How to Take Advantage of Virtual Networking Opportunities While Quarantined
Without a doubt, all of this quarantine has begun to give you a little “cabin fever.” Believe it or not, you can actually build your network substantially while quarantined. That is because virtual networking opportunities abound these days.
Last week I spoke to not one, but TWO, virtual real estate investor meetups, held several group video calls, went live on Instagram with a few different real estate investors, and filmed 4 podcasts!
If you don’t take advantage of virtual networking opportunities, then you are severely limiting yourself.
Here are some of the ways you can maximize your time while quarantined to really build your network!
A few months ago, I had a Zoom call with a few friends where we hung out and talked online. Most people thought of this as a bit odd. I see where they are coming from, but it was the only option I had to hang out with some of these investors from across the nation.
Well, the circumstances have changed…drastically.
Socializing on Zoom video calls has become somewhat of a hit! In the last week, I have “hung out” with friends on Zoom 3-4 times and even had a video call with my entire family last week.
This is a simple, fun, and convenient way to keep in touch with people from a distance. More importantly, since you can do it from the comfort of your own home, it is the perfect way to stay in touch with people without leaving the house.
My mastermind group even did a large social where we all drank our beverage of choice and talked about real estate, just like we would at a REIA meeting!
Another benefit to the Zoom calls above is that you aren’t limited to the people in your area. I mentioned that I have gotten to speak at two different virtual events in the past week.
One of those was in Japan and the other in Missouri, but I never left California. I had been asked to speak to one of these groups for several months but was never in town at the right time. “Thanks” to the Coronavirus, I was able to speak at their monthly REIA meeting remotely!
If you aren’t interested in speaking, that is fine. But why not reach out to meetups you aren’t normally able to attend and see if they are meeting virtually? At every one of these virtual events, you attend is a plethora of new people to meet. This increases your social circle quickly, and I promise you will stay in touch with some of these people.
This is especially powerful if you are a long-distance real estate investor.
You now have the ability to “attend” any REI meetup in your market that decides to go virtual. This allows you to meet local investors without having to take a flight to the event. That is extremely powerful.
Honestly, I think virtual meetups will stick around, and I wouldn’t be surprised if in-person meetups incorporate streaming services to bring more people in going forward!
If you host a podcast, you better be using this time wisely. Record a lot of shows and reach out to people who you haven’t been able to record with in the past due to scheduling issues.
If you don’t host a podcast, this is your chance to be a guest on a lot of podcasts. I have been able to record a podcast for three other shows this week, not including the episodes I’ve recorded for my own show. Some of these recordings have even been with very large podcasts that my work schedule would normally not have allowed me to do.
Podcasts are a great way to gain some exposure and increase your network. Take advantage of them!
No matter what your hobby is, I am confident there is a forum dedicated to it. Get active in those forums!
Read the most recent threads and comment thoughtfully about them. Add value to the forum and people will begin to notice you. Post thoughtful questions and answer the questions other people are asking.
Also, ensure your profile is filled out and that it is inviting to other people. You can gain a lot of valuable connections just from being active in forums.
While you’re at it, take these conversations offline and actually talk to people on the phone or via video call. You have a lot of time on your hands, so take advantage of it and build as many relationships as you possibly can!
I’m going to let you in on the single most effective secret to growing a presence on social media…BE SOCIAL!
Take time out of your day to comment on posts you appreciate, share posts you really like, and engage with a lot of people in your niche. If you’re effective, you can even get the attention of large influencers on social media.
You do this by sharing their content (and tagging them of course), commenting and engaging on their posts, and finding ways to add value to what they are growing.
The more social you are in social media, the more your following will grow. I assure you, it is possible to build real relationships from social media. I have a lot of people in my network who originally connected with me on Instagram, Facebook, in the Twittersphere…wherever!
Instagram is super easy to use and a great way to interact with people. This is easily one of my favorite platforms and by far my largest.
Instagram makes it so easy to engage with people in your niche. If you like their content, share it on your story, say a few nice words, and tag them in it. Odds are they will re-share it on their story because it builds credibility for them. This will in-turn drive some people to check out your page, which is an instant win-win situation!
Use the search feature to search for hashtags related to your niche, and then sort the posts and engage with the results by liking the post and leaving thoughtful comments.
Sort by most recent posts in order to comment quickly and get the attention of the person who posted it.
Sort posts by most popular to see which posts REALLY took off in your niche. You should still comment and like these posts but will probably need to share them on your story (and tag the account) to actually get their attention.
Be active on Instagram and add value to other accounts in your niche. As you share content and engage socially, eventually you’ll get some sort of response. When you do, strike up a conversation with them!
There are Facebook groups for everything you can think of. There are Facebook groups that cover international, national, and hyper-local subsects of the world.
