According to a recent global survey completed by LinkedIn, almost 80% of professionals see networking as integral to a successful career. Since the occurrence of COVID-19, the way in which businesses have had to transform their working environment has meant traditional forms of networking are no longer possible. Given these changes to the way in which business is now carried out, we have compiled some of our best tips to help you navigate this new remote networking format to ensure you get the most from it.
Essentials in Successful Remote Networking
1. Maintain a polished online presence – this is your personal brand, and how potential connections see you. It is important to ensure that your business profiles are professional and up to date, whether it be your business website, LinkedIn profile or even your social media presence.
2. Invest your time wisely and focus on connecting with the right people – online networking gives you access to a greater pool of potential contacts. By being more selective and critical you increase your chances of finding the perfect people to connect with.
3. Find your point of difference – most likely, the person you are reaching out to already has a surplus of other professionals contending for their attention, so it is imperative you stand out. Work out how to market yourself and build a personal brand that is both original and authentic to grab that person’s attention.
4. Find a personal connection, some common ground or shared experience – this gives you credibility and can provide a great opener to start a conversation with a potential contact and allows the person to relate to and with you.
5. Act and communicate with intention and authenticity – be open and authentic in sharing your intentions and tell people specifically why you want to connect with them and how you could be of service to them.
6. Be generous – remember that long-lasting and profitable business relationships require both give and take. When connecting with a new person, begin by asking how you can help them and expressing that you value their time and their work. From there you can ask them for what you want from the connection.
7. Follow up – remember to follow up with the people in your network and maintain communication and interaction. This may be as simple as sharing their LinkedIn posts or sending the occasional message but can play a huge role in ensuring the maintenance and growth of your network. It’s important to remind yourself that good quality relationships take time and the most successful ones are done with trust and respect.
Although networking can be intimidating at times, it is an integral part of the business world. Having the right connections can dramatically grow your career and/or business. As most of us are still working from home, it is just as important (and possibly even more so!) to engage in networking to grow your personal brand – you just have to approach it a little differently.