COVID_19 has put the brakes on social gatherings as a whole. Gone are the days of conferences, meet-ups and the occasional coffee-run with former colleagues looking to reconnect. That said, there are still ways to not let your network suffer and to stay engaged. Whether you’re looking to build on your personal network or to grow a B2B business, these tips can help!
Lean on 2nd Party Connections on LinkedIn
If you aren’t a frequent LinkedIn user, your initial instinct may be to engage first with your 1st connections — those you know directly. While that isn’t a bad idea by any stretch, we recommend delving a little deeper and instead focusing on 2nd connections — that is, on people you don’t yet know, but who know others in your LinkedIn network.
As murky as the “do I or don’t I” on LinkedIn has gotten, 2nd degree connections are people you’ve probably never looked into, much less communicated with directly. WarmUp recommends looking at 2nd degree connections’ recent posts and seeing if there’s a topic you could comment on to get the communication started. At first blush, it may seem like an obvious attempt at getting something from them, so make sure you only comment if you truly have something valuable to add that relates to their post. If you’re thoughtful, consistent, and build value, the sky is the limit for the potential relationship.
Reconnect, From 2 Jobs Ago… or More
When it comes to networking, we tend to stick to recency, don’t we? Maybe it’s a means of self-preservation — stick with what we knew/know not so long ago. But when it comes to networking, we actually suggest reconnecting with people who you may have forgotten about over the course of time. There are connections you made — even loose ones — two and three and four jobs ago, who may be worthwhile connections to have now. Seek them out on a platform like LinkedIn and simply put the invite out to connect. As LinkedIn frequently says, make sure to include a personalized message, reminding them how they know you and make sure to ask something. You don’t want to seem like it’s a self serving request, but you also aren’t going to get anywhere trying to sneak up on them. Just ask them if you can do something to help them or mention something you’re working on that they might be interested in and offer to discuss it with them. Again, provide value and powerful connections will follow.
Attend Online Webinars
Use resources like Webinara to attend and promote webinars. Listen to experts in their field to get inspiration and learn new things every week. Then connect with the speakers and find a way to let them know what you thought of their material — whether via email or social media. It’s a great way of widening your net among individuals whose subject matter aligns with yours. The added benefit is actually learning something while networking as well.
Have other ideas for ways to network in the age of quarantine? Connect with us on social or shoot us a message. We’ll even connect with you on LinkedIn.