Technology is here to stay, and it is only natural that technology has started to play a role in networking. Social media, cell phones, texting, and even sites such as YouTube all can help you use technology in networking with a purpose.
Here are some ways you can engage in networking with a purpose using technology.
Use Those Social Media Sites to Sustain Your Relationship with Contacts
One of the most difficult things to do is to try and maintain the relationships with the contacts you have made through networking efforts. Texting and social media make it easier to maintain those relationships and to check in with those in your network semi-regularly. Even if the contact is just a brief message asking about their family or about their interests, your contacts will notice your sincere interest in them.
Technology Can Keep Your Informed Regarding a Contact’s Need That You May Fill
When networking with a purpose, the first thing you should do is to find out what your contact needs and try and fill that need without asking anything in return. It doesn’t have to be all about business, you might be able to recommend a dentist to a client who is complaining about a toothache. Or if your contact is traveling on business, you may be able to recommend a good place for them to eat or a car rental place with the cheapest rates.
By assisting your contacts in their time of need you earn their trust, which is important, should there ever come a time when you yourself may need something.
Let Your Contacts Know About Your Skills
When chatting with contacts through social media or even on the cell phone, there will always be opportunities to let your contacts know about your various skills. In return, when your contact learns about an employer in your field is looking for someone who possesses your skills, they may be willing to recommend you or make an introduction if you are looking for a new job.
Develop Contacts in Areas Where You Would Like to Live
Another way you can use technology in networking with a purpose is to make contacts in areas of the country where you would like to live and work. By making and sustaining these contacts, you are opening the door to hearing about potential jobs in your field in an area where you would like to live.
Keep in mind that even when using technology, you need to focus on networking with a purpose and make sure that your relationships with your contacts are not a one-way street where you do all the taking and your contacts do all the giving. In fact, in order to network with a purpose, you should be the first to give freely without asking anything in return. Doing that will help you to build a strong a network that can be beneficial to your and your career plans.
How else do you network with a purpose? We’d love to hear your thoughts.