Five Networking Best Practices For Remote Workers
Networking is a critical skill for finding new clients and establishing a strong referral pipeline. When you work from home, though, you don’t exactly have plentiful opportunities to connect with new people. The good news is that you do not need to be standing face to face with others to develop and nurture relationships.
Britt Joiner, a demand generation professional, says there are some important best practices for networking as a remote sales rep. In this issue of Promotional Consultant Today, we share Joiner’s tips for putting yourself out there and effectively networking when you work remotely.
1. Narrow your network. Just as you would not aimlessly wander a tradeshow or conference, you should not cruise around the internet looking for connections. You need a strategy, says Joiner. This starts by being laser-focused on who you want to meet. This will help you reach out in the right channels. Joiner recommends searching for keywords and hashtags on Twitter or using tools like BuzzSumo to find the tweeters, bloggers and authors who are reaching the most people online about various topics.
2. Be true to who you are. You definitely have competition—but no one is exactly like you. That’s why it’s important to be authentic and original. Joiner recommends saying something that other people are not saying. Sometimes that just means asking them how you can be helpful and sometimes it means showing who you are and why you’re different. She notes that when people can see your passion and interest, it makes all the difference.
3. Pile on the giving. Don’t hold back from being generous. Joiner says that once you figure out who the right people are and you have something unique to share, plan to help them out. Before you ask for anything, you should always engage people, tell stories and provide value to them. It’s also important to make sure your connections know that you look up to them and you are not just looking for something in return. Tell them why you are interested in them. Maybe they have provided really valuable content that has changed your life or helped you grow your business. Tell them you love what they’re doing.
4. Connect genuinely. Rather than reaching out to try to get on someone’s good side, aim to be authentic. This means only connecting with those you genuinely want to have a relationship with. When you ask them for something, Joiner recommends being clear. In other words, never ask to “pick someone’s brain.” Don’t hint that you might need a favor—just come out and say what you are looking for. Otherwise, you risk confusing the other person and not getting value out of the connection.
5. Don’t make it a virtual headache. When it comes down to it, networking as a remote employee is pretty similar to traditional networking. You should strive to surround yourself with people who inspire you and offer some value in return.
Working remotely can present some challenges to being able to connect with people. However, when you aim to be strategic with your networking, show your authentic self and always aim to add value, you will succeed at networking remotely and growing your sales pipeline.
Compiled by Audrey Sellers
Source: Britt Joiner is a demand generation [a type of targeted marketing program that drive awareness and interest in a company's products and/or services] associate who helps businesses grow with marketing strategy, analytics, automation, digital marketing optimization, content production, social media, digital ads and more.