The interesting thing about working in the entrepreneurial environment is that your always learning something new and you constantly have to push yourself to stay in the game.
One of the most important things that I have learned while being self-employed is the importance of networking. By nature I am a bit of an introvert so meeting new people and keeping up a good conversation is not my area of expertise. However I soon realized how important it is to know the right people so I decided that no matter how hard it would be I would learn how to network. Pushing myself constantly, I tried starting up conversations with complete strangers at any event I went to, a lot of the times the conversations would end quickly and awkwardly. But over the years I have continued to practice and today I am getting much better, I wouldn’t say I was good at networking but I am about a thousand times better then I was when I began.
Networking with the right people can sometimes be very difficult especially if you don’t live in the same area as they do and don’t get many chances of bumping into them at local events. The fact that I live on an island in the north-Atlantic ocean has had it’s drawback especially in terms of how expensive it is for me to travel to interesting events in the US and Europe but fortunately the entrepreneurial environment here is very good and I have meet some very energetic and successful people.
However there are still many people out there that I would be really interested in creating a connection with. So that is why I started rethinking my networking strategy. How could I get in contact with these people or at least make myself visible to them in some way. The answer was of course to utilize the Internet.
The best way to utilize the Internet for networking is through blogs, social media and old-school emails. That was also one of the reasons for why I started this blog to make connections and make myself visible online. Reading other blogs and commenting on the articles that you find interesting is a very powerful way of making yourself visible and starting up conversations with like-minded people.
I am still learning new ways of networking online so I would be very interested in hearing how you use the Internet to network