How To Leverage Online Communities To Grow Your Network
Online communities are one of the biggest trends as more people are looking for growth opportunities and a way to connect with like-minded people while working from home. In case you’re not familiar with the whole idea of what an online community is, let’s do a little introduction on it.
An online community refers to a virtual community that brings together a group of people who share the same interest and primarily use the internet (social media) to communicate with each other. Online communities can consist of a large number of members or a smaller number but most members join with the sole aim of connecting with people in the same niche that are not accessible to them offline. According to Wikipedia, online communities have grown in popularity with 6 of the current top 20 websites by traffic being community-based sites.
An online community comes with enough growth opportunities for members and benefits like helping members develop more subject learning, connect to like-minded people, stay updated with the latest happenings in their niche and getting firsthand information on opportunities.
In an Online Community, everyone is learning new things daily, no matter how vast they are in their niche.
Why you should leverage your online community to grow your network
Networking is one of the greatest perks of belonging to a community because various individuals get to connect from different parts of the world and share value. As much of a benefit as networking is, it doesn’t come easy to certain individuals as they are more of the peripheral members i.e Lurkers who just observe and view contents
This article seeks to help point out ways to leverage your online community to grow your network.
Here are 3 tips to help you with that:
- Constantly engage with members: The members of an online community are primarily what defines the community. Make sure you intelligently add to community discussions and contents regularly and interact with other members. This way members of your community reach out to you and are interested in having more personal and deep-rooted discussions with you. Everyone appreciates an individual who can add value to them.
- Create a mailing list: One of the great things about an online community is that people are more willing to give out their contact information. Leverage on that and begin to build a mailing list you can always refer to. You’ve formed a habit of interacting with members and your name has most probably registered in the minds of multiple members, this way sending a mail about your brand or a personal project and getting responses is very likely to happen. Don’t forget to make it a mission to send emails that either Inform, educate or entertain.
- Deepen your online connection: A video call or phone call can take virtual relationships to another level and build upon whatever relationship you’ve already formed with community members. Find time out of your busy schedule and attend webinars, interact, and form a more personal bond with community members. If you have plans of organizing one yourself, meetups don’t necessarily have to be expensive or break your bank, organize a webinar on Zoom to discuss and interact.
Networking feeds on communicating and connecting, so leverage on that to connect and grow your network.
Go ahead, act on these 3 steps, be intentional about whatever you do, add value to those around you and watch your network grow.
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