Stop Committing Random Acts of [Online] Networking

By May 8, 2019May 9th, 2019No Comments
J. Kelly Hoey - Build Your Dream Network

A Kelly’ism came up (again) during a podcast interview – namely, my “stop committing random acts of networking”.  As I lay out inBuild Your Dream Network:

Just as hope is not a strategy, random outreach is not an effective approach to problem solving, and at its core networking really is about seeking a solution to a problem or challenge you’re facing.

So, what’s random in networking? NOT having an understanding of the purpose or reason behind doing something – such as attending an event or meetup or joining a club or association. Random (i.e. lacking in thought, deliberation, diligence) is an uncomfortable time waste IMHO. 

Who needs anxiety causing clutter on their calendar or to-do list?

Which brings me to networking online.

No, not posting online or creating a personal brand online, rather, WHY are you bothering to network with other people in the “internets”.  It is – or could be – one piece of your relationship building toolkit that, well, you haven’t considered as such. So let’s fix that with three simple questions. 

Why Are You Networking Online?

Have you ever asked yourself this question? Why are you networking online? Do you have an answer?


  • Your professional reputation may be defined for you unless you define it with a digital footprint.
  • Your clients and customers are hanging out in the digital watering hole.

What Do You Want To Be Known For?

If you are online, what’s online you all about?


  • Does your current expertise, product, ambition standout from all of your other accomplishments? I
  • s it clear what you want to be known or called upon for?
  • AND (most importantly) does your online profile ALIGN with your offline personality?  

Where And How Are You Networking Online?

Platforms are made of people. Not users. Not followers. But people. Living, breathing, complicated, messy, delightful and aggravating people. Behave online with that in mind  – not metrics or marketing outcomes – because just being a human is valuable ROI. 

J. Kelly Hoey

J. Kelly Hoey

Kelly Hoey is the author of Build Your Dream Network (January 2017 / Tarcher Perigee). She has been lauded from Forbes (“1 of 5 Women Changing the World of VC/Entrepreneurship”) to Fast Company (“1 of the 25 Smartest Women On Twitter”) to Business Insider (“1 of the 100 Most Influential Tech Women On Twitter”) and Inc. (1 of “10 Most Well-Connected People in New York City's Startup Scene”). Empowering A Billion Women By 2020 included her on their list of the “100 Most Influential Global Leaders Empowering Women Worldwide”. Not bad for a former corporate lawyer. She’s a limited partner in two emerging tech funds (Laconia Capital Group and Lattice Ventures) and can frequently be found on Twitter @jkhoey.