Virtual networking is the process of developing social and professional connections online. It is one of the fastest-growing methods to connect with professionals today. Virtual networking allows you to meet and greet far away employees, fellow industry professionals, clients, mentors, and more. Here are some more advantages to virtual networking.
You can network online through video sessions, audio sessions or asynchronously through social media or email. You can do all these forms of communication at any time, and there are no geographic barriers.
First Steps to Virtual Networking
If you are new to networking online, start with people you know. You have already established a connection with them, and now you need to connect to the people with whom they are connected. That being said, many people who have established relations don’t bother to stay in touch. Make sure you regularly reach out to your original network. Segment your contacts into groups, send out different emails to each group on a scheduled basis, reach out to your influencers with a phone call or email once a quarter, and meet every month with your clients. It’s a lot, but it is worth the effort not just for your business, but for yourself.
Virtual networking allows you to save time, money, and even the environment. Skip the long commute, the street parking, and the cash you’d use for that new tie you’ve been eyeing. Enjoy the convenience of stepping out of your closet and into your meeting in under a minute. Eliminate the costs that go into networking events such as catering, tickets, parking passes and other expenses. Reduce your carbon footprint by skipping the forty-minute drive into the office.
Join the Virtual Club
Try to find groups online that share your professional interests or passions. These groups are great for meeting new people, sharing relevant information, and giving you a sense of belonging.
Provide information or other contacts to your network, and most importantly, be patient. As the saying goes, “good things come to those who wait.” It takes weeks, months, and even years to develop a good network of people you can reach out to for help and information. When networking, think more like a tortoise than a hare.