How to Network Online: Tips for Building Connections in the Digital Age

How to Network Online: Tips for Building Connections in the Digital Age

Now that Covid-19 seems like a memory from the past, many might wonder what’s next in business networking. Is it good old-fashioned traditional networking, or do we continue with online networking?

To begin with, we probably need to examine ‘why’ online networking is needed.
Traditionally, networking involved navigating a crowded room at an event, scoping out the best people to talk to, exchanging business cards, and trying to start meaningful conversations. While face-to-face networking still remains crucial, the emergence of virtual events and online networks has created new opportunities to expand and develop your network. Online networking involves using social media or communication platforms (like Zoom) to build and grow your network of social and business relationships,

Now that we’ve answered the ‘why’, we will help you figure out ‘where’ and ‘how’ to network online.

Steps To Successfully Network Online
First, we talk about the ‘where’ part of online networking. Multiple platforms can be used for networking online, but only a few effective ones. So it is essential to know which one to go for.

Where To Network Online

#1 LinkedIn

LinkedIn is one of the most important platforms for networking, as it was launched with the objective of fostering professional networking. Despite many alternative websites, LinkedIn remains the world’s largest and most popular networking platform across all industries.

Tip: Before reaching out and networking, ensure you optimise your profile for maximum visibility and engagement. If you’re wondering whether the number of relevant first-degree connections on LinkedIn matters, the answer is yes. But here’s the catch: your contacts need to be relevant. So, don’t focus on quantity, focus on quality when building your network.

#2 Online Networking Events

While LinkedIn will always remain important, however, successful networks can now be developed and nurtured at online networking events. Technology-based introductions can be a great starting point for connecting with new people. Take advantage of online networking and industry events, and consider joining a professional group like Fresh Networking to expand your network and get to know more people. Learn more about Fresh National here.

Professional business networking groups (like Fresh Networking) focus on building connections and establishing relationships while helping expand your networks. These events can help you meet new people from a wider breadth of industries and professions without inconveniences like distance and time coming into play. You can interact with, get to know and build trusting relationships with professionals you would otherwise have difficulty meeting.

Supporting the same view, at Fresh, we’re firm believers that business referrals flow naturally when people get to know, like, and trust each other. At our core, we prioritise supporting one another and fostering genuine connections – plus, we’re not ones to shy away from a good laugh!

Just remember, networking online has changed the face of the game. It enables every business- big or small, old or young, to build a solid network over time. Approach online networking with the right attitude and a willingness to stick/grow with it, and you create a network that will help you thrive beyond your local suburb or city. Plus, it is cost-effective – no added expense of travelling, breakfasts etc. You can network from the comfort of your home.

Register for your FREE Guest Pass to Fresh National and make the most of online networking events.

#3 Use Social Media

Last but definitely not the least, use social media platforms for networking. While Instagram (the Gen Z crowd favourite) and Facebook are popular networking sites, choosing the forum that suits your needs is essential. Twitter is a popular choice for professionals and intellectuals to share their expertise and opinions while initiating conversations. Instagram and Facebook are usually preferred by content creators wanting to showcase their work.

How To Network Online

Now that the why and where are out of the way, let’s get on to the ‘how’ part.

Build Your Online Presence

The first rule of networking online is to ensure your digital profiles (eg. LinkedIn profile) are up-to-date and in perfect shape. Your chances of being taken seriously might dwindle if your online presence is fundamentally lacking or, worse, non-existent.

When networking on LinkedIn, start with optimising your profile and then connecting with professionals you are interested in.
Tip: If you plan on connecting with a second or third-degree contact, ask your first-degree contact to introduce you to them- you’ll be more likely to get a positive response.

Don’t Waste Time

You’ve just met someone via an online Zoom networking event who you think would be a great addition to your network, but you’re unsure when to send them a connection request on LinkedIn. Here’s the deal – it’s totally fine to send the request once you’ve been introduced, had a conversation, or exchanged emails. When you do send the request, make sure to personalise it to show that you genuinely want to connect.

Also, accepting invitations in a timely manner and responding to them as soon as possible (try to do it in a day or two max) is considered good etiquette in networking.

It’s A Two-way Street

When it comes to online networking, avoid pitching to new contacts as soon as you connect. Always try to offer something of value to the person you want to connect with- you should give more than you take.

Be Active And Involved

Stay active in your networking efforts by not just reaching out to someone when you need something from them. Instead, consistently engage with others by sharing interesting content and offering valuable advice.

Make it a point to keep in touch with your contacts even after getting what you wanted from the networking event. It could be as simple as inviting them for a casual Zoom chat to catch up with them, sharing useful information or asking what type of businesses they would like to be connected with.

“Fresh Online has helped me stay in touch with my Australian network when I moved to the UK… I am very much in touch with everyone in the Fresh network and I really enjoy the meetings.” – Carol Benton, Words to Win


There’s no such thing as a silly question. If there’s something you’d like to know about Fresh, ask away…

Click below to contact us, or take a look at the most frequently asked questions.



Fresh members have a wealth of skill and knowledge, which they share with the community through our Fresh Webinar series.


Fresh Networking