Be active and show you are accessible.
Networking has always been a vital component of your marketing.
With a year’s experience of networking online under your belt, consider these FIVE best practices to strengthen your presence in virtual networking groups and improve your activity.
- Customize your virtual background. Use the space of your box to display information about your company and how to contact you. Many templates are available online at Canva.com and other sources.
You can see the difference a custom background makes in the array below.
In the top row, I’m in the second box; my contact information is displayed and legible to the attendees (although blurry in this photo). Only a few other people, like the woman in the fifth box, also have a custom background; see how her orange logo stands out.
In the bottom row, the man in the third box put his company’s logo smack dab in the middle of the screen. Notice that his body completely obscures the logo until he shifts his position.
Don’t miss this opportunity for promotion. Consider the virtual background to be a frame and position your company name and contact information accordingly.
- Be prepared when the large group disperses into breakout rooms. Everyone in the small group is looking at the other participants, wondering who’s in charge of the discussion.
Step up to the plate and YOU take charge. State your name and your profession. Then say “I’m going to give my elevator pitch and put my contact information in the chat. Next, I will call on each of you in turn to do the same. Here we go.”
After you and the others have participated in the round of introductions, ask a question that will invite responses from all the members. You can focus on a problem that you are facing in your business, or ask about something that is related to your services. For example, I usually pose a question about how people are promoting their business; that opens the door for me to share an aspect of my Public Relations and Marketing background.
- Craft an effective elevator pitch. It should be 30 seconds, which is 75-84 words. Summarize a skill or a recent client success. Mention your target client or referral source. Remind the audience to contact you.
- Use the chat to connect with others in the meeting. Send a private message to those you know and reach out to those you want to meet. Save the chat by clicking the three dots in the lower right corner in Zoom.
- Commit to attending more networking groups and being an active participant. Invite your clients and referral sources to the groups you attend and ask to be invited to their groups. You will all expand your circles of contacts.
These five tips are designed to help you boost your participation and outreach in virtual networking events. For more ideas, please contact me and I will be glad to deliver a presentation to you and a group, a minimum of FIVE attendees, for a modest fee.
This Month’s Tip
Prepare in advance to share your contact details. You can easily copy and paste your name, email and phone in the Zoom chat, preferably in the middle of the networking session, when everyone has arrived and settled in. For example:
Public Relations and Marketing Communications
Save this contact information block as a DRAFT email to keep it handy. You’ll never worry that you typed so quickly you dropped a digit from your phone number.
Does your elevator pitch pack a punch? How does your virtual background display? Check in with me for a test drive over Zoom. Contact me today at Janet@JanetLFalk.com or call me at 212.677.5770. Let’s work together to make your virtual networking success a reality.
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