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.
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.
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
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.
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
Hip user base
Moderated communities aka subreddits aka subs
Get valuable feedback
More fun and less professional
Similar difficulties with marketing
Smaller user base in some subs means a lot of questions go unanswered
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
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
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
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