First of all, networking is essential to everyone working in the business sector, whether you are running your own business or working for one. Networking will allow you to build up useful contacts that will either aid you in your job or create leads for your business, this is why it is important to practise networking on a regular basis. Whether you network a lot or are just starting out in the business world I suggest you exploit social media as its free, easy and will give you the edge.
So where should you start…
LinkedIn is your best friend, if you’re not on it get on it, right now! It may seem daunting at first with a lot of information to add to your profile, but there is lots of information out there to help you create the best profile and it relatively easy to create a profile and set up with lots of guidance along the way and prompts to add further information to complete your profile and make sure you don’t miss out anything important. Once you have completed you profile it is important to exploit the social side of it, get connecting, first find people you know from your contacts, easily synced from Gmail etc. or people that have worked at the same place you have. After you’ve found people you know, find people you don’t know this is the whole point of networking, use the search bar to find people, jobs and companies that you either want to work for or do business with. Add them, interact with them, add them or follow them on other social media sites and further interact (like, comment etc.) to inadvertently get their attention, then when your ready message them. Although LinkedIn is the best social media site for networking don’t forget you have other options such as Facebook and twitter, as I mentioned before it helps to engage with businesses and people before to get their attention and this will add to it. Also LinkedIn is a formal social media platform in my opinion, if you want to add a more personal touch, engage through the likes of Facebook, Twitter etc.
This is the digital age as they say, and although it’s important to meet face to face and to attend networking events etc., you need to exploit this tool as it gives you the opportunity to reach people you wouldn’t otherwise meet, think of yourself as a brand like any other business, self-promotion is essential. Business is done through social interaction; this being said social media is the best way to promote yourself or your business to other people on a global scale through networking. What makes it even better is that its free, easy to do, and even easier to access with LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter and many others all accessible in the palm of your hand.