The 12 Best Networking Apps to Make Professional Contacts

The 12 Best Networking Apps to Make Professional Contacts

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The Creme de la Creme of Professional Networking, LinkedIn

You guessed it, LinkedIn. It might be the oldest on this list but it's also the biggest with 800+ million users.  Also, the professional networking juggernaut has made quite a few changes to the platform including better analytics tools (so you can see who's peeking at your posts), an overall sleeker interface, and even name pronunciation 

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The Creme de la Creme of Professional Networking, LinkedIn

(which is a dream come true for anyone with a difficult name). If you’ve neglected your LinkedIn profile thinking it’s useless, we highly recommend you rethink that.  Our online course, The LinkedIn Lab, can show you how to optimize your profile for recruiters, networking, and even business outreach, thanks to a little something called keywords.

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The Creme de la Creme of Professional Networking, LinkedIn

Add keywords to your headline, summary, and description. Start sharing links to your latest work. Actively add people to your online network that you’ve met in real life and use a personalized message when you do so. As you start to expand your connections and showcase your professional brand in a more optimized way, you can 

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The Creme de la Creme of Professional Networking, LinkedIn

take the networking up a notch by writing blog posts, having informational interviews with cold contacts, applying for jobs, and more. You’ll be pleasantly surprised by how many genuine connections you could make and new gigs you could land.

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The "Tinder" for Business Networking: Shapr

That's right, they even left off the "e" to remind you that this is seriously just like Tinder. JK, mostly. Use Shapr to meet inspiring professionals. Their machine-learning algorithm suggests 15 relevant people for you to "meet" each day. How you swipe determines the rest. You can even filter your networking wants and needs 

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The "Tinder" for Business Networking: Shapr

through your immediate needs like finding a new job, making new friends, hiring talent, or even finding a mentor. Shapr also recommends other users to you that they think would be a good match.

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3. For Digital Networking Events, Bizzabo

Conferences and events often lead to exhaustion, even when they're digitally hosted and happening largely from your home office. That's where Bizzabo comes into play. If you're hosting an event,  the app will allow you to create an engaging and consistent brand experience within the app for attendees. Bizzabo allows you to create, promote, and

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3. For Digital Networking Events, Bizzabo

sell tickets for events, you can also customize every aspect of the app, from the login screen to the fonts, colors, and images. For attendees, you can use the app to create your own attendee profile and view the profiles of others attending the event, private messaging, social media integration, and much more. This app allows you to 

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3. For Digital Networking Events, Bizzabo

virtually introduce yourself to speakers, fellow attendees, and sponsors through in-app messaging. Bizzabo also allows you to schedule a time to meet in person. Instead of leaving an event discouraged, you can now ensure you reach out to everyone available, increasing your odds of finding a solid contact.

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The Actual Bumble for Biz, Bumble Bizz

Bumble is a dating app built with women in mind. So it only makes complete and total sense that Bumble Bizz, a separate section of the dating app, would be created that focuses on making professional connections.  Bumble Bizz works exactly the same as the dating section, but you show off your work experience and professional 

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The Actual Bumble for Biz, Bumble Bizz

goals. Just like the rest of the app, men can't message women first — women make the first move. To use it, upload photos, fill out your bio, and start swiping. You’ll only be matched with people in your area.

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The Meet Anyone For Any Reason, Meetup

Meetup is a social media platform for hosting and organizing in-person and virtual activities, gatherings, and events for people and communities of similar interests, hobbies, and professions. You can find a Meetup group for pretty much anything—from hiking to visiting museums in your city to professional 

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The Meet Anyone For Any Reason, Meetup

networking or creative outlets. Get started by creating a profile and from there, find a Meetup that matches your interest. Some Meetup events do have a fee to participate, but for the most part Meetup groups and events tend to be free. You can also create your own Meetup group, and draw from a community of millions by 

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The Meet Anyone For Any Reason, Meetup

subscribing to Meetup Pro which is $30 per group per month billed every six months or $35 per group per month billed month to month.

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The Club for Audio-Only, Clubhouse

Clubhouse is a new type of social network based on voice—where people around the world come together to talk, listen and learn from each other in real-time.  After being an invite-only platform at first, the social-audio app Clubhouse is now open to the public. The beta version of the application was introduced in March 2020, 

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The Club for Audio-Only, Clubhouse

and access was only given to users who were invited to use the app. Users can drop into your favorite rooms while you’re commuting, walking your dog or running in the park. Raise your hand if you’d like to chime in or host your own room. You can “ping” anyone in the room as long as you’re also following them. It's a bit like being on

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The Club for Audio-Only, Clubhouse

a semipublic Zoom call with all the cameras turned off, occasionally struggling to keep track of who is talking.

