For most of us, the word “networking” can spark a variety of emotions.
In a traditional sense, networking means showing up, being visible, and making connections in a professional setting. Traditional networking seems like a game in and of itself, but virtual networking…? Somehow that seems like almost an entirely different conversation to crack. The good news? It doesn’t have to be! Yes, virtual networking looks different than what many of us are used to, and yes, virtual networking requires a different set of skills for successful connections, but the basics of the game are the same. If you would like to learn how to step up your virtual networking presence, continue reading to discover some of my favorite tips.
How do you begin? First, show up for different networking opportunities. There are SO many different circles where you can find opportunities to connect. Consider the networks you already have and how you can expand your reach. Maybe you have a friend from college who is active in a business owner’s Facebook group, or an acquaintance who is hosting a webinar with like-minded professionals in attendance (via Zoom or a chat window.) By showing up for the opportunities available, creating relationships, and continuing to engage in your expanding circle, your virtual network will continue to expand as well. Networking does not have to be fake or transactional (no one really likes that kind of networking anyway.) At the most basic level, virtual networking is about showing up and finding common ground.
The Elevator Speech
The elevator speech is one of you most powerful tools, especially in the virtual networking space. In general, people’s attention spans are shorter online, so networking well in the virtual space, requires an intriguing, updated elevator speech. Remember, your elevator speech should be brief, confident, and real. Your speech should be easy to understand (think layman’s terms) so professionals from different industries can easily connect with you. If you are looking to refresh your elevator speech, consider reviewing your opening lines. What you open with has the potential to either draw your audience in or cause them to disengage.
Chain of Authentication
As you are building new communities and growing your network, be sure to validate new people, resources, and promises. As we navigate the virtual space, there are many fake websites, programs, and opportunities swirling around out there, and it is important to verify the new connections you are adding to your network. Are they legitimate and valuable? There is a lot of clutter in the online space right now, so keep tabs on the health of your network. You may find some new connections bring incredible value to your virtual network while others may not. Use your judgment to determine who you want in your digital world right now.
No matter your experience in the virtual networking landscape, having a business coach can help you process and progress by improving your elevator speech, analyzing your chain of authentication, and much more! If you are looking for a dynamic, confidential space to grow your virtual networking skills, feel free to reach out below. I have helped many business owners smoothly navigate this new space while gaining confidence along the way.
ABOUT ANNETTE WALTER
Much like Marcus Lemonis, host of CNBC’s “The Profit,” who lends his expertise to struggling businesses, Annette analyzes businesses, supports them with the right resources, and designs the plan they need in order to go from surviving to thriving.
Annette Walter has started, acquired, owned and operated more than 15 companies in her lifetime. As a wife, mother of two young boys, and owner of a national company, Timber Industries, that was included on last year’s Inc. 5000 list, she is able to serve her true purpose and passion in coaching and consulting entrepreneurs through her business coaching company, iEvolve Consulting. Annette works with business owners across the globe in various industries to support their overall well-being, teams, and operations. As an operations expert and strategist, she works with business owners to help them identify organizational gaps and opportunities in their companies. She works with businesses to help make their finances, marketing efforts, technology solutions, and sales more efficient and effective.
If you would like to know more about iEvolve Consulting, visit: http://www.ievolveconsulting.com, or send an email to YouRock@iEvolveConsulting.com.
Purpose. Process. Propel.