Us human beings are social animals.
Which is why social distancing is counterintuitive.
The desire for us to meet and form business relationships and to recognize, create, or act upon business opportunities, share information and seek potential partners for ventures is in our collective DNA. We are hardwired to network.
But thanks to the pandemic we now all find ourselves in, face-to-face (or ‘in person’) networking is not going to come back anytime soon. Practicing it at a distance is oxymoronic. Or just plain moronic.
In many ways, the novel coronavirus has done me an enormous favor.
For I have been extolling the virtues of 𝒗𝒊𝒓𝒕𝒖𝒂𝒍 networking networking long before COVID-19 reared is ugly and utterly destructive head as this article written in 2018 bears witness. I subsequently published this one which was also written in the pre-corona age. Maybe this was a utopian era, it’s just we did not realize it at the time.
Networking virtually offers enormous advantages versus its ‘real world’ variant.
The obvious beneficiary is the environment. By not driving and flying to places, we are not pumping pollutants into the atmosphere thereby eliminating our collective carbon footprints.
Then there’s the globality of it.
If you were to attend a networking event in, say, New York City, you are only going to meet people from in and around that particular area.
Online, the world is our oyster. We can meet and engage with new and interesting people globally. When Tim Berners Lee invented the World Wide Web, that term was born for good reason.
Then there’s the cost. This morning, I engaged with someone who lives in New Zealand. That’s ten thousand miles away from me. In order to have met her in person, I would have had to spend a small fortune in airfares and accommodation. Not to mention the time it would have taken to get me there.
By networking online, my costs are practically zero since the internet has become am essential utility which I need to pay for anyway.
My main tool to network this way is WhatsApp which is used by some 2 billion people globally.
I run some 150 WhatsApp groups covering all manner of business themes. By the time you read this, the real number will probably be much higher. The theme of such a group can be practically anything. In some ways, the more niche the better. ‘Tech’ will not cut it. ‘Agritech’, however, will. When two or more people involved in a specialized space engage, there is much more likely to be a meeting of minds and therefore the chance of a deal being done are much much higher.
Whenever someone new enters into my network, I show them a ‘menu’ of said groups and ask them to cherry pick those that pique their interest. The small niche groups is where the real magic happens.
All of you reading this article are invited to all :) To accept my invitation, ping me a message on, you guessed it, WhatsApp. My number is +447906786505 — you can schedule a free no obligation call with me here.
As an African proverb points out, ‘If you want to go fast go alone. If you want to go far go with others.’
‘See’ you in the groups. I will introduce you so some amazing people, just like you.
For the need to expand our network remains an inherent part of the human condition.
Even more so during a pandemic which, by definition, is global.
For more information, visit https://virtualpowernetworking.com/