Effective networking takes just 15 minutes

Attending events is a great way to meet new people, but sometimes it can be hard to make the right connections to benefit your career or business.

Every workforce needs a variety of personalities to thrive. That’s why personality quizzes can be a useful tool for recruiters looking to place candidates in their ideal role. Successful businesses flourish with the skill sets introverts bring to the table, but the idea of networking can send an introvert running for the hills.

What if I told you there was an alternative? What if I told you that you could do all your networking online in just 15 minutes?

Well you can…

Online marketing is spreading pure joy into every introverts’ business life. It allows them to network effectively without having to show up at events and summits. No more wasting time making small talk with Mark about his summer holidays in Florida with his kids. (Who has the time? And is Mark even your ideal client?) That’s half an hour wasted in an uncomfortable conversation with someone called Mark! After that first interaction, you make a half-hearted attempt to mingle, which is uncomfortable and stressful, before you look at your phone and realise you need to be in the office instead of standing around.

Sound familiar? Well, here are six ways to network effectively online!  

Be polite

When approaching people online, remember your manners! This might seem obvious, but if you don’t start your messages with a polite introduction, then you can come across as rude or difficult.

Explain why you’ve reached out

After a polite greeting, your next sentence should explain why you’ve got in touch. Do you have a mutual connection? Do you know other people in the same industry or company? Did you meet at an event or a conference? Let them know you’re not just reaching out because you want something from them. Ensure there’s a commonality or they’re unlikely to respond to you.

Offer a genuine compliment

The trick here is to be as sincere as possible. If that’s not something you find easy and it feels disingenuous, you can keep it short. Try phrases like, ‘I loved what you wrote about…’ or ‘I’d be interested to hear your thoughts on…’ Keep it professional and only ever compliment their work or professional credentials.

Make your point snappy

When you’re writing your main point (the reason you actually got in touch), remember to keep it short, simple and snappy. If you’re reaching out to connect, offer a service or highlight a prospect, ensure you use two or three sentences to convey your message. Think about using phrases like, ‘I’d be so grateful for any of your time to discuss X’ or ‘I’d love to chat more to you about X if you’d be willing to?’ This is a non-intrusive invite that leaves it down to them to contact you.

Leave your contact details

Make sure you leave your contact details so the other person can easily reach you. Drop your email or phone number before moving onto the big finish.

The big finish

Your parting line should be polite and friendly. A standard, ‘I look forward to hearing from you soon,’ is effective, but you can also consider lines like, ‘I hope we can connect and chat about X soon.’ Then sign it off with your name and click send.

It’s as simple as that! And the best part about following this method is you never have to go to an event in the hopes of meeting the right person again.

By Vicky Keenan

Vikki started her career in IT and has been a business analyst for over 20 years. Following her career in banking she did a post grad in entrepreneurship, innovation and enterprise at UCD.

Vikki was an early adopter of online trading and ran a successful business on eBay for a number of years gaining knowledge and wisdom in the online marketing process. Vikki has a deep understanding of business marketing which has developed into an international business working with IT professionals helping them network effectively.

For more information visit https://www.vikkikeenan.com/ or https://specials.vikkikeenan.com/linkedin-training for free training on how you can leverage LinkedIn for sales.

Published: 11 February, 2020