To build and maintain your professional network during these difficult times, it’s important to take a strategic virtual approach.
Practice, Practice Practice
Pick one or two business owners you haven’t had a chance to connect with and invite them to have a quick virtual coffee with you. If you aren’t used to striking up new conversations, this is a great way to start. The only way to build confidence is to put yourself out there! Get to know them on both a personal and business level. Build a relationship with them, and even discuss the possibility of collaborating!
Take time to get to know people and let people get to know you. Think of networking as hanging out and getting to know a new group of friends. It should be fun and genuine. The relationships you will develop through networking usually last a lifetime.
Take some time each week to reach out and check in with contacts you haven’t spoken to in awhile just to see how things are going. This shows them that they are important to you!
LinkedIn was made for virtual networking. Message connections and ask if they want to catch up by phone or video. Maybe make it a goal to message a certain number of connections a week, or nurture the relationships you feel are most important to you.
Hold Video Coffee Meetings
Start a weekly coffee meeting by inviting a few contacts and asking them to invite a few of their contacts. This way you can all meet new people and expand your network.
Due to current circumstances, we certainly have to be inventive when it comes to networking and making fruitful business connections. These are just a few ways you can foster and nurture important business relationships. However, these ideas can also come in handy later on when making connections across the world or during times when your business may prevent you from getting out there and connecting with other local business owners.
No matter how you choose to connect, always remember to be yourself. Happy Networking!