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Mastering Modern Networking: Connect, Collaborate, Conquer

Tomasz Chwesewicz

Networking isn’t so much about who you know but who knows you and, ideally, owes you a favor. Remember when face-to-face chats were the bees’ knees? Well, it seems galaxies away – Gone are the days when a firm handshake and a Rolodex defined one’s networking status. Today, the digital realm has thrown open doors, connecting us to people thousands of miles away with just a click.

But with this vast landscape comes its own set of challenges. How do you stand out when the crowd is virtually endless? How do you ensure that the ‘digital you’ matches the authenticity of the ‘real-world you’? Most importantly, how can you turn these online interactions into genuine relationships where mutual respect and trust reign supreme?

In this article, we’ll navigate the ins and outs of modern networking. We’ll unravel everything from understanding its significance to mastering the art of making lasting impressions.

What is Networking?

Now, if you journey back a couple of decades (no need for a time machine, just some imagination), networking was predominantly about shaking hands at business events, exchanging cards, and following up with a courteous phone call. There was a tangible feel to it. You’d look someone in the eye, firmly shake their hand, gauge their reaction, and lay the groundwork for a potential business relationship or partnership.

Fast forward to today, and the scene has dramatically shifted. It’s not that we do not meet in real life anymore. Digital platforms and social media have not changed the game by the whole 180 degrees but rather expanded the playground. Instead of connecting with ten people at an event, you can now connect with 10,000 from the comfort of your living room. LinkedIn, Twitter, and various other platforms have made reaching out to industry professionals, potential employers, or like-minded individuals easier than ever. It’s both fantastic and, at times, a tad overwhelming.

But with this vastness, the essence of networking remains the same. It’s still about relationships. Instead of remembering someone’s favorite coffee, you might need to remember the latest tweet or LinkedIn post they shared.

Types of Networking – Effective ways to expand your network

With so many ways to connect, who needs a business card? From pixelated profiles to 280-character tweets, today’s networking strategies are as varied as our online passwords. Effective ways to expand your network include:

Content Creation

Sharing valuable content, be it blog posts, videos, podcasts, or infographics, can position you as a thought leader in your field. This showcases your expertise and attracts individuals who resonate with your message.


  • Builds credibility
  • It provides a passive way of attracting professionals
  • Boosts online visibility


  • Time-consuming
  • Demands consistency
  • Requires a clear understanding of your audience

Direct Messaging

Contact individuals directly, perhaps on LinkedIn or Twitter, to introduce yourself, share ideas, or seek advice. This is a proactive approach, ensuring you’re not waiting for opportunities but rather creating them.


  • Personalized
  • Allows for targeted outreach
  • This can result in quick connections


  • Risk of coming off as intrusive or spammy
  • Demands a well-crafted message

Webinars and Online Workshops

Hosting or participating in online events. These platforms provide an opportunity to engage with a larger audience, share expertise, or learn from others.


  • Showcases expertise on a wider scale
  • Offers opportunities for real-time interaction and Q&A sessions
  • Provides a platform to connect with participants post-event


  • Requires meticulous planning and preparation
  • Technical glitches can hamper the experience
  • It can be time-consuming.

Engaging in Online Communities

Joining forums or groups relevant to your industry or interests. This can be on Reddit, specialized industry websites, or Facebook groups.


  • Access to a pre-existing community with shared interests
  • A relaxed environment, making interactions organic and genuine


  • It can be time-consuming to filter through vast amounts of information
  • Risk of encountering trolls or negative interactions

Cold Calls or Emails

The traditional method of reaching out to potential connections via phone or email without a prior relationship.


  • Direct and to the point
  • Can cover a large number of individuals in a short span


  • High rejection rate
  • Often perceived as intrusive
  • It needs a persuasive pitch to stand out

While these methods offer distinct pathways to engage and expand your network, the golden rule remains the same: genuine value and authenticity. In any outreach effort, ensuring you’re offering value, seeking mutual growth, and prioritizing quality over quantity is pivotal.

Advantages of Digital Networking

The image of the lone wolf surging ahead, based on pure skill and determination, is compelling. It’s a story we’ve all heard: the individual who rises to greatness without ever stepping foot at a networking event or thumbing through a stack of business cards. Yet, while these tales are impressive, they’re often the exception rather than the rule. Let’s consider the broader landscape of success. For every lone wolf story, countless others are interwoven with connections, chance encounters, and networking.

What exactly does it bring to the table, though? What are the advantages of digital networking?

  • Access to Opportunities: Whether job openings, collaborations, or investments, a well-connected individual often gets the first scoop.
  • Knowledge Sharing: Interacting with peers or mentors can offer insights and perspectives you hadn’t considered.
  • Feedback Loop: A network often acts as a sounding board, helping refine ideas and strategies.
  • Elevated Visibility: Connecting increases the chances of your work or product being noticed and recognized.
  • Mentorship: Finding guidance from seasoned professionals can significantly alter one’s trajectory.
  • Collaborative Ventures: Joint projects, which can combine the strengths of multiple individuals, often sprout from networking events.

For instance, an innovative entrepreneur might have a groundbreaking product, but it’s through networking that they find their ideal business partner, investor, or first big client. A budding writer might have penned a masterpiece, but it’s often through connections that they find their agent or publisher.

Of course, pure skill, determination, and a dash of luck can propel someone forward. But networking acts as a catalyst, speeding up the journey and often leading to more enriched destinations. It provides the bridges where lone wolves might face rivers and opens doors that might have seemed impenetrable. What are we waiting for, then – Connect and expand your network.

How to Build an Online Presence and Achieve Your Goals?

