My Personal Networking Plan for 2021

My Personal Networking Plan for 2021

Photo from Unsplash

In the new year, I want to launch my own social media business. So networking will and must be a big part of my marketing strategy in the next few months.

In anticipation of that I have already joined local entrepreneur Facebook groups where I am going to put my focus on in the next few months.

Especially now that we are facing Covid-19, my networking will be mostly online in the next few months. I am going to try my best to network in person as well, but since I’m immune-compromised I have to extra careful.

I plan to be more present in the (local) Facebook groups that I mentioned, to introduce myself and my business and to comment, ask questions and to answer questions. I want to give more to those groups than I want to take. And I plan on building relationships with some of the people in those groups and I hope to get some meaningful connections and to also further my business through that.

What options can you recommend for online networking? Let me know in the comments.

COM0014- Blog #4; B2C social media platforms

Canva - null-2According to, “The term business-to-consumer (B2C) refers to the process of selling products and services directly between consumers who are the end-users of its products or services. Most companies that sell directly to consumers can be referred to as B2C companies. 

B2C became immensely popular during the dotcom boom of the late 1990s when it was mainly used to refer to online retailers who sold products and services to consumers through the Internet”  

Canva - Person Shopping Online Using a CellphoneIn this ERA of Digital world, many consumers prefer to shop online vs. going through traditional mall shopping. Do you buy products online? If so, why? Is it because it is cheaper, convenient or any other reason? How do you know about special promotions?  

Companies that rely honline shopping 2eavily on B2C model need to maintain a healthy relationship with their customers. With invention of social media platforms, it has become much easier for companies to connect with their customers and gently remind them about promotions and new products. How many times have you seen pop up ads on these social media platforms? I bet you will answer, “many times! 

Canva - nullOne company that stands out to me is Air Canada. I highly believe that they are connecting and targeting their audience well. They are regularly monitoring their social media platforms and building trust by responding in a timely fashion. They are beautifully showcasing their destinations, airplanes, food and experiences of other travelers on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. They also use these platforms for telling their audience about special promotions to various destinations. At times, on these platforms they also showcase their employees- flight attendants and pilots and ground staff. 

From a personal point of view, I have had great interactions on Social media platforms with Air Canada. I remember once I was checking into a flight and I was flying business class from Ottawa Airport. The check-in agent was not friendly nor was aware of perks of flying business class as she was replacing someone who went on break. I tweeted Air Canada while agent was checking me with my frustration and disappointment and while I made to security in less than 5 minutes, I had a reply from Air Canada. On other occasion, I have also got hold of someone faster on social media than being on hold for over 30 minutes. I think Air Canada has been maintaining their social media platforms well and many other organizations should learn them now. Have you ever had an experience with Air Canada through Social Media? If so, were you satisfied? 

Canva - null-3


(Source of photos:

Pins? Boards? What is Pinterest?

What is Pinterest?

Pinterest was established in March 2010 and co-founded by Ben Sibermann, Evan Sharp and Paul Sciarra. (About Pinterest) These three gentlemen created an online social network that allows people to create visual social bookmarks through photos and videos that can belong to the user or others. They also have a free downloadable app that is available iOS and Android users. Now that we know who and when Pinterest was created, my next question is how do we use Pinterest?


To better understand Pinterest, perhaps we need to learn how to speak the Pinterest language. Pin, Re-Pin, and Pinboards, What does it all mean? Let us break it down.

Pin (or as I like to call #Pinning) – A pin is when you share a bookmark from the internet to your Pinterest account.

Re-Pin – Think of it like a ReTweet on Twitter. You’re basically re-sharing someone else’s Pin.

Pinboards – Think of a physical cork board where you can put up photos and ideas with thumbtacks to “Pin” them onto your board. These are the categories you create online help you organize your ideas or interests.

Sources: What is Pinterest

How Users are #Pinning

My cousin used to sit me down in front of the computer and click aimlessly on the internet to show me ideas for her wedding. I understood her concept and colour theme, but she was overloading my brain and I couldn’t keep up with all the websites. I told her to copy and paste the links to an email and send them to me so I could have a better look to give her feedback on what I thought. Then, my cousin discovered Pinterest and made me join it so she could share her visual wedding board with me. This helped me give my cousin feedback faster to help her organize her wedding. What’s cool about Pinterest is that they give you the option to make collaborative boards. This allows users to add their input and ideas to a board. My cousin chose not to have anyone collaborate to her wedding board because she’s a control freak and only wanted opinions.

