7 e-Networking Tips Every Entrepreneur Needs

e-Networking Tips Every Entrepreneur Needs
Are you networking online, with quality interactions on Zoom, Email & Social with prospects & clients? Try the proven e-Networking tips every Entrepreneur Needs. #onlinenetworking

Networking is the top unwritten rule of business success! If you are doing business virtually, connecting with clients on Zoom or using email and social media, you can score with our top tips on Networking. Learn the best ways to network online, be visible and connect effectively!

Business takes time to grow – whether you’re acquiring customers or finding that great freelance job. It takes time and lots of effort to connect, follow-up and close. And right now, Networking online is not only very relevant, it is essentially the only way to do business. But e Networking (or e-Networking) is more than passively connecting, and way less than hustling for business!

What is e Networking?

e Networking is a way to build outreach online, with personal interaction and virtual tools, for strong and lasting business (or professional) relationships.

Here the top 7 e-Networking Tips Every Entrepreneur Needs

How can you keep in touch smartly and build relationships – here are the best ways to network online that help you stay ahead on the conversion curve.

Prep your networking skills for a digital-first world

Have you aligned yourself to a digital business mindset? Are you comfortable with pitching, conversing, and closing on the phone, via email, or online?

Make sure your personality and communication come across the right way in an online setting as well. How can you translate your interpersonal skills to be knowledgeable and persuasive, without being persistent? Or worse, getting ignored because they feel that you’re not worth paying attention to.

Explore these top soft skills for business success in the online world and see how you stack up.

Master your networking tools

Networking is all about being ready for effective exchange. Technology does not enable you to grab attention with more ease, it’s actually a prerequisite now. Whether you’re pitching, asking for a referral, turning a lead into a prospect, you need to know your tech.

Email is bigger than ever

Connecting with digital tools is the leading way to talk right now.

Create a clear outreach plan via email. Whether you are doing an intro, following up after a lack of response, or conducting a transactional conversation, make sure that your words are on point.

Save templates for a standard text that you always use, which makes composing emails faster.

Keep a long, medium, and a snappy version for outreach emails. Add colors and formatting elements (bold, italics) judiciously for stand-out text.

Use email signatures for standard contact details but vary the calls to action. Add info about an upcoming event, a new blog post, or a promotion you are running – a short message (no more than 6-8 words) that can be hyperlinked to your website or Page. You get both visibility and click traffic!

Personalize with a name.

Make a reference to the context or of the meeting or mention the conversation you had. Even better, look up their website or product line and add a meaningful comment about it.

Needless to say, always send a thank you or ‘great talking to you’ email if you connect with someone new.  And importantly, do this fast – preferably within 48 hours of the meeting.

Want to write a relationship-centric networking email? These email templates offer great inspiration.

e-Networking Tip: Connect with purpose, reach out persuasively, but never spam!

Communicate with confidence!

Explore the Essential free business tools for freelance and online work

Essential free business tools for freelance and online workEmbrace the visual mediums

Use Zoom like you were born doing it. Practice until you master the tech. Interact with confidence and panache. Use elements like screen share to sell with savvy.

Make the most of your time – set up and host online meetings with other entrepreneurs, without glitches!

Experiment with LinkedIn Live. Or upload a video to Facebook or YouTube and schedule it to publish it as a ‘live’ video.

Basically, there is no getting away from video.

Become a successful Zoom entrepreneur

Host your online meetings or virtual groups with ease!

Virtual meetings for entrepreneurs - 14 ways to host & stand out!

Smart, not Constant Messaging

Most professionals use email signatures for sharing contact details and social media links. Similarly, use the Pinned Post feature Facebook and Twitter offer to draw attention to any event, article, or achievement that you want to direct your visitor traffic to.

Don’t be invisible.

Findability works both ways. Make it easier for others to find you. An average user gives up the online search for you in 40 seconds. So Google yourself to see what comes up. Search for your business website or Facebook Page from a device that’s not yours. LinkedIn profiles that are most recently updated or have more connections appear higher in the name search results.

Similarly, if you are on other Professional Networks, ensure that you update your business, contact and social media details. 

20 ways to be more visible online

Make LinkedIn your (best) friend!

LinkedIn is one of the best ways to network online!

It’s your professional profile and it’s out there for anyone to see (they don’t even need an account to see your limited profile). Clients can check you out and learn all about you without having to ask. Even better, a strong LinkedIn profile makes you more findable and attractive to work with. But even better, your LinkedIn Profile is often the top result for a name search on Google.

Start with a kickass headline that mentions what you do and the value you offer. For inspiration, check out these awesome examples of LinkedIn headlines from women entrepreneurs and professionals.

Share your work summary, skills and achievements to create more common ‘connection factors.’

How to create a standout LinkedIn profile - Business tools and freebies

Be Social.

Beyond LinkedIn, Social Media is a great e-networking tool for entrepreneurs too. It’s a great way to share and connect on a personal level too. The best part about social media is that you can stay on someone’s radar without having to make repeated contact. Post updates, wins, events or any elements that show your professional skills or your personality.

But, yes, social is a two-way street. Just like you, everyone else needs activity on their page, so why not post and share on the pages of customers, prospects, and peers. The engagement helps them – so naturally, they like you – but it also keeps you on their virtual horizon.

Professional Networking needs to be a steady process of staying connected, and being out of sight is as bad as being in your face.

Network where your audience is

Know the platforms your target audience favors and make sure you have a robust presence there. Explore Facebook and LinkedIn Groups in different niches for interactions relating to your industry.

