Networking to find clients, get a job, looking for a mentor or connecting with people that share a common interest has gotten incredibly difficult during the mess that is 2020. At Workomo, we’ve been trying to figure out opportunities for networking online, just like you. Here is a quick list of things we found working for us during the pandemic.
1. Use Social to Connect Online
Social media can be incredibly powerful when used well. Many members on our team are active on Twitter, LinkedIn and ClubHouse which allows them to network online pretty easily.
Data scientists: What software/tools do you most use to do your job?
— Lenny Rachitsky (@lennysan) December 11, 2020
Twitter can be incredible for connecting with people from around the world. Join their conversations, make thoughtful comments on topics that they care about. If you’re from the startup world, Lenny Rachitsky regularly engages his followers with questions related to products, building a company, and technology.
Jumping into conversations like these, answering questions, or recommending other products is a great opportunity to connect with people like Lenny and all of the other people engaging on Twitter. It takes time and effort to be helpful, genuine and it could take a little work for some people to get out of their comfort zone publicly. From what we’ve seen, it’s worth it.
2. Start Creating Content to Network Online
The creator economy really took off in 2020. People are creating an insane amount of content every day. For example, prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, 500 hours of video was uploaded to YouTube every minute.
Niche newsletters, TikTok creators, Instagrammers are gaining influence like never before. Content creators are networking online with a one-to-many approach by using text, audio and video content that’s relevant and enjoyable. Even if they aren’t influencers (yet), people want to network with these creators because they are visible and vocal – so get visible and vocal.
Creating high quality content can help turn you into a hub for networking, thus, people coming to you rather than you having to go to others to connect.
3. Online Communities
Online communities on Facebook, LinkedIn, Slack and various websites are a great way to get started with networking online. Find groups and communities that are active and suite the kind of vibe you’re looking for. Once you join or are invited, start engaging with people in a thoughtful and helpful way. It’s always good to join the communities and contribute to them before trying to extract value.
4. Start Building Relationships
As you start connecting with people on social, through content that you’re creating or consuming and online communities, identify people that you would want to connect with for a fifteen or thirty minute conversation about a specific topic of interest to both of you. Reach out and start setting up those 1:1s. You can use Workomo to quickly learn a little bit more about the people you’ve scheduled 1:1s with. If the initial 1:1 meeting goes well, think about how/when/why to reconnect and maybe even work on something together.
LunchClub.ai has got a massively long wait list but if you have a friend that can invite you, it’s an interesting platform for online networking. Results do seem to vary from person to person and region to region. For example, we’ve seen that matches in the San Francisco Bay Area are usually very relevant than in other regions. However, it’s worth giving it a shot because you may meet some very interesting people through LunchClub, with very little effort.
Happy New Year and hope you expand your network significantly in 2021.