Here’s What You Don’t Know About Networking That Could Change Your Game

During the Pandemic of 2020, our normal is no longer viable. Most people are working remotely from home and digitally with virtual meetings such as Zoom. Many of us still have a fear of word networking. Is our mindset stuck on the fear of attending events, trying to connect and mingle, grab some business cards and call it a day? We are still in a global pandemic, there are no networking events, no entertainment, or family gatherings, and there is still a fear for many to venture out. Since we cannot not physically network or meet people face to face, perhaps we can capitalize on the benefits of digital networking and avoid some of our fears about networking in-person. Am I correct?

Research has repeatedly shown that an individual’s success and work performance are driven by the quality of their personal networks. Forming those networks however, can be easy for some and significantly harder for others. Having to juggle in-person meetings, social etiquette, personal appearance, and conversations with other professionals made pre-Covid networking a worrisome experience for some people.

Here are four tips to make online networking easier than in-person networking:

  1. Pay attention to your on-camera appearance. Testing your video and audio before a networking event is helpful because it may highlight some ways you can improve your on-camera appearance. If its too dark, you might want to turn on a light or add a lamp. If your microphone is crackly you may want to try a different headset or webcam. First impressions matter!
  2. Take it easy, you’re at home! Being nervous meeting new people is natural, however overcoming that to be confident in these situations is highly beneficial. Take advantage of your surroundings, perhaps try a breathing exercise before the event to calm your nerves, make your favorite drink to enjoy during the event, or even change into some comfortable PJ-bottoms if that makes you feel better.
  3. Network beyond your physical location. Thanks to the internet, we can connect with people anywhere. Take advantage of this by participating in networking and industry events that happen online. You might meet people from all over, and regardless of their physical location, those connections you make could be useful to you and them!
  4. Lean on online networking tools. Tools like LinkedIn have been a staple in the networking community, and with online networking, its even easier! After you meet someone in a video call you would like to connect with, send them a LinkedIn request after the event with a customized message reminding them of who you are, where you met, and that you would like to connect.

Professional networks are adding many ways to connect with people, build relationships, exchange ideas, and create an extraordinary life. Those who have the skills and character to create value with others will prosper the most. This is a game changer. Will you be taking action to pivot your business? 

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