Like most things, networking has changed a lot in 2020. It used to be a way in which you could easily grow your contact list, find like-minded individuals and truth be told, it was a good excuse to have a glass of vino on a Monday night.
Most networking events have adapted and found ways to bring you great content online but it may feel like something is missing. How do you make connections with people whilst listening to a speaker? How do you grow your network for the purpose in which you need it for?
During the last couple of months and in the upcoming months, networking is going to be vital for a lot of people to get new business, find new job opportunities and converse with like-minded people. So here are our top tips to navigate the virtual world:
1. Use that zoom chat!
If you’re listening to a talk via Zoom or a similar application, there’s a reason you and every other attendee are tuning in – you all find this topic interesting. This means there will hopefully be some people who you would want to connect with. Drop your name, company, email and/or LinkedIn profile and the type of people you are looking to connect with in the chat section. Copy and paste others details into a secure document as these messages will disappear after the event. Reach out to the relevant contacts.
2. Facebook groups are great
Facebook is actually an amazing hub for business if you look past all of the cooking tutorials and cat photos. If you are seeking advice or new clients then find some general business groups that would work well for you. People are always looking for accountants, copywriters and any other specialist services so start getting involved in those spaces.
3. It’s okay to be open about your needs
One upside to Covid is how transparent and human people have become on LinkedIn. There are countless posts of “I’m looking for work” or “I am great at X but I have lost a lot of clients due to Covid. If you need X services, please consider me”. People who have worked with you before are likely to comment in support of you and the post might just get into the feed of someone who needs exactly what you are offering. Everyone’s a winner!
Technology is amazing, however, it will never give you the same excitement as being in a room full of people with unknowing business opportunities, collaboration and even potential friendships. Keep pushing through in this digital world and we’ll see you at a proper networking session when we can!