Barbara O Stephenson
When you can’t meet people face to face, you move your networking online.
In our last post, we spoke about how to get ready to online network by making sure that you add recommendations for social proof.
So when you’re ready to dive in, here are four ideas on the next step.
- You can start a conversation on a social platform. Facebook, Instagram (yes it’s connected), Quora, Twitter, Reddit, LinkedIn…each has it’s own purpose and audience. You can either post original content and ask for feedback or find something that relates to the content you want to share and comment on posts, contribute to conversations, join a debate. These platforms are specifically designed to work across devices so you can talk to people on your smart phone from the beach or the desktop in your home office. This works really well if you’re posting your own content and previously created a content calendar that can incorporate those ideas in tandem with regular social media schedule.
- Digital newspapers and magazines often also have comment sections. Find publications in your industry that relate to you and start watching for articles where you can share your thought leadership. Sometimes, you can even pay to have them publish you. I think everyone I know has either been approached by or written a Forbes editorial in the last three years.
- Digital events abound in the zoom era. Meet Up, Eventbrite, BrightTalk, etc. post regular listings for digital events that you can join. Take a class in your industry, listen to a speaker, or see what the competition is doing. Make sure that you post questions, even basic ones, because otherwise it’s just e-learning and not networking.
- Become a member- find industry groups and join. Our teams at 3FO belong to dozens of groups that include a variety of leadership, design, hospitality, tech, and marketing groups. Join your local rotary or chamber of commerce chapter, or if you own your own business, a CEO or owners group is key to finding new leads and networking for sales. This is probably the most expensive and time consuming option but also has the best rate of recommendations for new business leads.
You can also attempt more traditional approaches like newsletters, direct marketing, or PR. With experts saying we’re looking at 18 months to two years of pandemic fallout in the United States alone, the time to get your digital game on is now.
Grain of Salt Reminder: People are far more free with their digital opinions and arguments specifically because they are often anonymous to the average user. Insults and intimidation tactics are common place but if you ever feel threatened personally, alert the authorities.