How to network, remotely
Just because meeting face-to-face is out of fashion, it doesn’t mean that we can’t forge new relationships. We just need to get creative about it.
Whether you’re a social networking butterfly or the thought of having to make small talk makes your palms sweat, there’s no denying that networking is a critical way to make new business connections and get your name out there.
If your business is guilty of not being visible and vocal, then it’s time to act. Here’s how to keep networking during Covid.
Get social media-savvy
We don’t need to tell you that LinkedIn is the social platform of choice for businesses. But are you taking full advantage of its benefits? LinkedIn is a great source of inspiration. Read our article on "How to write a stand-out LinkedIn profile" which is packed with tips on how to optimise your profile for success.
LinkedIn is also an excellent tool for connecting with contacts. If you’ve got a networking idea in mind, like hosting a webinar, you can use it to reach out to potential guests or even speakers. Observe how other brands and businesses are leveraging their social media and using it to be part of the conversation.
If you’re seeking to add new contacts to your circle, start building up connections through industry groups.
Just because we’re having to be socially distant in the real world, it doesn’t mean we should stop being social. If you’re not sure where to start with building your social media presence, let SmartPA offer advice.
Look for learning opportunities
Training courses aren’t just good for boosting your skillset. They’re also a way to meet like-minded people and share knowledge. Many providers have pivoted to virtual events and are offering a range of courses, workshops and webinars, all from the comfort of your desk.
Just like at a physical event, consider what value you can bring – and what you’re hoping to achieve by attending.
Don’t make the mistake of thinking that just because you’re in front of a screen, you should just sit back and relax – that’s no way to get the most out of it! Stay actively engaged and participate in the event by communicating effectively. You might not get as much opportunity as you would like to mingle with your fellow attendees. However you can easily reach out to the speakers after the event to see if they would be happy to arrange a call.
Make sure to shout about the events on your social channels, too.
Host your own networking event
Sure, hosting your own virtual networking event is more effort than attending someone else’s. Yet it’s a surefire way to establish yourself as a thought leader, share your knowledge, and expand your circle.
What type of event you hold is completely up to you. But make sure it’s relevant and positions your business the way you’d like it to be perceived.
In terms of attendees, a big audience may work if you’re hosting a webinar with lots of panellists. If you’re holding a workshop, you’ll want to keep the numbers low so that everyone has time and space to interact.
Getting the right balance of attendees is important, too. A mix of current clients, past clients, industry experts and hot leads might do the trick, so you’ve got a good mix of people.
Hosting a virtual event outside of work hours is the most likely way to ensure your attendees can make it. Send a calendar invite with a link to whichever video app you’ve chosen to avoid any last-minute panic when you realise no-one knows where to convene.
A casual email reminder introducing the attendees a few days before the event won’t go amiss either. Throwing an online networking event can be as easy or as complicated as you want it to be. But if you’re not sure where to start, our virtual assistants are highly experienced in organising effective events of all kinds.