Power and importance of networking

 

Don’t discount networking just yet. Although we now live in the digital world, the ability to connect with people on a personal level can have a tremendous professional and social effect.

 

Networking is about cultivating social and professional relationships to further a business or career, be it on online or in person through shared common interests. Like all around us, it has also evolved to come into the digital age. LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter represent a way to stay in touch beyond traditional forms of networking.

 

Virtual networking is seeking out and maintaining relationships with people through online platforms. It offers a viable and vital marketing method by which business opportunities are created through connecting with like-minded individuals for achieving some common goal. But sometimes, nothing beats getting a coffee with a friend—so virtual networking can have its limits.

 

Ivan Misner emphasizes that networking is more about farming than it is about hunting. The emphasis is on developing meaningful relationships that grow and flourish through genuine connections. It shouldn’t be an exercise to grow your contact list, but that of learning and sharing with others.

 

Finding like-minded people is perhaps the most crucial component of networking. Grace, a guest on the wisinomad Dialogue Series stresses the importance of seeking out people and ventures that align your values. Beyond that, it is important to get out of your comfort zone and try out activities that you find interest in. You are bound to meet people who share similar interests, and relationships can arise organically.

 

“Balance networking with authenticity. Don’t just initiate conversations to ask for a favor. Develop an interest in networking relationships beyond the professional aspects.”

 

Often those great connections we make seem to disappear. Networking should extend beyond the first contact, but also involve constant touch to check up on those friendships. Social media is the best and most inexpensive way to do so. In his book, Never Eat Alone, Keith Ferrazzi challenges people to be creators of value to others, without seeking anything in return. This creates goodwill and allows for relationship growth. And consistency is key in every friendship and relationship, so find ways to connect regularly without intrusion. And video calls bring variety, too! 

 

Balance networking with authenticity. Don’t just initiate conversations to ask for a favor. Develop an interest in networking relationships beyond the professional aspects. And even when traveling as a digital nomad, find common or interesting things to talk about without giving the impression you only want something from the relationship.

 

Digital nomads are seldom in one place, so find networking very challenging. Co-working and co-living make it less so. It makes it easier to meet people who share the same passion for experiencing the world and other cultures. Since they have some common things already, participants make quick connections. It makes for a more transparent environment with better knowledge sharing, forming lifelong relationships!

 

wisinomad is a coworking and co-living experience in Africa, that seeks to bring digital nomads, social entrepreneurs and global institutions with an interest in Africa along on curated experiences all across the continent. Participants get to share knowledge and make connections.  

 

To learn more about wisinomad, visit www.wisinomad.com, and send in your application

 

Rereferences 

Dicecco, V. (2009). Virtual Business Networking. 22. 22-26.

The true definition of networking by Dr Ivan Misner

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