A comprehensive guide to networking – Part 1: Online networking

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The ability to network effectively is an essential tool in a contractor’s arsenal. Not only will it enable you to make new contacts, it’s also a great way to find out about upcoming assignments and push your personal brand.

An efficient networking strategy will operate on two levels, online and offline. Mastering both avenues is crucial if your want to build a list of contacts and extend your reach as far as possible.

Building contacts is a great benefit to your contracting career, but how do you develop a successful approach to networking? Due to the sheer scale of the subject, we’ve put together a two-part master class.

In this instalment we’ll tackle online networking.

Create an online portfolio

A good way to get your name out there and open yourself up to potential collaborations is to create an online portfolio. There are many free platforms you can use to create your own page and showcase your past projects; you just need to choose one that reflects your work at its best. When placing your work online, make sure any images are clear and you have included concise details of what you did and how you did it.

Be sure to include testimonials from satisfied clients as evidence of your past successes. You should also push your portfolio via social media to ensure it reaches a wider audience.

Connect with contacts

Using social platforms to connect with other professionals is a useful way to see what they are working on and whether there is potential for you to assist with their project. Make sure to reach out to past and present contacts to build a strong and varied network.

It’s also a good idea to connect with leading figures in your industry so you are aware of upcoming trends. This will help you adapt your skills accordingly and stay one step ahead.

Join groups and discussions

Being part of groups with similar interests not only increases your online connections, but can be a great outlet to keep up with current trends and news in your sector. When commenting on any discussions, be aware that anyone can view your contributions. It’s therefore essential to maintain a professional decorum at all times so you don’t leave a negative impression.

Produce original content

In the world of online marketing, content is king. It’s therefore fundamental to produce your own original material as it can help position yourself as an expert in your field. To push your name out further, consider producing a guest post on an external website, so you raise your chances of connecting with a wider audience.

Stay tuned for the second part of our comprehensive guide to networking, where we will explain how to build an effective offline strategy.

Have your say

Are you a contractor? How do you network online? Join in the discussion on Twitter, or leave a comment below.

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