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Virtually all of our networking is now online and it’s new for many people.
I’ll be focussing quite a few blogs on online and virtual networking in the coming weeks, but for now I wanted to focus on a few micro-networking opportunities that I feel are missed by many people.
My reason for outlining them, is that they are super easy to fix or implement, in order to do a little better each day in the arena of online networking.
Here Are My 7 Tips That You Can Update and Implement Today!
Have your camera on and look at the camera when you are speaking. Engage with the group.
Turning up to a networking meeting with your camera off is like turning up to a face to face networking meeting with a hoodie on and the hood up!
Whatever the platform of choice, be it Zoom, GoToMeeting, Teams or other…there is no excuse to not use your camera. Covid19 is not going away any time soon, unfortunately, and it looks like virtual networking is here to stay for the foreseeable future, so it’s time to get teched up and comfortable.
For many people, there’s an absolute discomfort in having to look at themselves all the time, but honestly – you get used to it quickly enough. Especially when your focus is connecting with the others on the call and listening to them!
2. Who Are You?
Daniel, Emer’s iPad, Jean’s iPhone, iPad, Furniture Fitting (random examples) – this is often overlooked on the virtual networking platforms. What I mean is utilising the ability to tell people who you are and what business you are in.
Each online meeting platform offers the ability to ‘rename’ yourself, so I recommend using it.
On Zoom, it’s three little dots on your picture – hover the mouse over your image and you’ll see them. On GoToMeeting, click on people, find your name, click on the arrow and do the editing there.
Put in your full name and your company name, e.g. Jean Evans – Networkjean.ie. This appears and it makes it easy for people to connect with you after the meeting or to know who to look up on Linkedin.
Don’t make it difficult for people to immediately understand who you are and to start thinking about why they might want to connect with you.
If there are a lot of people on the call, it’s unlikely you’ll get to connect with everyone, but you might hear an interesting 60 second pitch and want to know more about that person, so you need to know who you are following up with.
And don’t forget that marketing these days will tell you that people need from 12-15 touchpoints to remember you, so don’t overlook these simple opportunities to get your name and company out there into the universe.
3. Introduce Yourself
When you log on and there is a visitor, welcome them and introduce yourself.
It helps break the ice and brings the new person into the group, feel welcome and recognised. Don’t forget that they may be nervous, so help them get comfortable.
Don’t assume that if someone comes online that they are necessarily experienced. They may not know the lay of the land or feel a little overwhelmed, so it’s always good to act like a host rather than ‘just a participant’.
Put your details into the chat. Your company name, email, phone number (if appropriate) and a one liner about what you do. Virtual networkers will take down the details that interest them or save the chat with all the details, so it helps extend the connection.
By doing this, you are making it easy for people to understand why they should connect with you afterwards, but also, if someone doesn’t have time to do the follow up immediately, they can reference your details at a later stage.
5. Linkedin – Personalise Messages
This is the start of your opportunity to build a relationship. After all, that is what networking is about. It’s about building a relationship.
Social media is about being social, so spend those few extra seconds telling people why you are connecting with them and where you met them.
This will stay in your messages archive, so if you ever need to refer back and find out how or why you are connected to someone, this is invaluable.
Engage with content on social media. Have a look at where your customers are online. Different buyers and demographics will be on different platforms, so find out where your customers are hanging out. Is it Linkedin, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Whatsapp or other?
There are so many opportunities to keep yourself connected and top of mind with your network. Each little interaction is your virtual way of building the relationship and building the all important social capital.
A ‘well done’ message, a happy birthday note or sending a card or personalised note to mark an occasion, are nicely little touches to keep connected.
Other ideas might be, a thank you for the business or celebrating a number of years in business, a family occasion, an anniversary be it business related or personal.
7. Stay In Touch
Send a short email to say hello, to keep in touch and ask how the person is. Particularly in these lonely, disconcerting time it’s good to keep connected. Don’t assume that you know what someone is going through. Although we are all in this boat for the same reason (Covid19), each of our experiences are so different and unique.
You never know when a call, a text, a whats app or email might just lift someone else’s day.
Have a look at your contacts now.
Who could you say hi to that you haven’t spoken to or connected with in a while?
Keep in Contact With NetworkingJean:
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