As you may recall on December 1st 2008 I posted an article about how most people struggle to use Online Networking as an effective tool in the development of their personal networks. You may have also have noticed that many people spend time on LinkedIn just collecting “links” instead of developing relationships. At the time I posted the previous article, I had just established the Washington DC Design and Construction Network on LinkedIn with the goal of bridging online networks and in person relationships. I am excited to announce that the experiment has become a huge success!
An “Online” Happy Hour
On Wednesday last week the Washington DC Design and Construction Network held its first ever Happy Hour exclusively for the members of our LinkedIn group. The results were astounding: In the first 24 hours after announcing the happy hour I received 40+ RSVPs. By last Wednesday we had 130+ people attend the happy hour and many were turned away as our venue could only hold 100 people. As I write this on Sunday afternoon we have over 480 people in the Network.
An idea whose time has come
We all know the power that online networking sites hold, but few have been able to figure out how to harness it as a tool for networking (that is to build mutually beneficial relationships). This week when you are on LinkedIn, or any other of a number of online networking sites, ask yourself if you are just collecting “links,” or if you are doing something to build relationships. If you think you might be collecting links, take the first step to building your network: look at your LinkedIn contacts and help three people just because you can. When you focus on helping others instead of yourself you are focusing on building mutually beneficial relationships.
If you live in the DC area and you are interested in joining the Washington DC Design and Construction Network just follow this link to LinkedIn and click “Join Now.” All we ask is that you are in the Design and Construction industry in Washington DC and that you are serious about doing more than just “linking” to other people.