Do you know that as many as 85% of jobs are gotten through networking? Not only that, but two-thirds of job openings are not advertised. That means, there is some sort of hidden job market that you can only have access to it if and when you know have the right network. It is, therefore, very important that you not only understand the basics of networking but how to ensure that broaden your reach to include people/organizations that can help you achieve your career goals.
Networking is the best way to get a job or move upward and ahead career-wise. It is about socializing. That is, building and maintaining relationships with people. Charisma, sincerity, warmth, friendliness, being well-read among other traits are important to have in your arsenal if you are interested in building your network.
It goes without saying that to network, you must first put yourself out there. As much as digitization has become key in social interactions, the face-to-face exchange is still not be disregarded as far as networking is concerned. Attend events where people in your field would be present. Converse with them intuitively but be mindful of their disposition; offer to help them out (this leaves a positive lasting impact).
Get some information about their career: business, about how long they have been doing it, and above all, request their optimal referral or how you can support them. When they perceive how intrigued you are about their professional journey and how you might support them, they will switch that discussion and ask you the equivalent consequently.
This is not to discourage online networking. More people are finding and building communities of like-minded people due to the simplicity of digital communication. While digital networking does bridge the gap, it is also not a straightforward way. Sometimes, you may not get an audience with that top-level, but that does eliminate your chances. You may go through their assistants, associates, and work your way up.
You must note that networking is continuous and does not always yield instant results. So, do not just ‘add up’ the person online and think you have successfully established a network with them. No, that is not how it works. You should make yourself known to them through social sharing, passing comments online, and dropping compliments when sending an email and so on till you establish a personal relationship. Please do not mistake this as an avenue to shamelessly stalk, as this might prove counterproductive and earn you a block instead.
If you are interested in learning how to network digitally, this blog post is for you. Here, you would learn how to use business and career networking applications, tools, and websites to help optimize networking effectiveness.
The most obvious tool for professional networking is LinkedIn. It is virtually impossible to form business relationships in this day and age without having an account there. For this reason alone, this article would not include LinkedIn as a tool for networking since it is a given that any career-minded person should be familiar with it. They are as follows:
5. Clearbit Connect
Ripple is a networking tool that incorporates your qualifications, skills, and experiences into building a professional network for you. I gather your information from existing networks like Twitter, LinkedIn, and Google when you sign up, making registration and setting up profiles easier.
After this, the next stage of registration is where you can select your interests —writing, designing, marketing, and so on. It also has a feature for finding potential connections nearby, as well as the ability to establish events and groups other users can join.
Another feature that sets Ripple apart from the other networking tools is the face scan feature. This allows for you to scan anyone’s face – by putting your phone’s camera in their face – to check if they are on Ripple and automatically add them up, if so.
Ripple is also mobile phone-friendly. It was built to cater to mobile phone users, as opposed to the more traditional desktop. Although it welcomes picture sharing on its platform, that is not all there is to it. Rather than swiping "yes" or "no" in light of pictures alone, Ripple presents piles of professionals by featuring position history, schooling, and industry skills. It rapidly matches you with likely associations and eliminates the possibility of connecting you with unrelated professionals.
Have you been looking for that one influential person’s email address but can’t seem to find it? Look no further. Rapportive is the solution. It a networking tool that deals with inbox curation. It offers an extension relationship that helps you see what your contacts like, where they stay, what they do for a living, and more, right from your inbox.
Rapportive is especially important if you are involved in sales/marketing as it is integrated into your email and is completely free. It is an email finding tool. If you are searching for someone, you input their name and company name and Rapportive will pull put their records.
Also, you can see what the person you have searched for and/or commented with looks like it pulls a picture of their face from the web. Like Ripple, it allows you to further expand your network by connecting on LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, and is easy to use.
Ever been faced with the last-minute task of finding and presenting all you know about someone? Are you interested in knowing what a person has been up to? These sound pretty easy, right? After all, Google and social networking sites are there for a reason. However, not only is it time-consuming to dig through multiple sites for information on them, but it is also strenuous to cross-check the veracity of the data you have gathered.
