Does online Networking Differs from in Person Networking? Networking from home may feel a bit different but the same basic principles apply. At the end of the day, it involves making genuine connections and building relationships with people.Whether you do it from your couch or a conference room, the interaction itself is what counts. Yet, online business networking has its cons. In comparison to face-to-face networking, connections online can lack depth and reading people is tougher but don’t let that deter you. You may well find that you prefer meeting online versus in-person. Either way, online networking can provide unique things that the traditional approach can’t.
Many people point out surprising or unexpected benefits from moving their networking activities online.
The more benefits that you know about, the more that you can cultivate them for yourself.
The Business Benefits of Network Marketing
1. You can expand your network anywhere, no travel required. No car? No worries! That’s one huge advantage online networking offers. You can do it from your own office or living room. No travel means big savings in time and money. It’s no surprise that businesses who use web conferencing can save up to 30% in travel expenses.Virtual meetings are easy, fun, efficient, and economical. They can be set up in a matter of minutes, and you can talk to anyone anywhere without hours of driving and paying for parking.
2. You can establish yourself as an authority in your field. While it’s possible to build your profile by networking in person, the online world vastly expands the number of platforms where your voice can be heard.Examples? You can build your reputation as an expert by writing guest posts for blogs, contributing to forums, or landing a guest spot on a podcast (an estimated 16 million people avidly listen to podcasts in the US alone. Much of a therapist’s new business comes from building their reputation in the marketplace and being found in credible places when people look for help. Those approaches have not changed, but the focus on the channel has shifted. Do more on LinkedIn, increase your activity in business networking groups, and deliberately contact people in your professional network to ensure that when there is business, they think of me. Maintaining an online presence also keeps you top of mind! Welcome the Zoom and telephone calls as it’s a great opportunity to foster new relationships and learn about each other.
3. You can be the host. Hosting an in-person networking event takes time, money, resources and a venue. If there are no good business networking groups or options in your area, you might not be willing to fill the gap. By going digital, however, anyone can host virtual networking events.Try conducting online events on Meetup in several locations on the east and west coast to expande my brand presence and connect with other business owners.””Online networking has given me a much farther reach, and I can now share my retreats and workshops as well as 1:1 coaching and consulting all over the world.It’s also allowing her to forge partnerships and jointly host online events with complimentary small businesses – like an online summit for women’s wellness which she’s in the process of organizing right now.Hosting an event also allows you to tailor-make a platform for sharing your knowledge and expertise. When you focus on what you can give someone else, leads, referrals, and partnerships will flow back to you. Give first, share always.
4. You can connect with a supportive business community. There’s a host of reasons to connect with others in the business community. Business owners offer each other advice and support, forge partnerships, and build collaborations.”I had tech people jump in and offer up support and service for free to help me get my tech feet on the ground when my business needed to move online. A ESL Teacher Business group in Canada has been a tremendous business support by paying it forward by encouraging other businesses online whenever they can. It doesn’t take much time online but it can be worth so much in goodwill.
to push the bounds of what is traditionally thought of as business. I have participated in writers’ networks, regenerative farming and more. The people within these groups think outside most boxes and business becomes a creative process again.”
5. You can generate more referrals. The more you network and build relationships, the more likely you are to generate referrals. After all, referrals drive business. One major benefit of networking online is that your pool of connections is suddenly bigger. By using online networking sites and platforms, you can meet people far and wide like your fellow business owners from down the street or entrepreneurs across the country. Those connections can refer you to new potential clients, ones you might not have had if you limited yourself to in-person networking. Generating referrals is what LinkedIn is all about. So if you haven’t jumped on the platform yet, you should as you design a multifaceted approach that suits you
On the future of online networking: It need not be all or nothing. Many business are learning from the Covid-19 experience and using it to find a balance that suits you. Seek out a hybrid approach. You need to balance those virtual benefits with in-person positives that can’t be replicated. About 75% of a business person’s future networking will be virtual, even for the traditionalist when it comes to networking with people in person vs. online, Networking has increased so 50% of your clientele you likely meet online now. Whether in-person or online with networking, adaptability is the name of the game. Once in-person networking is back on the cards, you can be more selective about which physical events take up our time and effort and continue to do the rest from the comfort of home.
How are you embracing online business networking? Embracing online networking in all its forms seem daunting at first but understanding its multiple benefits will help you make the most of it.
As much as you may miss warm physical human interaction, plenty can be gained by connecting virtually, too. And the recent, rapid evolution of our online activities is brimming with possibility.The world wide web is finally taking on its long intended role. Not throwing us all into a competition for best selfie but instead creating a web of connectivity that is supportive, sharing, inspiring, community building and a web that glues us all together.
Why is networking crucial to your success as a business owner? What’s your experience with going online vs networking via face-to-face meetings? For more on business networking, check out these articles:
- Ready to get started networking online? How to Make the Most of Online Networking in Today’s World
- Want to get better at networking? 26 quick networking tips from business networking gurus.
- Expanding your network is key. Successful business owners share tips and strategies for meeting new people.
- And given the situation we’re currently living in, here’s a pandemic-specific guide to building relationships online.