Join Facebook groups that fit your niche and begin commenting on posts in the group. As with Instagram and all social media, the goal here is to add real value by answering questions, sharing opinions, giving advice, and actively participating in the group.
The more you comment and add value to the group, the more people will begin to engage with you and recognize your name. Then, when you post a question in the group, you will (likely) get a ton of engagement and valuable feedback.
Facebook groups can be a great way to engage with people in your local market and/or all across the world.
For example, our Facebook community is a GREAT place for military real estate investors to connect from across the globe. Members are able to share advice, ask questions, post pictures of their investments, and socialize in all sorts of ways in the group.
There is value to be found in a Facebook group—take advantage of it!
YouTube is a little less effective as a community engagement tool, but it is a great way to absorb content. You can watch YouTube videos and comment on them to engage with content creators and show them you enjoy their videos. In turn, these content creators will begin to recognize your name and be more likely to respond if you reach out on Instagram or other social platforms.
As a “YouTuber,” I can assure you that I value every comment I receive. I respond to every single comment I see and absolutely recognize users who comment regularly.
It is extremely valuable to me when people like my videos, comment on them or share them with their network. I appreciate this engagement very much and will gladly respond to anybody who reaches out to me with questions, especially if I have noticed their engagement on my YouTube channel.
If you want to get somebody’s attention, share and engage with their content! I promise you, adding value in this way is a surefire way to increase your chances of getting into their network!
Even if you don’t get to become besties with them, you will likely be able to network with other people in their community!
Take advantage of down-time to “go live” on your Instagram, Facebook, YouTube, etc.
You can go live solo and talk about what is on your mind or do question and answer sessions with friends. This is a simple and fun way to engage with people in your audience, and it requires little to no planning.
You can also go live with friends or influencers in your community. You can set these talks up with specific topics in mind or again just “shoot the breeze” and do Q&A sessions. The beauty of going live with other people is that you will get some of their followers to watch the video and vice versa.
Cross-pollinating your communities like this will allow both of you the opportunity to grow organically. When you live stream with somebody, you are telling your community that you know, like, and trust them. If your community likes what they are saying, there is a good chance they will begin to follow that person and engage with their content. The same goes for you: if the other person’s audience likes you, they will begin to follow/engage with you more frequently!
Live streaming can be as simple as picking up the phone and pushing “Live,” or as complex as a planned event that you have people sign up for ahead of time. Either way, the benefits to this can be immense, and I highly recommend taking some time to live-stream while you have the opportunity!
Mastermind Groups like the War Room Real Estate Mastermind I host are great places to build solid networking.
For one thing, everybody in the group is committed to learning, networking, and taking action. That means they are most likely worth networking with and committed to achieving success.
Another great benefit to mastermind groups is that they are often accustomed to conducting virtual meetups. Our mastermind group has already hosted a large networking social and have plans to do several more. The members loved the ability to grab a beer and network with other real estate investors (while in their PJs), just as they would on a normal Friday night.
All of the weekly squad calls and monthly group calls have been able to continue happening.
Virtual Conferences (Summits)
One of my favorite things to do is attend a conference for niches I’m interested in. I have attended conferences dedicated to real estate investing, personal finance, content marketing, and other topics, including Comic-Con in San Diego!
Conferences are a great way to network with people in your niche, learn ways to improve your game, and just have fun.
While virtual summits are not the same as a full-blown conference, there are some definite benefits to them.
- You don’t have to leave your home.
- That means you can enjoy all of the sessions while wearing pajamas!
- You can pick and choose which sessions to watch.
- You’re able to go back and watch sessions you missed at a later date.
The biggest gripe I have about virtual summits are the networking opportunities you miss out on. That being said, there are virtual conferencing platforms that have found ways to incorporate more networking.
These are pretty cool, and at the affordable price for which most summits are offered, I definitely recommend that you check some out!
In all networking activities, there are two things you must continually do. These are especially true in a virtual environment:
Adding Value with virtual networking opportunities
– All of these interactions need to come from the mentality of adding value to your potential audience. Don’t go into a networking event thinking about what you can get out of it, so much as what you can bring to the table. The more you focus on providing value, the more you will (naturally) receive in return.
Building Relationships through virtual networking opportunities
– Networking, especially taking advantage of virtual networking opportunities, is all about building relationships. The more you focus on building genuine relationships with people, the more valuable your network will be.
A Rising Tide Raises All Ships.
The more you improve your network, the more your network will help you achieve your goals in life. Focusing on building relationships and adding value to people’s lives will help you out a lot in life.
While you are stuck inside, think of ways you can take advantage of virtual networking opportunities. The more creatively you can use these opportunities to your advantage, the further ahead you will be able to get in life.
Life is favoring virtual networking opportunities more and more…don’t get left in the dust.