How to Network in a Virtual Environment  
Unless you were previously working in a remote role, a lot of adjustments have been made to our daily lives, especially our social lives both personally and professionally. Networking and making connections are a big part of what brokers do—whether that’s at industry events, Affiliate events or community events with local businesses. So how can we navigate this new environment and still make meaningful connections?
Ensure your online brand matches your in-person brand
If your LinkedIn profile or email signature look sloppy, it will send someone the same message as having a weak handshake or wearing ripped jeans to a black-tie event. Be sure your online profile matches (as best you can) the essence and energy people would feel if they met you in person.
Be aware of our current environment
A little bit of empathy goes a long way. Acknowledging we’re in the midst of a pandemic and asking how someone’s coping with the situation will build rapport. Be specific if you can. For example, if you know someone has kids, ask how they’ve been dealing with being away from their friends, or if they have a cottage, ask if they’ve been spending more time there this summer.
Make your presence known
If you’re attending a virtual event, publicize your attendance both before and after the event. Let your network know how they can find you during the event (for example a specific chat room) or what panels you’ll be attending so you have that conversation starter to rely on.
Set small goals
Whether it’s for a virtual event or just trying to actively network more than you have been, set goals for yourself. For example, finding new clients in two new industries or introducing yourself to five new people during a virtual tradeshow.
Erin Hough—Membership Coordinator, IBAO
Even though this is new for most of us, there are ways we can connect with each other and meet new people that might help down the road. Make sure to brush up on your skills and start thinking about your participation in
IBAO’s Virtual Convention
October 21–22.
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