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    How To Make The Most Of Online Networking

    Walking into a room full of people you don't know can be terrifying. Let alone when you have to stand up in front of them all and give a 30 second pitch on your business.

    Thankfully, modern networking is not only about shaking hands and giving out your business card. You can connect with in the online space as well.

    The great thing about online networking is that you remove a large portion of the fear, the limitations of location, and the pressure of attending an event at a certain time. Instead, you can network all day, every day with people all over the world.

    But online networking is not about showing up in a group, dropping your link or sales pitch and expecting the work to flow in. There is an art to online networking. Here at Network NZ, we want you to get the most out of the experience. So, we have listed our top 7 tips to nail networking in the online space…

    How To Make The Most Of Online Networking

    1: Join An Online Community

    One of the very best ways to start your networking is to join an online community. Network NZ is a fantastic place to start. We provide a safe and friendly environment to start your online journey. Our community is designed specifically for every business owner or entrepreneur in New Zealand to have a place to connect, share knowledge, ask questions and get advice. Our members are used to interacting in this forum and have plenty of knowledge and support to offer to others at all stages of the business journey.

    2: You Get Out What You Put In

    Networking groups provide the platform for you to network on, but how much you get out will depend on how much you put in. Like any networking, it is about building relationships with people, having positive interactions and sharing your knowledge. Investing some time and energy will see you get lots of conversation in return.

    3: You Are Your Brand

    Remember, everything you do reflects on your business. You have the opportunity to create your own online personality, so craft it carefully. If you are helpful and positive then it will reflect well on your brand. But if you are negative and put others down, then you will not present your business in the best light. Be very mindful of what you post, as it will be how people perceive you.

    4: Participation Is Key

    People will not know who you are unless you speak up and participate. If you have a question to ask, post it up. Don’t be afraid to seek the knowledge of others, people will gladly share their wisdom with you. Likewise, if you have some valuable info to share, then go ahead and do it. By providing lots of help tips and advice you will position yourself as a great source of industry knowledge. People will be drawn to your business when they have need for your services.

    5: Build Connections

    Building strong connections with people in the online space can really help you and your business. The world of running a business can be foreign to many, they don’t always understand the challenges we face. But a community of business owners and entrepreneurs know exactly what you are going through, so can provide support. You might also build great collaborative relationships with complementary businesses where you can refer work to each other.

    6: Don’t Make Selling Your Main Objective

    Almost everyone in an online networking group will be wanting to grow their business. But imagine what the group would be like if everyone was constantly trying to push their products or services? No one would stick around because they wouldn't get any value from it. Instead of pushing your offerings, form relationships. If everyone adds value to a group, then everyone benefits in the long run. After a while, sales will naturally flow to your business once you become known in the group.

    7: Embrace The Group

    Many networking groups have a lot to offer, Network NZ included. So it is worth exploring all of the options available. Paid membership will open up a whole new level of resources and support that can take your business to the next level. Also ensure that you follow the rules, they are in place for a reason - to make the community a safe and valuable place for all of its members.

    The most important thing to remember is that there are people behind each of those computer screens, or mobile devices. So, make sure you treat them like they are people. If you wouldn't say something in person, then don’t say it online. Be respectful, polite and friendly, otherwise you won’t get everything you can out of networking!

    Are you a member of Network NZ? If not, we would love to see you there! Come and join us in our FREE business community, or explore the options for paid membership if you are ready to take the next step for your business.