The Power of Online Networking

Personal Brand is defined by About.com as the “process of developing a mark that is created around your personal name or your career. You can use this mark to express and communicate your skills, personality, and values.”

Why Online Networking?

The end goal? Your personal brand helps you develop your reputation and grow your network both in person and online. Especially in today’s age having and maintaining an online presence is essential – especially through online networking.

It’s not all about who you met at the company holiday party, it’s also who you engaged with on Twitter, or LinkedIn. It is a networking relationship like any other that must be handled and nurtured the same way.

So what are some ways you can improve your online networking? Here are 4 for you.

Confidence is Key – Always

Just like in the office, you cannot overlook the importance of always sharing a positive, confident message online. This message includes knowing who you are and where you want to go with your career. Have confidence in your field; show this by commenting on relevant discussions, this will show you’re invested and not afraid to share your expertise.

Work Your Networking Sites – The Right Way

Online networking wouldn’t be what it is without these sites we all know and love: LinkedIn, Twitter, Google+. These are made to help you enhance your online brand.  You have a LinkedIn account to reflect your most current expertise and knowledge. Make sure it’s updated. Use your Twitter account to share anything regarding your passions in your field.

If you don’t have either of the above, take the time to not only create one, but do it right and use them to their fullest advantage.

Stalking Is Okay – Only For the Right Reasons

I don’t mean to look up your ex-boyfriend’s new girlfriend then Link-In with her only to sabotage Gossip Girl style. Use it for good, like to build your online networking circle and  to learn what the people you’re interested in are interested in. This will help not only with starting the online conversation, but once you get face-to-face you’ll be ready to communicate on your shared interests.

Boost Your Online Presence – Then Take It Offline

Put a person behind the curtain picture. Always be on the lookout for new ways to connect and to reply to those who are trying to talk to you. Try apps like TweetDeck, or Buffer. Scheduling tweets may help you reach your audience when you can’t.

Another way to reach your audience would be taking the conversation offline and meeting these people in person. Face-to-face is still the strongest method of contact.

Don’t ever miss an opportunity; use your social sites to their greatest potential. They, paired with online networking, may take you to your next step on the career journey.