How I use Pinterest

I’m a heavy Instagram user and post photos of my finished knitting projects. I was having a conversation with someone about knitting, and they asked if I had photos of my projects. I was trying to scroll through 3 years of photos on my phone and was having a difficult time trying to find my best work. I turned to Instagram but was having the same problem of scrolling through photos. I needed a better option to showcase my work, then I remembered I had a Pinterest account. I created a board called Munchkinz Knitting Adventures This board helped me organize all the knitting projects I’ve posted on my Instagram to be filed into one place to use as a point of reference. I also use Pinterest to help me organize recipe ideas I find online or through recipe apps, I use on my iPhone like Yummly. When I look at my Pinterest profile and reflect on my learnings about personal branding, I think I’m going to take the time to organize my boards and tailor it more with my brand on Instagram.

Are you a pinterested user? Help contribute to the conversation by sharing how you use pinterest.


twitter #Areyoupinterested

facebook Is Pinterest For you?  Find out on my latest blog post.


About Pinterest (2017), Pinterest, Retrieved by

Carr, K (n,d), Dummies, What is Pinterest, Retrieved by

Meng, A (2014, January 20) What is Pinterest, and How Does It Work? Infront, Retrieved by


COM0015: Assignment #1, Blog Post #3 – Professional Networking Now & In The Future (Tara MacDonald)

My name is Tara MacDonald. I’m a Canadian writer and communications specialist with a background in International Development. While I grew up in Canada, I’ve worked, lived and traveled around the world. These days, I’m based in Austria.

Living and working abroad presents unique networking challenges. In this post, we’ll look at some of the tools that I use to assist my professional development and online networking strategy.

Online Networking Tools

LinkedIn: With more than 350 million users, LinkedIn is the largest professional networking site in the world. It’s easy to use and basic membership is free. Creating a LinkedIn profile, joining industry sector groups and participating in discussions enables you to access knowledge, insights and opportunities at the click of a button.

Facebook: A great way to keep in touch with friends and family, Facebook is easy to use, makes uploading and sharing photos a snap, and it has built in chat and email functions. Today Facebook boasts more than 1.35 billion users. That means if Facebook were a country, it would be the most populous nation on earth!

Twitter: Networking starts with finding the right people. Twitter can help you find, monitor and interact with key influencers in the areas you’re most interested in. The search and #hashtag features allow you to zone in on local news, events and the conversations that are most relevant to you.

Skype: Wherever you are, you can use Skype for calling, video chatting, group calls, conferencing, messaging and information-sharing with others for free! You can also make Skype to landlines calls although for that you need to provide your credit card information and pay a small fee. For convenience, connect Skype to Facebook and on various mobile devices.

InterNations: Internations is the leading networking site and local guide for expats in 390 cities worldwide. Locate and connect with fellow expatriates at social or professional events and get valuable tips and advice for living, finding a job and doing business in a foreign country.

Algonquin College: Algonquin College helps you develop your professional skills by offering a wide range of online learning topics available through full- or part-time study. Use the blackboard to introduce yourself to instructors and fellow classmates and the discussion board to ask questions and share your thoughts.

Networking Strategy:

In recent months, I’ve been very busy with online classes and preparing to launch my consulting business. As a result, my activities have been confined to education-related networking, creating a listening strategy and building a list of potential clients. Next steps will include the following activities:

  1. Update networking profiles with recent photos and account information;
  2. Introduce myself to fellow classmates and invite them to connect via LinkedIn;
  3. Review networking invitations, thank contacts for endorsements and introduce myself to new contacts;
  4. Evaluate my listening, monitoring and engagement strategies for ways to improve efficiency;
  5. Further develop my consulting website and begin implementing my social media plan;
  6. Research local networking opportunities, make a list of important events and key influencers and establish a list of goals and potential outcomes for each event;
  7. Create a spreadsheet to keep track of networking contacts, events, goals, outcomes, etc.;
  8. Balance office work with outside activities, including social and networking events.

Do you have something to add?

I’d love to hear your thoughts about networking abroad.

Please comment below! 

Want to learn more?

This post was written as a requirement for COM0015: Applied Social Media in Business. If you’re interested in learning more, check out Algonquin College’s Social Media Certificate programme today!

COMM0015: Blog Post 3: Professional Networking now and in the future

As a result of several commitments in my personal life, my strategies for actively developing my professional networks have all gone dormant in the past six months.  I am still accepting requests for LinkedIn but I have not been updating my social media profiles or seeking out new contacts.  Offline, I officially stepped down from my position with my professional association board of directors in July of this year and, with the exception of writing a short article for the association in October, I have not attended any meetings or events.

As things are settling down in my personal life, I plan to revitalize my professional activities and networking efforts.  Starting in February, 2014 until December 2014, I intend to increase my professional networking in the following ways.



