Professional Networking is, by definition, when you build relationships with other professionals in your career and in other unrelated fields. You can let this type of network develop naturally or you can create a strategy to establish your professional network, both online and in person.
My parent strategy to develop my professional network, in this Covid world, is to build on my online network and, at the same time, look for potential safe opportunities to continue to develop my in-person networks. When it is safer to do so, I can put more emphasis on expanding my existing off-line networks. Below are some short-term activities and commitments that I want to undertake to expand my networks.
8 Future Short-Term Activities to Develop my Networks:
1.Keep My Blog up to Date:
As well as adding relevant links and other information to my Demystifying COBOL blog, I would like to commit to adding original posts at least twice per month. Also, I would like to devote time every couple of days to reply to comments on my blog. The conversations have been mostly one way up until now, and I would like to correct that.
2. Develop my LinkedIn Group and Profile:
I currently have an “Online Learning Design and Development” LinkedIn group. I would like to work on attracting new members to that group. It will be useful for me when creating and marketing online courses. I would also like to develop my LinkedIn profile by adding a link to my blog and making sure the profile information is up to date.
3. Search on Twitter for People:
Another activity I would like to commit to is to search on Twitter, at http://www.twitter.com/search, for people living around me, to follow them and possibly gain more followers in the process. Also, I would like to create a hashtag on Twitter to use for my posts to attract more people to my demystifying COBOL brand.
4. Current Events and a New Group on Facebook:
Another idea I want to take advantage of is to use Facebook to search for current events in my area to find ways to network and meet new people. I also want to set up a Facebook group to pair with my demystifying COBOL page and start some COBOL discussions in the group.
5. Pinterest as a Business:
While listening in on Social Media blogging groups, I have learned that Pinterest is an excellent way to attract followers to your blog and promote your brand. I want to put some time into finding out how Pinterest works and how I can use it for networking.
6. Search for Meetups:
I discovered that I could search on meetup.com to find free meetups in my area. This activity is mostly for the future when it is safe to get together with people in person again.
7. Attend Inexpensive Unconferences:
In addition to regular conferences, I want to look for opportunities to attend unconferences, which are user generated conferences that are less expensive or free. Anyone can present a session at these conferences. A type of unconference is a Podcamp which is a conference for Social Media.
8. Attend Free Online Webinars:
There are many free Online Webinars advertised everywhere in Social Media. I specifically want to sign up for those that talk about creating and marketing online courses. I enjoy listening to Webinars and feel that they could be a very positive networking opportunity.
With all of these online networking activities to pursue during the pandemic, I will be able to easily occupy myself in the short term, by starting online conversations and acquiring Social Media followers, until I am able to attend in-person events again.
We are assuming that things will go back to the way they were before Covid. What if this way of working and meeting remotely is the new normal? Maybe the pandemic forced us prematurely into a future that we were destined for anyway.