I am currently assisting someone as an online business networking consultant in their job search using online business networking. (It will probably transform into networking consulting work, not necessarily limited to the “online” realm). Since this is my first “client”, I think it would be prudent not to disclose identities atleast during the assignment. Once, hopefully this is a successful consultation, I will post this as a case study with the usual structure. Of course for insider information about how the whole thing happened, with details of the correspondence and exchanges, I am available for hire as a business networking consultant!
I have had quite a bit of success with my own networking efforts and this will be the first time that I will be applying similar approaches for someone else. Although each case would be different and not everyone is a networker because “they want a job”, there are bound to be some common things that can probably be laid down as “ground rules”. They would involve areas like writing e-mails, doing an effective search, knowing which forums to join, how to interact with people, how to raise the level of trust within your network, how to answer phone calls, how to remember names better, etc. Not surprisingly, most of the above-mentioned areas are not limited only to networking. In fact, these are common areas as far as communication skills are concerned.
So, this goes to say that successful networking does not require any specialized skills. Anyone who has some time to invest and is inclined to share a professional relationship with people from all over the world, can very well succeed at business networking.