Broaden your network by connecting with other young professionals during our virtual networking session.
6 Tips to Network Successfully (Virtually)
Original article: 10 Tips for the Best Darn Pandemic-driven Virtual Networking
1. Introduce Yourself and Reach Out to Others
Most of our virtual networking events will begin with an icebreaker or chat as we wait for people to join. Many participants will answer the question the host asks but few try to engage with one another during this time.
If someone shares something that’s of interest to you, feel free to comment on this. You may not be able to have an entire conversation around the topic but you can certainly make someone feel good by listening and interacting with them.
2. Prepare Your Intro
Every virtual event has an introduction moment. You can spend the first few minutes of the networking event trying to think of what you’re going to write or you can come up with it ahead of time and simply copy and paste it when asked to introduce yourself. The benefit to preparing it ahead of time is that you can perfect you’re messaging so that you say exactly what you want to and don’t succumb to the pressure of trying to think of something on the spot.
It also makes you more present for others who are sharing at the same time. If you were trying to come up with something at that moment your focus most likely will be on your own words when it should be on other people for you to have the most effective networking time.
3. Get Contact Information
Building on the previous idea, since you will be interacting in a large group–and not one-on-one–it will most likely be impossible for you to solidify the type of relationship you were looking for that will lead you to attain your goal during the virtual meeting. That’s why you want to get contact information afterward.
Most virtual networking meetings will ask participants to share their contact information. If you have prepared and know who it is that you want to connect with, you can make sure you get that contact information before the end of the call. In some situations, you may be able to replay the call or access it after it’s live. If the content will be available later, we’ll tell you where you can find it.
4. Bring the Positive Attitude
Most of us are feeling scared, annoyed, and worried about the future. Even if you don’t take the health threat seriously, the threat to business is one that weighs heavily on all of our minds. It’s easy for a virtual networking event to turn into a giant convention of Eeyores.
The con to this happening is that while we may all have something to say about it, we won’t get off the call feeling better. We’ll shut our laptop or turn off our phone and feel like we just watched the evening news.
People don’t need that right now.
Positivity is contagious. People will be drawn to it. Bring a positive attitude. If you’re able to share some of your coping mechanisms or best practices for reducing stress. Tell participants something that you found inspiring, share some good news, or ask a question that has a positive spin like “what is the thing you’re most proud of that you’ve done during the virus?”. Then sit back and let others share the things they enjoy. Everyone will leave the call feeling better and if they attribute that feeling to you, that’s amazing.
5. Share Your Specials
When you’re invited to do so, make sure you share your business specials. if you have changed your practices in any way to better serve your customers, share those as well. You can also offer something special to only those people on the call. That will create a VIP feeling among them.
6. Connect People
If someone voices a need during the call and you know someone who can help meet that need or provide a solution, connect those people. Being helpful is incredibly important right now and will make people think of you when there’s something you can assist with.
If you’re planning on participating in a virtual networking event, it’s important you take it seriously. While many of us see these virtual events as relationship life rafts right now, serious business connections can be built. You can have fun, be positive and still grow your business. You just want to keep these things in mind.