How to meet new people and keep networking during COVID-19 lockdown
For many of us, meeting new people is a core part of our business. Whether you're doing sales for an agency, a boutique consultant or work as an investor, your business relies heavily on making new connections.
Up to now, you've been used to form new connections at events, or to meet online connections in the real world. But due to this extraordinary situation, that's not an option anymore. So what can you do about this?
Strengthen your existing connections
Everyone is in doubt, people need to adapt to this new situation, we are all a bit scared and lonely. More than ever, it's a great time to reach out, to ask how people are doing.
Scroll through your Twitter followers, your Linkedin connections, your WhatsApp history, etc... Find 10 people that you haven't been in touch with and with whom you'd like to stay connected.
Simply reach out. If it's been a long time, give them a short update about yourself and what you've been up to. Then, ask them how they're doing! Are they dealing well with the situation? How has their job changed? Can you help?
After a few messages, if you feel like it, suggest to get on a call (video or audio). This is a great way to do a short break in your day and to have a real conversation (you know, like the old, pre-coronavirus times).
Meet new people
Of course, this is also a time to meet new people! Except for high-level executives and managers, in these times, people are less busy. Projects have been cancelled, everyone is working from home, etc... This means people have more time. A great time to connect!
Online communities are flourishing. Whether you're interested in startups, growth, biology or AI, there is an active Slack community, Discord or Facebook group that you should join. Sharing your knowledge and helping others are great ways to build trust and gain credibility inside a recently joined community.
Build personal connections
Shortly after joining and starting to participate, you will notice other members that are interesting and who share smart insights.
Simply reach out! Send them a private message to discuss further and suggest to get on a short call or to add them on Twitter or LinkedIn. You'd be surprised how open people are to doing video calls with strangers. It will be a great way for you to exchange further and start a new friendship!
You can use a tool like Nat that analyses your email interactions to help you stay in touch with your new connections.