Professional Network Skills for Online Community Managers - dummies

Professional Network Skills for Online Community Managers

By Deborah Ng

As an online community manager, you’re required to spend time networking offline at professional events and online via social-media tools. Networking with confidence is a skill that many professional people haven’t mastered.

Most people confuse networking opportunities with selling opportunities, but those who network the right way can drive sales without a single pitch. You’re not necessarily networking for the sale, however. You’re networking to meet people and build relationships. You’re networking to find out about people who are in your community and in similar communities and to bring them all together.

You’re also gathering information for your marketing and product development teams. The more they know about the people who use your products or services, the better able they are to create the things that those people want to use.

Many times, networking isn’t about work or business. Because most networking events include people who have something in common, you’re there to gain new clients, followers, community members, or sales. But have a conversation that isn’t about any of that stuff, and see where it takes you. Chances are that you’ll achieve your networking goals better if you don’t push your business on everyone there.

The best networkers know that the conversation isn’t about them. Instead, they ask questions and find out as much as they can about the people they’re talking with. They use I and me as little as possible to make it more about you.