Building a personal and professional network of people is wise, regardless of what stage of life you’re in. While social gatherings and “meet-and-greet” events are viable ways to make new connections, online tools definitely broaden your networking horizons.
In this digital age of always-on connectivity, you can build a good reputation online and become known as a resource, an expert, an influencer or whatever it is you aspire to be. Here are a few ways:
LinkedIn: As the largest network of professionals online, LinkedIn is a great resource for maintaining existing connections and making new ones. Be sure your profile is up-to-date and check the site regularly to serve as a resource for people in your industry who pose questions via the LinkedIn newsfeed. Adding groups to your profile and being an active participant in group discussions increases your visibility within your industry.
Quora: Search for influential people in your industry and follow their questions on the site. It’s likely that you’ll be introduced to other prominent people in their circles so you can begin interacting and engaging in discussions with.
Twitter: Follow people who matter to you and your industry. Once you find relevant contacts, search their networks to find out who they follow and follow suit, so to speak. You can also search Twitter directories like Twellow and WeFollow to find categories of people worth following. And when it comes to your own tweets, broadcast news relevant to your industry, and don’t be afraid to promote your own successes!