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The App for Workplace Transparency + Mentorship, Fishbowl

Fishbowl aims to get honest conversations going between professionals within the same industry.  You can ask about salary expectations, coping with Covid work adjustments, or resolving workplace conflicts and get honest advice from anyone from your peers to CEOs to industry experts. Upon signing up, you do have to verify 

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The App for Workplace Transparency + Mentorship, Fishbowl

you’re a professional either via a work email address or your LinkedIn account. And since it launched, Fishbowl has expanded past its user base in the consulting, accounting, and advertising industries. Anyone can use the app for free and join a "bowl" or community. Fishbowl also offers chats with industry leaders through Fishbowl 

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The App for Workplace Transparency + Mentorship, Fishbowl

Live, their audio chat feature, or Fishbowl Q&As, text-based discussions.

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The Messaging Platform For Professionals: Guild

Guild describes itself as "easy to use, ad-free, high quality, purpose-built for professional use. Use Guild to bring professionals together to connect, communicate and collaborate." Really what they are is a messaging platform, similar to WhatsApp, but Guild claims to have more security and privacy features than WhatsApp. 

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The Messaging Platform For Professionals: Guild

Here are some of their standards: User experience: simple, elegant design; no adverts; mobile-first; service and support; custom branding Professional conduct: moderation features; professional profiles so users are `present` and accountable; audit trail of conversations Data protection: no personal data to third parties; no ads; 

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The Messaging Platform For Professionals: Guild

privacy by design; GDPR compliance; you control your data Another benefit of Guild is the engagement. Emails get lost. Social media gets too noisy. Guild uses the immediacy and intimacy of messaging but to engage in a professional way and they have some impressive stats to back this up. Once inside Guild, you can find 

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The Messaging Platform For Professionals: Guild

new communities to join, direct message contacts, and start your own group.

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The Event Organizer's Go-To, Eventbrite

Eventbrite brings people together through live experiences. Discover events that match your passions, or create your own with online ticketing tools. There's probably no better event management tool than Eventbrite. From music festivals to career fairs, you can find a wide variety of events—both in-person and online—

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The Event Organizer's Go-To, Eventbrite

to browse. And if your favorite brand is hosting an event, they're probably using Eventbrite to help manage it. Eventbrite organizers can charge for tickets or offer them for free but the registration makes it easy to turn attendees into clients, customers, friends, and your professional network. If you're just getting started with networking or have 

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The Event Organizer's Go-To, Eventbrite

moved somewhere new, Eventbrite is a great place to start.

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Become An Insider At Any Company With Blind

Blind is an anonymous community app for the workplace. Blind's vision in creating this space was to break down professional barriers and hierarchy. If you ever wanted a safe place to talk about what really happens at a company behind closed doors, Blind is it. Blind promises to keep your identity anonymous and they don't

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Become An Insider At Any Company With Blind

even send a confirmation email after you sign up—this means there's no proof that you've joined. However, in order to join, you do need to use your work email so they can verify you work for a real organization. We know this sounds tricky when the app was built around remaining anonymous, but there’s no need to worry about being 

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Become An Insider At Any Company With Blind

outed. Blind’s FAQ states: “Emails are one-way hashed, salted, and encrypted. Accounts are stored on a separate server from hashed email addresses. This means that your activity will never be connected to your email. Your name will not even be connected to your account since we never ask for this information. In short, you will be anonymous, even to our 

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Become An Insider At Any Company With Blind

team members.” With this, you can feel confident to speak more honestly. Topics might include salary transparency, giving insiders a real glimpse into the company's culture, or advice on navigating tough conversations with your boss.  No taboo topic is off-limits. Blind has company reviews from former and current employees, as well as, job postings.

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The Oldie But Still Goodie: Facebook Groups

Share ideas, ask questions, and get feedback from like-minded people right on your own Facebook account with Facebook Groups.  Facebook groups can be started by any business or individual and we've joined them for a variety of reasons—from personal interest, local mom groups, and business networking.

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The Oldie But Still Goodie: Facebook Groups

Though it’s not marketed as a networking tool, Facebook Groups have helped people land new jobs, find mentors, and get valuable business advice.  Almost everyone has Facebook, and using its search feature, you can easily find a group based on virtually any interest. Most groups are free to join but you might need to request to 

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The Oldie But Still Goodie: Facebook Groups

join. Entry to a Facebook Group might also be included in a paid product.

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A Club You'll Actually Want To Join: Lunchclub

Lunchclub is an AI super-connector that makes introductions for 1:1 video meetings to advance your career. When you join Lunchclub, you tell the app a bit about yourself and pick two time slots that week when you’re available to meet someone virtually. Then, its AI will match you with someone for a one-on-one 

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A Club You'll Actually Want To Join: Lunchclub

video chat at one of your pre-selected times. What we really love about this app besides its ease of use and convenience of online video meetings, is that it learns who is the best fit for you by showing you potential profiles and asking you which ones are relevant to you.  Then, each week, you tell Lunchclub if you’d like to make a new connection. It’ll email 

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A Club You'll Actually Want To Join: Lunchclub

you when you’ve got matches. Lunchclub is a great way to always be networking but spending less of your own personal time finding people to connect with.

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