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Effective Online Business Networking Strategies to Build Digital Bridges

February 05, 20246 min read

In the online business space the opportunities for face-to-face networking are fewer and far between compared to our brick and mortar business colleagues, but that doesn’t mean networking is any less important. With that said, as we’re firmly in the digital age, the process of networking has taken a decidedly virtual turn. 

Gone are the days of purely face-to-face interactions over a cup of coffee at a convention center or event; today, building connections is just as much about clicking the right buttons as it is about shaking the right hands. 

Effective Online Business Networking Strategies

So how do you ensure that your online networking efforts are at least as effective as your offline ones? It’s all about adjusting your techniques, seeking out virtual opportunities, and building up that digital friend list. 

Let's dive deeper.

1. Embrace Virtual Networking Events

We’ve probably all been to a local business meetup or speed networking event [if you haven’t, it's essentially the business version of speed dating] and the good news? Networking events are primed and ready in the online space as well. 

Virtual networking events are the new-age business mixers. Platforms like Zoom, WebEx, and Microsoft Teams have skyrocketed in popularity in the last few years and provide easy opportunities to meet with likeminded online business owners. 

Just as with any in-person event though, showing up is only part of the equation. Make sure that you’re seeking out connections through actively:

  • Engaging in chats or breakout rooms

  • Participating in relevant Q&A sessions

  • Introducing yourself and putting yourself out there [preferably with a memorable anecdote]

With a sea of virtual attendees try your best to seek out beneficial relationships and make as many connections as you can as this increases the opportunities you can open up for your business in the future. 

2. Dive into Online Networking Platforms

So you already know that LinkedIn is the undisputed king of professional networking and absolutely deserves a mention here but don't stop there!

More business networking platforms pop up frequently as we move toward an increasing digital world. Be sure to take a peek at these contenders for building your online connections:

As with many important things in life, you get out of these platforms what you put in. Customize your outreach messages, be thoughtful with your comments, and always keep the conversation flowing. 

If you focus on building relationships, the business connections will be stronger for it.

3. Enhance Your Digital Brand Visibility

Just as your landing page is like your front window display, your online brand is like your digital business card. Keep your profiles up to date and accurate and be sure to showcase your expertise. 

Focus on setting yourself apart from the crowd. An easy way to do this is through articles or posts that identify you as a thought leader in your niche or industry. Don’t be shy about sharing the hard lessons you’ve learned on your business journey. Gaining experience through struggles and having grit is relatable and instantly builds camaraderie with your audience. 

If you’re really leaning into personal branding and want to know our best tips for the digital age, be sure to check out this article for our insights.

4. Remote Networking Best Practices

Societal norms for in-person networking are well established [use the tongs when picking up the appetizers, guys, not your fingers] but rest assured digital networking has its own set of rules. Be sure to:

  • Show up on time

  • Do your best with lighting and a professional background

  • Minimize distractions ahead of time 

  • Engage and make eye contact with your camera

  • Prioritize meaningful conversations

In addition to these tips, always, always follow up. A warm and sincere thank-you email can easily set you apart from the crowd, especially after meeting a lot of new people at a virtual networking event.

5. Collaborate and Co-create

Okay, so you tried your hand at online business networking, made some new biz besties, now what

Luckily, the digital space is ripe with collaboration opportunities. Think about doing a guest blog post on an industry website, co-hosting a webinar with a new friend, or collaborating on a digital product offering. 

Not only do opportunities like these position you as an expert but they also expand your network exponentially [which is the huge driver behind online business networking]. 

Remember, here in the digital world, collaboration is the new competition.

Focus on working together to leverage and elevate both businesses involved when collaborating with a new biz bestie. And when you’re bringing in those new leads from an expanded network, be sure that you’re segmenting your email list to provide personalized communications to your new friends. 


6. Master the Art of Digital Connection Strategies

We’ve said it here before, but it bears mentioning again, focusing on creating personalized interactions. It's not just about who you connect with, but how you connect with them

Be timely and genuine with your messages as we can all tell when people are putting forth real effort and when they aren’t. And even through a computer screen, you can easily smell a disingenuous interaction a mile away. 

7. Stay Updated and Relevant

The digital landscape is ever-evolving, and it does it fast! Platforms come and go, trends change overnight and to be an effective networker, you’ve got to stay in the know

Seek out and subscribe to industry newsletters or resources and never stop learning. Your knowledge has the opportunity to impress your connections and open doors to new opportunities.

8. Engage in Community Building

It’s in our nature as humans to seek out community and while they’re no longer an integral part of our survival, they certainly can provide a source of information, friendships, and business opportunities. 

Groups exist widely across the internet in which different industry professionals share insights, ask questions, and collaborate. Getting involved and being an active member or a moderator can position you as a thought leader in your industry and skyrocket your online business networking efforts.

Can’t find a valuable community in your industry or niche? Create one!

There are lots of different platforms to choose from, each with a different vibe and functionality like:

We even have community-building functionality built into our Social Fox marketing platform because we know how valuable building connections is in your business. 

9. Offer Value Before Asking for It

This is a golden rule in any kind of networking. It’s simple but important. If you take one thing away from what you’ve read, this should be it.

Share insights, offer help, or introduce connections before asking for favors. This not only builds trust but also establishes a strong foundation for long-term relationships.

10. Leverage Multimedia

Videos, podcasts, and infographics are engaging ways to showcase your expertise and connect with your audience and they also create opportunities for easy collaboration. 

Start a YouTube channel or even launch a podcast relating to your industry or niche news and updates. These platforms allow for deeper connections, position you as an industry expert, and open the door to audiences that you might not have reached before.

Ready to Build Those Bridges?

The thought of online business networking might have you feeling like Tom Hanks in Cast Away, but with the right strategies, you can easily build connections far and beyond your best buddy Wilson. 

The entrepreneur world can be a lonely one and if you’re looking for a community, here at Social Fox we focus on creating a space for masterminding and collaborative connections amongst our users.

We provide strategy calls, email marketing training, and have a bustling community of entrepreneurs bringing their online dreams to fruition with the power of our all-in-one marketing program, Social Fox.

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