While it is true that surfing websites is not enough to be a successful networker, there are certainly websites out there that are excellent places to begin your networking journey.
One site that I found especially helpful is called sitepoint. The actually website was a bit difficult to navigate, but I found an article posted on there a few months ago linking to 20 networking sites for business professionals. I thought this was a great read simply because I had never heard of these sites, and I was intrigued to see what resources were available for professionals to network online.
Another site I found beneficial is Accountemps. Although they are primarily a staffing company for accounting and bookkeeping professionals, they also have dedicated a few pages on their website to networking.
Surfing sites is a great place to start to learn about the networking world, but bloggers have really taken the reins on this topic. Many of these bloggers are professionals who have can speak with authority and knowledge about networking and the many challenges and benefits that arise from networking. Followimh blogs is not enough to improve your networking skills. Comment on blogs; have dialogue with the bloggers; that’s how you network and build community. It might be a little odd at first, but it will get easier. Many bloggers actually love feedback and crave comments. I’ll share a few of my favorite bloggers that I followed below and why I think they provide many insights about networking.
- The Biz Parlor: This is a truly delightful, informative blog. Its focus is business insights and discussions, but the author, Martha Ware, also discusses social media and marketing along with her ideas and thoughts about the business world. One of her posts was especially eye-opening; she discussed the difference between networking and merely adding contacts. Networking is not just meeting peoplel; it is forming a connection.
- Marketingfocus’s Blog: This blog is manned by Rich Lewis of Burlington Press, NJ. He described networking as a means of human contact. He expressed that human have a need and a desire for other human contact in this post. He explained that networking is simply building bridges.
- Rachel Dorsey: Rachel posts articles about everything from inspiring stories to networking adivce. In one of her recent posts, she shared some insider’s tips into the mind of top networkers. Her main three take-aways were “ask, be there, and cards.” It’s important to network; you might as well start with your friends. Go out of your comfort zone and attend new events, mixers, or social parties. Wherever you go, have some business cards with you for connections who you want to remember you.
Networking can be as fun or as tedious as you make it. Start out online, but take your networking activities with you. In other words, always be ready to network- even at the grocery store!