In the past, we’ve talked about network effects, and how they influence the way your chances of success. We’ve also discussed the importance of being and acting online, and how to make sure that you rock your COVID-19 comeback.
Therefore, it is natural that now we want to expand a bit on what networks you can enter and ease into, while the world remains locked down.
Our criteria? You can learn more about network effects on our dedicated piece (linked above), but, basically, we want to point you towards networks that have expanding value, can be accessed entirely online, and that will only make you professional and personally stronger post-pandemic.
The list goes as follows:
#1: Learning and perfecting languages.
There are 400 million English speakers in the world. Combining it with others helps you access a huge percentage of the population.
We don’t usually think about languages as networks, but that’s precisely what they are. They are, in fact, one of the oldest forms of networks, since they directly allow us to access people and information. So, the greatest mistake you could make is not learning a second, third, or any more languages.
The use of a language, however, only gets better as you progress and perfect them. Suddenly, you can speak to more people, understand more complicated information, or even use your skill professionally. If you’re reading this and English is your second language, you’re probably highly competent in two languages… so don’t miss out on your chance to perfect the skill and reap the rewards!
#2: Internet content creation.
Creating content for the Internet is not just a matter of making money or lifting your ego, although it can be tremendously satisfying for both things.
Many, many accumulating network effects join forces when you’re an Internet content creator. For starters:
- You get to meet and collaborate with other creators, which creates a positive network around you.
- You get to build an audience that you can later leverage, and that can bring endless opportunities.
- You get to learn the skills needed to promote, create, and interact online.
Which takes us to…
#3: The public speaking world leader, Toastmasters.
We cannot highlight enough the importance of speaking and communicating well, whether you plan on being a TED star, a podcaster, Youtuber, or just want to do better at your job.
Public speaking is a skill that most people are bad or unconfident at, and that takes relatively low effort to improve to an acceptable (or higher point). And, let’s face it, if you think it will take you a lot of energy, you probably need to get started at it.
Toastmasters is an international organisation that’s based around helping individuals worldwide get better at public speaking. They have online and in-person clubs in several languages in a multitude of cities worldwide, so if you live in a big city, there’s probably a local club currently doing online sessions due to COVID-19.
So, where’s the network effect? In these clubs (particularly in in-person meetings) you’ll find local politicians, aspiring entrepreneurs, individuals that want to be more social, advance their careers, or get started as communicators.
Can you imagine a more productive environment to be?
#4: Professional networks, networking events, and conventions.
Networking is a seemingly simple thing that most people do wrong. In these events (all of which are still happening, but online, right now), people often try to land and close deals straightaway, giving a needy and pushy first impression.
Treat the people you meet as lottery tickets: Befriend them, get to know them, make sure they get to know you and stay in touch. Make sure you get them business or help them in some way if you can. Every opportunity starts with someone you know.
It also goes without saying that, if you are not active in LinkedIn right now, there are many benefits to it.
#5: Joining and participating in online communities.
Facebook’s greatest bets are becoming the group capital of the world.
There is a reason Facebook is going hard on groups right now: Nowadays, they’re probably the most useful feature they have.
The Internet is full of wonderful subcommunities around every single topic in existence. You know where we’re going with this; this is the culmination of all the four previous points. Join these communities, befriend them, be useful for them.
They’ll reward you, handsomely. And, just as it happens with network effects, once new people enter these communities because of all the work you’ve done to make them great, they’ll be a valuable part of your chain.
So is the value of networks!