Sheltering in place and social distancing pose unique challenges for those looking to grow their business through networking.
Having the right contacts can make a crucial difference for any business, especially during times of uncertainty. Use the following four strategies to keep networking even when circumstances seem adverse.
Attend a Webinar
Virtual events are becoming increasingly important due to the coronavirus outbreak. Webinars are gaining popularity as a way of exchanging information that is particularly timely and useful. The advantages of a webinar are twofold. They allow you to find solutions for current problems, and they also put you in contact with authoritative figures from your industry.
Take advantage of this networking option. Don’t miss our webinar GRHCC COVID-19 resources next Monday May 4 at 10:00 AM (PST). Panelists Bryan Owens, Carmen Lainez, Elisa Cortez, Joe Ramos and Sal Ayala will share their insights on the topic “Non-Essential vs Essential employees.” Just follow this link to complete your registration.
Review Your Contacts
Think of your “dormant” contacts. This term refers to the people you have met in the past with whom you are no longer in touch. It may be college friends, casual acquaintances, or former colleagues and bosses. If appropriate, resume communication with them through email or social media.
Never underestimate the potential of a contact based on the strength of their ties with you: A classic 1973 sociology study found that people were 58 percent more likely to get a new job through weak ties than strong ties. In short, even passing acquaintances can make a difference in your career.
Join an Online Forum
Forums are among the earliest forms of online communication, and they’re still popular for a reason. No matter what your industry is, there is an online forum where professionals from your field meet to exchange ideas. Use Google to find a forum of your interest (just type the name of your industry plus the word “forum” in the search bar). Join, and start making relevant contacts and getting useful information today.
Strengthen Your Online Presence
Joining a forum is just one of the steps you can take to strengthen your online presence. Social media offers a broad set of possibilities to make contacts, and bolster your image as an authority in your field.
- Twitter is designed for brief thoughts (the limit is 280 characters) or sharing breaking news.
- Facebook is better suited for posting longer, more personal messages.
- Instagram works with pictures so it’s a great option if visual appeal is an important part of your business or product.
- LinkedIn is a social network that focuses on your professional activity (as opposed to Facebook’s more personal and casual approach), so it’s an excellent option for online networking.