Networking: The Art of Networking From Home
We’ve all been in situations where we’re around new people, whether it’s in the classroom or the workplace. There are very few people that are comfortable enough to start conversations with strangers. Most people either take a passive-aggressive approach and engage in conversation if someone talks to them first, or are super introverted and would rather gravitate to the back of the room to get cozy with a wall. Shaking strangers’ hands and making small talk, while simultaneously trying your hardest to remember names and faces, can be very tough. Conventional networking can be dreadful for some, but modern-day technology has allowed us to make the networking process much more seamless. There are people who are making new friends and connections that create future business opportunities by way of social networking. Though good old-fashioned in-person interaction is still one of the best ways to network, here are two major reasons why networking virtually is worth your while:
1. Easier Networking
With technology, it is no longer necessary to travel all over just to meet new people. Social networking sites provide a great platform for interacting with people from all over the world, as most sites are open to people from any country. Unlike being thrown into a room full of random people and networking with only a handful of them, you can reach more people in a more effective manner.
2. Smarter Networking
Along with being able to reach more people, it’s much easier to target specific groups of people you want to connect with. Most people today will have a variety of platforms where you can reach them, such as an e-mail address, social media profile, personal website and even instant messaging where you have full access to them. It’s easier than ever to work smarter and not harder when it comes to networking.
How social sites change the way people network
There are a ton of social networking sites where you can connect with influencers in every field imaginable. These influencers not only have an online presence where you can connect with them, but also a platform for followers to interact with one another. It’s these types of interactions that allow us to gain different perspectives and most importantly, see what works and what doesn’t. Being open about one’s likes, dislikes, past experiences and future aspirations is part of the foundation on which online relationships are formed. Let’s explore some of the most popular social networking sites where you can find people to connect and form relationships with below.
Having been around for over 10 years, Facebook has found itself catering to an audience much larger than the college students it was originally created for. In fact, if Facebook were a country, its population would be the largest country in the world! (Check out this article by the Huffington Post to see how other countries stack up against Facebook’s population.)
Today, you can find grandparents, teachers, coworkers, and even long-lost family members on Facebook sharing everything from intimate thoughts to viral cat videos. While your Great Aunt Agnus’s posts may make you feel like Facebook’s “cool” factor is diminishing, don’t discount the robust networking world it has become. There’s a reason why almost everyone you meet will end the conversation with “Are you on Facebook?” You can join groups, start your own fan page, and even advertise your business in just a few clicks. So take advantage of the access to millions of people on Facebook and reach as many people as you can.
Due to its 140 character limitation, Twitter is a space for quick thoughts and statements. This is a great way to consume information in a quick manner, like news. In fact, 9 out of 10 active users say they use Twitter to get the latest news. On this social networking platform, you’re able to quickly gain insight into someone’s personality by reading their tweets. This enables you to develop a network where you can interact with like-minded people. You can do this by tweeting them, and favoriting or retweeting their tweets. People who are interested in your tweets can follow you, opening the door for your tweets to be shared with a new audience. Now you’re not only reaching your immediate Twitter followers, but a much larger audience. It’s like word of mouth on steroids.
Even the least tech-savvy internet users have heard of YouTube. The site has grown tremendously from the days of just posting miscellaneous clips of people doing ordinary stuff. Today, YouTube has amassed an incredible 1 billion (yes, 1 billion!) active users per month. Did you know that YouTube is the 2nd most popular search engine outside of Google? (Google now owns YouTube.) That makes this one of the best platforms to show people who you are and what products you offer. Creating your own YouTube channel allows you to upload videos for your subscribers to watch and learn more about you and what you have to offer. Take the Hashtag DoMode YouTube channel for instance. This is where people who might not know what #DoMode is can gain some more insight about the community. This, of course, opens the door for more networking opportunities.
A great way to progress while in your #DoMode is to interact with people who have different perspectives of life. Using the internet provides everyone with a platform to learn new things and meet new people. All of this helps to create a catalyst to get things done more efficiently. This varies greatly from how our parents had to network. If you rely solely on face-to-face interactions, you will be limited by distance, time and opportunity to make strong connections. Don’t limit yourself. Instead, maximize your resources and make connections that will assist your efforts to remain in #DoMode.