The Ultimate Guide to using a Remote Networking Platform for Networking and Relationship Building

Did you know that 8 in 10 professionals confess that networking is an important driver for career development? Yet, if you ask most professionals what the hardest part of their career is, I bet networking is right up there. How can such an essential pillar of professional growth be so difficult at the same time?

In my years of being an investment banker where the first thing required is networking, I have to admit that I understand. Attending networking events and trying to earn an audience with industry players and investors requires a lot of legwork, not to mention the effort you need to put into business relationship management afterward.

However, I remember reading somewhere, “If you hate networking, you’re not doing it right.”

Most professionals struggle with this because they’re doing things the old-fashioned way. The hard way. In this article, I’ll show you how you can use a remote networking platform to once again enjoy networking, and more importantly, crack how to build relationships and connections that’ll pave the way for success.

What are the important aspects of networking I need to master for career growth?

I basically deconstruct networking into three important parts, and we’ll go into detail about how you can succeed at each one.

From my point of view, these are the three vital cogs to the networking wheel:

  • Prospecting (Sharing contacts): This involves meeting new faces and working your way to asking for a contact exchange.
  • First contact (Following up): So you’ve gotten your new contact. Now that that’s out of the way, comes the next important step: figuring out how to break the ice and craft that all-important first message.
  • Managing contacts: This is the part I know most professionals struggle with because maintaining relationships with your contacts involves so many moving parts.

How can I excel at prospecting and contact sharing the easy way?

Just do it. Over the years, I’ve realized that most people are held back by fear, and sometimes the best way to learn how to swim is to dive straight into the deep end. That’s especially true if you’d like to build robust networks fast.

Find opportunities to attend virtual and in-person networking events, don’t be afraid to tap into your social circles as well (friends and family), and think beyond your industry by doing volunteer work.

Then, once you’re in the moment, be sure to tap into the right technology to give yourself an advantage, because, let’s face it, you’re often dealing with huge competition and need to make yourself stand out.

One way to make yourself memorable is through digital business cards. These can say a lot about you and can help you:

  • Make a great first impression with a compelling design
  • Prove that you care about eco-friendliness and are innovative
  • Share business cards quickly with many prospects

According to a StayTouch survey, 44% of people dread giving out their cards. Ensure you’ll look forward to the process by perfecting your design.

If you don’t have a digital business card, here’s a simple procedure on how you can create your digital business card with our smart networking platform, StayTouch.

  • Set up a StayTouch account and create a public profile (your digital business card)
  • Set a profile picture to add trust and familiarity
  • Enjoy simple contact exchange solutions by wirelessly sharing your card

If you already have a physical business card you wouldn’t change for the world, then you can use StayTouch’s Bcard scanner to digitize it.

How can I get better at following up on new contacts?

Now this is where the hard work begins, and what most professionals fail to do: following up. Again, the key here is to just get going, and a remote networking platform can bail you out once more.

Let’s consider how, for example, you can still use the StayTouch app to make follow up easy:

  • Make smart notes to remember everything about your new contact. Personally, I find it hard to remember every tiny detail about how I meet someone for the first time, especially at crowded networking events, where you’re constantly shaking new hands. With StayTouch’s personal reference notes, you can easily keep track of the who, where, and when so you’re off to a good start with your new contact.
  • Chat with your new leads in real-time. This is the first follow-up step that most professionals put off until their memory fades from the mind of prospects. When you get a new contact, you want to send that first message asap. A thank you note, or additional reference material on what you discussed, is a great place to start.

A word of caution though: I wouldn’t appreciate a call in the middle of the night, and I assume that you wouldn’t as well, so it’s preferable to do this during office hours.

How can I make contact management easier and more efficient without detracting from my career?

Nurturing contacts can feel like such a chore, and if this speaks to you, then I bet you’re probably not using a business relationship management platform.

So you have to actually go through manual processes like confirming your contact’s availability for meetings, figuring out who’s changed their contact details, and so on. It can all get so dizzying fast until you eventually throw in the towel.

To ease the work involved in contact management, using an efficient contact management tool is wise. For purposes of illustration, I’ll use StayTouch’s features to show you how you can get around most of the work involved:

  • Automatic profile update. When your contacts make changes to their profiles, perhaps they now have a new job title, StayTouch automatically updates them in your contact book. Similarly, it also updates your entire network of your profile changes. So you don’t have to keep writing emails to everyone on your contact list about your new career switch.
  • Imploring virtual meeting scheduling tools: Reaching out to contacts for meetings and confirming availability is a cumbersome, iterative task in contact management. If you use StayTouch, you can use the calendar features to match timeslots. Moreover, you can easily schedule meetings, set memos and meeting reminders, and even get transcriptions of the discussions.
  • Organizing your contacts better with a smart organizer. With StayTouch, you can import contacts from your phonebook, clear up the clutter, and make it easy to get in touch with other professionals.

If you’ve always felt like your networking isn’t working, it’s probably because you’ve been doing it all by yourself.

Everything I’ve said, I’m not going to lie to you: you need to put in the work to accelerate your career development with networking. It takes dedication, patience, and the undying commitment to scour and seize opportunities wherever they lie.

However, a good professional relationships management tool like StayTouch can take over a lot of the legwork, and make networking fun, efficient and effective.

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Founder & CEO, StayTouch

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Gaurav Goel

Gaurav Goel

Founder & CEO, StayTouch

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