How to Mesh In-Person and Online Networking

Tips for building your professional network in the digital era.

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Bring your Twitter connections offline. Take online relationships a step further by making the effort to meet your Twitter friends in person. If you connect with someone who lives near you, suggest a one-on-one over coffee or brunch to discuss your common interests. A contact who has met you in person is more likely to go out of their way to recommend you for opportunities, Glickman says. "[Meeting in person creates] a whole new level of intimacy, in the sense that you feel like you really know someone and you'd be willing to go out on a limb and do them a favor."

[See How to Position Yourself to Change Careers.]

Ask how you can help. "[When networking,] our first instinct as human beings is to think, what's in it for me? But we have to turn the tables and think, what it's in it for them?" says Laura Labovich, a career strategist who lives in Washington, D.C. One great way to help a contact—which may make them inclined to return the favor down the road—is to introduce them to someone you know who has influence in their field, needs their skills, or knows someone who does. Even if you first got to know each other in person, it's often easy to offer an introduction or another favor online.