Wednesday, July 08, 2020
Voices

15 Tips on How to Network Remotely

SmarterCX Team
June 23, 2020

6 minute read

How do you continue networking when in-person events have been rescheduled for the foreseeable future? While navigating networking remotely can be intimidating, a recent article by Forbes provides 3 ways to continue building a strong network:

  1. Look for highly relevant webinars and virtual events
  2. Be more proactive about asking for introductions
  3. Don’t be afraid of reaching out col

Additionally, according to LinkedIn, there’s more than 690 million members across 200 countries and regions worldwide. This large network, along with many other social media and online platforms, allows for a variety of creative networking opportunities.

So, how do you get started? In the spirit of networking, we asked CX professionals for their advice on how to network remotely, and here’s what we learned:

Produce valuable content

“It’s cheesy and everyone says it, but producing content that brings value to your customers (either current or potential) will make them more interested in you, and is a great way to start building a relationship.

It doesn’t end there! Engage with them by liking and responding to their comments and sending messages thanking them for their engagement. The most important part of this step isn’t to try and sell them anything. For a new LinkedIn connection, send a message saying something to the extent of, ‘Thanks for connecting, have a great day.’ When your customer base feels cared about, it builds brand loyalty and increases positive word of mouth.”

Seek opportunities to make guest appearances

“I recently turned to some different ways to network, share expertise, and really connect with people. I started guesting more on podcasts, webinars, and online event panels. Many organizations are struggling to shift their businesses, especially chambers and networking organizations that rely on events. This opened a need for more webinars, online events, panels, and online expertise. Because these are unpaid appearances, I look at it as networking and building relationships with audiences.”

Encourage viewers to make a connection

“After I recently moderated a webinar, about one fifth of the viewers reached out to me directly on LinkedIn to connect and also tell me that they enjoyed the webinar. I’ve had those kinds of responses with in-person events, but never with virtual, and it was great!

Based on that level of feedback, I would urge people who are participating in virtual presentations, webinars, or panels to encourage viewers to follow up by making that connection. It doesn’t matter whether it’s via LinkedIn, email, or even over the phone.”

Don’t underestimate the importance of facetime

“Get face-to-face contact when you can, and don’t underestimate the importance of a virtual facetime to connect with colleagues or clients. Keep lines of communication open and accessible, and be clear that there’s always a way to connect.”

Leverage media to establish yourself as an expert

“Getting your name, company, or project mentioned in the media is a great way to establish yourself as a thought leader in your space and drive relevant connections that not only increase your social network but also give your career a healthy boost.”

Answer others’ questions

“When you work remotely, networking opportunities don’t appear as often as if you worked in an office. Therefore, you have to actively work on building relationships with people in your [industry] to support your remote career development.

Leverage social media to connect with other professionals in your field. Join LinkedIn groups in your niche and actively participate in group discussions with other members. Engage with other like-minded people in meaningful conversations and try to help others by answering their questions. During this process, you’ll be able to find people who share your interests and this will help you grow your network.”

Start with your family and friends

“Start with whom you’re closest. This means that you should start with your very own family and friends. Build networks through common acquaintances and work your way from there. When you have a common friend, it’s much easier to get people on your side since you already have something in common.”

Connect within community groups

“The best network can be built organically by joining online community groups. These groups share the opportunity to explore your knowledge and experiences along with questions from peers. Attending online events and joining such groups help to build strong and authentic network connections. Community groups allow you to connect with the like-minded people in the industry, and you can connect with numerous people across the globe.”

Utilize social platforms for networking credentials

“LinkedIn is a great social media platform on which to circulate content marketing, but that content can also add to your networking credentials in the future. If you’re taking the time to publish content on LinkedIn, save a few of your best bylined pieces as featured articles on your profile. Then, as you continue networking remotely in the future, those pieces remain there for new contacts and prospects to see as a part of your portfolio of thought leadership.”

Pursue opportunities internally

“Don’t forget that your current work can count as networking. Depending on your field, you might deal with various customers, vendors, partners, etc., as part of your job. Make sure to cultivate those relationships so that you make a name for yourself and establish your professionalism.”

Set a goal for each interaction

“Have a specific goal in mind when you’re reaching out to new people. The person you’re talking to is much more likely to agree to set aside their time if there’s a specific goal in mind for the interaction. Busy professionals seldom give their time to strangers, unless there’s a strong connection, to just meet and talk.”

Be authentic

“Now is the time to deepen your relationships with people you’ve met in the past or are meeting now through online networking. If you’ve met someone in the past, reconnect and get on the phone with them. If you meet someone virtually now, follow-up on LinkedIn and ask for a phone call.

LinkedIn is a great way to meet new people. I’m always direct about my purpose for contacting them, and I always compliment something very specific and include the reason I think it’s a good idea for us to connect. Overall, be authentic, genuine, specific, brief, and direct. People want to do business now and connect with like-minded people. Making the first move to reach out to them is a service!”

Take it one step further

“I think that we simply need to reach out further and ensure that we’re available on platforms that one wouldn’t necessarily think about in order to gain momentum in our remote networking.”

Show your personality through social media

“A great way to network remotely is through social media. If you have products to advertise, create a strong Instagram platform and utilize that to connect with people. You could also use Twitter, Facebook, or Pinterest. It all depends on your niche and what’s the best way to connect with your audience. Use your platform for more than just advertising your business.

Show some of your personality and try to create relationships with people in your network. People enjoy seeing a company’s personality through their social media channels, and having an online image that the people love will help you network remotely.”

Be a memorable connection

“Don’t you appreciate and remember people who help you out? That being said, be that memorable person in your connections’ eyes. Add value to your relationships by referring people, sharing experiences and tips, inviting each other to join the same interesting online networking events, and help them boost their reputation on social media. Remember, networking includes liking, sharing, posting, following, and tagging. By showing that you care, you simply endorse yourself and increase engagement even without physical interaction.”

  • Thao Goericke, Marketing Communications Manager, Data Rockets

Interested in more? Check out the following:

SmarterCX Team
The SmarterCX team is comprised of subject matter experts, writers, artists, designers, and CX professionals who are dedicated to building a smarter customer experience.
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