The word networking has been commonly used in business parlance since the late 1970s. The idea of networking is to walk into a room of people such as seminars, business operations workshops and many more to have a business relationship (network).
As with a business owner, networking events give you access to a group of experts in your field. Another benefit of link building is that it allows you to build your character profile. This means that you can become a well-known name in your field and be someone who has the ability to influence people and have a significant impact in their area of interest.
Business events meant so much back then, but today it seems that has changed dramatically. You don’t necessarily have to walk into the room with the people you want to connect with. With the help of technology, you can now build your network online.
The benefits and purpose of online networking remain the same as traditional ones, but what makes internet socialization different? Read on if you are looking for an answer to this question.
What are online networking platforms?
Online networking is the ability to network from the comfort of your own home. At the same time, online business networking sites are a service or platform that seeks to connect partners. Some may function more like directories, and others may offer more tools for creating meaningful conversation and connections. Others may provide more tools to generate deeper discussions and relationships. But the main incentive to join networking groups is to get referrals for your business. These networking sites have been helpful, especially during the recent pandemic. Because people could not leave their homes, many business events where events would take place are moved via the Internet.
What are the advantages of online networking over traditional networking?
While the main reason for the rise of online networking is the unavailability of many people to date due to the pandemic, there are other reasons why event planners prefer it to traditional ones:
Rather than spending time going to conferences and getting stuck in traffic, you can stay at home and witness the same business event in real time. It’s also easier to choose and listen to which parts of a conference are relevant to your business goals.
Attending events often takes place over dinner and drinks at an expensive venue, which can lead to additional costs. When you socialize, you don’t need to pay for these things or the travel.
In traditional networking, you are usually limited to attending events in your local community or state, while virtual networking events and business networking sites allow you to network across the globe. As business goes global, it makes sense to create international networking groups.
In formal events, a hierarchy is often observed. For example, the most influential people at the event and the guest speakers have their room, and your access to them is restricted. However, now that everyone is online, everyone enjoys equal treatment and status.
When you’re new to the industry, speaking to professionals in person can be daunting. You don’t have to walk across the room, strike up a discussion, and introduce yourself the same way at an online networking event.
What are the best networking sites?
Launched in 2003, LinkedIn has amassed 500 million members and professionals to create personal and corporate pages. You can unleash your creative talent to build your profile / CV on this site and connect with people you already know or want to network with.
A person on this platform can personally interact with a business networking group, other members and entrepreneurs by writing endorsements or even sending InMails. These interactions help to build trust between members and other business people on the platform.
For a long time, LinkedIn has been a premier networking site, and it’s still one of the best organizations to join today. Nonetheless, LinkedIn allows you to present a professional image of yourself and the company or business you work for.
E-factor is an entrepreneurial community with over a million like-minded people. The Platforms claim to be a non-profit organization that provides support through business advisors, local business networks, workshops, and webinars. With so many members from different countries, there will be no hassle about marketing your small business, promoting your business and meeting new business networks.
Country of startups
StartUp Nation is a website that provides excellent educational resources and networking opportunities for like-minded entrepreneurs and professionals. StartUp Nation’s community forums encourage active group discussions and valuable advice. Take the time to browse their small business ideas forum and interact with users on topics related to entrepreneurship, startups and more.
According to their website, TheFunded is an online community of over 20,000 CEOs, founders, entrepreneurs and members who discuss finance, fundraising, assess and evaluate investors and venture capitalists, and discuss issues. strategies for developing small businesses. This site can be a good catch if you are looking to raise funds and sales for your startup.
Bumble was originally designed for online dating, but now based on the founder’s statement – “Bumble has now grown far beyond a dating app into a networking platform, enabling people of all genders to build powerful connections in all areas of their lives. ” Good news, you can now connect with other entrepreneurs on Bumble Bizz using their matchmaking algorithm and make a professional connection rather than a romantic one.
Opportunity Network is a business networking site created to connect, build generations of leads, and recommend clients. The site breaks down barriers to investment for business leaders and investors around the world. Recently added live events to help you socialize online with other members to build an even stronger professional network.
Social media network
Social media networks are communication channels that help build relationships with family and friends. It may be the common use of the platform, but nowadays many executives and investors are taking advantage of these platforms to build business relationships.
It seems that every website can be a possible way to network with other professionals; just make sure you are using the platform correctly. It is highly recommended that you categorize the people you want to connect with, whether they are business owners, business coaches, thought leaders and others.
Be clear about your goal
Why are you joining virtual networking events? What information do you want others to know about your online presence? Do you want to increase your sales and access new business opportunities, or do you just want to watch how online networking events work? It is good that you answer these questions in order to get a clear idea of your participation in online networking groups.
When you are building a business network, you have to show who you are. However, it would be best not to say or do anything that could ruin your image in the industry. Remember to do things just to get everyone’s attention. Stay cool and professional inside and outside the event.
Learn to give back
All relationships must be mutually beneficial; it’s a give-and-take relationship. People in the business world might feel eager to join your network if they think you are asking for their support but never give it back.
Develop your connections
One way to build larger networks and help those in need is to introduce them to other entrepreneurs, business owners and other members. You can add other people with similar interests in a small networking group to encourage more conversations and attract leads and business deals.
When networking, expect business owners to be busy generating income and may not be seeing your request or posts just yet. Don’t worry if they don’t respond right away. You have to be patient and not harass anyone just to have a business network quickly.
Be up to date with technology
Here’s one of the tech tips I can give you. Keep up to date with business networking groups and how business owners and professionals chat via email or direct messages on social networking platforms.
The need for online networking
As technology advances and lifestyles change, we won’t know if traditional networking events will bring it back. But the question is, will online networking groups and online events continue for the long term?
In my opinion, people see the need for socializing online because of its great benefits. In addition, there are many online networking sites and groups that allow people and business owners to connect, whether they are at home, on vacation, or out shopping.
Also, an advantage of a business networking site is the educational resources and courses provided for everyone and accessible at all times. So it’s clear that online networking will be one of the many businesses in the industry to be successful even when traditional networking returns.