There are many perks to working from home, whether you run your own business or you are employed. Being able to work from home offers freedom, flexibility, comfort, and a good work-life balance, and studies have also shown that it can make people more productive.
Yet one thing that might be missing from your working life if you are working remotely is the chance to network and make connections. This can be hugely important if you want to grow your business or if you want to develop your career, but when you are working from home, meeting new people is not as easy as when you are in an office or going from place to place for work. However, it can be done. It is possible to network and make connections even if you work by yourself at home most of the time.
Attend Virtual Networking Events
Some of the best places to go when you want to meet new people and potentially make some useful connections are networking events. These are specially designed events where the sole aim is to make connections. They might include breakfast or lunch, and they sometimes include an activity like walking or wine tasting. Some are purely about chatting to as many people as you can or listening to a guest speaker before mingling with others. If you can find some of these events local to you that will fit in with your schedule, consider making time for them in your schedule.
However, if there are none nearby or you can’t spare the time to go to an event like this, you can search for virtual ones instead. In this way, you can still enjoy most of the elements of a networking event, but you can do so from home, easily slotting it into your day’s deadlines. You won’t have to miss out, and you might meet some influential people. So make sure your business is ready for this type of exposure; have a separate business address from your home one and a professional website, and make sure you have a good business plan in place. This will help you make a good impression.
Use Social Media
Social media can be a highly powerful and positive tool for networking and making connections. You can join a variety of groups on platforms like Facebook, for example. You might even be able to use those groups to find virtual networking events, as we mentioned above. And LinkedIn is a platform designed especially for business owners and professionals.
You can also make sure you follow the people who you find are role models for your business or career. Learning about what they do and how they work might not be networking in the strictest sense, but it will certainly help you get further along your career path if you take the information onboard.
The key to using social media to find connections is to interact as much as possible. Set aside an hour or so each day to specifically chat with people online and to answer questions – and ask them.
Reach Out To Your Existing Network
You’ll probably already have some form of network, perhaps from before you started working from home or just people you have connected with over the years. Don’t forget about this network; it might be that by reaching out to them, they can help you build your network even further.
If someone you know could introduce you to someone they know who might be helpful to you, you’ll instantly grow your network. The more this happens, the more people you’ll have to help you and with whom to develop your ideas.