Because the work landscape has changed and many organizations are keeping much of the virtual world of work, it may seem challenging to make new connections and keep building your network if you’re not there physically to do it. Building your network virtually may seem daunting but we’re here to give a little guidance.
- Chat Features Have Become Online Hallways
Virtual events are here to stay in the new world of work. From zoom mixers to online conferences, making the most of the chat feature on whatever platform the event is on will help you make accessible introductions and initiate conversations that may be helpful to you. All webinars including the virtual ones encourage new connections, so using the chat function as a way of facilitating that will help.
In addition, posting your LinkedIn profile and other information about yourself makes it easier for people to find you on other platforms for future projects or job opportunities. Using online communication makes it easier for some who have little time to meet face to face, or easier for people who live in different states or countries to maintain business relationships.
- Social Media Presence is King
Having a strong presence on social media and making sure you present yourself well is incredibly important in this new digital age of work. Making sure your information and photos are up to date on Linkedin, Instagram and Twitter is important for people to find and connect with you. It may seem superficial, but the same rule of first impressions applies online as well as in person.
Because there are so many avenues for digital communication, don’t limit yourself to webinars and messaging people on Instagram. Clubhouse and Twitter Spaces are a great way to connect with people virtually using voice-only technology. These apps are great for talking with specific people on niche topics and are valuable for sharing expertise and gaining new connections with people in your field. Make sure to have at least one professional photo on your profile, and a brief bio on what you do at your current job.
- Be Patient
Remember that growing your network virtually will take time. This process of forming connections in a mainly virtual setting will not happen overnight, so it may seem easier just to give up. Making sure that you keep the momentum going – adding one or two connections a day, and attending virtual events when possible is a great start to finding meaningful and authentic connections for your work endeavors. Having a virtual network could help dramatically in your professional life, and good support for your career goals, but it is important to not just add everyone that sends you a social media request; really make sure that the network you are cultivating will help you in the present and the future.
Make sure that you are always active on social media sites and virtual events by talking to one person, or commenting on at least one post. While working is busy enough as it is, and keeping up with social platforms and people can be the last thing on your mind, the connections you make this way can help you long after you leave an organization or if you’re thinking about switching careers.
- Final Thoughts
While there are a lot of ways to make virtual connections, make sure you find the right platforms for you; if you haven’t had any luck on a certain platform, you probably don’t need it as much as some others – but don’t be too hasty to leave a platform too soon. Check out our other blog about why you should work in the Solar Industry, and for specific questions contact us at [email protected].