Most business owners will have heard of networking but some will place more emphasis on it than others. Some seem to be out for networking lunches all the time while others are wondering how they will ever get time to leave the office for a 5 minute walk, let alone a morning of networking. Despite the different demands on our time, networking can provide a fantastic opportunity to meet fellow business owners, gain insight and support and further develop business relationships, and now more people are doing it online.
The Rise of Zoom Networking
When the pandemic hit many of us were forced to work from home and Zoom usage rosed exponentially. We were using it for meeting with work colleagues, chatting with family and friends we couldn’t see, as well as organising virtual quiz and games nights. Zoom became an everyday word and many were reliant on it but since the world has opened up again Zoom hasn’t gone away. Many businesses have adopted is a their primary platform for virtual meetings but it is now also being used for business networking, and with 200,000 business customers it’s easy to see why.
Benefits of Zoom Networking
There are many benefits to networking in this way but one of the key benefits has to be convenience and accessibility. There’s no need to travel to meeting so it saves you both time and money. You can also join the networking from anywhere with an internet connection so you can network on the go.
Networking via Zoom removes geographical limitations which means you can expand your network and reach well beyond that of your immediate area. You can connect with professionals worldwide, who previously you may not have had opportunity to.
Many Zoom meetings happen with excellent time efficiency. There is no pre-meeting coffee or the challenge of getting everyone to stop their own conversations and join the wider group. Meetings are often quick and focused interactions that maximise time effectively.
There are various virtual networking events and communities so you can find one that fits your style and expertise. This also gives you the opportunity to engage with a broader range of professionals from different industries.
Some people feel more at ease in a virtual setting; they know the surroundings, they haven’t been flustered with the travel arrangements and they can wear what they want (within reason!). Feeling more at ease leads to better conversations and interactions which can help reduce the pressure associate with face-to-face networking.
Tips for Effective Zoom Networking
Try to treat Zoom networking in a similar way as you would face-to-face networking. You are representing your business so create a professional online presence; have a clear, uncluttered backdrop, try to eliminate background noise, engage active listening and don’t get distracted checking your emails or doing something else.
Embracing the power of Zoom has proven to be a game-changer for professionals seeking to expand their connections and seize new opportunities. The benefits of Zoom networking, from increased accessibility to a wider reach, convenience and enhanced efficiency, are transforming the was we build relationships and grow our businesses. While face-to-face events will always hold their value, embracing virtual networking through Zoom opens doors to a world of possibilities. So, whether you’re a seasoned networker or just starting out don’t underestimate the potential of Zoom to propel your success and elevate your network experience. Embrace the power of technology and discover a new era of networking possibilities.