Marketers and PR pros are known for their networking prowess. We’re constantly connecting with others in our field and potential clients. Before the pandemic, we hustled to lunch-time coffee meet ups, after-work events and even participated in networking online and on the weekends in places like LinkedIn and other social sites. The pandemic put a halt to most of our connection strategies, and as the situation continues to shift, many of us are looking forward to getting back to some semblance of normal networking. However, not everyone is ready for big networking events.
Here are four tips to help you ramp up networking amid the current stage of the pandemic:
- Limited numbers
If you want to get together in a group, limit the number of people or groups in which you participate. Organizers might also want to host their event outdoors, if possible, to make sure that good ventilation is available, and make any other considerations so that everyone feels comfortable. Think about asking everyone to continue to wear masks regardless of their vaccination status, or even take handshakes off the table. With a few modifications to size, location and interaction details, we could all be back together sooner than expected.
- Communicate clearly
Just as important as it is for groups, in one-on-one meetings you should also make sure that your fellow networker feels safe and excited about your connection. When setting up your meeting, find out what locations and parameters make them the most comfortable. Some may be okay with an indoor, restaurant meeting, others may want to be masked and outdoors. Make it clear what options are on the table and let them know you’re open to accommodating their preferences.
- Consider other ways
Not all networking has to be in person as we’ve proven over this last year and more. Show people they are still on your mind even if they aren’t ready for face-to-face networking. Reach out to set up a virtual meeting, send a hand-written note, forward a useful article or even (gasp) give them a call on the phone. For a unique touch, order lunch or a treat to be delivered to them for your virtual meeting. The whole point of networking is to let people know how you can help them and thinking outside the box when it comes to networking will certainly catch their attention.
- Continue digital
We’ve been networking digitally for over a year now, and while some may be ready for in-person connections, others may not. That’s okay! During this stage of the pandemic, continue to network digitally via LinkedIn, your social media presence on other platforms, thought leadership pieces and virtual meetings. By being flexible and offering a range of connection opportunities, you’ll be able to network with a wider range of professionals.
Casting your net
At this stage of the pandemic, we’re in somewhat of a limbo between in-person events and digital networking. By communicating clearly with fellow networkers we can make sure that everyone feels comfortable as we get back to the business of connecting.
Are you ready to connect? Contact the team at BeyondFifteen today.