By: Steve Ryan, Founder & CEO RyTech, LLC
We network every day, formally or informally. We network with those around us: meeting for coffee, running into an old friend while out to lunch, formalized settings through the West Suburban Chamber of Commerce & Industry and other networking groups, random encounters on the street, or the predetermined and arranged meeting. We also network with those online through social media and email communication. By looking on LinkedIn for acquaintances or keeping up with friends and family members on Facebook, we’re networking.
You can control your image and first impression when meeting in-person for the first time. Likely, you’ll exchange a few pleasantries, swap business cards and give your elevator speeches to each other. You dive further into the conversation and determine next steps in your networking journey.
The question is: Are you controlling your first impression online? When was the last time you searched yourself online? Updated your LinkedIn profile? Posted a photo to Facebook you regretted? Make sure you’re making the best impression online as possible. The new reality is that people are starting to begin their networking online and are turning to social media. If you’re not found there, you might be missed online.
Have you considered your purpose for networking? Are you trying to expand your overall sphere of influence? Meet new people? Boost business? Make sure you know your purpose and make it point to deliver a great first impression, online and in person. Before you head over to next week's Night Golf event next Thursday, June 15 … determine your networking purpose and make a great first impression!
About Steve Ryan: Founding RyTech in 2012, Steve oversees operations for the company and manages client relationships and projects in order to follow the company's top priority of customer care. Additionally, Steve is responsible for overall strategic direction of the company as well as new business development. Steve holds degrees from Marquette University and University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. Committed to the local community, Steve currently serves on the Board of Directors at Pillars, the Board of Directors at the West Suburban Chamber of Commerce & Industry, the Marquette University Alumni Association National Board of Directors, and the Board of Trustees and Institutional Advancement Committee at Nazareth Academy.