Top 5 Ways to Network in a Hybrid World
By now, you’ve become quite accustomed to seeing the social media polls regarding employee’s preferences on working arrangements. Some prefer fully remote while some prefer to be back in the office full time. But whatever your preference is, it seems as though hybrid work models are here to stay. With this new culture comes a new responsibility for innovating ways to stay connected with other professionals no matter where in the world they are. When done correctly, networking allows employees to source strategic partners and cultivate relationships for long-lasting customers. But with so many different modes of communication, social media platforms and technological advancements, the way we connect with one another has irrevocably changed. So, how does one network effectively in a hybrid world? Here are our top 5 tips for enhancing your connections.
1. Perfect Your Online Presence
Once upon a time, it wasn’t necessary to have a strong social media presence, but now it’s become essential. With more people connecting virtually than ever before, searching someone’s LinkedIn or Twitter profile is often one of the first things a person does post introduction. Thus, it’s become critical that your social pages are polished and reflect the best version of “you.” By cultivating your thoughts and industry insights on a virtual platform, it builds your authority and credibility. In delivering valuable content to your communities and industry, it allows you to build your network and further develop career advancements. For more tips on how to refresh your LinkedIn profile, click here.
There’s a difference between showing up to an event, and showing up to an event. It’s one thing to attend a conference or seminar, sit in the back, take notes and leave; it’s another to ask questions, get involved and meet other attendees. It may seem obvious, but being an active participant in events, both in-person and virtually, is a critical aspect of networking success. “Showing up” is more than your physical presence, it involves arriving early, making small talk, asking questions and much more. It may seem more challenging to network at virtual events but the chat feature is a great way to get more involved, particularly if you tend to be more reserved. Additionally, private chat features allow you to reach out to other individuals within your industry to quickly and easily exchange information.
3. Master The Art of Follow-Ups
Once you’ve made a few connections, the work doesn’t end there. It’s best to follow up with a contact shortly after the initial meeting to help solidify your relationship with that person. There’s no hard and fast rule on the best way to do this, but in a world fueled by technology, it can be as simple as sending an email or invite on LinkedIn. Reaching out on social media serves as an unobtrusive way to cement a relationship and plan for future collaborations or simply to bounce ideas off of one another. Be certain to let others know that they can reach out to you as a resource and that you’re there to help them as well. You don’t have to be in constant contact with one another to have a strong relationship; pinging your new connection on occasion with thoughts, ideas, resources or plans to meet up are ways to ensure that your relationship is sustainable.
Did you know that Facebook has over 620 million active groups and LinkedIn is quickly surpassing the 5 million mark? Unlike getting lost in a bottomless pit of email lists and signups, groups are an amazing way to establish connections with like-minded individuals. With groups for seemingly every sector of business and beyond, you can share valuable information, expand your content reach, generate leads and achieve business goals with more ease than ever before. When you add value to groups, people tend to give value right back.
5. Reconnect With Your Existing Network
A lot has changed since pre-pandemic days and the team you once chatted with in the breakroom may now be indefinitely behind a screen. While most employees report an increase in their productivity, many are also reporting higher rates of loneliness. Reconnecting with your remote team over lunch breaks or virtual happy hours are an excellent way to keep up team morale and generate new ideas as well. In boosting team collaboration, you begin building lasting relationships by default.
In many ways, the pandemic broke down barriers of what was previously thought to be impossible. We’re now able to add value to conversations and spark creative solutions no matter where in the world we work. Take full advantage of what hybrid networking allows: start a hashtag, create a blog, do a virtual challenge, host one-on-ones – there truly is no limit to what you can achieve in the virtual world. Thanks to this next gen wave of networking, relationships can be built in the far reaches of the Earth and beyond.