HOW TO NETWORK VIRTUALLY
Do you think it’s time to expand your network?
But there’s a couple of problems. You don’t like networking events. Or being sold to. Or having a one-sided conversation with a business card wielding bandit. Oh and let’s not forget that you’ve been living through COVID-19 and lockdown life is slowly getting back to a new “covid normal”. So what do you do? Do you ditch the idea of ever growing your network? Or do you start to think outside the box? Let’s go with the latter.
Shall we meet online?
Right now networking online is the easy way to go. But how do you do it right? You may have thought about joining some online communities, dropping into FB groups, sliding into DMs, getting follow/like/comment happy? Perhaps you’re doing this already. Well done! Pat yourself on the back.
But what about thinking outside the square?
You could start looking for alternatives that offer opportunities for deeper connections. Online at She Will Shine we have our monthly Friday Night Drinks and our one-on-one Coffee Connect catch ups. Both of these create more opportunities for our members to get to know each other virtually, as well as develop relationships in a more personal space. They’re a great way of meeting new people and getting to know each other without the word “networking” even being mentioned. We like the sound of that!
And if you’d like some extra networking brownie points, how about following up and nurturing your new connections by sending an email, sharing a resource, or perhaps you’ve recently read a blog that may be beneficial to your new friend. How awesome are you?
WARNING! Online networking has some traps you can easily fall into…
1. It can be a little too easy to network in PJs.
2. Communication CAN be one way, brief and superficial UNLESS you go beyond the surface.
3. Not all Facebook groups are created equal. Choose wisely.
4. It’s easy to fall into “playing it safe” mode with this hide-behind-your-computer approach. Just lurking is not enough. You must be contributing to the conversation.
BUT there are benefits…
1. It’s convenient. No fighting traffic, or navigating personal logisitics.
2. Socials allow you to research (or stalk – you decide!) your wanna-be-besties biz. What messages are they sending out to the world? Do your own values align?
3. Taking your time, doing your research, and nurturing conversations can lead perfectly into going offline and establishing real-life connection. Catch up on Zoom over coffee. Or pick up the phone and have a chat – another new found post-2020 benefit!
Network with purpose
Regardless of the style of networking you opt for, you must remember that networking without a goal can be a huge time-waster… I know time-waster and online – who would have thought. But you need to be clear on your purpose. Do you want to collaborate? Are you feeling lonely? Do you need inspiration? Or perhaps you want to practise your elevator pitch?
Nothing can replace “in real life”
And now that restrictions have eased, don’t let the online space stop you from getting out there and meeting in person. As we’ve learnt there really is nothing like “in real life”.
If you’re wanting to network online and in person with fellow women in business, you’re already in the right place. Join the She Will Shine business community today and experience a new type of networking.
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About Danielle Price
With over 10 years small business experience, Danielle Price has created an Australia-wide network of female founders at She Will Shine. An expert networker and elevator of women business owners, Danielle facilitates connection and support between like-minded women in working towards a common goal of creating a successful business around personal responsibilities and life. Danielle’s passion is sharing and giving a voice to the real stories of Australian women business owners. Learn more about Danielle here.