4 Great Strategies for Networking in a Remote Setting was originally published on Firsthand.
With hybrid and remote roles becoming more sought after, many workers are finding themselves spending a lot more time at home. Of course, there are various benefits to working from home; however, there are fewer opportunities for in-person networking. Lucky for us, there are many interesting ways in which we can build our professional network while working remotely. Here are some creative strategies you can try.
Pursue Your Hobbies
Whether you join a local sports team, visit the comic book store every Wednesday to retrieve your pull list, or regularly play live gigs with your rock band, there are many chances to meet and speak with new people. The best part about using your hobbies as a vehicle for networking is that you’ll meet people who share your interests and values. In addition to this, hobbies that get you out of the house are the best remedy for feeling trapped at home working all day long.
Of course, you’ll meet a lot of people who might make great new friends, but there’s a chance that some of the people you speak with are following a similar career path. Here, you can learn more about your craft, share stories, and find new and exciting opportunities through your efforts. Putting yourself out there in this way can be a little nerve-racking, but the more you do it, the more confidence you’ll build and the easier striking up conversations will become—this is essential for effective networking.
Webinars are great because you can attend them from the comfort of your own home without the hassle of travel time and expenses. Additionally, webinars are excellent for those who feel more comfortable in a virtual setting, as opposed to attending in-person events. It’s important to remember that when it comes to these events you’ll get out what you put in, so make sure to speak up and make yourself known.
A simple Google search will help you identify upcoming webinars relating to your field, or on any number of topics that interest you. If you’re feeling particularly industrious you can even host your own webinar through a variety of different platforms. Keep in mind that certain platforms might require payment for their services, so do some research into which ones work best for you. There’s quite a bit that goes into hosting your own networking events, so we’ll delve into that with considerably more vigor in the near future.
Leverage Social Media
There are a few different ways to go about using your social media accounts to build your professional network. First, you can seek out groups that are relevant to your field and spend some time participating in discussions. These groups are also a good place to look for the aforementioned webinars.
Lots of companies are going to Instagram to host live content that serve as sort of “mini webinars,” and these are great networking opportunities. Not only can you connect with companies that you admire, but you’ll have the chance to meet all kinds of people in a live setting. These settings are great because anything can happen, and the audience participation can lead to all kinds of interesting scenarios. Just imagine having the top comment—you never know who might contact you!
Another great way to leverage your social media accounts is to connect with your alumni community on LinkedIn. You might have noticed that when you’re looking for jobs on LinkedIn, you’ll be alerted when alumni from your college work at a company you’re applying for. This is a great way to build your network, and you might even be able to ask for a referral and get the inside track to a great job! Yes friends, social media interactions can lead to all kinds of great things, and I can personally attest to this.
Start a Podcast
This one might seem scary at first, but it’s actually a great way to meet people if you think about it the right way. Here, we’re not looking for instant e-fame and all the expensive cars and sponsorship deals that come along with it, but instead a vehicle to get your own thoughts and feelings out there in hopes of starting a conversation.
Podcasts are also great for featuring guests, and you might be able to convince people from your network to come on and speak with you about any variety of topics relating to your industry and interests. Of course, getting yourself all set up to start a podcast will take time, research, and at least some money, but if you’re the kind of person who isn’t afraid to get out there and take chances, it’s a great way to network. Even if you’re on the shy side it could be a great exercise—you might find that you’re great at it!
When it comes to networking in a remote setting, it’s important to think creatively. Some of these strategies are great for introverts since they eliminate the need for in-person interactions, but there’s a lot of value in getting out of the house and having some face-to-face conversations. This is why something like pursuing your hobbies is included on this list, as having at least some in-person interactions will serve you well when you decide to go on job interviews. The bottom line is, you should seek to find the combination of strategies that works best for you.