Before the pandemic, in 2019, I would attend a networking event every other week. This process often led to new business deals, new friends, and an array of new opportunities. But when 2020 hit, my networking came to a screeching halt—and so did my business.
I had built my business on referrals, and my lead pipeline began to dry up when I could no longer attend events and network with key decision-makers. Knowing that I still needed to network to succeed, I turned to digital platforms to help me build new relationships and nurture existing ones.
If you’ve heard it once, you’ve heard it a thousand times: “It’s all about who you know.” Networking continues to be the crucial mechanism for anyone seeking work or to build and develop their career. According to CNBC, up to 80% of jobs are filled via one’s network. It’s one of those clichés that everyone acknowledges because there is merit to the idea. That same report shows that 70% of all jobs are not publicly listed, making networking that much more important, as it can help you learn about those unlisted jobs. But how do you network during a pandemic?
Networking can be difficult during ideal situations. For many, there can be social anxieties and awkwardness to overcome. How do we come off as enthusiastic and passionate, but not too keen? For those unaccustomed, these concerns compound with the unfamiliarity of being on video.