9 Tips For Building a Professional Network Remotely

Remote Job HuntingWorking Remotely

Networking for remote workers & job seekers is easy when you know where to meet, who to connect with, & what to say.

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Remote work networking is about establishing and nurturing mutually beneficial relationships with other virtual professionals. 

These connections can help you advance in your remote career, snag more contract jobs as a freelancer, share knowledge, and open up a world of collaborative opportunities.

But where do you meet other remote workers? And what do you say when you actually find someone to connect with?

We’ve got all the virtual networking strategies you need to build a thriving online community.

9 Tips for Building a Professional Remote Network 

Nearly 90% of professionals say networking has been crucial for furthering their careers.[*] Follow these nine remote networking tips, and you’ll see why:

1. Brainstorm Your Virtual Networking Goals ✍️

The first step of learning how to network remotely is to come up with a few goals. 

So why do you want to build a remote network? (virtually check all that apply)

Your goals will determine your game plan (where to meet others, what to say, etc.). 

Strive to create a diverse network. No matter your goal, always try to connect with people from different roles, industries, backgrounds, and experiences. The wider your circle, the more opportunities you’ll know about — especially regarding remote networking for freelancers.

2. Start with Your Existing Network ⚓

Have you been neglecting your existing network of friends, former coworkers, classmates, teachers, and family? Dust off the cobwebs and have a brief catch-up.

Networking for remote professionals starts with who you know. Since you already know this crew, you can dive right into their exciting updates and new career moves without wasting time on introductions.

After reconnecting with you and hearing about your career goals, your network may have a lead on jobs, events, etc., you’d be interested in. That’s why it’s one of the quickest best practices for remote networking.

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Connect with alums. Though you may not personally know alums from your schools, you share a connection and similar experiences that make them part of your extended network. You’ll find them in online alum directories or on LinkedIn.

Maybe you lived in the same dorm or had the same professors. And now they work for a company with an open position you’re applying for. A quick message can turn them into your next online professional connection.

3. Network within Your Company 🫶

Another easy tip to expand your circle? Find new ways to network internally as a remote team member at your company. You’ll strengthen your ties within your organization and add new contacts to your digital Rolodex simultaneously.

Reach out to colleagues in different departments or coworkers you don’t usually get to socialize with. Here’s a few ideas to get started:

  • Invite them to a virtual coffee chat or virtual lunch meet-up

  • Ask them about their role and what they’re working on

  • Congratulate them on a recently wrapped project, milestone, or achievement

  • Connect over a shared interest or hobby (may take some internet sleuthing)

Similarly, always join team-building activities and social events, such as the book club, game night, or fantasy sports league. It’s a no-pressure way to network with other remote workers and bond.

Set a goal to connect with at least one new person at your organization each week. Soon you’ll know everyone, make friends, and quickly grow your network.

4. Join Coworking and Remote Work Communities 👥

A remote work community is where virtual employees, freelancers, and entrepreneurs hang out and connect with other remote work advocates. 

This crew understands the rewards and challenges of working from home. So it makes the perfect place to share experiences, offer support, seek advice, build connections, and more.

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Our favorite remote work communities include:

  • Local coworking spaces. Not all professional networking for remote employees happens in the virtual space. Coworking spaces are ideal for meeting and networking with other remote workers in your area. Plus, they’re a fun way to socialize and break out of the solo WFH life.

  • The We Work Remotely Slack Community. Our Slack community welcomes remote networking for job seekers and remote professionals. Join for friendly chats, advice, and more!  

  • The Top Digital Nomad Slack Communities. Connect with other remote workers satisfying their wanderlust, learn about local customs, find coworking spaces, and share travel tips in these circles.

🫶 Read more: 5 Tips for Finding Community When You Work Remotely

5. Attend Virtual Events, Webinars, and Virtual Meetups 🖥️

Want to know the most underrated and underutilized networking tools? Online classes, workshops, webinars, virtual conferences, and remote networking events.

These provide opportunities to expand your skill set, meet professionals worldwide, and make legit connections. Even better? Many of them are free to attend.

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Don’t know how to find remote networking events? Piece of cake! Our favorite remote networking platforms include:

  • Eventbrite. Online events here are highly interactive and entertaining. You’ll find everything from online training courses to live streams from industry experts.

