Honestly, in my experience, I think the big mistake we make is relying a 100% on business networking [ whether online or otherwise ]. Business networking, in all or any of its forms should supplement our business activities – it should help us reach those people we would otherwise never have communicated with – not REPLACE business building and marketing efforts.

Registering on ALL the online business networking platforms is not the solution – just like one wouldn’t attend all Trade Association meetings and mixers and all the local networking meetings – similarly, signing up for all the online portals is a self-defeating activity.

What we should focus on is that one contact you have today – the one person you e-mail today, the one person who asks you a question today. Give your attention to that one person – it’s like one bird in the hand is better than ten in the bush = one person talking with you/interested in you is better than a 100 names on your contact list.

Make a connection – not just a contact, create a relationship. I don’t believe anyone can go wrong with that approach. It’s an investment and we must treat it as an investment – we don’t go investing pennies in a particular stock and a particular company’s equity right? We invest thousands and lakhs of rupees in that – THEN it re-pays us – apply the same principle to online business networking and you won’t go wrong. Instead of sending hundreds of similar e-mails to hundreds of people, send one well-thought out e-mail that is relevant to the person you are writing to.