Many of us are still working from home and it is easy to lose sight if one of the most important aspects of business - networking. Sure, working the room as you would normally do is impossible with the current restrictions, however, all is not lost! Start networking the old-fashioned way - call up your contacts! Reaching out via the telephone and making the effort just to say hi or catch up can actually be much more effective digitally rather than in person too. You can dedicate that one on one time to each person and you can make sure you target the most worthwhile contacts only. How many of us have had to chit chat at conferences when you know you have just missed speaking to that one essential colleague or potential client who couldn’t wait any longer? Well, this problem is erased with a phone call.
Attending video-conferences is also a great way to continue to network during this period. Unlike actual real-life conferences, you will get a much wider access to so many more people. Make sure you are following people on social media that are in similar roles and that you are interested in and they will likely mention which conferences they are attending on their posts. Additionally, many e-conferences are listed on Facebook and other social platforms. It is important to do your research as you want to make sure you have the appropriate amount of knowledge about the given subject of a conference so that you can participate and be seen as credible. Scour LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter for information as you have these tools at your fingertips so be sure to make the most of them. Once you have gained information about which e-conferences you would like to join, request attendance and raise your hand and be heard. This will make you visible to individuals who may then become potential contacts and clients.
Social media platforms are in themselves, invaluable networking tools. Engaging with contacts and potential clients is vital - who isn’t on Twitter or LinkedIn? Know your market and target the most useful platform accordingly. If you are in Marketing for example, Twitter or Instagram may be the best place to start, but if you work in Finance, you may wish to go straight to LinkedIn. You may not reach the CEO of a company in this way but chances are there will be an employee who posts regularly and is willing to engage. Depending upon the platform, you will want to engage in the appropriate way. People tend to be more “themselves” on Twitter for example so perhaps a more informal approach would work best, however, LinkedIn tends to be more professional. Look to join speciality groups on your chosen platforms that have a focus on your area of business and engage in positive conversations with the people in those groups. By sharing knowledge and learning from others, over time, relationships will develop.
Another great way of networking is by blogging. Make sure you are upping your blog posts as people like to read useful content and this will strengthen relationships as well as attract new ones. Post on your website, socials and also email directly to your contacts. There are also some really useful blogging websites that you can post your content onto such as https://medium.com/