This is where PrepWork comes in. it provides background information about the person at the input of an email. It sifts through their known online presence and provides you with an overview of them. Unlike most of the other tools for networking, PrepWork humanizes your connection by including details about them beyond the usual professional jargon. It makes them easily relatable. For example, instead of presenting an image of a digital marketer that is strictly about their work only, you get to see a family-oriented, rap head that also doubles as a digital marketer. Like Rapportive, PrepWork is very useful for those in marketing and sales.
Looking for a platform that allows you to search for jobs, hire people, find mentors, and build lasting connections? Well, look no further. Shapr does all these over a secure and easy to use an outlet. With over 2.4 million registered users, the possibilities are pretty much endless.
If, like me, you are sold on the idea of the swipe feature Ripple incorporates, you need not worry as Shapr also utilizes the swipe alternative to assist users with finding connections and building communities of professionals with common interests.
You register through LinkedIn and set preferences dependent on a rundown of up to 10 career interests. Every day, Shapr proposes 10-15 potential matches dependent on geographic area, work insight, and interests. This filtration system limits directions and uncertainties about who to contact for a meetup.
Clearbit Connect a Gmail extension that enables you to search for contacts based on domain or company name directly from your email.
If you are unsure of who to connect with within an organization, It assists with addressing the inquiry. As it would bring up a should of those you should become acquainted with based on your entered information and how you would contact them.
Clearbit Connect utilizes a Google Chrome expansion that functions as a web index. You click the Clearbit Connect symbol in your Gmail record and quest for contacts by the organization. It would, at that point, produce a rundown of individuals who work at that organization alongside your email address and employment title. It allows you to use its resources for free but caps it at 100 searches.
People Maven, as the name suggests, deals with people. It allows users to create and curate lists of stakeholders in industries, organizations, and so on. It’s a web directory of people you should network with for professional development.
It uses a Google Chrome extension to allow you to arrange and quickly save people in a file from any website. So, you see someone nice on LinkedIn or any website, you can pin them on PeopleMaven without having to go back there to check every time. Think of how you collate lists on the notes app of your phone.
Followupcc is similar to PeopleMaven in terms of functionality. It allows you to save up on interesting people, topics, and so on that, you come across on third-party websites. Simply put, it helps you remember to catch up and keep in contact with individuals.
As you know by now, to establish a relationship with somebody you have to accomplish something beyond interacting with them once. You need to have repeated contact. Followup.cc helps you avoid forgetting to follow up and stay in touch with them.
It allows you to get reminders sent to you as e-mails by sending e-mails to any date, time, or duration of time. For example, putting the address of the person in the to, cc, or bcc section will return the list to your inbox on the chosen date with the suggestion to re-associate with the person.
Feedly is a web reader and aggregation tool. It curates all the information you depend on to think, learn, and stay ahead. Its RSS newsreader permits you to monitor your preferred news stories, websites, exchange diaries, and so forth all from one simple to-explore site and application.
It is incredible for finding new organizations to target work guides, trends in your fields of specialization, establishing networks, and so on. It not only helps you build relationships but strengthen them as well. Your interaction with like-minded people can and would help you create fresh ideas, access to new information and opportunities, and also to gain advice from peers.
City Hour is a networking apparatus that promptly connects professionals with comparative profiles who need are open to networking within a 50-mile range.
This is particularly helpful if you are a fresh employee and on the occasion that you have migrated and need to develop a new professional network. CityHour is a handy answer for professionals who like to utilize impromptu networking, especially while on business travel.
As stated earlier in the introductory paragraph, it is not enough to reach out to people online to build a professional network, you have to keep up with your network by constantly checking in on them. This is where Newsle comes in. They keep tabs on your connection and send you e-mails and every time their names came up in the news.
Newsle is a great way to stay updated about your contacts and provides the window for you to send someone an e-mail without appearing like a stalker. You could easily repost the article or post they are featured in on your social media accounts without appealing mediation.
Finally, remember that networking is not always about what your contacts can do for you, but it also includes little ways your acquaintance can benefit them as well. Always have it at the back of your mind that great networks take a lot of time and effort to build – and along the journey, you may face challenges that are not necessarily a reflection of you.
To read more on networking and how important it is for career advancement, read here.