Tweak Your Biz » Marketing » Don’t Like Networking Meetings? Network Online Instead. Part Two

Don’t Like Networking Meetings? Network Online Instead. Part Two



As I mentioned in my previous post I’m not keen on going to Networking meetings and I’m much happier networking online. I gave some tips for networking on Facebook and Twitter before and now I will suggest some ideas using LinkedIn, Disqus, Blogs and Avatars to network.  It does take commitment and patience to build your network. It doesn’t happen overnight although hopefully this will help.

LinkedIn

Firstly ensure that your LinkedIn profile is completely updated so that it attracts people to link up with you.  It is an advertisement of yourself and your business too. LinkedIn is more professional than Facebook and Twitter so mostly only business, professional and technical advice will be discussed. Build up your network with like-minded professionals and people you already know. Don’t just send an invite to link up; explain why you want to connect and you’ll find it will work better for you.

 Join in Groups that are relevant to your business or even create a Group yourself and invite people to join.  You can upgrade your LinkedIn profile by paying a monthly subscription and have more features which are useful for networking and linking up with other professionals.

Disqus

Disqus is a way to have an online profile across several platforms. I think of it like an online business card. If you keep your details updated then every time you comment on a blog using Disqus it provides a link to your profile, shows your picture and details, previous comments and likes, and a link to your business too.

You can also install Disqus onto your blog if you have one and it provides a simple tool to get your blog seen on Social Media sites like Twitter and Facebook with just one click by people reading your blog. On the Disqus website they talk about “online communities” a lot – this is your online networking.

Blogs

Write your own blog giving advice on what you know best or just discussing current affairs, your views or simply what is on your mind. Blogs are easy to set up and you don’t need a domain name although this does look more professional if you have one. If your blogs are interesting and beneficial then people will recommend it and your network will grow.

Reply to comments on your own blog. It’s a discussion about what you have written after all so it’s good to chat back. If you get negative feedback then try not to fall into an argument, this can sometimes be far easier to do when it’s online than if you were face to face. Everyone has a right to an opinion and it’s often better to agree to disagree rather than fall out.

Commenting on other blogs also gets you seen and if using your Disqus profile all the better. Obviously make sense in your comments and don’t overdo it with randomness. There is a lot of spam in comments sometimes and you don’t want to appear like that. Supplying a relevant and sensible comment will hopefully attract attention to your profile and therefore your business. You’re networking online just by saying what you think.

Photo / Avatar / Gravatar

Gravatar is another useful online tool like Disqus that acts like a business card online. I use the same photo (Avatar) of myself on all Social Media sites as well as my blog, Gravatar and Disqus profile. Although as my business is just myself that makes it simple for me. It provides easy recognition for people if they are seeing me on a different site than they normally would. If you prefer to not show your own photo and use a company logo then use that across all sites too. Or incorporate both like I do but be consistent if possible.

Imagine you’re going to several networking meetings and for each one you wear a different disguise, so people you may have met before won’t recognise you straight off which would be a bit strange.  Using the same avatar means you can be recognised from afar, so to speak, and that must be a good thing for networking.

I’m sure there are other social media sites that are good for networking including the new Google+ but as I haven’t used that yet I cannot give advice on it. Hopefully I will in the future. 

 I look forward to hearing more suggestions for networking online so please comment below.



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The Author:

Sian Phillips is the Managing Editor of TweakYourBiz.com and a Moderator on Bizsugar.com. Sian is also the accountant for her clients Henparty.ie, (Dragons Den winner 2009), Clearwave.ie and Comserv.ie. With over 20 years’ worth of experience in business and accounting Sian provides help to the SME sector. The other half of Sian’s day is spent working in the Social Media space; writing blog posts and conducting interviews for TweakYourBiz.com, plus writing for clients globally about Social Business and Accounting. She is a qualified Accountant with an Honours Diploma in Journalism too. http://www.tweakyourbiz.com

Add Your Comment

  • http://www.tweakyourbiz.com Niall Devitt

    Hi Sian, I remember Cindy King (Editor at Social Media Examiner) telling me a few years agou00a0that the difference between the people who really get it online and those that don’t is networking. Networking is the secret sauce in ensuring that you build an effectiveu00a0personal brand, but many miss it completely. u00a0u00a0

  • http://www.salespider.com Terry Ratchet

    I couldn’t imagine networking any other way.

