Creating a great network in the middle of a pandemic is easier than you think
When the pandemic hit and put us all in a collective time-out, I was really bummed that I would be missing a blogger conference that I planned to attend in May. Shortly after that, all of my spring travel was cancelled and I made the decision to cancel all of my travel related events that were moving forward in the spring.
In addition, most of the events that I planned to attend didn’t have enough time to pivot to a virtual format. It wasn’t until later in the summer that I was able to participate in my first virtual seminar and conference organizers started to get really creative - developing virtual programs that were fun and engaging.
One of the conferences I planned to attend was the opportunity I had been looking for to build relationships in a new industry. I wanted to put some faces with our email correspondences and start to create a new network.
Find new ways to network
I had two choices - I could delay my plans until COVID was over, or I could find new ways to network and build a circle of influence. Social media was the easiest place to start so I created a list of industry experts and thought leaders in the spaces that I was interested in. Then I put together a plan of how I could create and engage with my audience and industry virtually. Here are a few of the resources that I used to keep growing:
Find a virtual networking group near you. I have limited the number of networking groups I have gotten involved in to those that truly bring me value and those that I feel I can truly contribute to as well. Femcity is that group! They are an international organization so more than likely there is a chapter near you. Their virtual classes have been info packed and because there are so many chapters, it’s a great way to build local relationships. Long Founder, friend and all-around powerhouse, Violette De Ayala is a true woman’s woman who has a heart for women and gives them the tools they need to succeed.
Look for Facebook groups or forums. There are some great Facebook groups that I discovered during COVID that have been extremely helpful. The trick here is to look beyond the large numbers and find groups with members - not just the forum organizer - are actively commenting and sharing ideas and resources.
Go global with Girl CEO. This group's founder, Ronne Brown, is an amazing, inspirational entrepreneur. As a matter of fact she was recently featuring in Forbes magazine. She is the loving, kick in the pants we all need (no excuses) and since she has been using social media to build her brand for over 10 years she is the perfect person to help you navigate remote empire building. This group brings different perspectives as a result of the variety of female run business members and there are lots of membership options to help you grow your business and mindset. Learn more here.
Host virtual events. If you’ve ever thought about hosting a live event now is the time to test it with a virtual audience. You can start small by hosting a 30 minute Facebook or Instagram live or test out speakers at a one day or weekend series. It’s a great way to try new content, connect with speakers and build an audience before the world reopens.
You can create a powerful network from the comfort of your work from home space. I’d love to hear what networking at home looks like for you. Please share your ideas in the comments below.