Having a strong online network is a great tool for any professional. It’s useful for meeting like-minded people, sharing ideas and creating relationships that could benefit your career in the future. While it’s great to get to know people in person, the internet has opened up a whole host of opportunities, allowing us to connect with people online, from all over the world.
As such, it’s a good idea to take some time to work on building this kind of network. Below, we outline our top tips for creating a strong professional network online and explain how this can help you to progress in your career.
Choose the correct channels
In order to begin building your network, it’s important to choose the best channels to do so. Of course, there are popular networking sites like LinkedIn, but there will also be other channels for you to choose from based on your industry or job role.
Take some time to do your research and look for platforms that compliment your current role and your career goals. Other social media channels, such as Twitter, are also useful for building an online network. But whatever channel you choose, be sure to create an informative profile, that helps like-minded professionals to find you and understand what you do.
Don’t be afraid to communicate
It’s all well and good connecting with professionals online, but you also need to make sure you’re communicating with them. This means getting involved with discussions and helping out your industry peers by offering an opinion or information. This will help you to strengthen your network.
What’s more, you can also reach out to your connections when you need help. Forming these relationships is mutually beneficial for both parties as you’re able to help one another out with professional matters.
Join relevant conversations
As well as communicating with your connections, you should also strike up conversations in other ways. Whether that’s a Twitter chat, or in an online forum, join in where you can. Again, do your research and you’ll be able to find platforms that are specific to your role or sector.
You might even find regular chats that you can take part in and even introduce your own questions along the way. There are many online groups to join – LinkedIn is particularly great for these types of discussions. This will help you to make more connections, whilst also learning more about the industry you work in.
Attend physical events
Building an online network doesn’t stop at communicating through your computer. You should also attend physical events where you can talk to people face-to-face and exchange contact information. This means they can look you up and connect with you online at a later date. This is a particularly good approach to take as it’s better to get to know someone in person, rather than just through their computer.
Concentrate on adding value
Through it all, you need to remember that the main goal is not just to have a large number of online connections. You need to concentrate on really getting involved and adding value with the contributions you make. This will make people more likely to want to work with you again in the future.
Overall, take some time to research the platforms that will work best for you. Once you’ve begun building a network, keep in contact and get involved with discussions. Share your ideas and offer help where you can – you never know when you might need someone to return the favour!