Is in-person networking no longer an option? Keep the fire of your professional relationships burning with a virtual networking strategy.
Stoke the fire behind your professional network, even if face-to-face meetings are no longer an option. With a virtual networking strategy, you can breathe new life into your contacts.
If you haven’t leveraged a virtual networking strategy in the past, get started with these four tips:
1. Do your research
If you are relatively new to using a virtual networking strategy, you may want to consider taking an online course. A good starting point is LinkedIn, which is currently offering a free course that introduces the basics of digital networking strategies. Then spend some time exploring how other business leaders in your industry are using virtual networking options.
2. Create a plan
Next, create a plan for the following week, month and quarter so you schedule your virtual networking. Book time in your calendar to regularly connect with your contacts, update your profile and publish engaging content. Set goals to stay focused and drive results. For example, you may aim to connect with three high-value existing contacts and make two new connections every week.
3. Perform a digital personal brand audit
Just as your organization must maintain its online brand identity, your social media and online identity is important for setting the tone for your personal brand. (Have you Googled yourself lately?) Start by updating your email signature, social profiles, bios and headshots. You may also want to consider asking close contacts and colleagues to leave LinkedIn recommendations (and in return, offer to leave recommendations on their profile).
4. Get personal
What are the main ways that your contacts prefer to connect with you? Focus on those first, and then identify secondary (and potentially tertiary) touchpoints that you can leverage. Audit your contact database and update emails, phone numbers, active social handles and personal notes (such as their birthday, family member names and favourite drink). This will help you connect in the right way and add personal touches to your digital communications.
Relationships take work, and this is especially true with business connections. By leveraging a virtual networking strategy, you’ll be able to keep those fires burning until you are able to once again meet in-person.
At Liquid Capital, we understand what it takes for small, medium, and emerging mid-market businesses to succeed – because we’re business people ourselves. Our company is built on a network of locally owned and operated Principal Offices, so whenever you’re talking to Liquid Capital, you’re talking directly to your funding source and a fellow business person.