When you’re networking, whether you’re generally expanding your network, looking for a job, or meeting vendors for your business, it may be tempting to explore only individuals or companies who are close in proximity to you. But in today’s world of technology, networking doesn’t have to exist within your city limits. Today, Skype software can be downloaded on PCs, Macs, iPads, iPhones, and more. Face-to-face meetings are now possible with individuals around the world.
Online video chatting can not only expand the width of the net you cast in your networking initiatives, it can also add to the reach of your personal brand or business. If potential bosses in other cities, potential clients worldwide, or vendors you might interact with have an option to speak face-to-face with you, it can immediately increase your relationship building with these individuals ten fold.
Using Skype is as easy as a few clicks, but here are a few additional tips for Skype usage:
- Put it in your signature. Let your email contacts know you’re a Skyper. Put your Skype handle in your signature.
- Lighting matters. Laying in bed while Skyping a potential business contact – probably not the best place. Sit against a blank wall if you can and ensure that lighting is good enough to illuminate your face appropriately. You want to be as clear as you are in a face-to-face meeting.
- Test test test. Be sure to make a few test calls before you have a business-related or networking call. You’ll want to be sure your microphone, camera, and positioning are good.
- Turn off your “self view”. There is a tendency, when Skyping, to stare at the tiny photo of yourself in the bottom corner of the screen. But you’ll be more authentic in the meeting if you’re looking at the other person directly. So turn off the view of you all together. It will eliminate the desire to do the “how’s my hair” check every few seconds.
So take a chance. Ask that person across the country you really want to connect with to set up a Skype meeting. It’s worth the risk!