  • http://www.cgonlinemarketing.com/ Christina Giliberti

    Ooo Sian, we love all the online tools (like geeks love gagets!).nThere is so much to learn, but you’re absolutely right; it’s so worth it.nnI would add forums and networking sites to your list. Loving Smallbusinesscan.com at the mo. Cork.ning network is also a great place to meet like-minded people and businesses.nnBig thumbs up for a super post!

  • http://www.sianphillips.ie Sian Phillips

    Thanks Terry, likewise in my mind :)

  • http://www.sianphillips.ie Sian Phillips

    Thanks for the recommendations Christina – I must get back on the Cork Ning network

  • Anonymous

    u00a0 linked in profile is completely updated so that it attracts people to link up with you. This blog is sharing the good information.n

  • http://www.mgtdesign.co.uk/ Zena

    Wow, great post.I’ve recommended this blog to some of my colleagues. I’m sure they’ll find it is useful as I did.I would never have normally come here to read the blogs but I’m really glad I did. Will definitely be coming back.Can’t wait to read the next one.

  • http://www.socialmediaoptimisation.com/ kevin

    I  prefer to do online networking meetings.Because it saves our lots of lime .I think by using online networking is we can do meetings anywhere .It don’t matter the location of the persons.Most of the people looking this kind of valuable tips.

  • http://tweakyourbiz.com/ Niall Devitt

    Hi Bradley & welcome to Tweak Your Biz. Losing Steve Jobs hurt a lot and Apple now appear to be losing some of their edge. It’s going to be interesting to see how this plays out in the coming months and years.

  • http://www.cutehoney.ie/ Mairéad Kelly

    Hi Bradley, great post. As a devout Samsung convertee from Nokia (I’ve NEVER liked Apple) I think Samsung are waaay ahead with the functionality of their phones. They do have a lot to do to catch up with Apple but I think their (Samsung) phones look better and love the fact that they are lighter too.

  • http://www.thesmarttrain.com/ Elaine Rogers

    Hi Bradley,
    Welcome to Tweak Your Biz, nice article.
    A devout Apple head, I am looking over my shoulder at Samsung – the music is becoming more in-tune, and with greater melody.
    I agree with Niall, losing Steve Jobs, has now exposed the lack of innovation / design / sexiness and forward thinking that exists in Apple without him (Steve)
    User experience is important to me, and I will cross over if Apple lose the ball consistently – I am not THAT loyal, loyalty has a price in many different ways.
    Thanks for sharing your analysis

  • Bradley Derringer

    Hi Paul, thanks for commenting! I personally love Nokia phones (they are extremely under-appreciated in today’s market). Unfortunately, it doesn’t appear Samsung is doing what they can to try and combat Apple in U.S. sales (the Galaxy S4 isn’t too stunning, in my opinion), but with time and dedication, it will be interesting to see just how this all unfolds. Thanks again for commenting!

  • Bradley Derringer

    Hi, Niall. Thank you for welcoming me to TYB. You’re absolutely right, the passing of Steve Jobs will hurt Apple more than anyone can truly know. He was such an incredible innovator, it just doesn’t seem possible for Apple to keep plugging along without him. Should make for a very interesting battle between these tech giants.

  • Bradley Derringer

    Hi Mairead, thanks for commenting on my article! Functionally speaking, I agree with you. Samsung blows Apple out of the water, but still struggles to outsell the iPhone. I think within the next year or so (perhaps beginning in the 3rd quarter of 2013) we’ll see Samsung really step its game up. I’m still scratching my head trying to figure out how a smartphone with a 4″ screen is still the hottest selling device in America. Thanks again for commenting!

  • Bradley Derringer

    Hi Elaine! Thank you for the kind words. It’s true, Jobs’ passing will indeed hinder Apple’s ability to be the “it” company with the “it” product. It appears now is the perfect time for Samsung to “strike,” but until they do, we’re going to see one heck of a battle for supremacy in the U.S.

  • http://twitter.com/JoeRutski Joe Rutski

    Hi Brad, I enjoyed your article and thought that you brought up some interesting points. I believe it was last weeks Bloomberg Businessweek that highlighted the rise of Samsung in the smartphone market. Worth checking out if you already haven’t.