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COVID-19 has changed the world. Amid this pandemic – social distancing is paramount for our safety and lives. To grow, entrepreneurs must learn how to network during COVID and foster their business network.  Pre-COVID, networking was challenging, especially for an immigrant in a new country. During COVID, we need to do whatever it takes to rebuild and grow.

Joining a network or platform such as LinkedIn or a Facebook Group is not the end of your role in networking as an entrepreneur. To enjoy the benefits of networking, you must first understand what it means to grow your network. Your focus is to develop beneficial relationships with your connections. Make it a win-win.

Here are some ways to do it right.

 

1. Have an Entrepreneurial Mindset

You are an entrepreneur – aspiring, established, or considering to be one. Building a business network is not the same as growing your social network. You need to understand what business networking is and the benefits you stand to gain from it. The intention behind growing your network should be a mindset of Giving and Taking. Remember, the point of developing your network is to build relationships that are beneficial to you and your network. Yes, we human beings are social animals and all, but be intentional about the business relationships you seek to build.

 

2. Be Intentional and Ethical

Growing your network should be relevant to your business. Connecting with people without a plan, focus, or intention is not beneficial to you.  As an entrepreneur, your voice in a conversation puts you as the go-to person for your area of expertise. Always be intentional about every relationship you seek to grow, build or connect with when networking. Bear in mind these two important questions – what can I offer and what I stand to gain.

 

3. Do not be a Silent Member – Be Active!

In online networking (or any type for that matter), you need to avoid being a silent member of your community. To enjoy the benefits of networking, you need to engage with the community. You could contribute to a conversation with valuable information relevant to your community. The idea is to connect with other entrepreneurs in or related to your industry. This strategy will build your profile as the go-to for your area of interest. You are growing your list of potential clients, suppliers, collaborators and mentors. To bring to fruition your business idea, you need to seek growth, produce and be active.

 

4. Add Value to Your Network

Drum roll, please!!! Adding value to the lives of your clients or customers is what makes you an entrepreneur. Where else can you develop this skill than your business network? Social media platforms like Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram and Twitter give you room to explore and follow #hashtags or groups you find interesting or relevant. Jump into conversations relevant to your business or find interesting. You can add value by contributing to a conversation with thought-provoking questions. You can recommend articles, software or services you find useful as a business owner. By adding value to your network, you stand-out as an active member. In return, you attract potential customers and gain referrals from your network. See the big picture? Adding value is beneficial to your business.

 

5. Don’t Be a Troll

No matter what – do not be that person that only posts the ‘Hey You, Look at the Deal of the Week’ comment in the chatroom or section. Most groups on social media create rules to guide its members on what is acceptable in the group – and what isn’t. Rules such as; Do not start or engage in religious or political driven topics. Or, Refrain from posting an ad – except on {assigned days} – on the platform. To build a professional voice, use the ideas listed above to expand your network and business. Going against house rules is not only seen as rude but brands you as unprofessional.

 

If you miss attending live events, you can learn how Event Creators use Eventbrite to help with Social Distancing. Still to identify what groups or industry trends to follow? You can download this easy checklist to identify the steps you need to start your business. This checklist will enable you to identify and focus on groups relevant to your business.


What is the ONE misconception you have about business networking? And what platform did you use that has contributed to the growth of your business? An entrepreneur’s journey can be lonely, but you don’t have to go through it alone. Comment below, and let’s add value to our immpreneur community.

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