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How to build your network remotely

Posted on 05 July 2023

How to build your network remotely

​6-minute read

In recent years, the trend towards remote work has accelerated, thanks in part to advances in technology and COVID. As a result, professionals in nearly every industry find themselves with new and innovative ways to network and connect with others in their field from a distance. However, building a remote network can be difficult, especially if you're new to the practice.

The aim of this article is to explore how you can build your network remotely with intent so that long-term your network works for you when you decide to look for a new job.

The importance of networking in a remote world

Networking has always been an essential part of building a successful career in our opinion, whether you're trying to find a new job, work on a challenging project, or simply expand your professional connections for mutual benefit. However, in a remote working environment, networking has become ever more crucial.

When you work from home, it's easy to feel isolated and cut off from the broader professional world. Networking can help you stay connected, brainstorm new ideas, and build relationships with other professionals in your field.

One of the most significant challenges of remote work is the lack of face-to-face interaction with colleagues and industry peers. This can make it difficult to establish meaningful connections and stay up to date with the latest industry trends. However, by leveraging digital tools and strategies, remote workers can build robust networks that provide many of the same benefits as in-person networking.

A well-established network can provide many advantages for professionals working from home. These benefits include access to new job opportunities, referrals for new business, insights into the latest industry trends, and a sense of camaraderie and shared purpose.

Essential tools for remote networking

Whether you're a freelancer, remote worker, or entrepreneur, having the right tools in your toolkit can make all the difference. Here are some essential tools for remote networking that you should consider:

Virtual meeting platforms

When it comes to remote networking, one of the most critical tools in your toolkit will be virtual meeting platforms. Platforms like Zoom, Skype, and Google Meet allow for face-to-face communication with professionals from around the globe, making it easier to build connections and collaborate with others in your field.

With virtual meeting platforms, you can attend webinars, conferences, and other industry events from the comfort of your home or office. You can also schedule one-on-one meetings with potential clients, partners, or mentors, without having to worry about travel costs or time constraints.

Social media and professional platforms

Social media platforms like LinkedIn and Twitter enable you to build and maintain professional connections, share your work, and showcase your expertise.

Understand what tools are best used for your niche and start making your presence known there.

Setting networking goals and objectives

Before you start building your network, it's important to take some time to set clear networking goals and objectives. Ask yourself what you hope to achieve from your professional connections, and then work towards those goals actively. For example, if you're a freelance developer, your networking goals might include identifying new business opportunities, expanding your knowledge of your industry, or finding new job opportunities.

Setting clear goals will help you focus your efforts and ensure that you're making meaningful connections with other professionals.

Identifying your target audience

Knowing who you want to connect with and build relationships with will help you focus your efforts and ensure that you're connecting with the right professionals for your needs.

For example, if you're a graphic designer, your target audience might include other designers, art directors, and creative directors. By identifying your target audience, you can tailor your networking efforts to their specific needs and interests but also ensure you get the most relevant opportunities back to yourself.

Building your personal brand online

Building a strong personal brand might include creating a personal website, developing your social media profiles, and showcasing your work to potential partners and collaborators. A strong personal brand can help you establish yourself as an expert in your field, build trust with potential clients and collaborators, and make new and valuable connections.

Bonus tips for successful virtual networking events

As a lot of your networking might happen over virtual networking events, here are some bonus tips to get the most out of such events whilst networking:

Preparing for virtual events

This might include researching the other attendees, crafting an engaging elevator pitch, and ensuring that your technical setup (camera, microphone, internet connection) is up to par. By preparing, you'll be able to make the most of your time and connections while attending the event.

It's also important to consider your environment when attending virtual networking events. Make sure you're in a quiet, well-lit space where you won't be interrupted. Dress professionally, even if you're attending the event from home. These small details can make a big difference in how you're perceived by other attendees.

Engaging in meaningful conversations

Rather than focusing on selling yourself or your products or services, take the time to learn more about the other person's work, goals, and interests. By doing so, you'll build more authentic connections that can lead to more lasting relationships.

One way to engage in meaningful conversations is to ask open-ended questions. This can help you learn more about the other person and their work, while also demonstrating your interest and curiosity. You might ask about their biggest challenges, their proudest accomplishments, or their goals for the future.

It's also important to be an active listener during virtual networking events. This means paying attention to what the other person is saying, asking follow-up questions, and showing empathy and understanding. By doing so, you'll build trust and rapport with other attendees.

Following up after the event

Finally, be sure to send a personalised follow-up email or message to the people you connected with, thanking them for their time and expressing your interest in connecting further. By doing so, you'll demonstrate your professionalism and commitment to building meaningful connections.

It's also a good idea to connect with other attendees on social media platforms like LinkedIn. This can help you stay in touch and continue to build your professional network over time.

 

Building a strong remote network is more vital now than ever before. By utilising the right tools and strategies, setting clear goals and objectives, and focusing on building authentic connections, you'll be able to expand your professional horizons, find new opportunities for growth and success, and build meaningful relationships that can drive your career forward.

We hope you found this article useful and if you did, feel free to share it with others within your network (remote or in person) so we can collectively help simplify the chaos of recruitment.

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