How to Network on the Internet

Online professional networking gives you a virtual room of potential connections. The Internet is a powerful networking business tool, enabling you to connect with others, find opportunities, and exchange ideas and information.

To develop your professional network, use the Internet to

  • Find information. Conduct research that can help you grow your business. You may want to find out more about a particular company that you plan to call on as a prospective client. By going to that company’s Web site and reviewing its information, you're much better prepared to know who to call on and how to be of service to the company.

    Be sure to validate and verify information that you find on the Internet or receive via e-mail. Realize that some information is opinion rather than fact. Consider checking with the source of the information and reviewing other sites and sources to verify accuracy.

  • Make contacts and find old friends. The Web can help you stay in touch with people, maintain connections, and even reconnect with people that you've lost touch with somewhere over the years.

    You can make contacts by accessing online networks of alumni associations and industry trade groups. You can also find people with similar interests through search engines and lists. If you are looking for associations and organizations related to your industry, you can find them by typing the industry name into a search engine.

  • Use networking Web sites: Some Web sites can assist you in accessing information and contacts that can support your networking. Try LinkedIn, Ecademy, or Facebook for starters.

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