The internet is a 24/7 networking opportunity, with thousands of places to play. My question for you is how do you show up on the internet? Do you show up as the same person you are at an in-person event? Let me give you an example. When you go to a networking event, you put on your “business” clothes, maybe you do some positive affirmations about meeting new people, putting your best foot forward, bringing positive energy. You grab your business cards and your off to the event. Hopefully you bring your “A game.”
My Networking Goals
When I go to networking events, the goal is to meet people, make connections, create relationships and have fun. And in the mix of all that, hopefully I will meet some people that I feel inclined to follow up with, we will get to know one another, develop rapport and decide that we like each other, create a new relationship that builds trust, exchange information and referrals and get some business, new clients, new strategic partners, etc.
Here’s What Happens at a Networking Event
Typically, here’s how it goes at the actual event. You walk up to someone, ask them what they do, find out about them, share what you do, chat about business and non-business topics and maybe if it feels right and you are so inclined, you ask for their card and permission to follow up. If it feels right, you mention your upcoming event or something that’s going on but only if it might be relevant to something they said to you.
Do you run around the room shouting “Buy my this, buy my that”?
Hopefully when you meet people, you don’t promote, promote, promote. On the internet, networking is essentially the same as it is in person. The “in-person” handshake is the hyperlink on the internet. The link is what connects one message to another, one person to another on the internet. You have the opportunity to make connections 24/7! In fact, I read a statistic that every 20 minutes over 1 million links are shared, one million internet handshakes, one million referrals that could be referring you!!
When you show up on Facebook or LinkedIn, Google Plus or Twitter, wherever you show up, are you being consistently who you want to be? Are you educating, inspiring and motivating or are you just selling all the time? Are you authentically caring about people, engaging, interacting or are you just looking at everyone’s posts and not engaging? The Golden Rule even applies on the internet: “Do unto others as you would have them do to you.” In other words, treat other people the way you want to be treated. Be authentic, don’t make comments and share things unless it’s real for you but take the time to engage. Don’t just show up when you have an event to promote. Post your blogs, quotes, education and inspiration and invest some time in engaging with others!