Maintaining a professional network is an art that few have managed to master. It involves being consistent without annoying the members of your network that you’d like to remain connected with. As new technologies come to the center stage, networking opportunities abound. This abundance is great for professionals, but things can get a bit confusing. A few networking approaches will deliver much better results in 2017 and the years to come than others. Here are some of the most powerful professional networking tips in 2018.

Use Live Streaming
Social media have been prominent business networking tools for some time. Today, live streaming options are incorporated in many of these channels. Live streaming provides wonderful networking opportunities all businesses and professionals can rely on. The interest in live streaming events is growing all the time. Statistics show that 26 percent of social media users will be interested in branded live broadcasts. The numbers for 2016 also suggest that 27 percent of users are interested in lectures and 41 percent want to see live news coverage. You can use these trends to your advantage. Live streaming will enable you to demonstrate your expertise, interact with your network and learn a bit more about what your connections are interested in.

Startup Events
Offline channels can also deliver excellent results concerning networking. Established businesses and baby entrepreneurs can benefit equally from startup events. These demonstrate new business trends and ideas. They bring together similar-minded individuals. The variety of startup events is expected to grow and offer niche businesses even better opportunities in the future. Very often, such events give businesses a chance to partner up, find investors or collaborators for the realization of an idea. Don’t underestimate such opportunities, even if you’re already a leading player in the respective industry.

Go Beyond Your Industry
Many professionals commit the mistake of doing networking solely within their industry. Such an approach is limiting opportunities and creating boundaries that businesses don’t really need. One of the best professional networking tips in 2018 is to increase the scope of your efforts. Conferences, professional workshops, and charity events will never go out of fashion. On the contrary, they bring together many community leaders who can learn from each other and potentially benefit from a partnership. Seeing what representatives of other industries are doing can help your business goal, and it will give you the knowledge needed to re-evaluate some of your objectives.

Me’chelle Degree

Share Professional Content via Your Personal Social Profiles
A strict division is usually imposed between personal and professional social media channels. The truth of the matter is that you can use personal profiles for the purpose of business networking. The easiest way to accomplish the goal involves publishing professional content (preferably content that you have created) via your profiles. This doesn’t mean sharing such content solely via LinkedIn. You can get great results in 2017 and 2018 by bridging the gap between personal and professional in other platforms like YouTube, Facebook, and even Instagram.

Keep in mind that most people will neglect your business page or community. They’ll be much more interested in a personal connection. All you have to do to harness this interest is present yourself professionally and keep the content of your profiles focused on what you do for business and what you’re passionate about.

Networking in 2017, 2018 and beyond will be a blend of online and traditional efforts. Both of these can deliver amazing results regarding expanding your network and keeping it engaged. Once again, it’s important to be strategic about what you’re doing. Pick the channels that have proven to be most effective in the past and focus your efforts on those (while carrying out the occasional experiment on a new platform).