  • Update my profile to accurately reflect my current employment and interests
  •  Actively seek key contacts in my field and add them to my LinkIn profile.
  • Become engaged with the online conversations taking place among some of my colleagues regarding new issues and challenges in our field


  • Engage in more conversations on Twitter
  • Increase the number of people I follow who work in my professional field

In Person

  • Re-engage with my professional association as a volunteer to support them in the following ways:
  • Developing their first social media strategy
  • Organize volunteers to build and maintain their social media presence
  • Supporting them in planning the spring AGM, including an updated registration process
  • Supporting the membership sub-committee in planning several networking meet and greet events during 2014

COM0015 – Professional Networking Now and in the Future

To be honest, I do not have a specific strategy for developing my professional network online. What I try to do though is use social networks that interest me because I find if I am somewhat interested in it, I will continue to update it and check it regularly. Currently I am using Twitter and Facebook as my main social networking tools to develop my professional network. Although, these are more for personal use, I am trying to incorporate professionalism in both. This is a little difficult to do because some people that I do network with in person, do not use these tools.

untitledAt the moment, my strategy for developing my professional network in person, I find is more efficient than what I do online. I try to involve myself with social events at my work whether it be charity events or company parties/BBQ. From these events, not only do people from my work attend but other dealerships that are partnered with us are also involved. During these events I try to interact with many people, specifically individuals who I do not know like managers and owners. By doing this I try to increase my network with the help of my current managers who explain to our superiors who I am and how I am a great asset to the company. The help from my managers helps me to be noticed rather than being just another employee. Aside from work, I try to move outside my comfort zone and network with people from my church and my parent’s friends. Doing this gives me a lot of opportunities and opens many doors. I think this strategy trumps the one I do with my work because it moves away from the automotive industry and gives me a variety of networks and links to possibly better my career path. My parent’s friends always inform me of job openings within their industry or happens to know somebody that can refer me when I apply for a specific field.

11Although my online network is not as strong as my personal network, I do feel that if I apply myself and spend more time to build it, in the end it will be a lot more effective. It is much easier to communicate and get a hold of people online than in person. A lot of the time people cannot find the time to meet due to conflicting schedules. By increasing my online network, I eliminate this obstacle and people can communicate at their convenience. It is very common that people have their networks linked to their PDA devices which is also a bonus. The commitments I am making in the next 6-12 months to continue the development of my online network is signing up and using more professional social media tools. I am going to look into networks such as: LinkedIn, hoot suite, and Pinterest. I feel that these applications will help build my network, market myself, and create a portfolio of job postings.

I need to face the facts, doing what I am doing now in the automotive industry is not cutting it for me. Unless I land a better position within my current company where they pay me the big bucks to stay, I may consider it. As of this year, networking has been really important to me because I am trying to change my career path. This is why my “in person” professional networking is helping out a lot. Over the next year I plan to set up meetings with some of the people that have offered to help and assist me in career opportunities. During these meetings I hope to meet the people they network with so I can increase my professional network. This will give me a variety of contacts that I can use now or in the future. Hopefully, in turn, I can be of some assistance to them as well.

It seems appropriate to conclude this blog in one sentence, stressing the importance of networking: In today’s society, it’s not about what you know, it’s about who you know!

COM0015: Professional Networking, Now and in the Future

handshake isolated on business background

handshake isolated on business background (Photo credit: SalFalko)

Although I wouldn’t consider if to be a fully rounded strategy to networking, I do have some habits that I try and maintain. I am trying to cultivate a fairly large following on my social media. However, I am targeting those people who are local first. Real estate is generally a local market. Most people don’t ask for a realtor to refer them to another realtor where they are thinking of buying, although that would be completely possible. People who are buying residential say, “I’m buying here, I need a realtor from here.” So, the first thing to do is to network with local businesses. Although I am not a realtor, I’ll be running the social media for an entire realty brokerage, so it is important that they be connected.

Once I’ve created the first members of this network, I can interact with them via social media. For example, I’ve been interacting with local businesses by responding to their tweets, or mentioning events that they are having on our Facebook page. By creating a sense that we actually care about what is going on in the community other than what we are involved in, people are more likely to return the favour, broadening our reach. Since I am not the ‘face’ of this particular company, attending events under the banner of the brokerage is not as possible. However, for my other business, I would certainly try to attend as many local events as possible. I really enjoyed the event that I attended for credit in this course, and I now know where to look for more like it.

In the next six months to a year, I intend to post regularly on all the social media related to both my business and the realty brokerage. I will also constantly be interacting with as many local businesses as possible on social media. I will encourage the members of the brokerage to interact in person when they can, by attending local events and functions. Once I become more comfortable, perhaps I can even create webinars or tweetups for local businesses or clients.

