With the current online social media landscape, there is no excuse for not having a social network of people that you interact with and get inspiration from.
It is becoming increasingly important to have a social network of people who you can get feedback from, especially if you are an entrepreneur or are running a business in the African diaspora. Understand that it is important to keep the contacts in your network up to date because people often move from place to place.
There is a myriad of social media networks that can be used to build your network of potential business partners or mentors that you may need to get to the next level of success.
On the other hand, there is always the old school method of going to workshops or conferences to build that network of support as well.
Attend Local Conferences & Networking Events
One of the ways for creating a networking relationship in the diaspora is by attending conferences or workshops where people who are interested in similar things as you are meeting.
For example, there are Black Hair Expos that meet annually for people who are interested in all things concerning black hair.
These expos and conventions make it easier to start networking with people who have similar interests and helps in keep that connection going by attending those conventions annually.
Having a business card that you can exchange with people at these gatherings can be useful and a quick way to exchange contacts. Although it may be more difficult for people who live in the diaspora to attend such workshops and conventions, there are other ways of creating and building your network for potential future partnerships.
Use the Social Media Toolbox
Social media is now one of the most utilized tools for building a network. It is a crucial tool for keeping your network organized and up to date.
One of the more popular networks, Facebook, offers the convenience of having both a personal profile and a business page. With this feature, you can separate your more casual social media network from your business and professional network.
Other social media networks such as LinkedIn are tailored for business networking.
This makes it easier to navigate your network of people who are connected to you in a more business relationship or partnership. For people like me in the diaspora, social media is vital in helping us to connect with people who far from us in distance.
The opportunity to have a webinar or a “Google Hangout” to share ideas and discuss issues makes social media a handy tool.
Keep Up with your Network
In the diaspora, people in your network are prone to change location frequently. This can often make it hard to keep up with people and plan meetups.
The challenge in keeping up with people in the diaspora is that people are not always online at the same time due to time zone differences and other factors.
This becomes a challenge especially when you need to communicate or discuss a potential future partnership or need confirmation on a business deal in an instant. A good way to combat this challenge is by having a set time or schedule of contacting your network online and being consistent with it.
Most people check their messages after work or early in the mornings. By sending messages or jumping on a call with your network of people at a certain time every week. This makes it easier to keep up with the network.
Overall it is important to have an active social network while living in the diaspora. It can be helpful for building a business and having a network of mentors to communicate with
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