The days of meeting in person for networking reasons at an industry conference or dinner are long gone. In today’s environment, face-to-face meetings are as risky as walking through a minefield. Many firms on the other hand rely on networking to stay afloat. Because of the situation of the economy, networking during a pandemic has become more of a need than an option. Companies are looking to expand their virtual business network in order to stay in contact and ahead of the competition.
Networking isn’t restricted to face-to-face meetings and large conferences. There are various simple ways to develop and expand your network no matter where you are.
It may be possible to continue networking during these trying times, just that your gatherings will be varied in scope, and the location of your meetups may also change dramatically. Even if you can’t always meet someone in person, you can still make significant friendships online.
Here are 8 ways to expand your virtual business network online or offline.
Boost Your online presence
I believe that networking will even be more critical during the epidemic than it was previously. Everyone is at home staring at a communication device – Their phone!
Create a digital presence for yourself, whether it’s on Instagram, LinkedIn, or elsewhere, and start reaching out. We’ve formed the most meaningful contacts this way, rather than through in-person meetups.
Make new efforts to reach out
During a pandemic, networking is the ideal moment to reach out to others in innovative ways! Send a handwritten note, write a thoughtful piece that pertains to your customer’s problem, or pick up the phone and call someone. In addition, people will often be at home and want to respond to and debate your ideas, subjects, issues, and so on. Thus, networking is much more crucial now.
Be very specific about what you are offering
Make it very obvious what you’re offering to the marketplace, and make sure all of your digital materials are up to date and in sync. The worst-case scenario is that someone spends 30 minutes “networking” with you and still has no idea what you have to offer. Furthermore, it can be much more damaging if individuals in your network follow you around and see differences in your profiles.
Make a difference
What you do and the people you meet along the path to the top can have a considerable impact. However, success might have a diminishing return if you put all of your efforts into it. We don’t expect or prepare for success to take as long as we think it will. Nevertheless, the process may be exhausting, so shift your attention from achieving to creating value, eventually leading to the success you seek.
Creating and providing value has a three-fold payoff but it doesn’t stop there, it’s also one of the most effective methods for self-improvement and motivation. There’s nothing wrong with wanting achievement but when you want something so passionately, it’s all too good to be reminded of who you are. Trying to achieve success by any means possible can backfire. People will be able to see right through you. Unless you demonstrate to your audience, followers, or customers that you care about making a meaningful difference, you’ll lose them in the long run.
Provide value to those with whom you network, schedule recurrent meetings with a short agenda that includes a review of relevant activity since the last meeting and a list of each person’s assistance. Participate in each other’s social media networks (LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, etc). Identify qualified chances for others in your network to assist your clients.
Share what you have learned
In our working lives, sharing knowledge and inspiration is crucial. It can help others develop their perspective and strengthen professional relations. When you share your knowledge with others, it helps to enlarge and solidify your understanding. Other conversations and chances may occur simply by making that gesture, providing even more opportunity to improve.
If you’ve been in the workforce for whichever significant period, you almost certainly have some level of professional knowledge. You have a distinct set of abilities, expertise, and experience. Consider all of the ways you can utilize it to make a difference in other people’s lives. It’s a terrific service to share your knowledge with your coworkers. It allows you to think about others rather than just oneself. If you’ve been in business for a while, you’ve most likely amassed a wealth of information that you can share with others. Making a name for oneself as an industry specialist is also appealing to potential clients. People want to do business with folks that are knowledgeable in their field. Consider giving speeches at local venues or instructing at industry conventions. You might also establish a mentoring program that pairs up aspiring professionals with people in your organization.
Increase the size of your network
Networking may appear to be a significant time and cost investment with little return. However, it has several advantages for your business. For example, you can network with some business owners, gain a fresh perspective on your company, innovate, and promote your firm through word-of-mouth marketing.
Building your network also allows you to stay informed about new developments in your sector and interact with others in your town. Some may think it a waste of time, yet this simple marketing strategy is valuable and practical if done right. So, don’t you think it’s about time you tried business networking? Start growing your professional relationships today by following the recommendations above or inventing your networking strategies.
Use your imagination when it comes to the experience
Personalize the experience by being as inventive as possible. Using their social media sites, get to know the person and learn about their habits and hobbies. Send a handwritten letter, card, or invitation instead of an email. Lunch or high tea is a great time to catch up. Take a walk, play golf, or go sailing. Make a plan that will benefit both parties. Sending a bottle of wine, chocolates, or a “thank you” card as a surprise is a nice touch.
Keep in touch
Following up after an event is another crucial piece of networking advice that many people overlook. Following up allows you to interact with the new people in your network once more. Collecting a stack of business cards and letting them collect dust on your desk will not help you develop your company. Further communication with new acquaintances on the other hand may be possible.
Within a few days after your event, go out to everyone you encountered and receive contact information. Then, make a thoughtful email that highlights the content of your meeting and expresses gratitude for your time. In no time, you will see your virtual business network grow like never before!
We hope these 8 ways to expand your virtual business network will help you in your business venture, Remo is there to help you too. If you have ideas, suggestions, and comments you like to share, let us know.
For virtual networking event ideas, check out this article that lists 10 Creative Virtual Networking Ideas to Try in 2021!