Negosentro.com | 9 Remote Networking Tips for the New Normal | History will have a lot to say about the year 2020, no doubt about it.
We still can’t say for sure how the pandemic year that just concluded will change how work gets gone. But we do know that, for the foreseeable future at least, “work” will be very different than before.
One of the most visible changes to occur in the white-collar world is the widespread adoption of remote work. Close behind is the widespread adoption of remote networking. In both cases, the pandemic accelerated existing trends, forcing organizations and their workers to navigate hasty shifts that would otherwise have taken years to mature.
Even if there’s some reversion to the way things were after the pandemic is behind us, it wouldn’t be wise to bet against remote networking in the long term. The lines between the real world and the digital world are already quite blurry; they’ll only become more so as time passes. Why not brush up on the networking strategies you’ll need to succeed in the new normal?
- Create Public Twitter Lists and Add People You Want to Engage With
This is a not-so-subtle way to “nudge” influencers and other potentially high-value connections to pay attention to you. At least, the ones who appreciate the attention themselves. Most of the time, you’ll get a follow-back out of this tactic, if nothing else.
- Use a Custom LinkedIn URL
Your LinkedIn profile will probably be the hub for your remote networking efforts. Make it stand out with a custom public URL that’s clearly superior to the default assortment of characters. The LinkedIn profile for Paul Esterhuizen, a serial entrepreneur based in South Africa, is a good example.
- Connect on LinkedIn With Influential Peers in Your Industry
In the absolute worst-case scenario, you’ll be left with a pile of unrequited connection requests. Hardly a catastrophe. Increase your chances of success by including brief, personalized notes with each request and longer “thank you” follow-ups upon acceptance.
- Find and Participate in Twitter Chats
Find and participate in public Twitter chats for people in your area of expertise. These aren’t quite as common as in years past, but they’re still out there if you know where to look, and they’ll quickly introduce you to new audiences and contacts.
- Host a Reddit AMA (If You Can Handle It and It’s Consistent With Your Professional Brand)
It’s not as terrifying as it sounds, done correctly (but do read up on how to do a Reddit AMA before attempting). If your professional community uses Reddit, this could greatly improve your “street cred.”
- Host at Least One IG Live Event Each Month
Host one Instagram Live event each month on a specific topic of interest to your industry. Promote this event heavily on other social media channels, especially LinkedIn. Don’t be concerned if your first few events are sparsely attended; that will change as your audience grows.
- Start an Email Newsletter, But Don’t Turn It Into a Spam Factory
Some of the best email newsletters are free for smaller users, surprisingly. Set one up and get into a once-weekly production rhythm, always with a call to action (“get in touch!”) at the conclusion.
- Personally Thank Every Client and Vendor You Interact With
A personalized email thanking clients and vendors can do wonders for retention. Over time, this strategy could help establish your reputation as a trustworthy business partner and lead to positive word of mouth (a network effect if ever there was one).
- Join a Public Slack Community (And Seek Out Invitation-Only Opportunities)
Public Slack groups not directly associated with workplaces are increasingly central to remote networking efforts. Often, they function as peer support and interest groups for upwardly mobile professionals, including those looking for new job opportunities or contemplating career changes.
Who Needs Mixers Anyway?
We’re not all social butterflies. Some of us would be perfectly content never to endure an in-person networking event again.
If you’re the type who’d rather communicate with professional contacts from the safety of your home office, you’re not rushing to get back out there anytime soon. With so many of your fellow professionals feeling the same, and the white-collar world adopting remote work and remote networking with surprisingly little friction so far, you might have a while to wait.
And who knows? Maybe you’ll avoid in-person networking mixers forever.
Improving your remote networking skills will certainly increase your odds of returning to the dance floor (so to speak) before you’re ready. Now that you know what to do, it’s time to get out there — virtually speaking, that is.