Solo(ish): Insights on Networking & Personal Branding
Networking Virtually…tips for the new normal
With social distancing becoming the norm, networking has moved to online platforms, but it is still an essential tool for building relationships. To be successful, you must have the right mindset, where you focus on how you can help others, not how they can help you. This approach builds mutually beneficial relationships, which is the goal of networking. You can start by nurturing existing relationships, checking in on close friends, family, and colleagues. To meet new people, you can target specific groups or be open to random connections. Allocating just 30 minutes a day to LinkedIn can be an effective way to network online by skimming your feed, commenting on relevant articles, and sending personalized messages to your connections.

We are being forced into a world of limited in-person, face-to-face contact. Social distancing doesn’t mean you can’t network. It just means that you’ll need to use different and sometimes new tools to build relationships. Networking is networking. As long as you have the right mindset – before any networking situation and every conversation, your primary mission is to be thinking:

Who and how can I help?

Notice this isn’t about who can help you. Because when you network with a “me first” attitude, it comes across as pushy or self-serving. The “me first” mindset is also the reason many people feel like networking is fake and makes them feel uncomfortable/yucky.

Networking virtually or in person is about building mutually beneficial relationships. Both parties walk away feeling like they’ve gained something. That’s what you want to accomplish.

Nurture Existing Relationships

Start reaching out to people you already know – your close friends, family, and colleagues. It’s easier, and you’ll build your confidence. Plus, now is the perfect time to check in on people you care about. Don’t be afraid to make your outreach personal by asking how they are doing and adjusting to the current situation.

Grow New Relationships

Meeting new people online isn’t as hard as you may think. But you do want to have a plan. There are two ways to meet new people – strategically and serendipitously. First, ask yourself who you want/need to meet. These are your strategic targets. They may work in companies you are interested in or hold a position like the one you are interested in. Next, be open to the idea of randomly meeting people. You may share a common interest, a common connection or some other commonality, like you attended the same university, live in the same city, or attended the same conference.

Allocate Time To Network Online

Here’s how to invest just 30 minutes a day to networking online using LinkedIn specifically:

  • Skim your LinkedIn home feed to see what’s being shared
  • Comment on interesting articles related to your industry
  • Re-share articles that relate to your career (but always write something to explain why you are sharing the article)
  • View your notifications for birthdays or work anniversaries and send those connections a message on LinkedIn
  • Find new companies or groups of interest to follow
  • Look for people you may know but haven’t connected with yet.

Other Posts You Might Like

The Fundamentals of Developing a Strong Personal Brand

The Fundamentals of Developing a Strong Personal Brand

Personal branding has become an increasingly important tool for career success. With abundant online information, creating a strong personal brand that sets you apart from the competition is crucial. Building a unique image and reputation around oneself can...

Six Steps To Get More Referrals From Your Network

Six Steps To Get More Referrals From Your Network

Today I am going to share six proven steps to get more referrals from your network. During the week, people all over the world attend BNI meetings to get and give referrals. But as it turns out, few members tap into the full potential of their BNI chapter. There is a...

Win The Gold With Networking!

Win The Gold With Networking!

I threw the Discus in High School, so I enjoy watching the Olympics. As I watched all of these great athletes compete, I started to think about how much the Olympics and BNI have in common. And here's how: coming to BNI, having not done any work behind the scenes, is...