You’re busy. It’s clear. You don’t have a lot of time to go out and mingle with the movers and shakers like you once did. Your priorities are different but the relationships still matter to you. If this explains you, then you’re reading the right blog.

Networking is something that takes effort and time but it doesn’t have to all happen at some cocktail party downtown, it can happen online.

How to use LinkedIn for networking

LinkedIn is highly underutilized by many as simply an online resume and that’s it. It’s so much more than that. Here is a place where you can connect, converse and stay top-of-mind with companies you love and the people that run them. Of course you’ll connect with friends, coworkers and classmates, but the next step is a bit of flattery. If you’re working in a similar industry as someone or just really love what the company stands for, tell them. Send them a connection email letting them know just that. 

Tweeting and such

I love Twitter for its lists. Not enough people talk about this. Here’s a place where you can segment profiles, whether you follow them or not, by industry or topic. Once you segment based on the types of people you want to talk to, just start replying and adding value to their posts. As an example, last year I went to a conference in West Michigan for the first time in an industry I knew nothing about. At that event, at least five people said they recognized me from Twitter and appreciated my responses. 

Friends making friends

This one is simple. If you are on good terms with a friend, former coworker or client, ask for an email introduction to one of their connections. If it’s a client on good terms, ask for a referral. If you’re looking for a new job, ask a former coworker to connect you. You get the picture.

Elevating your profile

Elevate your own profile and connections will begin coming to you, or at least recognizing you. The best and easiest way to elevate your own profile is to begin blogging or writing contributed articles for a known publication. Don’t just write, but also ask for feedback and make it a point to reply. Those who write are more highly regarded on those topics, as long as there’s not a bunch of spelling mistakes.

Host something cool

Host a webinar on a topic you’re passionate about or go to an event and host a live Periscope. When you’re really passionate about a topic it shines through the clutter. Create an awesome title and make sure those you’ve connected with know its happening. Afterwards, thank them for taking time out of their day and give them something that adds value – this part is up to you. 

If you’ve never tried any of these networking tips before, challenge yourself to start with one. Do one each week for five weeks – one month’s time. After that one month see the changes that have occurred and decide which is working best for you. Have another tip that may have missed in this article? Drop in a comment below.