Let’s face it: Networking isn’t always a breezy walk in the park. It can sometimes feel like a tightrope walking over a pit of fears, sharks, and messages left on ‘read.’ But like any challenging endeavor, knowing what awaits and arming yourself with the right techniques and attitude can make a world of difference. So, how to build an online presence?

Knowing Your Destination: Goals in Networking

Before you even start, you should know what you’re looking for. Maybe it’s a job. Maybe it’s advice. Or perhaps you’re searching for potential clients. A clear idea allows you to direct your energy where it’s most likely to bear fruit. So, specify. Instead of thinking, “I want to meet tech people,” consider, “I want to connect with app developers who are into augmented reality.” Connect and expand your network with people who are relevant to the goals you are trying to achieve.

Strategize, Don’t Stumble: Plan Your Networking

It’s essential to be proactive, not reactive. If you’ve identified your goals, your next step is to research. Let’s say you’re interested in the renewable energy sector. It would help if you were reading relevant articles, attending industry events, or following key players on social media. Being informed is always an advantage. And when reaching out, a personalized message can work wonders. It takes a few extra minutes but can mean the difference between a response and radio silence. And we’re not talking only about changing the name at the beginning of each message. If you want to be seen, research the person you are trying to connect with.

Quality Over Quantity: Genuine Connections Matter

We’ve all met the eager networker who hands out business cards like they’re going out of style. Don’t be that person. Aim for meaningful conversations instead of merely increasing your connections’ count, not to mention that most social media algorithms will make you less seen if you suddenly start messaging everyone and sending them connection requests. Remember, networking isn’t a one-way street. It’s not just about what you can extract. Think about what you can provide. Sometimes, just being a good content creator can make all the difference.

The Waiting Game: Patience and Persistence

Sometimes, networking can feel like shouting into the void. But don’t get disheartened. People are busy, emails get buried, and messages can be overlooked. If someone doesn’t respond, it’s perfectly acceptable to send a gentle reminder. However, there’s a fine line between being persistent and becoming a pest. If someone is unresponsive after a couple of attempts, it might be best to move on.

Stay Sharp: Evolve with the Times

The way we network today might seem archaic in a few years. New platforms emerge, trends change, and what worked once might not work anymore. It’s crucial to stay updated. Networking, at its core, is an exercise in human connection. It’s about getting to know people and letting them get to know you. And while tools and tactics might evolve, the essence remains: be genuine, curious, and respectful.

The Digital Arsenal for Networking

While no gadget can perfect your face-to-face chat over coffee, the digital world is brimming with tools to enhance, expand, and elevate your networking prowess. It’s not about replacing the old-school tête-à-tête; it’s about supercharging every virtual interaction with a digital boost.

AI in Networking

The digital transformation of networking goes beyond mere platforms; it’s in the intelligent tools that truly set you apart. If traditional networking was about intuition and gut feeling, the modern approach is increasingly data-driven, precise, and predictive, thanks to AI in networking.

Enter tools like CrystalKnows, which acts akin to a seasoned interpreter. Rather than navigating the murky waters of first impressions, it gives you a snapshot of an individual’s communication style and preferences based on their digital footprint. It’s like having a digital dossier that suggests, “Hey, this person prefers concise emails,” or “They enjoy a touch of humor.”

Then, there’s Affinity – your diligent networking secretary. Instead of relying on sporadic reminders or post-it notes, Affinity uses AI to analyze your interactions, highlighting which connections might need a follow-up or suggesting potential collaborators based on your location or goals.

The beauty of these AI tools is the synergy they offer. They don’t replace the human touch but amplify it. With the insights and automation they provide, professionals can hone in on genuine, impactful interactions, fostering deeper connections. It’s not about letting AI do the networking for you; it’s about harnessing its power to make every interaction count.

Showcase Your Expertise

Platforms like Medium are essential if you have insights to share. Whether deep diving into a niche topic or broad industry overviews, it’s a canvas for your thoughts, drawing in readers and potential connections impressed by your expertise. For those who prefer visuals over words, Canva bridges the gap. Create engaging graphics, infographics, or presentations, adding visual flair to your content. It’s an indirect yet powerful way to network, attracting like-minded professionals who resonate with your work.

Specialized Networking Platforms

Every profession has its playground. Designers flaunt their creativity on Behance, while coders collaborate and share on GitHub. Academics and researchers have found a haven in ResearchGate, discussing the latest in diverse fields. So, if you’ve already identified the kind of people you are going after with your friendliness, you may want to pick just the right place to shine.


Networking is more than just connection counts; it’s about cultivating genuine relationships and building trust. Whether you’re navigating modern platforms or holding onto traditional methods, remember that authenticity and mutual respect are at the heart of meaningful interactions. As you journey through the vast realm of professional connections, focus on quality over quantity. Let every interaction be a step closer to achieving your aspirations. Dive in, offer value, and thrive in the art of authentic networking.


Tomasz Chwesewicz


Tomasz Chwesewicz

Chief of Marketing @ DBPLUS
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Content Writer

Tomasz Chwesewicz is an expert in digital marketing and SEO content creation. In recent years, he has been a senior copywriter and content writer for various companies. Currently, he is the Chief of Marketing at DBPLUS, where he has managed to change the approach to online content.
Ana Maria Stanciuc


Ana Maria Stanciuc

Head of Content & Editor-in-Chief @ Tekpon
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Creative Content Chief

Ana Maria Stanciuc is a highly skilled writer and content strategist with 10+ years of experience. She has experience in technical and creative writing across a variety of industries. She also has a background in journalism.

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