How to Network in a Remote World

Jan 13, 2023

How to Network in a Remote World

Remote workers tripled in number between 2019 and 2021. These types of jobs are sure to climb as more people express interest in flexible working conditions. Though many of my clients love the ability to work from home, they also have concerns about networking in a remote world.

Networking like a pro is difficult enough as it is, but limiting our face-to-face interactions doesn’t have to make it harder. In 2023, the tools at our disposal make it easier than ever to network remotely and interact with new people around the globe, opening up new opportunities for working anywhere.

What is Networking?

Networking is all about interactions. It is meeting new people, forming relationships, and gaining new knowledge. In the business world, people look to their network for referrals, new job opportunities, and hiring recommendations.

Networking has had a bad reputation in recent years, but it shouldn’t. I find that when my clients complain about networking, it’s because they see it as inauthentic, believing people network specifically to get ahead.

Sure, some people may network that way, but you don’t have to! In fact, being your authentic self will help networking be more fun and beneficial to you in the long run.

The Benefits of Networking

When you network, you give other people a chance to see your personality, understand your work history, and expand their own networks. The reverse of that is true as well, you get to know others that may benefit your company in the future.

As your network grows, you have people to lean on for new job opportunities or recommendations when interviewing for a position. Even better, when you are hiring, you can lean on your network to recommend others for your team. As the relationship grows, so does trust in your network’s opinions and capabilities.

Networking is always ‘give and take’, if you approach it only expecting others to help you, your network won’t last for very long.

Types of Remote Networking

Maybe you’ve attended networking events in the past, getting over the fear of approaching people you don’t know and trying to make small talk. If that’s your only impression of networking, it’s time to embrace some other possibilities.


Social means both social gatherings over video chats like zoom or utilizing social media. The point of this type of networking is to be informal and low-key. It’s a chance to get to know people outside of their job titles and learn about their interests, hobbies, and goals.

Many organizations and groups offer up social networking opportunities, seek them out based on your job or own interests. These groups are a simple google search away. For example, if you enjoy analytics, google “analytics networking groups”. You will also find many of these groups on your favorite social networking sites.

Don’t discount the value of LinkedIn, either. LinkedIn is meant to be used as a professional networking site and makes it easy to find other professionals in your field, at a company you’d like to work for, or within your current company.


A learning opportunity provides a double benefit to you, meeting new contacts in your field and picking up some new knowledge. Based on your career aspirations, you can identify a skill or knowledge you’d like to understand better, then find a way to do so virtually.

There are numerous webinars and online courses with experts willing to teach you what you need to know (including public speaking!). It’s a great way to learn something new and meet experts as well as others looking to grow their own careers. Again, getting to know these people in a personal way can help shape your career in the future.


When the pandemic hit in 2020, the most popular global conferences had to scramble to continue their work virtually. In the years since then, virtual conferences have improved tremendously. Many are back in person but also offer up virtual options.

These conferences are a great way to meet people in your field or line of work and include both social and learning opportunities. The entire event becomes a shared experience that you and your contacts can reflect upon in years to come.

In Person

Keep in mind that not all of your networking has to be remote. If the opportunity presents itself, join some networking events in person. This can include conferences, social gatherings, or lectures. You may find that it can be nice to meet face-to-face once in a while with your remote contacts.

Tips for Networking

Whether you are in person or online, it’s important to follow some general guidelines for networking.

Be Yourself

I cannot stress the importance of authenticity enough when it comes to networking. We’re all good lie detectors, if we feel like someone is faking, we typically don’t trust them.

Be open with people about your interests, your career, and your goals but also listen with intent when they share their own information. Building a network means forming relationships and the interactions should feel friendly and comforting.

Find Something You Have in Common

One of the easiest ways to form a bond with someone is to identify something you have in common. This means actually getting to know the other person and listening when they talk.

Talk a bit about your family or kids, your preferred workout routines, or your favorite travel spots. You’re guaranteed to find something that clicks between the two of you.

Be Specific with Requests

When you choose to lean on your network, don’t dance around your requests. If you are asking for a recommendation for a job or pursuing a new job at their company, tell them.

It may feel uncomfortable to ask for a favor, but being upfront about it is the best course of action. With the right contact, you’ll get valuable feedback if something might not be a fit and a great recommendation if they think you are perfect for a job.

Be Respectful

As with any interaction you have in life, be respectful of the person and their time. We all have busy schedules between work and personal time so it’s good to get into the habit of scheduling meetings with our network on a regular basis.

When you look to them for mentorship or an informational interview, organize ahead of time. This advice is important whether you are networking remotely or planning to meet in person. Send them a detailed meeting invite that provides specifics of time, place, and agenda.

The Takeaway

Networking remotely doesn’t have to be any more intimidating than in person- and neither has to be scary at all! When you are genuine with others and approach networking thoughtfully, you’ll make valuable connections in the business world and possibly even a few friends.

In 2023, make it a mission to try out a few networking styles and see what fits for you. Professional social media sites like LinkedIn can help you find events, webinars, trainings, and even other professionals in your field to connect with. Step out of your comfort zone this year to give remote networking a try. You’ll be amazed at how many different people you can meet locally, in the country, or even globally. And as always, reach out for more professional tips and advice on your career.

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