It has occurred to me that networking gets a bad rap and that perhaps twitter and blogs and Facebook are the solutions people are looking for to make networking easier.
If you don't believe in networking, that's too bad.
For the rest, networking is about building relationships. It all starts with finding a common bond. That bond can be personal and that bond can be professional. We won't and don't "click" with everyone and I suppose that's ok.
If you have a business, you are always looking for new ways to get your name out there. Advertising, articles, press releases, TV and radio, personal appearances, the list was fairly limited years ago. Today, there are unlimited avenues to spread the word. We have the internet to thank for that.
That's where social media comes in. It can provide you with access to thousands more people than you would be able to meet otherwise. I follow people on twitter I consider to be good at what they do and the only way I can measure that is by reading their tweets and advice on their blogs. I learn from them and connect virtually with some of them.
There is a huge element of narcissism in all of this and could it be, that has always been true, even with Ben Franklin? Do you suppose he was flattered by the nominations to positions and posts he received, to be asked to be on a committee of five who drafted the Declaration of Independence, to receive honorary degrees from Harvard, Yale and University of St. Andrews? Maybe he was humble, and maybe it fed his ego a bit too.
My point is that being known for offering something credible and of value isn't all bad. In fact, it is quite good.
Personally and professionally, I think we each want to be known for having something of value to offer. We can spread the word through face to face contact AND virtually. That is, of course, if our audience is playing in the virtual world.
Hannah Morgan speaks and writes about job search and career strategies. She founded CareerSherpa.net to educate professionals on how to maneuver through today’s job search process. Hannah was nominated as a LinkedIn Top Voice in Job Search and Careers and is a regular contributor to US News & World Report. She has been quoted by media outlets, including Forbes, USA Today, Money Magazine, Huffington Post, as well as many other publications. She is also author of The Infographic Resume and co-author of Social Networking for Business Success.