A Picture or a 1000 words?

LinkedIn profiles with a picture get clicked 7 times more. Plus, given that LinkedIn memberships run 450 million-plus, a picture helps with recognition – especially if yours is a popular name, it confirms to the Networking contact or a prospective employer which one is you.

Use headshots that fulfill the purpose of that channel. Upload a professional headshot for LinkedIn, but an informal one for Facebook or Instagram works very well too. Make sure you have a clear mugshot for Twitter and WhatsApp as well.

On your channels, post images of you at work, during events. If you are comfortable doing that, maybe even at a community or volunteer initiative as well as recreational events.

Show up in the right way(s)

Do your homework – research your clients and identify the key stakeholders. Before sending out an email, or getting on a call, work on your conversation points.

Jot down your goals and success criteria. Anticipate the questions and prepare clear, succinct responses. If negotiation is involved, plan your acceptance, base, walk-away points.

Offer value. Give shout-outs. Applaud wins.

Found an interesting article that might be useful to someone? Sharing it is a great conversation tool and what’s great is, that you are giving something instead of only asking. Even if you are responding to a professional query, offer up suggestions or tips without any expectations. You can showcase your expertise as well as have a dialogue that can turn into a mutual benefit down the road.

Don’t just sell. Engage.

Offer value. Give shout-outs. Applaud wins.

Found an interesting article that might be useful to someone? Sharing it is a great conversation tool and what’s great is, that you are giving something instead of only asking. Even if you are responding to a professional query, offer up suggestions or tips without any expectations. You can showcase your expertise as well as have a dialogue that can turn into a mutual benefit down the road.

When you’re networking for a job, share your interest, and offer information but leave it at that.

Tip for networking: Every professional needs to tread the fine line between becoming a digital contact of choice and a relentless pursuer.

Business doesn’t mean boring!

Get Pro Tips on how to make virtual meetings fun!

Virtual, not boring: 12 ways to engage clients in online meetings

Always end with a Call to Action

Your communication channels always remain open when you end any interaction with an action point. Here are some ways this works.

If you are pitching or doing an interview, clearly mention that you are available for any further questions.

If your online meeting had a takeaway action, use email to summarize, and articulate the next steps. Even if everyone took notes, people always appreciate this and it also keeps the conversation flowing. If you are submitting a proposal with some lead time, say 2 weeks, it’s always a good idea to drop a quick note in between to update the client.

Even if you have decided that you are not doing business together, end on a positive ‘keep in touch’ note.

A smart entrepreneur uses these e-Networking tips to build traction, keep a conversation going or staying connected after the fact.

So find the sweet spot for your career connectivity in terms of frequency, channel and audience and try these networking tips. The long term outcomes just might surpass your expectations.

Pooja Krishna is an Entrepreneur, Business Mentor and Mom. She has worked both in large corporates and managed startups over the last 20+ years. 

She’s a co-founder at Maroon Oak, and is founded Win Thinks, where she writes, speaks and teaches about Digital Media, Brand Building and Future Ready Businesses. A day trader for over a decade, Pooja launched Trading Paces to educate amateur and pro stock traders. As a classroom mentor, Pooja loves teaching students across the U.S. about job skills and entrepreneurship. Read about her on Huffington Post and Forbes.

A trivia buff and yoga & hula hoop enthusiast, she’s discovering the pleasure of drawing Zentangle patterns for ‘creative mindfulness.’

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  1. sylvia 3 years ago

    These are honestly some of the best tips I’ve seen wrt e-networking. Thanks will try them.

  2. Mandy Allen 7 years ago

    These are some great tips. I usually send a follow up email after an event to everyone who has shared emails. As you rightly say, it’s a chance to connect and say ‘great meeting you’ and also I recap what was said/done/agreed upon so it starts a conversation with others and links we don’t lose easily.

    Enjoy the journey!

  3. David 7 years ago

    E-Networking is a big part of the blog that I run. Yes writing the content is important but promoting the content is more important in my eyes. I can write the best content in the world but if no one sees it … who cares. Social media is a great two-way street that you must use to get that flow going in my opinion.

    Thanks for sharing these tips!


  4. Kaylee 7 years ago

    These are great tips, thank you so much for sharing!

  5. great tips for anyone who recently entered into the professional realm aka me haha

  6. Hayley Botte 7 years ago

    Great tips! I’ve been having a hard time understanding email marketing and this really helped!

  7. Linda James
    Linda James 7 years ago

    Brilliant article Pooja,it just brings out things in a very simple manner.We all know it but sometimes something’s just slip out of our minds.very well summarized in 7points

    • 7 years ago

      Thank you, Linda. You rightly called it out – most of us understand this and yet don’t always make it a part of our professional routine.

  8. 7 years ago

    You gave me some food for thought. Nice tips! Thanks.

  9. Rina Shah
    Rina Shah 7 years ago

    Thanks for sharing, Pooja! For freelancers and those who work in non-traditional environments, e-networking is a powerful tool and can lead to great interactions.

  10. 7 years ago

    For every time I’ve wanted to pull out my hair at women networkers who cannot stop talking. It’s called elevator pitch for a reason. I will subtly share this article.

  11. 7 years ago

    Great tips Pooja. A few weeks ago a lady who I had helped connect with a friend ( and that’s all I did honestly ) reached out to me and gave me two great leads. Connecting people costs nothing and pays off big in the long run, especially when you don’t expect it.

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