Build a Better Online Network

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Most managers today understand how to use online tools to build and expand their networks. It’s easy to reach out to industry contacts and colleagues through LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter. But building a useful online network requires focus on three things: reputation, specialization, and network position. 

  • Build your reputation by offering interesting content, drawing attention to your web presence, and motivating others to circulate and act on your ideas.
  • Show specialization by demonstrating knowledge, establishing links with other experts, committing to learn from those people, and being willing to offer relevant information and referrals.
  • Position yourself as a bridge between otherwise unconnected groups. This can increase your influence because it gives you a chance to identify potential collaborations or conflicts and to accumulate better information.

Adapted from the HBR Guide to Networking.

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