Virtual Networking – Tips to Succeed
If you have your own business, online networking can be a great way to develop your work. Not simply due to lockdown but since technology has advanced, limiting your networking to local business events is a thing of the past. To successfully build and maintain your professional network, it’s important to take to a strategic approach online.
Networking will always be built upon many components – you meet people, talk to them and they become valuable contacts and/or clients. Turning this approach to an online, virtual setting is just as important and in some ways, can be much more successful.
In this article, we list some of our top tips to help you make the most of your networking and boost your business’ potential.
This may seem almost counterintuitive when using the internet and having the world at your fingertips. It’s almost common sense to reach beyond your immediate location, right? Not necessarily.
To be successful when virtual networking, connecting to people nearby will likely have its advantages. You’ll find that people are more likely to connect and that you’ll have a better chance at arranging a face-to-face meeting later down the line. Making sure that you have a quality network local to you will also help you to establish further quality connections with others.
Find Connections or Shared Interests
When seeking business connections, personal interests and connections are just as important. Start conversations by honing in on what you have in common, such as previous employment, clubs and volunteering. Referencing common ground will instantly help you to build rapport and encourage a person to connect with you.
Why That Person?
When you’re about to reach out to a new person, you must have a reason to do so. This goes beyond common experience or background, give the person you’re speaking to a reason to give you their valuable time.
For example, if you are a new business and you identify someone with a common background who lives locally and works within the industry, share this with them and they’ll understand why you are talking to them. They’ll very likely want to help you out, too.
Client quote / testimonial is
Top reason to choose Company
Last year we provided over xxxx policies
We are a team of xxx experts here to support you
What Do You Want?
It’s good practice in all walks of life to get to the point. This also applies when talking to a new contact. Layout what you want and are hoping to get out of this connection, in the first part of any message, as people quickly get bored. Don’t ask to ‘meet for coffee’ or anything along the lines, state as specifically as possible what you would like to learn or discuss.
Follow Up/Stay In Touch
If you have contacted someone and haven’t heard back from them after more than a week, don’t feel afraid to politely follow-up as they may have missed your email.
Don’t be afraid to send regular updates either, or congratulate them on milestones. Having a strong business connection requires just as much nurturing as a friendship. So, it’s important to maintain any connections you do have in meaningful, yet creative ways.
Pay It Forward
Networking, both online and face-to-face, is reciprocal. Help people and they will be more likely to remember you and return the favour.
Online Networking is As Important Now As Ever
Networking can be one of the most complex aspects of the professional world. There are endless techniques, tools and platforms that are useful for networking, but the most important step you can make is starting.
Build meaningful relationships over time and develop them throughout your career. Take your time to successfully network online using our listed tips above.