Networking doesn’t always to have take place at conferences or events, it can also take place on the web. One way I network with individuals is through instant messaging services like AIM. But before you start networking through messaging services, make sure you follow these steps.
- User name – your user name can say a lot about you. If you call yourself “Bengali Sex TigerÂ,” people are going to relate you to sexual thoughts. Make sure you don’t pick a name you don’t want to be associated with. Instead pick a name you are comfortable using for a long time. And if you can’t think of a good user name, your full name is a safe bet.
- Buddy icon – your buddy icon should represent you. If you want others to get to know you, then make sure your buddy icon is your picture. Because of buddy icon size limitations, I recommend using your headshot instead of a fully portrait.
- List out your prospects – before you can hit anyone up, you need to know whom you want to talk to. Create a list of all the people you want to talk to and start researching each individual. The last thing you want to do is hit someone up and not know much about them. Plus knowing all about the other individual may flatter them.
- Introduce yourself – You are now ready to add people to your buddy list and create a conversation. When you first start talking to others make sure you introduce yourself because the other party may not know who you are. If you don’t, your networking efforts may be useless.
- Be courteous – whenever you hit someone up through AIM, the most important thing is to be courteous. Before you start chatting away, you should first find out if that individual has time to chat. You don’t have to do this after you get to know the individual, but you should do this the first few times.
- Show your value – most commonly people ask questions through instant messaging so that they can gain knowledge, but they never really reciprocate. Even if you think you don’t have anything to offer, you do. Make sure you tell the other party that if they need anything from you to feel free and ask.
- Start observing – the way people chat on aim says a lot about them. Some people like keeping things short while others like chatting away; make sure you flow with their style. For example if someone likes to type out long detailed messages, be respectful and type back detailed responses. If someone likes to keep the conversation short and to the point, make sure you don’t ramble on.
- Never stop networking – chatting with someone a few times isn’t effective. Keep the conversation going if you really want to network with others. This doesn’t mean you should have one really long conversation, but instead have multiple conversations over a period of time. By doing this the other party will not forget you. Just be observant when doing this because you don’t want to irritate the other party.
Anyone have any other tips for networking through instant messaging services?