For some people, communicating online is as natural as breathing. They spend their day tethered to Twitter and Facebook, they check their inbox constantly, and they’re more likely to get in touch with someone via direct message or email than via phone. For these people, online networking can be a perfect fit. But for people who are a little less comfortable online, networking in that space can be trickier.
That’s because it’s easier to form habits when you enjoy the habit. Think about how easy it is to have a cup of coffee every morning, versus how hard it is to go to the gym every day. For people who feel at home on the internet, updating LinkedIn is like having a cup of coffee. But if updating LinkedIn is more like going to the gym for you, you’ll do whatever you can to avoid it — and probably rush through doing it, too.
Here are a few online networking tips for people who aren’t at ease with the internet:
- Don’t do it halfway. Lackluster, impersonal online networking can be worse than no networking at all. It’s better to participate online infrequently but genuinely than to force yourself to network in a way that feels inauthentic.
- Start small. If you try to add Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, blogging, and an email newsletter to your plate all at once, you’ll be overwhelmed. Instead, pick something small to start with, and build on that as you get comfortable with it.
- Get some help. The average American spends more than 10 hours a day online. It can be a full-time job just keeping up! It may benefit you to offload that online networking to an expert so you can focus on your actual job.
Your network is an invaluable tool. Make sure you’re not neglecting it! If you want to dive a little deeper into your social media, download this Simple eGuide to LinkedIn Success for essential tips and tricks.