Although social media is informative and allows you to touch a wider audience, I really believe that nothing can beat in person networking. The trust that can be built in person, face to face, is incredible. There is no substitute. Finding the people you want to network with though, is done well through social media.

COM0015 Blog Post #3 Networking=Relationship Building

I am a true believer that in order to grow you need to put yourself in situations that may not be the most comfortable or easy. Networking falls into this category for most. I do have to say that I have come along way over the past couple of years and it is in result of nothing but personally forcing myself to put myself out there, to walk up to someone that I don’t know at an event and introduce myself.  The good news is, it does get easier, especially when technology is involved.

To be truly effective in networking,  there are now two areas of focus, online and in person. Online, I have worked to build my professional networks but I have been strategic about it. I keep my Facebook profile locked down for personal use, knowing that there is some cross-over between personal and professional and keeping that in mind every time I post something. My mantra is, “is this something I would want my employer to see?” On the flip side “is this something I would want my mother to see (I have a very strict mother 🙂 ) . ” I apply this same tactic to Twitter, but use this tool mostly for professional use. I strategically search for key individuals that I would like to connect with professionally. This includes speakers of events that I am attending, other key participants as well as business and community leaders and colleagues. I utilize LinkedIn the same way, building my profile, ensuring that it’s current, providing useful information, links to my blog and making sure to strategically connect with key people. I don’t accept everyone and I don’t ask to connect to individuals without either a warm contact or introduction message. Strategy is key.

In result of my current role within my organization, I am constantly out and about at community events. This is something that I enjoy and is very strategic by both my company and me as a person. At this time in my life, I have the time to be able to be out there and connect with people. I know it won’t be that way for ever so I really do take advantage of all of the opportunities that come my way. I would say this is a strength of mine but as mentioned above, I do push myself. I will go to an event alone and I’m not going to lie, sometimes it is extremely uncomfortable. Call me crazy, but I continue to do this to myself and it has benefited me greatly. Doing your research prior to connecting with people is key so that you can break the ice with a little common ground.

There is always room for improvement, so what I plan to focus on over the next year are the following tactics:
– Double the amount of followers that I currently have on Twitter
– Attend at least one networking or industry event a month
– Continue to build presence on LinkedIn
– Dedicate more time to my blog in order to keep content current
– Once a month, sit down and have coffee with someone I would find value in connecting with

*Image care of:

COM0015 – Blog Post#1: Tool & Sources


I personally have a lot on the go for the most part. I find that I don’t have enough time in the day to do everything that needs to be done. Between work and school, friends and family, things can get a bit hectic. I am the type of person who is seen to be using their phone all the time because I find that it is a huge time saver! Being able to do just about anything on my smart phone gives me the ability to save time with applications that continue to update/improve. From emailing, social networking, news/weather and sports apps, I can stay in tune with all my interests.

Facebook is one of the many online social networks used across the world and the most popular among my friends and family. Facebook is one of my favourite social media tools because it gives me constant updates as to what everyone who is important in my life is up to, reminders of birthdays and social events. Coming from a huge family this is very important so I can keep in touch with all my family all over the world. Everything is done for me, I don’t have to input any information like I would in a calendar. For me this tool is quite easy to navigate and make changes to. The layout is simple and appealing to the eye which makes it enjoyable to use.

Instagram is another social Media tool that I enjoy using from my smartphone. Being able to follow friends and family like Facebook, gives me insight as to what goes on during their day. Especially with the newly added video option that captures 15 seconds worth of footage, so you can share priceless moments as if you were there for yourself. Big organizations use Instagram as well to promote release dates for shoes or clothes, so I follow the brands I like so I don’t miss out on any sales event. I can basically follow all the things I have interest in such as cars, different food dishes, and celebrities. Just one picture can paint 1000 words, that being said, this tool is so amazing because it keeps everything short and sweet.

Cp24 is a great application I use to be up to date with daily news. Where ever I am located, Toronto or Ottawa it will give me notifications on breaking stories so I don’t have to constantly check to see if something has happened. Weather changes so often you never know what to expect. Cp24 gives me updates of the weather on the go!

Everyone has their own definition of news now a days. News to each individual might be much more than stories that are happening around them or in different countries. It can be anything that they have interest in and haven’t heard about yet and for me, it is both. Sports to me is also news! I use the SCORE application on my phone so I can keep tabs on all my favourite sports teams when I don’t quite have time to watch a game. This also gives me notifications on signings, trades, game details, clips of game highlights and schedules.