What Are the Benefits of Virtual Networking?
5 Benefits of Networking Virtually
We live, work and play in two worlds today! They are equally important, inter-dependent and mutually beneficial. This is the first of a two part series on the benefits of networking in both the virtual/web world and the in-person/face to face world. I have built my business brand from 2006 from ground zero engaged in these two worlds.
October 2006, I was sitting on my lanai in SW Florida not working. I made a career and life change in August 2006, that simply didn’t work out. Stunned and shocked I never thought I’d need a plan B, but thank God I had one. In February of 2007, I launched my first brand: Train with Shane, a sales and marketing training and consulting company in Ft Myers Florida.
December 2010, I moved back to Ft Lauderdale to continue my entrepreneurial activities in the home town and market I grew up and lived in most of my life until that move in August 2006.
What’s Happened in Between?
I have evolved my business model to more diverse ways I make money and expanded my geographical reach and footprint with regard to where I can do business. I am now a published author, entrepreneur, national speaker, consultant, media host and published business expert.
Most of the growing my reach was accomplished in the virtual, online web space and community.
Here are 5 of the benefits of virtual networking that have changed my game
1. Helped established my brand leadership in the industry and communities I work in.
Not only did I get serious about my blog and growing the expert team and content on it, but I am now a regular blog contributor to several other national business and career blogs including: careerealism.com, smallbiztrends.com, personalbrandingblog.com, blogher.com, smartbrief.com.
2. Grown my subscriber list nationally and internationally to my community.
In the past 8 months my list has grown 30% with people opting in not only from the US but Pakistan, Australia, England, India, Ireland, Brazil and Malaysia. Business and career issues and challenges are worldwide and the virtual world makes it possible to find each other no matter where we live.
3. Real time, viral, immediate communications and information can be sent and received.
Anyone now with a smart phone with a camera and video are publishing and sharing content worldwide. Regular people are now street journalists, simply by sitting at a cafe in Paris witness to something newsworthy. I found out about the passing of Michael Jackson on Twitter.
4. Forming strategic partnerships and collaborations with people we probably never would have known existed if it weren’t for Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Youtube.
I have met amazing people who follow me and I seek out to follow who bring value to my day. Many of these have turned into tangible business partnerships.
5. The ability to make immediate referrals, introductions and connections with as many people as we want to anytime of the day or night!
Supporting others work, accomplishments and activities is a key part of relationship building.
The virtual relations we make online some say are NOT real relationships.
I challenge that and say that the social media platforms are the most natural way for human beings to fulfill their human need to connect. Virtual connections are the bridge now to taking it offline to phone, Skye, face to face.
I live in SE Florida. Every week I am on the phone with new people I meet from California, Iowa, Pennsylvania, Georgia and yes Australia, Ireland and Pakistan exploring our synergies and how we can help each other.
How glorious and wonderful to meet other professionals and business people, who are more similar to each other than different. When I finally meet in person people I have been interacting solely with online, it feels like we already know each other!
The virtual community has given us all a place to meet up, greet up and grow up together.
How have you benefited from virtual networking?
About the Author:
Deborah Shane is a motivator, an educator, a catalyst and an advocate. It is who she is and what she does. Deborah’s career has spanned many industries, including entertainment, teaching, sales and mentoring. She spent two decades in broadcast radio, specifically in sales, management and training, in corporate America with Cox Radio and Clear Channel.
For more, please visit Deborah's blog at: http://www.deborahshanetoolbox.com
Read about Deborah's new book Career Transition - Make the Shift