Networking is such an essential part of our search for jobs or gathering leads that it is almost impossible to succeed without it. How individuals choose to network varies, however. It also changes depending on the circumstances and as people find new ways to network. So, what networking methods do people use today? Here are five modern ways to network that you can try out. Let us know how it goes!
1. Attend Networking Events
At first, you might think this is an old-fashioned method, but it’s reliable. It is one of the best ways to meet new potential leads one on one. It is an opportunity to strike up a conversation and get to know people. You can talk about what matters and learn or share similar goals or interests with those you meet. This opportunity also puts you in a position to pitch yourself and gather leads.
The result? Mutual trust and long-lasting relationships between you and the clients. It also opens the doors to other opportunities, such as referrals, and it helps you to stand out from the crowd.
Networking events usually occur at physical locations, but more have gone virtual these days. These are great opportunities to meet like-minded individuals and companies. Consider finding and joining these as they offer the same benefits as in-person events.
2. Use Social Media
We live in a day and age where everything has gone digital. That includes networking.
Networking through social media platforms, like LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, is another effective method. Consider creating a professional-looking profile with these platforms. Engage in forums, groups, or communities to connect with other professionals, businesses, or individuals who may be interested in what you have to offer.
3. Ask for Referrals
Even after gathering leads, there is still room to grow by asking them or former contacts and colleagues for referrals. These can be golden nuggets as you look for additional potential leads. However, there is an appropriate way to ask without making it awkward for yourself and, most importantly, your contacts.
For example, if you have a good relationship with one of your leads, it may be easier to ask, “Do you know of anyone who I can reach out to?” rather than asking someone who hasn’t had time to develop a relationship with you. Still, there is no guarantee that the lead who knows you well will give you a referral or that they feel comfortable doing so. If that’s the case, let them know that there is no pressure if they don’t have one. The same goes for those who you sort of know – those you’ve met once or just met for the first time.
You also don’t have to ask for referrals in person. One of the best ways to do this is by connecting or sending a message through Facebook, LinkedIn, or any other social media platform.
Add context for why you’re reaching out to them. Is it because you both share a friend? Or worked briefly together? Did you meet at a conference? Giving them context for why you’re reaching out will help them to trust you.
If someone does give you a referral, be sure to thank them. You can send a simple note via social media, email, or a handwritten letter.
4. Build a Website
Building a website or blog is another way to expose yourself or your brand. You can easily share your voice, your mission, reviews, or testimonials from past clients who were happy with your services. Here you can offer value to potential clients and casually ask to do business in a non-confrontational way. It is also an excellent way to promote yourself or use it as an online resume if you’re searching for work.
5. Use an NFC Business Card
You may be familiar with traditional paper business cards. These are useful for handing out to someone interested in doing business with you. What happens if you forget to bring one, though? Or you run out just when you’ve made a connection? Not only is it a little awkward when you realize you forgot to bring any or run out, but you also risk losing a potential lead.
That’s where a virtual business card comes in handy.
A virtual business card, also known as an NFC business card, serves the same purpose as a traditional business card. However, it allows you to include more details and information about your business. For example, at Linq, we have a digital business card where you can link to any of your social media profiles, or websites, all on one card. Not only does this make it easier for you to share all of your links in one place, but it also makes it easier for leads to find everything they should know about you.
This business card alternative easily fits into your wallet (or pocket) for safekeeping, so you always have it on you. You won’t have to worry about running out of cards, either, because our NFC business card is scannable by nearly any mobile device. All you have to do is pull it out, have the other person scan it with their mobile device, and in seconds, they’ll receive a link that will take them to your Linq app profile. There, they will find everything you want them to see.
Start with Linq!
Don’t know where to start? Start with our Linq app. It’s free to create an account and easy to set up. You’ll have everything you need in one place to set yourself up for success!