Pretty much anyone will agree that networking is important, whether or not you’re in business for yourself. Most of us will put networking events on our calendars and make an effort to attend, at least occasionally. If we agree that networking is important, why then are we so hesitant to connect with these same people online? One of the best ways to have conversations online is to connect with people you’ve already met offline.
Connect on the Spot
If you have a smartphone, follow people you meet in person right away. If not, write down their social media profiles on the back of their business cards (if they don’t already have them listed). Connect as soon as possible online so they remember meeting you offline.
Do Some Searching
If you weren’t able to connect on the spot, search for them online or check out their website to see if they have links to social media profiles (which they should). Sometimes you can also find people just by searching for their name on google (and connect in more than one place).
Just like offline networking, it’s important to followup online so people connect your online profile with who they met offline. Don’t stop there, though. Continue to converse and interact with them online to build the relationship.
Network Online and Off
Ideally you’ll continue to build your offline networking efforts online which means that the next time you see them in person, your relationship has progressed more than it could have offline alone. Make an effort to reconnect with people in person when you can. For people you’ve met online, look for ways to meet them in person at conferences or other events. Just don’t network the wrong way. Here are some tips for connecting offline and online networking.
How do you connect networking offline and on?
(photo by greg westfall)