An underrated bright side to the revolution of digital connectivity is this: we’re moving further away from networking events! They’re becoming null and void, and rightfully so. Simply gathering a bunch of people in a room with free wine is not going to magically ‘do its job’.
Establishing fruitful connections has a lot more to do with looking at the right places and having access to the right people. And no, neither remote work nor a pandemic can hamper the opportunities to do so.
Trying these carefully-picked techniques for remote networking will help you exhibit your expertise to valuable contacts, in ways that other networking resorts hardly could.
1. LinkedIn communities
LinkedIn is the leading platform for connecting with professionals. However, we generally expand these connections loosely, with the aim to become more visible.
LinkedIn can actually be utilized for specific targeting of ‘the right contacts’ with various features, making you visible the right way.
The first feature is LinkedIn communities. There are tons of communities for various industries, where participants give highly organic feedback and stay on the loop for new developments. You should do the same! Apart from the informative function, these communities are a hub of potential contacts you could use to enrich your network. Moreover, if you decide to host a new community, and primarily post your own content, this could be as an accelerator to your reputation ladder!
Another important resource within this domain is LinkedIn Learning. Whenever you enroll in a LinkedIn course, there are lists of people who like or react to the course content. This feature gives you an awesome opportunity to identify people of your niche to whom you can reach out in multiple platforms. There is also a plethora of tools that can aid you in finding emails of LinkedIn accounts. All in all, LinkedIn is generally a stellar place to get exposed to a 'filtered' network.
2. Co-working spaces or virtual offices
A live audience may have its charm in inducing conversations and getting people to talk. Reality check: remote work is outgrowing live audiences in great percentages, and not only for the function of a random office. Co-working spaces or virtual offices can cut your networking efforts in half, while multiplying your opportunities to connect with the right people. Here’s how.
Virtual offices are revolutionizing the professional domain, and are now expanding to many industries which are rightfully seeking to keep up. This applies to the manner of networking, as well. The virtual offices’ collaborative approach works quite well for conducting online events or webinars in the crème-de-la-crème of online space.
The distinctive advantage of virtual offices is their focus on increased team visibility and bonding. As a result, these tools have created special features for frictionless events, such as conference rooms and different presentation options. Virtual offices also cater to 'less generic' seminars and events.
3. Online webinars
Hosting, or even attending webinars, can be useful for interacting with similar backgrounds and assessing points of interest or conversation starters. Webinars pave the way for three factors: self-promotion, overview of your peers’ progress on the field, and especially future collaboration with participants of similar expertise.
Social media platforms and strategic engagement with webinar participants are good resources to keep in mind when trying to network in webinars. Social media platforms are especially relevant when hosting your own webinar for the following reasons:
- to acquire contacts when participants register
- to promote the speakers of your event in different channels
- to follow up with webinar content and share resources through private groups in social media
- to stimulate a more organic speaker/participant communication
Quick tip: Virtual offices are useful resources for bringing your participants closer and allowing more connectivity. You should keep in mind that people may be fatigued to overused video-conferencing tools. A new virtual environment can be refreshing and more attractive for people to participate.
As we said, the usefulness of online webinars goes in different angles. With simple tactics, you can easily host a webinar in a topic of interest, and effectively build up your presence and knowledge in your field.
These tips, combined with a little creativity and determination, can do wonders on effectively putting you out there and legitimately expanding your professional network. Have you used any of the aforementioned methods so far? How was your experience?