In person networking has started slowly to emerge from the ashes but it’s still iffy. Uncertainty rules. People are still hesitant. Organizers aren’t banking on filling event seats anymore. So how does a business owner continue to network online to get new clients, referral partners and suppliers? Here’s how…
The biggest skill you will need in the new world of pandemic networking is clarity. You need to concisely and effectively be able to sum up who you help and what expensive problem you solve for them specifically. Without this, you are lost. No message online or offline will ever help you land a meeting without being crystal clear.
Your online profiles and presence are now at the fingertips of everyone. Prior to the pandemic, you could visually size up someone. Now it’s all about pre-search (the research you do on a person you meet/target online before meeting them). Buff up your LinkedIn profile. Write or share a few articles about your niche and clients. Align your presence online to match your stated niche.
Get Into Their World
Research shows that the majority of buyers never plan to go back to in-person buying. Knowing this, narrow down your niche to an industry or an interest group that self-gathers in large numbers online. Attend their trainings, meetings, events. Turn your camera on and pay attention to what’s happening in the Zoom rooms rather than multitasking in the background. Send a chat message to attendees of the event. Ask questions if you’re allowed to in the events they attend. A better strategy than anything else, speak at the events they attend.
Mine the Treasure that’s LinkedIn
LinkedIn has changed my life after the pandemic. When all my speaking engagements and conferences got cancelled at the start of the covid revolution, I spent every last penny I had in hiring companies and coaches to teach me how to prospect on this machine. After all, every single person who had been sitting in conference rooms listening to my speeches on stage were on LinkedIn. Surely if I could reach them, I could teach them. And I was right. You too, could use this amazing resource. Cold or warm, do regular outreaches to new connections. Comment on and share their posts. Add value to your target industry. Your consistent efforts on this platform will be rewarded!
Invite Invite Invite
Use the online channels available to you to invite your target prospects to things you do that provides value around the expensive problem they’re struggling with. Invite them to be a podcast guest, to come to a livestream, a masterclass, a virtual Executive Roundtable. Sky’s the limit.
Meet and Greet Regularly
Even when you meet prospects in mass training Zoom meetings, reach out to them and ask to meet them one on one on a separate Zoom call to see where there might be synergies. I have been meeting perfect strangers who have become friends, colleagues, confidants and clients for the past few years. All thanks to the power of Pandemic Networking.
Last words of advice about this as well as any other marketing strategy is: to do it consistently. Play the long game and play to win.