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10 Habits of Highly Effective Online Networkers PDF Print E-mail
Blog - Business Networking
Written by Karl Smith   
Monday, 23 January 2012 00:00

Let's be real, real networking is about a lot more than just "linking" to other people. Networking is about providing others with assistance knowing that others in your network will do the same for you.

An effective online networker is someone who really knows their stuff and is willing to share it to help others. Success is not intrinsic in simply making contact, success is found by what you make of every contact.

Here are ten habits that successful online networkers live by:

  1. Think strategically. Think and think some more about what your objectives are for being online and utilising social networking sites. Effective online (and face to face) networkers are strategic in their thinking, their connections, their alliances and their partnerships. Develop your objective and then determine the tools that work best for achieving your personal goals.

  2. Adopt an outward perspective. Interactive people who do nothing but blast sales messages are not networking. Authentic people can tell if you're spinning a yarn, even from behind a screen. If you are always selling, people are going to run away (or block you). Great online networkers interact with others and contribute to other people's online activities.

  3. Listen to understand. Great online networkers "listen" generously. Read what your contact has written, reflect on the content and the medium, then listen to your intuitive sense of who and what your contact is and what they stand for...then respond! Egos and self-centred people that talk about themselves only are not good online networkers as they won't be in real life.

  4. Build positive impressions. Handle positive and negative comments with professionalism, knowledge and skill promptly before diplomatically responding.

  5. Maintain a willingness to learn about a contact. The more you know, the better equipped you are to be helpful, which is a great way to start an online relationship.

  6. Be consistent. Don't post frequently then stop for two months, it devalues not just what you say but also the value of that message. Be consistent, in your message, in your style, and especially in your delivery method and time.

  7. Ensure that you are relevant. Provide information, news, articles and stories that your target audience will be interested in.

  8. Show consideration and respect people's time. Don't flood everyone's twitter pages/facebook with reams of endless updates.

  9. Connect others. Online networking creates an environment where passing along a relationship is easy and mutually appreciated. Try to connect your friends to help them be more successful.

  10. Follow through. The primary attribute of any effective networker is that they follow up effectively: that means doing what they say they're going to do, when they say they're going to do it. Lack of follow up demonstrates that you don't care, or the other person isn't important - and nothing damages relationships quicker, which means you won't be successful in your networking efforts.

A profitable and long-term connection is certainly not by making the relationship about you. It is through giving and facilitating a win-win business relationship. And both are critically important. Think about the social networking and social media environment as a real life cocktail party without the constraint of space or time.

Don't just connect online. Instead develop conversations and explore mutually beneficial opportunities. If opportunities seem possible then meet offline and develop some depth to the relationship as that's where business will be done.

"By Karl Smith: speaker, author and founder of Business Networking South Africa" Cape Town, South Africa. +27 (0) 71 444 2210 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it"


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