Everyone has been affected one way or another by the pandemic. Now is the ideal time to make connections with current and prospect clients, vendors, and community leaders.
Remember to act with sensitivity to the difficulties most people are having, and your approach will probably be welcomed. The real goal of networking is to make a connection. The benefits come later.
Here are a few tips you can do today to network virtually during COVID-19:
- Review and update your online identity. The first step is to consider how people perceive you. It’s important to keep your online profile up to date. What do your LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram, and other social media platforms say about you?
- Make it personal. When reaching out, don’t be afraid to mention the pandemic and the effect it may be having. Ask people how they are doing, how it is affecting them, and what challenges they are facing. Ask, ‘How has the crisis been affecting you? Express kindness, sincerity, and authenticity.
- Get comfortable with the technology. It doesn’t matter what platform you use—Zoom, Google Meeting, or Facebook Rooms—Just show up. People are more patient about technology now as so many of us are working remotely.
- Realize that you have something to offer. Recognize that you have value and there are many people that need your help. It is all about helping others. Be confident and share your knowledge and skills.
- Contact people, you haven’t heard from in a while. Contacting a few people, you haven’t spoken to in a while and asking them how they are doing is a friendly gesture that they will remember and keeps you in touch.
As difficult as these times are for businesses, it’s more important than ever to stay actively engaged with your clients, prospects, and community. Fortunately, virtual networking provides us with tools to maintain current connections, and even make new ones that could continue to show benefits once COVID-19 lockdowns past.