7 Unbreakable Laws Of Online Networking

7 Unbreakable Laws Of Online Networking

Online Networking

Most of us have been doing more online networking and meetings than ever before.

Someone asked me the other day, if I could turn back time, would I do anything differently. I immediately replied, “Yes, I’d buy shares in Zoom”.

I don’t know about you, but I can’t help but notice that there are some people who seem to have forgotten their networking etiquette.

Here’s the 7 Unbreakable Laws Of Online Networking.

1. Look directly at your camera!

This is particularly important if you’re doing an introduction about you and your business.  Whilst if won’t seem like it to you, you will make more of an impact and create a better connection, because the other people will feel like you’re talking directly to them. I know it’s not always easy getting used to online meetings, which can mean there is a subconscious temptation to avoid looking at the camera. It might take a bit of practice, but you’ll get used to it. Remember, looking at he camera is the closest you will get to looking someone in the eye.

2. Be on time!

Have you ever logged on to a networking meeting bang on time or a few minutes late? Generally, when it comes to time keeping, people fall into one of two categories. There are the people who are always early and being on time is late to them. Then, there are those who are always last minute or late. Being late to an online meeting is just as poor as being late to a face-to-face meeting. It sends out a message that you’re not bothered about anyone else and you’re unreliable. It could immediately create a bad impression.  Particularly with those people who deplore lateness.

 

 

3. Be present and attentive!

You wouldn’t take your laptop to a networking meeting and start sending emails mid conversation, so don’t do it online. It’s rude to be doing something else while you’re supposed to be participating in an online networking session.  Remember, if your video is on, even if you’re muted, everyone can see that you’re looking away from the screen, whilst tapping away on your keyboard. It’s a bit like completely turning your back on someone at a networking event. That’s not the lasting impression you want to create.

 

4. Have your video on!

If you don’t, it’s a bit like pitching up to a networking event with a paper bag over your head.  It’s rather difficult to build rapport with someone who you can’t see.  Strangely, 80% of people, who I’ve interviewed recently, agreed that when someone attends an online networking meeting without the video on, even if they listen to their introduction, they can’t remember what they said.  It’s a classic case of seeing is believing. Many people will need to see your face to have a connection and start to build trust, so please be mindful of this.  Technical hiccups happen, I know, but when possible, let people get to know you.   That’s how business relationships flourish.

 

 

5. Listen intently!

We have two ears and one mouth for a reason. It’s because we need to listen more than talk, and that’s no different with online networking. Listen to establish how you can help others.  That means, not hogging the limelight, especially if you’re networking with strangers. They want to get to know you, but they don’t need to know your entire life story on your first meeting. Save the best until last and let people get to know your gradually. The best conversationalists in history, are those who asked questions and listened.  They’re not the ones who talked the most or the loudest.

 

6. Add Value!

 

Try to find ways that you can add value to others. The more you help other people get what they want, the more other people will want to help you.  Networking is a bit like karma, and what you put out there, you get back. Once you feel confident and comfortable to do so, always try to help other people make the introductions they need to your contacts whenever you can.

 

 

 

7. Follow-up and take action!

 

The fruit is in the follow-up. This is always important, but since it can be more difficult to build rapport online than face-to-face, the follow-up is crucial.   Do what you say you will do, when you promised you will do, because the follow-up is the time when the rapport is built, and that business relationship begins! Connect with them on LinkedIn afterwards.

The general rule of thumb is treat other people how you would like to be treated by others.

 

 

Written by Tracy Heatley

If you would like to discuss any aspects of networking, I’d be happy to hear from you to see how I can help.  Please feel free to leave a comment on this post, or contact me and I’ll get back to you.

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Tracy Heatley

 

3 Comments

  • Russell Jackson
    Posted July 15, 2020 9:43 am

    Really good advice and very timely, I have been very guilty of number 3 but I do try and both Mute sound and video – I will remember not to do this in the future!

    I would also add that I was involved in a zoom meeting last week where the ‘chair’ of the meeting was eating lunch, which made me feel uncomfortable and showed a disregard for others – so for me a big no, no is eating, drinking is okay but discreetly.

    • Tracy Heatley
      Posted July 15, 2020 10:49 am

      Thank you for your feedback. Perhaps I should make it 8 unbreakable laws and add in the bit about eating! Thanks, Russell.

  • Geoff Cox
    Posted July 22, 2020 7:37 pm

    GOOD ADVICE TRACY, BUT CAN I SUGGEST ANOTHER GOLDEN RULE?
    NEVER, NEVER SHARE A JOKE WITH ANOTHER PARTICIPANT VIA THE ZOOM CHAT FACILITY. IF THE CURRENT SPEAKER SPOTS TWO ATTENDEES LAUGHING THEY MAY THINK THAT THEY SAID SOMETHING WRONG AND THE REASON THEY ARE BEING LAUGHED AT. i saw this happen just a few days ago and the speaker looked horrified and shortly after left the meeting well before the end

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