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Networking Will Never Be the Same: 5 Ways to Make Online Networking A Boost to Your Business

October 29, 2021 7:01 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

  • By Nancy Fox, Founding Member and LWCN's SME on Connections and Business Development

  • If two years ago I had declared that face-to-face networking would be practically non-existent, you would have thought I had lost my marbles.

  • Well, friends, I am reminded of the prophetic words of my ninth-grade English teacher who gleefully announced each time he pop-quizzed us:

    “Always expect the unexpected.”

    The impact of Covid-19 on our planet and business, could never have been predicted.

    Everything is different, especially our perspective.

    In the past, our hardcore belief was that face-to-face in person networking was the best way to network, preferable to anything using technology. Face to face was so much more human and effective than virtual conversations.

    That belief has been firmly blown up. We now know, with 100% certainty, that wonderful new relationships can cultivated online, can flourish, and result in a lot of new business.

    This new direction does call for us making important adjustments, of course – first and foremost in our mindsets, the way we embrace and use technology, and even practicing new techniques.

    As a networking ninja who loves a great live networking party and event, I have made the transition to online networking and have fallen deeply in love.

    Here are five ways online networking has become a major advantage in expanding the quantity and quality of leads, business relationships, and tangible results for my business and how it can elevate yours too:

    • Efficiency – How wonderful not to have to battle the morning traffic, worry about parking, or train schedules. Online networking – whether in group or one-to-one has been so much more efficient. Group attendance has never been more consistent. Not only that, but this has been much better for my waistline – no required breakfasts, lunches, dinners, or cocktails. 
    • Quality of relationships – It has been so terrific to find qualified connections on Linked In. With the right strategies and mindset, I am able to form high-caliber relationships with new people each week. I have also been reconnecting with long-lost colleagues too! Using LinkedIn profiles, I can quickly familiarize myself with each person in advance and develop rapport quickly.
    • Accountability – Online networking over Zoom or Google Meet connects all calendars and connection events. With links and reminders pre-loaded, it is so much easier to show up and hold myself accountable. In my research, I’ve asked networking group leaders how attendance has been affected by virtual meetings. Almost all have said that attendance rates are significantly higher at virtual meetings. Convenience seems to elevate accountability.
    • Fun – Meeting people from all over the country and the world is fun! I do not have to buy a plane ticket to visit people in NYC or Chicago, or even London! It is fun to make friends and colleagues in new cities and have friends to visit all over the world. We can also share screens, bring our pets, and chat links to innovative ideas, books, tools, and solutions during meetings. Online allows us to be so prolific with each other.
    • Focus – When you are meeting with people in a designated group or one-to-one, and you are on camera with each other, it requires you to focus and really listen, pay attention to what other people are saying, read their faces. This focus and listening ups the depth of the relationship.
    • You also do not have to worry about breaking into an ongoing conversation with others or scan the room looking for the next person to network with.
    • Focus appears to positively impact ROI as well, in new leads, opportunities to speak publicly, or with new clients. The tangible outcomes are baked right into this mode of networking.

Without a doubt, there are pros and cons to each mode of networking. Also, without a doubt, the assumption that live in-person networking is the best way has forever been challenged.

Fortunately for us, we have advanced virtual tools to aid us in meeting and engaging with each other easily, fluidly, cost-effectively.

As more and more professionals embrace online networking as a fact of life, the results will only improve.


Nancy Fox is the President of The Business Fox in Los Angeles.  She’s a former corporate exec, turned passionate career and business coach for female professionals, who are ready to rev up their careers to extraordinary new levels!  For the past 20 years, she’s helped hundreds of high-performing women execs and professionals have career breakthroughs, gain greater recognition and income, equipping them to break free of career blocks and command their worth™!

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