Networking Tips for Business Women
Photo courtesy of Pexels.
The technological advancements of the past several years have changed the way people connect with each other academically, socially, and professionally. The prevalence of smartphones, tablets, and other smart devices has almost completely transformed how we conduct our business interactions. This means that the digital nature of our world calls for a networking strategy that is mindful of online communications and social media platforms.
However, don’t forget the value of networking face-to-face. Though social media and instant communications have influenced how we make connections, to truly make the most of any networking opportunity, you need to be able to do it on- and offline.
Online communication continues to grow in popularity, but in-person networking is far from obsolete. Being able to network offline is still a crucial skill to have in the business world. When you speak with someone face-to-face, it’s easier to build stronger relationships more quickly than on the Internet. Here are some things to keep in mind:
- Make yourself memorable. When meeting someone in person, use this chance to showcase your best qualities and make a lasting, positive impression. This person isn’t just browsing your LinkedIn profile, so make these meetings count.
- Among other things, Washington State University advises taking advantage of unexpected networking opportunities. Whether you’re at the gym or picking up takeout for dinner, you never know when the right connection will show up. Don’t be afraid to connect outside of work; do your best to put on your game face and go for it.
- No matter how old school it feels, use business cards. List your contact information, including your phone number, email address, and relevant social media profiles. They are easy to pass along and provide a professional touch to your interactions. Ask for others’ business cards, but only if you plan to follow-up with them. Take their contact information and connect with them online as you build your relationship.
Online Best Practices
As important as face-to-face networking is, online networking is a relevant and significant aspect of today’s business world. When creating new business relationships, be attentive to both your and their online presence.
- This is one of several useful tips from Rutgers University: be consistent with your online persona. Remember that what you put on the Internet will stay there. People can easily check any facts you share with them, so make sure you’re honest about your identity and credentials. Keep personal accounts private or consider modifying your name if you don’t want future employers or clients to see what you post. However, people may still find you, so keep that in mind before posting pictures of a debaucherous weekend.
- Keep your online profiles up-to-date. New, consistent posts are crucial to building a brand online, especially if you plan to use them for networking. Stay relevant by putting fresh content on your blog, recent and professional photos of yourself on your social media accounts, and posting regularly on all your online platforms.
- Do your homework. If you have a big event or meeting coming up, look at the online profiles of other attendees. Get to know them online first, so when you interact in-person, you’re confident and ready to network.
Remember that networking isn’t just about meeting people; it’s about making meaningful connections. If you want to network successfully, incorporate both in-person and online interactions when cultivating your relationships. Technology has provided us with even more resources to help us form these relationships; use them to your advantage and network like a pro.