Four ways to network online

These days, you’ll seldom see me swapping business cards at a networking breakfast. Networking online saves time and energy and I can still reap the rewards of building relationships. Successful online networking comes down to a few key strategies:

1. Share, share & share some more

Share articles, links to blog posts – what is useful and relevant to my customers and peers. Sharing has drawn new customers to our organisation thousands of times.

2. Choose your platform

Choose where your clients hang out. I choose to network using LinkedIn – where the context is business and so a request for an appointment or a referral is not intrusive (assuming I’ve taken time to connect and get to know the person first).

3. Be social

Much as the card-swapping ninjas I’ve come across at networking events would like you to believe that shoving a card at you with a quick ‘elevator pitch’ is the way to do business, I disagree. Social media and communicating online has a social element, the rules of which, if broken, will sever otherwise sound relationships.

4. Give & you shall receive

I use Twitter at conferences and business events. My tweets can provide a real-time stream of valuable tips and resources to followers, while establishing me as an expert in the area in which I do business.

Suzi Dafnis, Community Director and CEO, Australian Businesswomen’s Network,