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Here are some tips to network from home and satisfy your need to socialize, collaborate and expand your expertise.
The first thing to do is ask yourself what you hope to gain out of expanding your professional network. Clear goals will save you time and make you more efficient. Your personal motivations will also influence your tone and approach.
Do you wish to:
Take advantage of virtual events hosted by associations or groups you're interested in. Most of these events are advertised on social networks.
There are also countless online training courses you can sign up for.
Every online networking opportunity gives you the chance to meet people who may share your current or future interests. Be available and open minded.
Birds of a feather flock together, so you might notice your network has a lot of people with profiles that resemble your own. Mix things up by reaching out to people with different backgrounds.
If you're interested in an emerging technology and want to learn more about its potential, connect with experts who publish on LinkedIn or contribute regularly to IT blogs.
No one likes wasting time. So, whatever the reason you decide to connect with someone, do some homework ahead of time.
First impressions count, and you only get one first chance!
Be concise and to the point:
If you're approaching someone online, you’ll want to draft and proofread your message before sending it.
When meeting by videoconference, write down what you want to say and review your notes before the meeting. It's a bit like going to a job interview.
Be prepared to answer the question: “Why should I add you to my network?”
Some people don't connect easily and want to know what you’re bringing to the table for a win-win relationship.
Successful networking takes time. Don't set the bar too high. If one relevant new relationship every week seems like an achievable starting point, stick with it.
You can narrow down your needs, develop research techniques, and perhaps pick up the pace later.
If one of your business connections knows someone you want to meet, ask for more information or how to approach them.
Ready to move forward? Ask your mutual acquaintance for an introduction.
The goal here is quality and not quantity. Targeting the right people for your network will help you achieve your professional goals and ambitions.
March 29, 2022
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