Networking and getting your brand out there for people to see can be hard even in a “normal” world, but now that everything is done remotely, connecting with others brings on a whole new set of challenges. It makes us appreciate the easy connectivity we had with people before this sudden change. It’s time to admit that the world as we knew it might not be a reality anytime soon; this pandemic has forced us in one way or another to capitalize on out of the box ways to interact with one another. We have had plenty of time to adapt to the new normal in our personal lives; now, it’s time to extend those same changes to help us stay in touch and forge relationships with potential clients and possible business partners. Networking can be a daunting task all by itself. Adding the stress of not being able to do it in person adds another level of preparedness that you need to be ready for it, your brand is to continue striving during this unprecedented time. There are several ways to accomplish this task, and here are a few key pointers to help you out.
Cultivate Good Working Relationships
Always remember that networking is a two-way street, and you don’t want to the known as the person who only reaches out when they need something. People will pick up on this quickly, and it causes them to withdraw from you. One important key to effective networking is being there for others when times are good, so you can lean on them when times are bad; this starts with building great working relationships. Sometimes you have to remind yourself that networking and connections are not about sales; you don’t have to convince people why they need you. Networking works on a mutual platform, so rather than focusing on what people can do for you, consider what you can do for them. Ask yourself: Why would this person want to connect with me? What can I offer them? Where can I support them in exchange for their possible support at another time? Approaching connections from this angle will set you apart from the others who are just looking out for themselves.
Learn from others
Networking and connecting virtually is different for everyone, and some of the in-person techniques we have used in the past may not work as well in this setting. Put in the time and effort to think about how the change of venue can impact your approach. Consider attending other virtual networking events to see how it is done. Pay attention to things that keep people engaged, and those cause people to lose energy. Take notes about how people interact with others and the types of conversations that tend to take precedence over others. Record all the ideas that come to your mind during that time, and be sure to read the reviews of the events to gauge what people thought went well and things that were not present that could have made the event better. Gathering all of this information can take some time and a lot of effort, but when it is time to plan your networking event, you will address the needs of others that the previous events may not have been able to accomplish.
Master your virtual platforms
When planning a virtual networking event, you want to be sure that you are making good use of everything your cyber platform offers. There are several platforms out there that were created specifically for times like this, and they have expanded their features to accommodate the growing need for them. While planning your virtual connection, consider how you would want it to look and the best way to present it. There are options such as recorded sessions that can be sent to participants to review or re-watch later. There are ways for you and your guest to share the computer screens so that people can see what you are referencing rather than just hearing about it. Some platforms even have the option to create separate “break-out” rooms so you can differentiate the experience for the groups that have varying needs. Regardless of what you are trying to get out of the session, make sure you familiarize yourself with the tools to ensure the event is as engaging as possible.
Has this blog helped you with networking and connecting in a virtual world? Connect with us today at firstname.lastname@example.org and let us know how we can help!