Telum celebrates World Online Networking Day

Telum celebrates World Online Networking Day

Networking, when done properly, can build your personal brand, open doors to new opportunities and expose you to new ways of working. Whether your aim is to strengthen your professional contacts book, explore a new career path, or learn more about your industry, networking can make it happen. 
At Telum, one of the ways we create meaningful connections between journalists and PR practitioners is by cultivating relationships through networking.  
To celebrate World Online Networking Day (30th October 2023), we gathered tips from our industry peers and colleagues to help our readers build their professional network and create lasting connections. 
Sharpen your focus with clear goals 
What do you want to get out of this interaction? Are you looking to build connections in a specific sector? Broadening your horizons in your own industry? Or seeking mentorship and career advice?  
Setting yourself some simple goals will help to sharpen your focus when networking.
Networking isn't always transactional  
Try to break out of the traditional quid pro quo approach to networking and focus on fostering meaningful connections. If someone feels as though an interaction or virtual meeting is disingenuous or one-sided, they are less likely to keep in touch or consider you for opportunities afterwards. 
Sometimes, the best conversation may involve you providing advice or knowledge to another person.  
Remember: Interactions may not be immediately fruitful. It's all about the journey of building a meaningful professional community.
Reconnect with former connections 
Sometimes, catching up with people you have lost touch with can help to build and maintain your network.  
Write down the names of several people you haven't been in touch with for a while, then set a goal to reach out to a few each month on LinkedIn or other professional platforms. 
Be present 
Active listening is crucial to build strong relationships. Give your contact your undivided attention when chatting, ask them questions, and be open to different points of view.
Investing in the person you're trying to connect with will pay dividends in the long run.
Diversify your network
Consider connecting with people from different professional backgrounds. An expansive network can open your eyes to fresh perspectives and new opportunities.
Get creative 
Networking opportunities are everywhere, so don't restrict yourself to virtual meetings. 
  • Industry webinars and workshops can provide a great space to meet new people in the same field as you. 
  • Meaningful engagement with connections on platforms such as LinkedIn can expand your reach and add value to conversations.
  • Create networking opportunities through content. Share insights from your own experiences through posts or videos to build your personal brand. 
  • Make sure your online presence is fresh, professional and up to date.

Find a mentor 
Some of the most networked professionals will credit their mentor with introducing them to the power of connection. Find someone in your existing network who is willing to help boost your network with some new introductions.   
Follow up 
Networking won't produce the desired results if we don't take the time to maintain our connections. After a meeting or chat, follow up with a short note to thank them for their time.

Make a lasting impression by suggesting another meet up down the track, or keep in touch over email or social media. This will keep you on their radar when opportunity arises.
Creating the connection is just the beginning
For anything to grow, it has to be fed. The same goes for your network - it's not enough just to connect and say hi if you want your network and professional relationships to flourish. Engage regularly, contribute or share, check-in.
Be patient 
Building a professional network takes time and dedication. Practice a consistent approach to your networking efforts and the results will come.

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