As you’ll be floating around in the online community, there is no better place to make an impression as an entrepreneur than on LinkedIn. Make sure your profile is updated and looks professional before attending any virtual networking events. The other attendees may well want to check you out after or during the event, don’t let them visit an empty profile!
Twitter is an extremely effective networking tool just like LinkedIn. Build your network by following the relevant people in the industry you’re breaking into and keep your account updated with tweets and retweets.
Create an online portfolio
An online portfolio is a useful tool so people can get to know you without really speaking to you directly. It’s a great way to show off your work and ideas with minimal effort. Once it is set up, all you need to do is keep it regularly updated and it will more than likely create some connections.
Research is the most important factor of almost any task. Without research, we can look ignorant. Before you dive in to making connections, make sure you are clued up on the topics at hand to prevent yourself making errors in conversation. Don’t just research topics, research people. You can bet if you connect with an expert, they will expect you to know who they are, make sure you have some notes on them to keep any awkwardness to a minimum.
Join the events
Once all this is done, you’re ready for the real work. Virtual masterclasses are a fantastic way to gain insight and knowledge. They often have a live chat feature where you can converse with the other attendees and talk to the experts one to one. It doesn’t have to be virtual masterclasses; any type of webinar, and we mean any type, just attend! The worst that can happen is that you make no leads, the best that can happen is you learn something new and get some connections along the way just by switching on your laptop!
Follow up with the leaders of any webinars or virtual masterclasses. This can be done right at the end of the online event or if the leader is too busy, they usually leave their personal email. Give it a day or two and drop them an email asking them any relevant questions. It’s good to show initiative like this and may even develop a life-long connection with the leader.
Face-to-face networking rules still apply
Just because you’re sitting in a cosy living room or office with a cup of tea in one hand and a bowl of unfinished breakfast off camera, don’t forget that similar rules apply in virtual networking as they do in face-to-face. Make sure you’re on time, dress to impress and look interested. People can often forget their manners when they’re in the comfort of their own home, so don’t fall victim to this easy mistake.
Virtual networking is a fantastic tool to take advantage of and will be a feature of the future of networking. It is incredibly easy to start online networking, however, there is a skill to mastering it. As long as you follow these base tips then you should be well on your way. Experience is key, like anything, virtual networking gets easier the more you do it and with more connections made.
As stated previously; virtual networking should not completely replace face-to-face networking, instead they should be used intermittently. The Networking Club hosts a Breakfast Club every last Wednesday of the month, giving opportunities to individuals to come and network in a welcoming environment with the addition of amazing keynote speakers. Attend events like this to make the best of networking whilst keeping your virtual networking game up to date.