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4 ways to network online in solar

Updated: Jan 31, 2021

How can I network with solar people during a quarantine?

You might be looking for a job or maybe wanting to find a mentor. If you’re an extrovert like me, you love to meet people and craving human interaction. There are many situations that may apply but established professionals always tell you to network, network, network. But how do you network during a quarantine? More specifically, how do you network in the solar industry during a quarantine?

Fear not! There are dozens of solar communities scattered across the corners of the internet. Here, I will list a few of the ones that I have visited, their membership numbers (as of date of posting), and their URLs. (This is not a complete list so please let me know if there’s another that could be helpful.) Most are easily accessed through social media platforms like Facebook and LinkedIn but there are others within solar organizations, solar-related blogs, and podcasts that you can leverage too. In subsequent posts, I will try to go more in-depth into these groups.

Facebook :

Pros:

  • It’s really easy to get in, apply for membership if it’s private, and meet people.

  • It’s a format that most people are already familiar with so it’s not hard to use or understand.

  • There are dozens of solar-related groups with the “solar” keyword alone.

  • Groups exist for all ranges of the solar market from DIY to geeking out over inverters.

  • Groups are mediated and have rules about respectful interactions and spamming.

  • Membership in a group allows posts from it into your feed.

Cons:

  • You don’t really know who the experts are and who the trolls are. Usually you can tell but, without prior solar knowledge, it’s not always easy.

  • The feed is addictive. It’s just like normal facebook and you can spend hours scrolling away looking at solar porn.

  • Groups have rules and it’s sometimes difficult to get your company’s name into conversations without getting in trouble/banned.

Some example groups:

Solarpreneurs | Solar Sales & Lead Generation Strategies | 2.1k Members

Solar installers | self-explanatory. Public group | 4.2k Members

Marketing For Solar Installers and Consultants | Share and discuss marketing ideas. A private group| 827 members

Everything Solar and more | everything solar and renewable energy. A private group | 17.5k members

INVERTER & SOLAR MARKET | Product discussions for solar & inverters. A private group | 21k members

Solar Energy Network | General discussion for solar energy and thermal pros. A public group | 23k members

𝗔𝗺𝗲𝗿𝗶𝗰𝗮𝗻 𝗦𝗼𝗹𝗮𝗿 𝗙𝗮𝗿𝗺𝘀-𝗨𝗦𝗔 | Solar jobs. A private group | 218 members


LinkedIn :

Pros:

  • On a platform designed for professional networking.

  • Much larger group memberships and access to broader range of knowledge.

  • Easy to market a brand.

  • Easy to research the professional networks of participants.

  • Membership in a group allows posts to appear in your feed.

  • Groups are moderated.

Cons:

  • The large membership makes it feel like you can get lost in the group.

  • Posts from different countries can be confusing with differing laws and electrical requirements.

Solar Energy Professionals - PV & Thermal | 113,110 members

Solar Energy Network | 151,799 members

Solar Energy Professionals & Consultants | 59,881 members


Reddit :

Pros:

  • Hip user base

  • Moderated communities aka subreddits aka subs

  • Get valuable feedback

  • More fun and less professional

Cons:

  • Similar difficulties with marketing

  • Smaller user base in some subs means a lot of questions go unanswered

  • Trolls

r/solarinstallers | 18 Members

r/solar | 54.7k Members

r/TheBusinessOfSolar | To discuss the actual business of solar | 8 members

r/RenewableEnergy | 74.1k members

r/SolarEnergy | 14k members


EnergyCentral :

Pros:

  • Big-picture types of discussions i.e., what’s the market doing as a whole

  • Consolidates thought and issues from the entire energy industry

  • Can break off into more focused groups i.e., renewables/clean energy, Oil & Gas, Utilities, Generation, etc.

  • The group recognizes Experts and you can specifically ask them questions outside of the other community groups

  • Can apply to become a recognized expert

  • Select group of users but still a sizeable user base

Cons:

  • Have to be approved to become a member of EnergyCentral.com

  • Solar discussions happen as part of larger groups like Clean Power or Generation, not as its own distinct group

Clean Power Professionals Group | This special interest group is for professionals to connect and discuss all types of carbon-free power alternatives, including nuclear, renewable, tidal and more. | 22,287 members

Generation Professionals Group | The Generation Professionals Group is for utility professionals who work in biomass, coal, gas/oil, hydro, natural gas, or nuclear power generation fields. | 9,262 members

Grid Professionals Group | The Grid Professionals Group covers electric current from its transmission step down to each customer's home. | 957 members



solarnetworkingsolar industrysocial mediasolar networkingmaking connectionscollaboratecollaborationsolar installersolar surveysurveymeetmeetingvirtual coffeelinkedinfacebooksolar blogsblogging

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