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Four Ways Professionals can Work on Their Networking During Quarantine

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Entrepreneurs, professionals, and business owners that relied heavily on in-person networking opportunities are finding themselves faced with a daunting lack of occasions to promote their brand. The reality is that large group meetings and other social events will be postponed for the foreseeable future. Professionals should strive to evolve their networking skills by creating a digital-based networking strategy that’s grounded in an authentic attempt to build relationships and forge mutually beneficial strategic alliances. Reconnecting with your professional vision, and linking your skillset to areas in the current economy that are thriving will help professionals architect a cohesive networking strategy that targets hyper-growth business areas.

The Networking Landscape Has Changed so You Should Too

The current economic conditions that have been ushered in by COVID-19 were brought about by unexpected circumstances that have devastated entire industries. Being able to sort through the mounds of bad news to find the diamonds in the rough will help professionals focus on networking during these uncertain times.

Before jumping into any networking scenario, it’s essential to have a clear roadmap that identifies specific networking strategies, tactics, and tools that map out a possible series of results that would support your vision. Writing a manifesto or creating a vision board can help to paint a clear picture of your goals, and this is an excellent place to make any necessary changes.

Networking involves both nurturing and building. When looking to expand your network, targeting your efforts in the direction of thriving industries will maximize your impact. LinkedIn has compiled a full list of companies that are currently hiring more staff to meet the new demands that the coronavirus pandemic has brought to their doorstep. Industries that are doing massive hiring right now are logistics, supply chain, delivery, gaming, communications, and many more.

The last step that should be taken before launching a new networking strategy is to figure out if and how you need to pivot your products or services to fit areas in the economy that are flourishing. Creating a flowchart that shows how exactly your products or skills can be leveraged as an asset in these industries will help you to take advantage of opportunities that come along.

These Four Tips Will Fuel Your Networking Endeavors During Stay-at-Home Orders

  1. Start by Nurturing Your Current Relationships

One big question about networking that’s on everyone’s mind right now is whether or not to explicitly acknowledge the present situation. The short answer is, yes. Checking in with your contacts and simply asking them how they are doing is a great way to start the conversation, and will forge a long-term relationship by showing genuine concern for their health and safety. If the conversation organically calls for the need to offer services or products, you may be able to provide solutions even at a discounted rate, but be careful not to sell. Stay focused on presenting solutions in a spirit of partnership.

  1. Video Conferencing is Vital

Video conferencing is the most powerful tool in your networking toolbox, so be sure to study video etiquette since most meetings do (and will continue to) take place on a video conferencing platform such as Zoom. Learning how to navigate video conferencing tools to host webinars, calls, or other mass check-ins fluidly will reflect on your professional skills and allow you to nourish your community of contacts effectively.

Tools like FreeSpeakerBureau.com are free resources that can be used to market your expertise and also contribute to a good cause at this time when people are in need. A more casual approach may involve using tools such as Houseparty to stay connected and host fun events.

  1. Harness the Power of Social Media

Social distancing conditions have spiked social media engagement across the board. Now is the perfect time to take advantage of this platform and all other virtual mediums such as email, video chat, live streaming, instant messaging, electronic faxing, and beyond. Social media is also an excellent way to advertise any exclusive products or services that you have to offer. If you’re not sure what to do, look at what other brands are doing to increase exposure without the ability to do live events.

  1. Master the Art of Following up

Companies are going through an adjustment period, even if they are doing well, and building new relationships can currently be difficult. Many people may not have the time or wherewithal to entertain new ventures, and rejections could be the result of small businesses or individuals struggling financially. Approaching people in an authentic manner and offering to circle back around when things calm down is appropriate.

Conclusion

Networking during this time of social distancing is still possible. Both people in your network and new connections will be able to see the value of your offerings when you take the time to build relationships that can weather any storm.

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