Josh Hinds runs a blog called Business Networking Advice. In it he provides tips about business networking.
One way he does that is by interviewing people about their approaches to business networking.
Josh interviewed me last week via email. I spoke about online networking.
I’ve evolved from being someone who didn’t know what online networking meant five years ago, to where now about 80% of my networking is done online. I’ve noticed other business professionals in my circle taking advantage of the online networking trend, too.
One of the big appeals of networking on the Web is its efficiency compared with in-person networking:
- First of all, you don’t have to travel to events.
- Second, by its nature online networking means that you always have the person’s contact details at hand and available via your computer, without having to manually enter business cards into a database. (Or worse, ending up with stacks of business cards that you never quite got around to entering into Outlook, stuffed into a cabinet.)
- Third, there are few time barriers to keeping up with people online. Staying in touch can be as simple as broadcasting a Twitter message, writing a blog post, updating your LinkedIn profile, sending a quick email, or saying hi through instant messaging.
With people getting more used to online networking, it no longer seems as impersonal as it did several years ago (my main objection way back when).
In fact, you can soften your online networking and make it more personal by taking some simple steps. I share some of my tips for how to do that.
As an aside, the way I met Josh is through online networking. He started following me on Twitter. That caused me to check out who Josh was. So I visited his blog. That in turn led to the interview.
Read about online business networking at Josh Hinds’ Business Networking Advice.