5 tips for remote networking success

Whether you're looking to progress in your career, explore new opportunities, or simply expand your professional network, remote networking offers many possibilities. Let's look at how you can get started!

23rd Apr 2024

With the rise of remote working, networking has taken on a whole new dimension. No longer is there a need to rely on in person events and conferences to connect with people and form connections, it can now be done at the comfort of your own home. But how do you get started?

In this blog, we'll look at the ins and outs of remote networking, how you can use it to expand your connections, explore new opportunities, and grow your careers.

What is remote networking?

Remote networking is building and maintaining professional relationships using digital channels and platforms, rather than traditional in-person methods. It involves connecting with colleagues, potential employers, industry peers, and other professionals virtually, regardless of where they are based. 

It can include: 

  • Attending virtual events
  • Participating in online forums and groups
  • Engaging with contacts on social media platforms 
  • Virtual meetings or coffee chats. 

The goal of remote networking is to expand your professional network, exchange knowledge and ideas, explore career opportunities, and stay connected with others in your field.

5 tips to help you nail remote networking 

1. Use your social media platforms 

Social media platforms have become a popular channel for remote networking, especially Linkedin. If you’re not familiar with using platforms like linkedin it’s easy to get overwhelmed and not know where to focus when it comes to networking. 

Here are some ways you can make the most of these platforms:

  • Optimise your profile: Make your profile is complete, up-to-date, and highlights your skills, experience, and achievements. Use a professional headshot and a compelling headline that showcases your expertise. This will make it easier for connections to know what you’re all about and it’s a good way to help with starting conversations.
     
  • Think quality over quantity: Identify and connect with professionals in your industry, alumni from your school, or members of relevant groups. Personalise your connection requests by mentioning shared interests or experiences. If you are connecting with someone on Linkedin ask yourself why. It’s easy to get carried away and have lots of connections however try to think about quality over quantity when it comes to remote networking. 
  • Be consistent: Share insightful content, join discussions, and comment on others' posts. By consistently providing value and showcasing your knowledge, you'll naturally attract the attention of potential connections.

2. Attend virtual events and webinars 

Virtual events and webinars are a great way to expand your network and connect with likeminded people who are interested in a particular topic. 

To make the most of these events:

  • Find relevant events: Look for virtual conferences, panel discussions, or workshops related to your industry or areas of interest. Many professional associations and organisations now host regular online events.
  • Participate actively: Engage in Q&A sessions, join breakout rooms, and contribute to chat discussions. By sharing your insights and asking thoughtful questions, you'll stand out and create opportunities for further conversation.
  • Follow up: After the event, reach out to speakers or attendees you connected with. Express your appreciation for their insights and suggest continuing the conversation or meeting for a virtual coffee.

3. Join online communities and forums 

Online communities and forums are excellent places to connect with like-minded professionals, share knowledge, and build relationships. To get started:

  • Identify relevant groups: Search for groups or forums related to your industry, job function, or specific interests. LinkedIn Groups are a  great places to start.
  • Introduce yourself: Once you join a group, take a moment to introduce yourself and share your background, expertise, and what you hope to gain from the community.
  • Add value: Regularly share interesting articles, ask thought-provoking questions, and offer helpful advice or resources. By consistently providing value, you'll build credibility and attract potential connections.

4. Ask for a chat 

Virtual coffee chats have become the new norm for informal networking conversations. To make the most of these chats:

  • Schedule a time: Reach out to potential connections with a personalised message, briefly explaining your interest in connecting and suggesting a few time slots for a virtual coffee.
  • Prepare talking points: Before the chat, research the person's background and think about topics you'd like to discuss. Prepare a few questions that demonstrate your genuine interest in their work and experiences. Try not to be too over prepared and overthink it, the best conversations can happen naturally too!
  • Express gratitude: After the chat, send a follow-up message thanking them for their time and insights. If you discussed any action items or next steps, be sure to follow through promptly.

5. Help others along the way

At the heart of successful networking is a spirit of generosity and helping others. To build strong, mutually beneficial relationships:

  • Make introductions: If you know two people who could benefit from connecting, make an introduction. By doing this, you'll strengthen your own network and build goodwill.
  • Share resources: If you come across an article, book, or some useful research that you think could be helpful to someone in your network, share it with them. These small gestures demonstrate your thoughtfulness and want to support others' growth.
  • Offer your expertise: If someone in your network has a question or challenge related to your area of expertise, offer your insights or advice. By being generous with your knowledge, you'll build trust and credibility. Of course you can’t do this for everyone but when you can it will go a long way. 

Remember, it’s an going process!

Networking is not a one-time event but an ongoing process of building and nurturing relationships. To keep your connections strong:

  • Stay in touch: Regularly check in with your connections, even if it's just to say hello or share an interesting article. Consistent communication helps keep the relationship going.
  • Celebrate successes: When someone in your network achieves a milestone or accomplishment, reach out to congratulate them. Showing that you're paying attention and invested in their success strengthens the bond.
  • Express appreciation: Regularly express gratitude for the support, advice, or opportunities your connections have provided. A simple "thank you" goes a long way!

And last but not least…have fun with it! 

Networking can seem daunting at first, but once you get started, you'll begin to see its impact. Remember, it's not just about short-term gains; it's about building long-term. 

Networking is a two-way street. While you may have specific goals in mind, you never know who you might meet or what opportunities could arise. Embrace the process and start building your dream network!