Talk About Talk - Communication Skills Training

Talk About Talk - Communication Skills Training

#67 ONLINE NETWORKING with Sharon Mah-Gin

January 11, 2021

Online networking is the only networking these days! Executive recruiter Sharon-Mah-Gin shares advice on how to approach people when networking online, how to follow-up, as well as general networking advice. There are many reasons to be optimistic! Just remember: “With true networking, it’s really not about you. It’s really about building relationships with like-minded people. And the benefits will come later.”

* Summary
* References & Resources
* Andrea’s Introduction
* Interview Transcript
* Andrea’s Conclusion

Reasons to be Optimistic

* “Just continue and push on.” Don’t hesitate just because we’re all WFH. We have more time now. This is a wonderful opportunity to reach out to people.
* There are jobs out there. Vacancies from retirements, people moving on and growth industries.
* People are being hired after virtual interviews, without being met in real life. In other words, the Zoom or Teams interview is sufficient enough.
* COVID can be a catalyst or an excuse for reaching out and/or for you getting a little more personal with people in your online network.
* Good news for Introverts: The physical isolation associated with COVID may be easier for introverts, who are typically great listeners. Listening is a key skill for successful networking.


* Sharon recommends online networking with people who are like-minded; people with whom the conversations are natural, and who leave you feeling energized and better about yourself.

Sharon Mah-Gin & Andrea Wojnicki
It’s Not About You –

* Networking is always about giving and not receiving. Start with an offer, especially in the beginning it’s really about building relationships with like-minded people. As Sharon says, it’s really about “how can I help YOU?”
* Things to offer: insight, a video, course, advice, support, a connection…

Kick start your online networking with LinkedIn. 

* Keeping your LinkedIn profile updated and professional might be a competitive advantage for you.
* Use the filtering function. Filter by geography if you want to go for a walk with someone. Also filter by discipline, by firm, etc.
* Grow your online network by connecting with your connections’ connections.

Consider the catalyst for your connection – why are you emailing?

* Suggestion to use something positive as a catalyst, like the video or course that Sharon recommends (see Resources)
* Any newsworthy article, video, course, even a meme
* Use COVID as the catalyst. “I’m just checking in.  We used to do coffee every few months.  Wanna meet for 15 minutes and get caught up?”
* Virtual coffees and “walk’n’talks” are becoming more accepted.


* “How are you? “ is no longer just conversation filler. Ask people, how are you?

Be more patient.

* You never know what’s going on. They might be dealing with a lot. 

Follow up with a maximum of 3 requests:

* Two emails, then a phone call a week later.

Thank you notes are easy and very much appreciated.

* They’re also a great opportunity for you to emphasize the one takeaway you want to reinforce, or maybe something you forgot to say. As Sharon says, thank you notes are your second shot.

Sharon Mah-Gin

* LinkedIn –
* Executive Search Alliance –