For any businessperson, networking is one of the most important things that must be done. This is even more so for entrepreneurs. Whichever field your business is in, the more contacts you have, the more opportunities you may have to collaborate with other brands, break into new markets, or reach new demographics.
Today, for most entrepreneurs remote working has become an everyday occurrence, and it can sometimes feel difficult to stay on top of networking when working remotely. Here are some tips for you to keep in mind when trying to brush up on your networking skills.
There are a lot of different ways to try virtual networking, whether you are spending time in groups on social media or taking the time to thoughtfully engage with content from other thought leaders in your field. The main thing you want to keep in mind is to put the other people first. Don’t just push your services and your business right away the moment you meet someone. That comes across as tacky and pushy. Networking is all about building relationships.
In-person events can be valuable and beneficial, even for remote entrepreneurs. Make sure to stay aware of conferences, seminars, and other networking events in your area and even within areas that are reasonable for you to travel to that are related to your field. You must come to these events prepared with networking strategies. You want to make sure you plan properly, you want to make sure you take time to take care of yourself as these events can get exhausting (especially for introverts), and you want to make sure you set proper boundaries with others.
If you went to college or grad school, there is almost certainly an alumni group of which you can be a part. They will likely have networking events you can attend to meet up with others from your alma mater. You may even meet up with someone who has had a similar career path to you who can become somewhat of a mentor. And mentors for entrepreneurs can be extremely helpful.
Virtual co-working spaces have been popping up all over the country, and you typically can rent office space or even part of a communal workspace for an affordable fee. This can be a good way to get to know other entrepreneurs in the community.
If you really want to see a group or event for a certain field, but there isn’t one, you can be the one to take initiative and create one. Collaborate with some other entrepreneurs to start the group. Whether this is an in-person meetup or a virtual group on social media, this is a great way to meet new people, and they will all respect you much more for it. Being a remote entrepreneur can be a little isolating at times, but it doesn’t have to be. All it takes is a little effort to connect with others and to stay engaged with business owners in your field.
Katie Brenneman is a passionate writer specializing in lifestyle, mental health, education, and fitness-related content. When she isn't writing, you can find her with her nose buried in a book or hiking with her dog, Charlie. To connect with Katie, you can follow her on Twitter.