How to Network in a Virtual World
For many, the idea of networking might mean exchanging business cards at a conference, grabbing coffee with a colleague, or introducing yourself at a cocktail hour to a C-suite executive you’d love to learn from. However, COVID-19 put a grinding halt to in-person events, causing business professionals and leaders to shift their networking attention virtually.
Luckily, networking is incredibly easy in the digital age, so business leaders can remain focused on building their professional network, developing relationships, and maintaining connections as one of their most powerful tools for career advancement.
Here are four unique benefits of networking virtually.
- Cultivate a more intimate connection.
What an incredible opportunity to meet virtually face-to-face with the other esteemed leaders in the comfort of their homes! Networking virtually adds an unparalleled sense of closeness and familiarity; gone are the glossy offices with diplomas on the wall. Now, virtual networkers see each others’ kids play gyms in the living room or their beloved dog lounging on the couch. It breeds comfort among business connections to see each other in their natural, most intimate habitats at home.
When people network virtually, they are trusting the other person to view their home, family, children, even their sleeping quarters – something they never would have shown before. This fosters a unique, intimate connection between business professionals.
- Sharpen your networking skills on social media.
As people remain at home, social media consumption and engagement continue to rise. For the professional sitting in a home office all day, it’s a unique occasion to get in front of thought leaders and peers on LinkedIn.
LinkedIn is an incredible networking tool as most leaders and well-known executives manage their own accounts, so writing an insightful comment or thought-provoking question on a post gets your name directly in front of the desired individual, allowing the opportunity to take the relationship even further with a direct message. For anyone looking for a way to drive engagement on their own Linkedin posts, check out the VelocIT Partner Program, a new networking group for business leaders and professionals looking to develop relationships with LinkedIn threads/engagement.
- Stay on the pulse of your industry.
Networking virtually has the added benefit of allowing people to learn intimate details about how other companies and brands are handling this unprecedented time. Connections are typically open about the struggles or successes of their company “going remote,” and having a 30-minute Zoom call with someone in an adjacent field might provide out-of-the-box ideas your company never would’ve thought of. Networking keeps you on the pulse of your industry, which is critical for career growth and job success.
- Network with someone you never would’ve had an opportunity to meet in person.
That coffee chat with the global leader across the globe? It was probably was not going to work out in pre-COVID days. Even though it was theoretically feasible to jet across countries and time zones, it was still difficult to meet and network with professionals from other regions. Now, meeting with someone you’ve admired from afar is way more feasible when you just have to make time zones align for an hour-long Zoom call. People now have the opportunity to interact with other leaders around the world, exchanging diverse information and ideas, keeping smart business professionals ahead of the innovation curve and on top of emerging trends.
To get started with virtual networking, contact us about joining the VelocIT Partner Program, a networking group hosting monthly virtual networking events and LinkedIn threads/engagement pods.