You may love the social media and online chat options because it makes networking so much fun and easy. You may appreciate the fact that technology has come so far that you can network with people within seconds. However, a handshake is unbeatable.
True that networking is easier over the Internet where you simply bond and get closer without working really hard but the connection that you can establish face-to-facecannot be replicated. Of course, networking online is important but at no point should you forget to make contacts and connection offline. In fact, experts say that every move should be towards networking.
The good news is that doing so is not very difficult:
Start Attending Seminars and Talks
There are many networking events today that you could participate in. Check social media for updates and get in touch with people of your industry. You can meet up and establish great connections during these talks. What’s more, you can expand your market through these meet ups.
In the world of networking, you should be ready to share information and knowledge, and not always look to gain something. At any point in life there will be people who know much more than you and people who know less than you. There may also be people who are experts in fields that you know nothing about (and vice versa). As and when the need arises, it is advisable that you share your knowledge and not try to sell yourself all the time.
Portray Yourself Well
Online you can wear whatever you want and sit in whatever position you feel is comfortable but when you meet people face-to-face you have to dress decently and professionally. Also, don’t be under the impression that you can get away with being unprofessional on the Internet. How people look at you will depend on how you portray yourself online and offline. Online, your blogs and your status messages should be decent and professional. Nothing that you do online should cast a bad impression on you.
Going back to where we started, at the end of each meeting (and at the start), shake hands! Make sure your handshake is stiff but not reluctant. It should be short and friendly. Do not squeeze the other person’s hand. That is highly unprofessional.
Face-to-face meetings are much better in the professional world because they give you a better understanding of the person. This is the reason why networking offline is still very important. Do not underestimate the power of the handshake!
In this technological world, many people are forgetting to meet people because online networking is much more feasible. However, you shouldn’t make the same mistake because meeting face-to-face will have a very significant impact on your business.