Brad Hurlock

Web Design & Marketing Sales for Addison Technologies.

How to Do Online Networking Properly During the Coronavirus Pandemic

Brad Hurlock

Web Design & Marketing Sales for Addison Technologies.

COVID-19 is changing the way we work, possibly permanently.

Internet usage has gone up 70% since the start of the pandemic. This means that though countless people are working from home, they are still very much connected—it just takes a different form.

Here are some tips on how to participate in online networking amidst social distancing.

Expand and Diversify Your Network 

Now that people are in front of their screens all day for work, it's the perfect time to grow your networking online.

One of the best ways to get started is to use social media sites like LinkedIn to find new connections.

Go through all your connections and fill in the gaps. Maybe some of your previous employers and coworkers aren't part of your contacts. Or, maybe there are people who work for your company in other departments that you can connect with. 

Look for them and send them a connection request.

Avoid the standard pre-filled connection phrases the platform provides for you. Instead, make your request personalized. 

Be sure to be sensitive to the global climate of the moment. Show genuine concern for the individual and their family. 

You might want to start by asking how they are doing during this challenging time, then ask them to connect and let you know how they are. This shows that you care about people on a personal level. 

Keep Your Network Vibrant by Checking In

Whether you are networking online or in person, the secret is to focus on building genuine relationships either way.

Think about all the ways you can strengthen relationships. It might be as simple as sending people an email, social media message, or text saying that you are thinking about them.

Whatever you do, make sure each message is unique. Do not copy and paste the same generic message to multiple people.

What you want is to add small touchpoints to many people in your network. You don't have to check in with everybody all in one day, but you can make checking in part of your daily routine.

How you interact with your network during this time will make a huge impact on whether you still have a receptive network when life returns to normal.

Make Face-to-Face Contact 

So many of us are at home seeing the same people day in and day out. People are craving connection with others outside their home.

This is a great opportunity to leverage video conferencing on apps like Zoom so you can "see" people. It's more powerful than a voice call. Ideally, you will set up a meeting ahead of time so that your contacts have a chance to brush their hair (if they want). 

Have a Strategy for Online Networking 

Good online networking doesn't just happen. It happens when you take the time to come up with a strategy and a goal.

Part of your strategy should be brainstorming how you can contribute to your contacts, not just what they can do for you.

Keep Networking Alive While Safe at Home 

You see, it is possible to participate in online networking to great advantage. Remember, what you do now will fertilize the soil that could later result in new job prospects or ideas.

While you're working on building your social media connections, read our advice on how to become a thought leader on Facebook.