Growing Your Professional Network During a Pandemic
3 January 2021
It’s been a tough year for making new connections. The COVID19 pandemic has created unprecedented challenges for entrepreneurs and professionals trying to grow their network in this alternative landscape. That being said, networking is far from dead!
There are actually many ways for you to grow your professional network online. Here’s what you need to do to keep growing your professional network during a pandemic:
Use Available Tools Effectively
LinkedIn is an excellent place to start when developing your network. Make sure your profile information is accurate and up to date. Don’t forget to make your profile is visually pleasing and intriguing. Add a background photo and don’t limit your headline to your job title - try and think of something which will grab people’s attention and make them open to interacting with you.
Once you’re all set up, reach out to existing contacts to get endorsements and stay active by sharing interesting content relevant to your industry. If you can, create your own long-form content! This is a great way to showcase your expertise, spark discussions and engage potential new connections.
Another useful tip is to Google yourself. It sounds odd but think of the specific steps you take when someone you don’t know reaches out. You might Google their name, check their LinkedIn or try to find a picture to see what they look like. The same applies to you when you reach out to people you don’t know, so make sure the best version of you shows up when they look you up!
A rich digital profile with activity, connections and engagement will help build your credibility and professional image in the virtual networking world and increase chances of others reaching out to you.
Explore your existing network and see who their connections are. Make a list of who might be relevant to you and reach out! When possible, ask for introductions. People are always more receptive when there’s a clear link between them and yourself. If introductions are not an option then make sure you spend enough time formulating the perfect message rather than sending a generic copy-paste. Do your research on the person you are contacting, make it personal and be clear and concise about why you would like to connect with them as you do not want to waste their time!
Virtual Events and Networking Event Apps
Since the start of the pandemic, virtual events have become the norm and are a powerful tool to explore when trying to grow your network. Networking platforms like Presso Network are a great place to start. With Presso, you can easily connect with other virtual events attendees before, during and after the event, giving you an effective networking tool to build new professional relationships. Keep an eye on virtual events which are relevant to you, take advantage of interest-based profiles, attendees search and actively participate in sessions.
Using online platforms like LinkedIn, reaching out to new people and attending virtual events will certainly help you grow your network during a pandemic!