Most businesses have had to adapt their processes to fit with the social distancing requirements made necessary by COVID-19. And while we have made immense progress in the last year with the development and distribution of vaccines, the battle against COVID-19 is not over.
However, social distancing does not have to negatively impact social networking and the ability to grow and develop our connections.
In this article, we are going to discuss ways to social network while keeping our social distance by
- Expanding Our Digital Network
- Recreate the In-Person Networking Environment, Digitally
- Tailor Our Online Presence
- Get Creative!
Expanding Our Digital Network
Digital communication presents greater opportunities to expand our social network than in-person networking can. We are no longer limited by travel, commute, time, or cost.
Online networking has the ability to connect us with others across the country and around the globe. We can take advantage of this ability to transcend geographical boundaries and connect with people and opportunities not located in the same time zone. This not only helps create a diverse network it will also provide exposure to new ideas and new cultures that can positively impact our outlook.
Additionally, an online network can be infinitely large, and we can continuously expand our network without excessive maintenance. Joining an online group or forum can instantly connect us. Social media platforms, interest-based groups, and meet-ups enable us to stay connected and relevant in our field of interest.
Recreate the In-Person Networking Environment, Digitally
It is important to recreate the in-person environment as much as possible. So, hop on that video call to create a more personal, connected experience. Change your background to fit the theme of the meeting and dress up as if you were in person. Turning off the “self-view” side of Zoom may make it easier on the eyes so you don’t have to look at yourself the entire time. Platforms such as Virbella or Hopin allow for some online networking fun and learning.
Approach networking with an altruistic and servant leadership mindset. Share, be open, be empathic and connect digitally.
Tailor Your Online Presence
Optimizing and updating our online profile is key. Your social media platforms are often someone’s first glimpse of you and your expertise. Keep your LinkedIn profile up-to-date, have accurate information about your current role, education, and employment status. Your profile should reflect openness to new work because this will alert recruiters and hiring managers that you are looking for new opportunities. Simply have the “open to new opportunities” feature turned on. Additionally, have a detailed bio that states your strengths and what you are looking for in a future position or company. You also want to maximize the SEO of your profile by using industry keywords throughout your profile that match the words employers are searching for.
Check out our blog post on updating your LinkedIn to learn more about 7 ways for curating the perfect online profile.
Go beyond social media to socialize. Explore online courses, meet-ups, and industry groups to connect with groups and like-minded people.
The key is to be open to growth, learning, and sharing your ideas. Networking, like any relationship building, is a two-way street. If you connect with someone, do so to add value to their life and work as well as your own. Share posts, write articles, join groups and showcase your expertise.
From staying active on networking sites and job boards to creating personal online spaces for communication, there are myriad of o[portunities to continue our connections and social networks while social distancing.
We hope you’ve enjoyed our 592nd a.blog.