Before the pandemic happened, we would attend different events to learn and grow our networks.
It was a natural part of business that has now become more difficult to achieve, and embrace.
These events were often busy with many people looking to connect with one another, and I would often ask myself, “What can I do that is different? How can I meaningfully connect with more people at this event? (Especially the speakers!). What can I do to add value to them in a meaningful way?”.
You see, even pre pandemic we were still trying to find ways to establish meaningful connections without being like everyone else, and now in a virtual world, it can be even more difficult to stand out amongst the crowd.
For many (especially in sales), adjusting to this change is still quite the challenge. It may not be natural to you, or your preferred method of communication.
After recently publishing lessons I have learned as a keynote speaker on How To INSTANTLY Be More Engaging On Video, I wanted to share with you five additional tips I have learned about how to create meaningful connections in a virtual world.
These are all strategies that I practice myself. I find they provide you with a lot of flexibility to experiment, and they help you continue to be mentally resilient as you continue to adapt.
Write An Event Recap
When you attend an event (online, or in person), take notes from all of the speakers (including the emcee or moderator) and have them ready to write a brief event recap following the event, like this.
Think about what key points they make that really land with you.
What nuggets of wisdom did they share that you have not heard of before?
What did you love most about the event?
Who resonated with you the most?
Writing an event recap on LinkedIn referencing something that you took away from each speaker in an event helps you not only stand out by avoiding posting the generic “Great event today!” post, but by adding value to the event organizers, the speakers, and helps you bring meaningful value to your audience.
Writing an event recap is extremely simple, easy, and immediately actionable, and brings tremendous value to everyone involved.Writing an event recap is extremely simple, easy, and immediately actionable, and brings tremendous value to everyone involved. Click To Tweet
Send A Direct Message With Audio
From a B2B standpoint, it can be very hard to stand out in a virtual world today.
According to Gloria Mark, a professor at the University of California, employees on average check their email 74 times per day trying to search for what’s actually important.
Now, no longer connecting in person, we have more emails than ever.
So, let’s say that you are in sales and you want to stand out in a virtual world, instead of sending another email, why not try sending a voice note instead?
Social platforms like Instagram, Facebook have this feature, and so does LinkedIn.
This gives you the ability to do something different, communicate more in less time, and embrace the world we are living in today.
It may feel weird to you at first, but you can always re-record.
It’s also important to remember that hearing your own voice on a voice note may sound funny, but it is no different than what you would normally sound like in person. You are just becoming aware of it.
At first, yes, it made me feel like I was noticing all my errors. However, you can look at this as a reason to quit or a reason to continue.
View the awareness as an opportunity to improve upon areas where you may feel uncomfortable. It will be different, more meaningful, and help you stand out in a virtual world.
Take a step outside of your comfort zone and try sending a voice note today.Take a step outside of your comfort zone and try sending a voice note today. Click To Tweet
Send A Direct Message With Video
Just like sending a voice note, try sending a video message.
Especially if you have a relationship with the person already, this is a great way to check in and re-establish a human connection.
One of my favourite ways to do this is to record a video while you are busy doing something such as running errands, during a gym workout, a walk or a hike.
Try sending a video acknowledging that you just listened to a podcast that made you think of this person and you wanted to share the link. (Then remember to share the link after!)
If you see someone’s favourite TV show online, let them know that made you think of them and send a 15 second video clip from a segment of the show that is funny or interesting.
Or simply record a video of you working at your desk with your comments as it will be something different for your contact to engage with today.
Leverage video as a way to touch base and show a glimpse into your life that is different than email, and help create a more meaningful connection in a virtual world.
Engage In The Chat
So, let’s think about virtual events and meetings for a minute.
Often, there will be an opportunity to engage in the chat, which I know, can feel like you may be the only person to contribute.
That is a possibility.
However, if we think about what it’s like to try and connect with other people, someone needs to speak up first.
When a speaker ask something like “What part about today’s presentation resonates with you the most?”, take that opportunity to actually type something in.
By doing so, you are becoming more comfortable engaging in a virtual world, which will help you start creating new connections and deepen relationships with those whom you already know.
How does that happen?
What I do in settings where I don’t know anyone, is that I look at the names of who is participating.
Then I start to wonder who they are, what they’re about, and what their story is.
Then, I hop over to LinkedIn or another platform to look that person up and learn more about them.
When someone else participates, it entices me to want to learn more about them, and the same reverse scenario can work for people learning about you.
All it takes is for you to contribute to conversation.
To help create meaningful connections in a virtual world, engage in the chat.
Building on the first point, consider how you can add value to someone if you were to share something that particularly resonated with you and let that person know privately.
For example, after watching a presentation could you acknowledge (on video or in a voice note) that they did a really good job of making eye contact directly with the camera and it made the presentation feel more personal.
Could you let them know how much you enjoyed their humor and how it brightened your day?
Can you let them know how their virtual presentation was engaging and made you think differently about the topic they were presenting about?
Sharing feedback and sincere appreciation letting others know that they made a difference to you is one of the most effective ways to establish rapport and create a meaningful connection in a virtual world.
Just remember it’s not about you. Share something about them.Sharing feedback and sincere appreciation letting others know that they made a difference to you is one of the most effective ways to establish rapport and create a meaningful connection in a virtual world. Click To Tweet
We all know by now that virtual relationships are here to stay. We absolutely plan to and will be connecting again in person (hopefully, very soon), but until then there is an opportunity to continue to embrace the change that we are living in and learn how to create more meaningful connections.
Once you get comfortable seeing yourself on video, hearing yourself on voice notes, and continuing to think about “What’s in this for them?”, you will start to see many opportunities to build your network, create a bigger influence within your network, and connect with others in a unique way to stand out and as always, become a hero in your own movie.
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