Earlier we were reviewing opportunities to join various networking platforms online. However, we recognize that choosing a web-site to join can be overwhelming and frustrating. There is just so many of them! Keep calm and remember your goals. It is important to always think WHY you are networking. Depending on your reasons some platform will work better than the others.
In this article we will not be talking much about job-searching sites. This list will be geared towards business people networking to expand their professional networks.
Here is the list of 10 best business networking sites.
LinkedIn has been a top business networking site for a long time and still remains one of the best organizations to join for networking. Launched in 2003, by April 2017, LinkedIn accumulated 500 million members in 200 countries. You can create your profile/resume and connect to people you already know. That will allow you to see their connections and to have a chance to “be introduced” to some important people in your industry for future partnership. These introductions help building trust among the members and help avoid spamming. The feed is a great source of educational and inspirational articles where you can contribute one of your own. You also see the updates of people’s positions and get birthday reminders (two more great reasons to reconnect).
100AM is a complex platform available both as an app and a website that allows you to network with ease. It offers different tools from business card scanner to an ability to create your own networking groups. Group members will be able to get to know each other, communicate (built-in instant messenger), post updates and set up meeting. If you are attending a conference with 100AM, you can see the participants and their profiles. The best part is, all of the contacts you store in the system are updated automatically (Live Business Cards). For people who are not on 100AM yet there is a way to scan their card with Print2Digital and then immediately share your e-card with them via text message, email or instant messengers.
Networking for Professionals is a business network that incorporates the best of two worlds – online and real-life networking. The goal of the platform is to help bring together successful, driven professionals and help them achieve even better results by developing a wider network. They take advantages of both traditional and online networking and merges them together allowing constant virtual communication and occasional live events. The physical presence is limited to several large cities in US but they are looking on expanding and now offering free memberships to new subscribers based on where they live.
In the span of 10 years, E-Factor has created a vast entrepreneurial community where more than 1 million affiliates collaborate online with partners and clients (virtual marketplace) and in-person. The platform is developed with entrepreneurs and local business in mind. E-Factor provides both informational and visibility support to its members. With that many members from different countries is no problems in getting your message across and spreading the word about what your startup does.
Gust is another platform geared to startups. The coal is to connect startups with a large pool of investors across the world to help raise early-stage funding. Please don’t confuse this with the crowdfunding platform like Kickstarter. Gust will not help you raise money. It will help you keep everything on track and organized by providing tools to both parties. Startup’s profile that you create on Gust can be shared with investors to whom you reach out. At the same time it acts as a universal application for organized investment groups. Investors can review applicant’s information, discuss it in the messenger, and notify startups of their interest.
Meetup is not exactly a business-geared portal, yet it will not be smart to overlook it. It is a networking website for finding opportunities to meet with groups of like-minded people locally. You see how the trend of combining virtual and personal is working here again. You can join an existing meetup or create your own. Among a ton of dog-lovers and tea-drinkers events, there are plenty of opportunities for business networking. But, hey! Who said you can’t find some clients among dog-lovers? Just saying. Nothing unites people more than common interest.
Opportunity is a business network created with a purpose of lead generation and referrals. It connects you to other pros who could bring you leads, sales, and clients. You receive notifications every time someone is interested in your offer. On top of that you get to e-socialize with other members based on their categorize you get to control and adjust (age, gender, interests, personality and more). Sounds like online dating, but for business. Live events were recently added to help members create even stronger professional and personal relationship.
With both free and paid opportunities members of Ryze get to organize their homepage by interest, location, and current and past employers and make quality connections with over 500,000 members. Besides the typical business networking site features (messenger, groups, and practical articles) the site allows you to made deals with other Ryze members.
StartupNation is an online forum for business development. This is an example of 100% pure online networking. You can ask questions anytime in one of the theme-organized forums. For example, finance and funding, business operations or gig economy to name a few. There are also subcategories within each section. Alternatively, you can browse through various constructive articles on how to start and grow a business. This is a great way to gain access to other professionals and experts in your field for advice and networking opportunities.
Don’t feel like browsing? Now you get to swipe. Shapr is called Tinder for business relationships because of the way the app works. It connects people in the same industry based on their common interests and objectives in a joyful way. You can count on everything staying at a professional level. They don’t allow unsolicited requests and keep the community limited.
Despite you being an entrepreneur who’s looking for advice or seasoned business pro on a lookout for ways to expand your business, networking is the best way to get it done. The ease of online networking groups fits busy professional lives, yet keeps you connected to the other great people in the industry.