The global pandemic is upon us. Over the past 36 hours I’ve had two speaking engagements cancel and numerous events get put on hold. That could be a hard situation for a networker who relies on face-to-face contact to keep his network vibrant and alive.
So what’s a networker to do when he can’t network? After a conversation with a trusted friend, the wheels started turning. Just how does one keep networking when you can’t network? Simple: keep networking!
Bear with me here: there are a number of ways one can keep in touch without, er, touching. Let’s make a starter list (feel free to pile on):
- Return those phone calls and emails you’ve just been “too busy” to return. It might be a nice surprise to your recipient and make you feel as if you’ve retied the thread that has come undone between you.
- Write a LinkedIn recommendation. Yes, write some kind, but honest words about one of your contacts. And don’t expect anything in return.
- Rate that podcast of a colleague you’ve been meaning to listen to (and subscribe to, and to rate). You might learn something, too.
- Buy an associate’s book. Sure, Half-Price Books is the natural place to head, but let’s play it safe: buy it (either digitally or in print). when it arrives, read it and review it.
- Reconnect with people you haven’t seen in a while or have lost touch with (via LinkedIn or Facebook). This is a variation of the “Find ‘Em Friday” concept–just ’cause it’s Thursday doesn’t mean you can’t reach out!
- Write. A blog post. A review. A thank you note. A letter. You’d be surprised how much it opens your mind.
- Attend a webinar. Preferably one with people you know and on a topic that will be of interest and useful to you. You just might learn something.
- Buy a spontaneous gift and have it delivered to a close friend, important client or special associate. It might change their day.
- Go for a walk. I live in a very walkable neighborhood and either meet someone I know or report about it on social media and look for the responses.
- Look ahead. This isn’t going to last forever, so check out those events you want to attend or set that meeting with an associate a month or two out.
Keep positive, stay in touch and know that life keeps moving forward.