: He/She is a [explain relationship].
- A shared point of view: “I agree that [insert common viewpoint]”
The key is to be focused on their needs and wants. People don’t respond well to people who talk only about themselves.
Don’t be too detailed with your message. Keep it short and to the point.
Here is an example of a message you could send:
*Hi, *Thanks for accepting my request to connect. * *I just saw your post on [topic] and couldn’t agree with you more. Discuss why you agree or disagree with the influencer. You should provide deep insights and add value to the conversation. * *Let’s try [raise another subject] What are your thoughts? I hope you do let me know. It’s great to have people with such deep knowledge and understanding of your industry. * *Talk to me soon. * *[Your name]
Your message should end with a hook that will allow you to continue the conversation.
To build a relationship, give favors and offer support
Your network should be about adding value to others. This is the best way to network. When someone joins your network, you shouldn’t ask for favors immediately. You can ask for favors, but it will only make the other person more anxious.
Be a positive role model and show that you can be a part of the relationship. This will make it easier for them to lend a hand when you are in need.
You should take every opportunity to assist people in your network. Perhaps someone in your network was looking for someone to create a website. Refer them to an experienced web developer friend.
Recommend a hotel that offered great service and a reasonable price to someone looking for a place in New York. Is there a webinar hosted by someone in your network? It’s worth promoting!
Give value wherever you can. Consider networking an investment. You’ll reap the benefits if you do your part.
Reexamine Your Approach
Remember how I said to you to set networking goals. You’ll need to revisit those goals at some point to determine if your strategy is working.
Your achievements should be compared to your goals. Reviewing your achievements against your targets is an opportunity to make improvements, make changes or take a pivot.
You can continue to work if you’re achieving your online networking goals. You might also choose to continue what you have been doing.
You should review your strategies if you find a problem.
Perhaps many people to whom you sent a request for connection did not reply to you. This means that your connection request message is not working properly. Maybe you are on the wrong platform.
To determine your strengths and weaknesses, review your approach.
Your success depends on your network. To make networking work, however, you must not just send connection requests to random people. To achieve your goals, you must have clear goals and a strategy.
This article will give you tips to master online networking. Once you have established your long-term goals for networking, it is important to choose the right social media channels for your needs. Start a conversation with the people you are interested in. Do not forget to add value to the relationship. Review your strategy to identify its strengths and weaknesses.
Make the investment of time and effort. You’ll find that everything was worth it once you have a network and nurture those connections.