With the rise of new collaborative tools and technological advancements, it’s been a very productive and successful year for remote work. 2020 has pushed many corporations and startups to go completely remote and have employees working from all over the world. Work-from-home, location and time differences, and the constantly evolving workplace make remote networking a challenge. Learn more tips and tricks of building a strong professional network to attract the right opportunities.
A research study by Global Workplace Analytics showed that businesses lose $600 billion yearly due to distractions within the workplace and remote workers are 35%-40% more productive than their office counterparts. Although this seems like a massive leap, it has also become difficult to network, make connections and build professional relationships remotely.
According to Forbes Insights, 84% of professionals are most comfortable with networking ‘in person’.
Why is Remote Networking so Important in 2021?
Working remotely makes it harder than ever to meet new people and build relationships. Many professionals have attributed their growth and success to the relationships that they have built and nurtured through networking. It creates a safe space to bounce off ideas and realize new opportunities, improves and challenges your intellect, helps to learn new concepts and practical application from field experts, etc.
How to Start Networking Remotely?
Virtual coffee chats are an effective way to get started with remote networking. It uses the power of technology to schedule a chat or meeting with contacts from all over the world to build relationships. It helps to grow your network, learn, stay up to date with new trends & build connections within a professional space. Some of the most effective methods are:
- Tap into LinkedIn networks and groups
- Sign up for virtual events like webinars & events
- Connect with professional communities on Slack & Build relationships with Alumni
- Register on networking platforms or applications
How to Build Stellar Relationships through Remote Networking?
A research study unveiled that people found networking very uncomfortable and it increasingly made them feel inauthentic and ‘dirty’. A major reason is that networking has become very transactional and is often taken on for some personal gain. Use these tips to convert from a remote setting into a relational form of building connections:
1. Create mutually beneficial propositions
Statistics from a LinkedIn study have shown that people are less likely to keep in touch with their network when things are going smoothly in their career. It almost feels like networking has become the last resort to finding employment and is often a one-sided conversation. Start every networking conversation with the mindset of making a genuine connection and find ways to make the relationship mutually beneficial to both parties. Optimize your LinkedIn profile with keywords and structured content to increase visibility. Here are 9 hacks to optimize your LinkedIn profile.
2. Choose to use video
While it’s easy to cower behind emails and audio calls, face to face interactions have a way of improving the quality of the conversation and building a professional relationship. Video calls are more personal and help to understand the other person better by analyzing their body language and facial expressions to enhance the conversation.
3. Be open to share & learn
When starting a conversation with the intent of making it mutually beneficial, it will become easier to be authentic and open up. Most younger professionals may find it awkward to reach out to connections simply because they feel like they don’t have anything to offer. Being open to learning will help develop a mentor-mentee relationship and this is extremely important in the early stages of your career. Here’s how to make the best use of virtual job fairs.
4. Connect over similar interests
Professional relationships often require an element of friendship. Finding similar interests often help to connect better with the other person. You could simply ask about hobbies and passion projects to find common interests or take on some research before networking.
5. Volunteer & Offer Value
When striking up a conversation for the first time, find ways to offer value and help without expecting anything in return. Volunteer your time, effort, expertise, and look for opportunities to help potentially alleviate a pain point. Take a genuine interest and listen more than you speak when networking. For example, ‘Are you having trouble directing traffic to your website? I know a thing or two about SEO, I could take a look at it and suggest some recommendations for you’. This will put the other person at ease and they will be more open towards building connections too.
6. Always follow up after a conversation
After wrapping up a conversation, follow up and thank the person immediately for their time. If anything was promised during the call like a resource or review, ensure that it is shared with the contact. If they shared some advice or insights, reach out and provide an update on how you had applied the learning to a real situation.
7. Nurture the relationship over time
Reach out to your contacts periodically and catch up on their progress to continue nurturing the relationship. It’s always beneficial to have champions and cheerleaders within your network; people you can go to for mentorship and advice, contacts who will reach out for your expertise, connections who are always excited to hear about the progress you’re making and will cheer you on.
It is never easy to approach someone new and start to network with them, especially if you are a student or recent graduate. Use these 7 tips to rethink remote networking and start building connections. Through the Qureos network, young professionals like yourself can:
• Tap into our global community of peers to meet like-minded individuals and collaborate
• Gain access to industry experts and receive mentorship
• Network with corporate partners from all over the world and build your personal brand
If you’d like to learn more about our Qureos, reach out to us at email@example.com.