Networking When You Can’t

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):

  1. 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.
  2. Write a LinkedIn recommendation.  Yes, write some kind, but honest words about one of your contacts.  And don’t expect anything in return.
  3. Rate that podcast of a colleague you’ve been meaning to listen to (and subscribe to, and to rate). You might learn something, too.
  4. 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.
  5. 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!
  6. Write.  A blog post. A review. A thank you note. A letter.  You’d be surprised how much it opens your mind.
  7. 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.
  8. Buy a spontaneous gift and have it delivered to a close friend, important client or special associate. It might change their day.
  9. 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.
  10. 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.


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