APRIL 30, 2020

Use LinkedIn for Virtual Networking


Are you responsible for sales within your organization? That’s tough to do when everyone is sheltering in place. No networking events to attend, no business lunches or dinners. How are you supposed to meet new people and make introductions to your company?

There is one place where 700 million people gather, including 50 million companies. Virtually that is. LinkedIn!

Social media is a task that always seems to be pushed back on the to-do list until we have more time. Well, guess what? Our schedules seem a whole lot clearer now.

LinkedIn offers a good networking alternative to in-person meetings. Here are some suggestions to reconnect with people you know and ‘meet’ some new contact as well.

Make your profile stand out

Make sure your profile has an up-to-date photo of you. And take the time to add a background photo that demonstrates your industry. While not required, it shows you go the extra step and provides an immediate understanding of who you are.

Include a personal biography and make sure your professional experience and roles are current. It’s also nice to include a sentence or two under each job instead of just dates of employment.

Join groups in your field

This step is critical for networking and the key to meeting new people! By joining industry groups, you will have access to its members – sometimes hundreds of thousands of people. You can post within the group, make personal connections and ultimately message people directly.

It’s also a good tool to get advice, information on new trends, events and so forth as things begin to return to normal.

‘Touch’ your connections

You know the old saying, “Make new friends, but keep the old.” That adage holds true for networking. Take the time to check-in with old co-workers, clients, employees and so forth. Send a private message or comment on their Linked In post to initiate a conversation.

This is also a good time to endorse your connections. LinkedIn will encourage this with suggestions that you can easily click to give a virtual recommendation for someone you know. This is a good touch point on its own, but there’s an added bonus that many times that person will then reciprocate and endorse you as well.

Of course, make sure you are ‘connected’ to those who are important in your professional world, and request connections with anyone you’ve met or worked with since you’ve last been on LinkedIn.

Follow high-interest companies and influencers

Put together a list of targeted, high-interest companies that you’d love partnering with in the future. Follow the companies to learn about their current initiatives, corporate culture and more. It’s good to learn what is important to these companies, so you can better align your sales pitch.

We’re here to help

If this is your first time moving beyond the LinkedIn basics, don’t be shy about asking for help. The professionals at Epoch 5 are happy to walk you through the various steps. In no time at all you’ll be posting, sharing, and mastering LinkedIn — the ultimate networking tool for these stay-at-home times.

We look forward to hearing from you. Please contact Jackie Savage at jsavage@epoch5.com or 917-969-3551.