LinkedIn and Facebook aren’t the only ways to network virtually, there are a TON of other ways you can connect with others.
Here are just a few…
First off, there are business WhatsApp groups. These are great for getting the skinny on what’s going on in your field of business. There are over 1100 groups covering just about every line of business, so there are plenty to choose from. Be warned, though, some people can be quite candid on there, so prepare to be shocked!
You’ll also find plenty of discussion forum sites in your niche. While these aren’t quite as popular as they were a few years ago, they’re still a great way to connect with people in your niche or line of business.
There are also mastermind groups. You’ll find plenty on platforms like Meetup (https://meetup.com) or Reddit (https://reddit.com). The trick with these – and forum sites, too – is to give more than you take. Post useful information or insightful comments first so that people know what you’re talking about.
You can also look for local online networking events. Oftentimes these are run by local chambers of commerce as an adjunct to their regular offline networking events. Many of these events are held via Zoom and other video platforms, so you’ll be able to see what your potential contacts really look like (as opposed to their profile pictures). Be sure to dress appropriately – just like you would if you were meeting people “for real”.
Just like other platforms, take your time to build up trust. Give more information than you take, and be an active part of the online community. That way, people will be happy to connect with you, and your network will grow slowly, but surely.
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