This post is sponsored by Alliance Virtual Offices. All opinions are 100% my own.
Many people think that networking is only for those in the office, but nothing could be further from the truth! Remote workers also need to build a strong network for themselves. But how do you go about it when you don’t have that much opportunity to meet other professionals in person? Today, I am sharing 6 networking tips for remote workers like yourself!
Networking in the New Normal
According to Forbes, 74% of employees expect that working virtually will soon become the standard. The same article also cites that 61% of employees prefer to work remotely, and 97% don’t want to return to full-time work at the office.
This glaring data tells us that remote work is becoming the new normal. But even as a remote worker, you should never stop connecting with people who can give you a career boost. So, here are networking tips for remote workers to consider:
1. Take advantage of LinkedIn
One of my top tips on networking for professionals is becoming a LinkedIn member and using the platform to its full potential. Consider LinkedIn as your professional social media. But before you start reaching out to other professionals and businesses, make sure that you have a complete and updated profile.
Begin by reaching out to people in your industry by sending them a personalized message along with your connection request. Post engaging content about your business and industry, and establish yourself as an expert and thought leader.
Finally, join LinkedIn groups in your industry. A quick search of related words or phrases in your industry should give you a couple of groups to join. Engage in discussions and answer questions. Focus on bringing value to the group rather than putting the spotlight on yourself.
2. Leverage social media
According to Statista, people spend 145 minutes on social media per day. It connects us in a way that no other communication tool would. Use this to your business’s advantage by leveraging social media for professional networking.
So, here are my tips on networking on social media:
First, make sure that your profile clearly speaks to who you are and what you do. I would also always suggest creating a separate professional or business page.
Second, always think of networking on social media as a way to give value to your network. Engage in conversations while being friendly and respectful. The focus should be on the community and industry, so do not hard-sell yourself or your business.
3. Attend online events
Got invited to join a webinar, a virtual meetup, or an online coffee date with the people in your industry? Take this chance because it’s one of the best networking business tips there is.
Online events can help you learn more by meeting new people on the ladder, whether above or below you. You never know if the person who’ll send you a valuable referral one day is a fellow meetup attendee.
Many online events are explicitly designed for networking, so don’t pass up on them if you get invited. Take note of the people who attended so you can send them private messages later. The key to successfully building relationships during these online events is following up on your potential networks and expressing your interest in staying connected with them moving forward.
4. Meet at coworking spaces
Working from home doesn’t mean you need to spend the entire day there. Sometimes, the familiarity of your surroundings can get boring, distracting even. So, when it’s safe to work outside, bring your work to a place where you can potentially meet other professionals as well.
Coworking spaces, such as those offered by Alliance Virtual Offices, are excellent places to work and network. Apart from having a conducive environment to work in, you also meet like-minded people who can positively impact your focus and productivity.
5. Join online communities
Joining online communities is also an incredible way to connect with like-minded people. Thankfully, there’s Slack or Discord to help you do just that.
Slack is a fantastic platform for collaboration among employers and employees, clients and freelancers, and industry-specific communities. There seems to be a Slack community for everything, so you’ll likely find a few to join for the purpose of networking.
Like Slack, Discord is an awesome platform for networking. It was initially created for gamers, but marketers soon discovered Discord’s potential for networking. Discord is equipped with chatting, calling, and video-calling features, making it an excellent place to exchange ideas with other members.
These communities are places for healthy discussions on industry topics, so don’t be shy about speaking your mind and asking questions. This is an excellent way to keep the conversations going and, ultimately, establish connections. And in the same manner, do not be afraid to answer other people’s questions. It’s always good to show that you are an active part of the community.
6. Connect with people with the same hobbies
Networking doesn’t always have to be professional. You can take the stress and pressure out of networking if you do it with something you’ve always enjoyed. So, take stock of your hobbies and use them to build meaningful connections with others.
For instance, if you’ve always enjoyed baking, find group classes online and join them. There are several hobby-based groups online, and maybe there are some in your location. Share the joy of doing something you like with other people. You never know, they might become some of your lifelong friends and help you navigate your career in unexpected ways.
As a remote worker, you may spend a lot of time on your computer and less time socializing with other people. But working remotely doesn’t mean you should never learn how to be better at networking.
Building strong connections does not happen overnight, but it should never be difficult with the networking tips mentioned here.
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