Are you showing up naked and unprepared, or are you just not showing up because you’re not sure how to prepare? I recently had someone reach out to me through LinkedIn, inviting me to connect. When I started looking at his profile, I was really surprised because this guy is the President of a company, or so he says, but when I looked at his photo… naked, totally! Obviously, I could only see from the waist up, but why would you post a naked picture of yourself as your profile picture if you’re a professional? Totally blew my mind!! But it made me realize that a lot of people are showing up naked and unprepared to virtual networking.
Yes, showing up hypothetically naked and unprepared to networking. They don’t know what they want to talk about, they’re not sure who they want to connect with, and they’re going away thinking that virtual networking is not working for them. The idea behind virtual networking is like networking in person. You wouldn’t show up to a meeting where there’s open networking in your gym clothes or pajamas, you would show up professionally. Why not show up professionally on camera?
I’ve recently had the opportunity to share my perspective on improving your impact through virtual networking with several organizations. In this presentation I outline some of the do’s and don’ts of showing up virtually and the importance of connecting with your virtual audience as professionally as possible to grow your network and increase your success rate. Here are a few tips from that presentation.
Virtual Networking Success Tips
- Prepare ahead of time. Know what you want to share and who you want to connect with. Given the opportunity, add your name and email to the chat. Encourage the host to ask everyone to do the same.
- Show up professionally. Be aware of your personal appearance and your background. Remember, eating on screen isn’t always pretty, especially if no one else is eating.
- Familiarize yourself with your technology and the app you are using to connect. Stop turning your camera off!
- Use the chat box wisely. Message people privately to invite them to a follow up call. Be careful not to detract from the speaker by overusing the chat feature.
- Know what you want to share in your 30 second message and any announcements you’d like to share.
- Thank the host and be respectful. Contribute to the conversation when invited to do so.
- Download the chat file at the end of the meeting when possible. Send a quick follow-up message after the call to those who shared their email.
Put your best foot forward! Virtual meetings are the new way of connecting, it’s part of business now and we need to look at it as part of business. In the same way, we need to show up with our message. What do you stand for? Why are you showing up there? Who are you trying to connect with? Understand that your 30 second message is vital to attracting attention now more than ever.
As I share in my presentations and my book, “Your 30 second message is not the closer, it’s the opener.” It’s the opener to every potential conversation you will have with the people in your network. It’s the message that attracts people and gets them to want to know more about you, your services, who you serve, and more importantly, how you can help them or the people that they know and love.
That’s what your 30 second message is about, but if you’re not prepared and you don’t know what that message is, you’re going to come away from networking thinking ‘this isn’t for me, it’s not going to work, or, I don’t know how to do this,’ and you’re going to feel defeated. I don’t want you to feel defeated. There are many opportunities for you to learn how to create your 30 second message.
I’ve written a book where I teach people how to craft an attention-getting message and how to connect with your network in an authentic, non-sales-y way. Working with organizations and teams, my desire is to help business owners, entrepreneurs, and professionals learn the simple formula for creating a 30 second message that connects on a deep decision-making level with their intended audience.
Look, I don’t ever want you to show up at another networking meeting, online or in-person, naked and unprepared. Never ever again! My promise, when we work together, is that you will learn to craft a clear concise message you will deliver with confidence and in such an authentic way that easily attracts clients you were meant to serve. Schedule a call today.
Wishing you much success,