For professionals, businesses, and job seekers alike, learning how to network remotely can be a major asset, especially during a time when in-person interactions are less feasible. There are a variety of reasons for, and avenues to, connecting virtually with fellow professionals or interacting with chosen organizations, without the need for a face-to-face interaction. Some may argue that nothing compares to face-to-face interactions when meeting someone or building a relationship, while others do not necessarily see the need for in-person interaction. Regardless of your stance on the matter, it’s undeniable that networking remotely has become increasingly important – whether you’re a professional looking to connect with experts in a similar field, or an organization looking to identify reputable vendors to provide reliable services, taking advantage of today’s many virtual networking outlets is crucial.
Experts today agree that effective strategies for building professional relationships remotely should utilize a multifaceted, yet tailored, approach aimed to increase your sphere of influence as a business or individual, sharpening your ability to target and connect with anyone, even those who seem most out of reach. There are a variety of ways to connect virtually with individuals or organizations, including but not limited to, social media (LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook), virtual events and conferences, mentorship-accelerator programs, personal introductions, and more – with additional channels being created each day. Using these outlets, individuals looking to connect with professionals in a similar industry have the opportunity to see which topics are most important to their peers, and adjust their approach based on the goals and effectiveness of their outreach.
This also applies to organizations who are interested in researching or connecting with reliable vendors. By reaching out and networking remotely with vendors, organizations can more conclusively determine the value of a particular service or product, and the reputation of vendors in a given marketplace. Organizations can also obtain the unique views of vendor team members, which may be relevant or informative from a thought-leadership perspective. By measuring the success of collective outreach efforts, organizations can also make informed decisions when contracting with vendors, and procuring specialized products or services. With the continued enhancement of internet-based and remotely accessible networking methods, and the currently limited capability for in-person networking, remote networking will surely continue to grow.
Ultimately, utilizing ways to effectively network and communicate remotely will help build professional relationships considerably, and lead to both personal and organizational success. Now is as good a time as ever to ensure you learn about, develop and implement effective strategies for connecting with individuals and organizations of your choice. Refining and deploying these strategies will only enable you to develop relationships critical to the success of your organization, career or business.