How Do You Start Online Networking?

5 Min

Don’t let impatience shatter your networking goals. Build a strong foundation for your network

Many people find that the hardest part of online networking is starting. Things will get easier as you get familiar with common practices.

We’ve put together three steps to help you start:

Define your goals for online networking

Before you even start with your profile or send your first email, you need to figure out what it is you want from your networking efforts.

Do you want a new job? Or to find an industry expert to give you advice? Maybe you want to find out what it’s really like working in your dream field.

It’s okay to have multiple goals at once if they help you achieve your ideal career path.

Try to be as specific as possible so that your goals can help focus your networking behavior.

For example, if you wanted to learn more about digital marketing in the tech space, your goal could be to connect with an experienced digital marketer, find a digital marketing professional group, or get a job in digital marketing at a tech startup.

Set up your online presence to achieve your goals

Once you know what your goals are, you can create a professional online presence that helps you achieve them. A professional online presence is a virtual representation of who you are and where you want your career to go that makes it easier to connect with other professionals

You might be creating a presence from scratch or updating an existing one, but your current presence should reflect what you hope to accomplish while networking.

Continuing with the example of digital marketing goals, you might want to include any experience you’ve had with marketing and list skills associated with marketing at the top of your profile.

You can also join digital marketing groups, ‘like’ stories and posts about digital marketing, and share articles related to marketing with your network.

Connect with peers based on your networking goals

When you’re first starting out, it might be tempting to just connect with anyone. But if you're careful about who you connect with, you can build a stronger network that will be more likely to lend you support throughout your career.

You could connect with other people looking to enter the digital marketing field as well as people who have been in digital marketing roles for a few years.

You could also reach out to people in roles that work alongside digital marketers as well as people who hire in the tech space.

Time for a quiz

Michelle is an experienced jobseeker pivoting to a new industry for the first time. She already has an established network and is eager to start job searching. What’s the first thing she needs to do?

Quiz 1 of 1

What’s the first thing Michelle needs to do?

Define her new networking goals.
Update her profile, bio, and resume.
Connect with new peers.
Use her old network to apply directly for a job.

A. Define her new networking goals.

Michelle might have an existing network and work history but she’s pivoting to a completely new field. She will have to set new expectations, expand parts of her network, and meet new people. All of that starts with defining what it is she wants to achieve in her new career.

Take the next step

Do you know what your networking goals are? Write down three networking goals you hope to achieve.

How Do You Start Online Networking
Video Transcript

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