Improve your professional life, and you will be happier in your personal life. Set and pursue goals for yourself, your relationships, and your home. The positive changes you make will impact your career.
One goal that fits into both categories is networking. When you attend events - online or in real life, personal and professional - you meet new people. When you increase your circle, you have connections to additional resources, prospects, and community.
The people you meet may not be your ideal client or resource. However, they know others, which gives you greater access to the things and people you do need. Plus, you have more people to connect to your community.
You may be stuck inside - sheltering at home - but you can still spend time networking.
Here are 5 networking goals you can set and achieve from home.
1. Refresh Your Social Media Profiles. Your online persona is many people's first impression of you. Set aside time to review and refresh your social media profiles.
Start with LinkedIn, as that is the primary network for business - and the first place most people look for you after you meet. Make sure all of your experience is up-to-date, add multimedia to your summary and work sections, and update your profile pic and banner image.
While you are at it, take a look at your pictures and short bios for Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook.
2. Join Groups. ... and Interact. There are groups on Facebook, LinkedIn, and even more niche media sites. Find your people, join groups, and engage. Remember, these are networking opportunity, so you are not there to promote or sell. (Most groups have rules against it.) Introduce yourself, ask and answer questions, reply to posts, and meet new people.
3. Find Events and Attend Them. With the world at large staying in, many people are creating online opportunities to connect with friends and make new ones.
Look for Twitter chats, Facebook and Instagram Live interviews, and Zoom mixers. Ask your friends for recommendations or do a search for online events in your niche. You can also check local libraries and bookstores, chambers of commerce, and live meetup groups to see what online events they have planned.
In real life, I would recommend attending one event per week. Since there is no commute time, why not try two? Aim for one personal networking experience per week, and one professional. These could be fitness, book clubs, mixers, workshops, whatever suits your interests and personality.
4. Connect. At online events and through groups, you are bound to meet like minds. Start by following their professional profiles on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook. Check out their websites and blogs; make sure they are legit.
Then, connect with those whose values, interest, and personality align with yours. Find them on LinkedIn, write a personal note, and connect. Be sure to mention how you met, so they connect the dots.
5. Follow Up. Once you develop a rapport with someone, take the conversation up a notch. Send an email, invite them for virtual coffee, or send them links to other events. You never know what path a relationship will take. As you would in real life, start by getting to know one another, and then see where the conversation goes. You never know when - or how - you might meet a new referral partner, prospect, or friend.
Treat networking from home the same way you would off-line networking. Find new opportunities, meet new people, and learn new things. And have fun!
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What tips do you have for networking from home? Please share in the comments.
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Read last month's post on 5 things you can do when you are stuck inside.
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Your Goal Guide: A Roadmap for Setting, Planning and Achieving Your Goals. A writer, editor and project catalyst, as well as founder of the D*E*B METHOD and Write On Online, Deb works with individuals and businesses to set goals and manage their projects through one-on-one coaching, workshops, and online support. She is also the author of Write On Blogging: 51 Tips to Create, Write & Promote Your Blog and Purple Pencil Adventures: Writing Prompts for Kids of All Ages, host of the #GoalChat Twitter Chat and #GoalChat Live on Facebook, and a speaker/moderator on the subjects of writing, networking, goal-setting, and social media.