It can be challenging to reach out to strangers and make new connections – whether it’s to research a job opportunity, generate new leads or grow your network – especially when you need to do it all virtually.
One of the areas I’ve been working on with my clients is how to start making those new contacts virtually and what to do to plan the approach.
I wanted to share some of the things we’ve been reflecting on in a virtual networking short tips-list !
- Seize the moment. Now more than ever we’re open to connections. We’re thinking more about what’s valuable to us and are curious to learn and share experiences. Be confident in reaching out and be open to requests.
- Get clear on what you want to achieve. Make a plan. Leverage social media to map out the new people you want to reach, and to re-connect with people who know you and can support you for referrals or new connections.
- Make the most of every opportunity. Personalise your approach. Whatever the medium, research the person and what you want to accomplish, but also prepare the insights and experiences that you want to share. What will the other person walk away with and remember about you?
- Keep it short. Our attention spans are at an all-time low. Be ready to explain what you do, why it matters and why you’re there, briefly and with conviction.
- Virtual connections still mean real-life relationships. Be yourself and be honest – show sincere interest and curiosity. Engage in a way that shows you’ve listened and understood, whether it’s in response to a post or to a remark.
- Think about what your background says about you. As most networking will now take place from your home, consider what you want new connections to know about you, and how you might use your home setting to convey it. Don’t forget to follow up, thank them and leave a path open for future interaction.
What others would you add?