Networking feels like a word from 1994 where a bunch of business professionals walk around shaking hands, passing out their cards, and making small talk. There must be a different word we can use that doesn't imply THAT!
Although it's not 1994 anymore, networking is still important in business, it has just changed A LOT! It basically means relationships between people who help support each other in business. I like to call them business friends, or just friends :)
Whether you network to grow your own business, or to help others grow theirs, making business friends is fun! One way to make business friends is on Instagram. I've met some absolutely amazing entrepreneurs on Instagram, one of whom is now a penpal (we send each other fun stickers and things in the mail!). She lives in a different country than me and we've never met in person, but we support each other by talking about where we feel stuck in businesses, how and where we market our businesses, and celebrate our wins together.
Modern networking isn't just about making more money. It's about building supportive relationships that help you to create a business you love. One way to build these relationships is on Instagram.
Follow hashtags that are in alignment with you and your business. For example: #consciousentrepreneur. That way you're likely to discover like-minded people in your feed.
Follow people who you feel are in alignment with your way of being. In other words, people who offer a complementary service to yours, or seem to have the same or similar niche to you, or maybe they offer a product or service that you find interesting or exciting.
Engage with their content, begin to nurture your relationship with them by genuinely commenting on their posts and bringing yourself into their awareness.
Reach out to them via DM and ask if they'd be interested in Zooming with you so that you can learn more about what they offer.
Continue to nurture your relationship by staying connected via Instagram and reaching out for a Zoom call when you want to reconnect face-to-face.
You never know what will come of these relationships. Sometimes it's a friendship, sometimes it's a business expert who can offer you advice, sometimes it's referrals. When you let go of the outcome and trust that these people are coming into your life for a reason out of your control, you might be surprised at who shows up in your feed.