How to Effectively Network Online


Knowing how to network effectively is one of the most useful tools you can have, regardless of what stage you are in your career or what you do for a living. The saying it’s not what you know, but who you know? It still rings true.


It is estimated between 60-80% of jobs in Australia are secured by the ‘Hidden Job Market’ (Career Success Australia, 2018). That is jobs that aren’t advertised on traditional platforms. We can only imagine this percentage is higher for the creative industry and for freelance gigs. So how do you break into this ‘Hidden Job Market’? You guessed it: networking.


Networking can be a daunting task when you’re just starting out, which is why we’ve put together this handy list to help you out.


LinkedIn


LinkedIn is your No. 1 best friend when it comes to networking online. Set yourself up with a professional profile that demonstrates your skills, job history and what you have to offer. Reach out or reconnect with old colleagues, endorse their skills and ask if they will return the favour. Once your profile is set up, connect with similar people in your field, introduce yourself, be polite and engage with their posts.


Diversify Platforms


Whilst LinkedIn is one of the most popular networking platforms, it isn’t the be-all and end-all for networking online. There are professional communities across a variety of social media platforms. Expanding your network is just as possible through Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. The increase in industry events being held online, also offers the opportunity to connect with others in your industry. Remember, show interest, be polite and engage.


Establish Rapport

When networking online, it’s best to take a ‘slow burn’ approach. Don’t immediately ask your new contacts for a job (unless they are currently advertising for a position). Show interest in their work, keep the conversation going and establish rapport. This will show you are trying to make a genuine connection, rather than going in for a hard sell.


Network Now

Don’t wait until you are looking for work to build your network. The best time to start is now. Building connections takes time, and you never know when an opportunity will present itself. Networking is a great way to build your skill base, learn more about your industry and help out others in your community. Remember, networking is a two-way street, allow yourself time to demonstrate what you have to offer.


We hope you found these tips helpful and that you feel more confident expanding your network. If you’re looking for some handy hints on networking in real life, Esther has written a few choice words that you can read here.