As businesses have become virtual, building and expanding your virtual network is the way forward to a bright and successful future. Learning how to network online and make more personal connections is the key to driving sales and furthering your career.
The pandemic has made us see so many things in personal and professional life from a different perspective. It has changed networking too. Hiring the services of a staffing agency denver alone won’t help you find a job or a potential candidate. But networking can. So here are few tips to navigate the virtual world of networking and meet new people:
1: Squeeze the Heck Out of LinkedIn
LinkedIn is the top contender when it comes to building professional relationships. If you aren’t on LinkedIn yet, create a profile today. It isn’t too late to jump onto this bandwagon.
Start following people in your industry. Build a connection. Like and comment on their posts and then slowly move into their inbox.
2: Rekindle Old Connections
It’s a good idea to find people from your professional circle. This could be old college fellows, professors, and even former colleagues. Connect with them, ask how they are doing and what they are up to these days.
Sometimes, it is all about whom you know in the corporate world. So even if you didn’t really have a great relationship with them, there is no harm in rekindling.
3: Join Facebook Groups
LinkedIn is not the only social network for building professional connections. Facebook is just as good. Okay, maybe not just as good but good enough.
Start by finding a Facebook group(s) relevant to your industry. Create a list. It doesn’t matter how small they are, write the name down. Check the description of each group and join if it resonates with you.
Most groups are only meant for networking purposes, you are not allowed to share promotional content so respect that. Connect with people. Share your experience and ask questions. Get the conversation going to discuss the ins and outs of your industry. Soon, people within that group will start recognizing you and new opportunities will emerge.
4: Consider Giving and Taking
While you are building connections and expanding your network, don’t fall into the habit of questioning “what can this connection do for me?” Networking has to be mutually beneficial to be effective.
Each network is a resource no doubt but don’t abuse them. It’s totally fine to reach out to people for career advice or other insights but never expect that they will be spending extra time to help you out.
Don’t forget to give. If you have a great piece of advice that you think is worth sharing, post it on a relevant Facebook group or your own LinkedIn profile.
5: Attend Virtual Events
Cisco’s annual report says that by 2021, video and web conferencing will account for 80% of all web traffic. It’s clear, virtual events are in for the long haul. By now, you should get used to Zoom and other popular web conferencing tools.
Look for virtual events happening in your industry and participate. So many of them are free! While you are attending, make sure you speak as well. Here are some ways to successfully engage in an online event:
- Engage with the audience in the first 60 seconds for hooking people into a conversation.
- Introduce yourself before the face-to-face call to get familiar with everyone. Just send them an email before connecting.
- When the group is large, it’s easy to disappear to the back of the class. Don’t let that happen to yourself. Get involved. Ask a question or make a relevant comment.
- Avoid all types of long monologues unless you are asked. The conversation should be a discussion, not a lecture.
6: Focus on Building a Social Proof
Being active on LinkedIn and Facebook is great. But what are you doing to tell your connections and people outside your connections that you are worth it?
Let others speak on your behalf by building social proof. Those self-centered conversations on the web don’t always work, you know. They don’t sound natural. Hence, to build credibility, start by gathering testimonials and recommendations from people who actually know your worth.
Fortunately, LinkedIn has made this so much easier. Make sure you have two recommendations for your current role and at least one for the previous one. The person who is providing a recommendation is just as important as the recommendation. If it’s from someone who is a leader in their industry, it’s social proof worth having.
Whenever you share something like a YouTube video, blog, or a simple post and people engage, always thank and acknowledge them. This will come a long way in building relationships.
I hear you, building deep connections with others online is difficult. To make it happen, put your heart and soul into it and keep interacting.
Even if things don’t seem to work right away, no problem. Consistency will pay off. Soon people will start realizing you are genuine and they will connect. Keep working.