  • Meetup. Browse online events to attend webinars, discuss interests and hobbies in niche groups, network within your industry, and more.

  • Lunchclub. This platform facilitates professional virtual conversations. Start by sharing a bit about your background, goals, and passions. Then their AI matches you with the right person for an informal, 1:1 chat. Your feedback improves the AI’s matches for you each week. 

Remember to ask questions, engage in discussions, and follow up with new people you meet on these platforms by adding them to your online networks.

6. Schedule Informational Interviews 🤝

As far as remote networking for career growth, nothing beats an informational interview.

An informational interview is a structured conversation or meeting where you seek advice, ask about someone’s experiences, gain insight into a specific industry or role, etc.

Unlike a virtual interview, the goal isn’t to land a remote job. It’s to walk away with newfound knowledge, inspiration, motivation, and a connection for your network. 

Here’s how to get these right:

1. Make a list of people who inspire you. Anyone from your boss to your favorite YouTube creator fits the bill. Think about people who may be a mentor or share intel about a field you’d like to explore. 

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2. Be specific with your ask. Message your pantheons of success with your informational interview request. Let them know where you are in your career and what you’re most interested in hearing about (their career milestones, wins, challenges, upskill advice, etc.). 

This allows them to think about how they may best help you and what to expect from the meeting.

You can use this template to inspire your message:

Hey [insert name]!

I hope this message finds you well. Your work in [industry] inspired me to major in/start working in [industry]. I’m currently a [student/recent grad/job title]. 

As someone who aspires to your level, I was wondering if I could hear your thoughts about [mention something specific] or discuss the skills you think are the secret sauce to success in [niche/industry].

Would you be up for a 10-15 minute virtual coffee chat? I’d really appreciate your time and insight. Please let me know when you’re free and if we can make it happen.

Looking forward to it!
[Your name]

3. Set up the meeting. It’s easier for busy pros to say yes when you only ask for 10-15 minutes of their time. So suggest a few different video platforms and dates/times for the meeting (watch out for different time zones). Send a calendar invite to remind them when they confirm.

4. Prepare a few thoughtful questions. Never wing it; brainstorm five questions related to the request in your message. Think: things they wish they knew early on, the best professional decisions they ever made, etc. Follow these tips to appear calm, cool, and collected on video (even when you’re not).

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5. Always send a thank-you message after your chat. Express your appreciation and mention that you’d love to do it again sometime in the future (but don’t press for this soon). Add them to your network, keep up with their posts, and let the connection flourish.

7. Use These Tips for Professional Network Building On Social Media 💟

Don’t neglect social media when you want to build a professional network remotely for career growth. It’s one of the most accessible, widely used remote work networking tools across the globe.

Follow these digital networking tips, and you’ll start building a remote network in no time:

Create a professional profile. Consider making your personal social accounts private and setting up public accounts for your networking goals. Start with a handle that reflects your job title/field/aspirations. Then connect with others in your field and share content related to your niche.

Join niche groups. LinkedIn Groups, Facebook Groups, Reddit subreddits — these virtual watering holes gather diverse groups of people interested in similar hobbies, trends, industries, etc. You never know when a casual meeting will spark a professional connection.

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Engage in chats and discussions. Actively listen to other perspectives, voices, and opinions, then share your expertise to contribute to the conversation. You’ll raise your online visibility and link up with new people in one go.

Don’t be scared to say hello! If you find someone’s content valuable, always let them know. It takes time and effort to produce high-quality content. So send a quick greeting or message of appreciation. Who knows? You may open the door for remote collaborations — especially if you have complementary skill sets.

8. Always Follow these Remote Networking Best Practices 🌟

Cultivating virtual connections and building a remote support system requires you to share your genuine self, regularly engage, and nurture your network. Add these tips to your networking strategy: 

Introductions are everything. The first sentence of every networking message should explain who you are and how you know your potential connection. Create a professional tagline or one-liner that shows you’re not a robot, like, “I’m a project manager who loves turning chaos into calm.”

Find common ground. Having something in common forms an immediate connection, provided it’s a meaningful shared interest. A quick glance at someone’s social profiles or website should give you something to work with.

Keep it short and sweet. Introductory messages should stay under 125 words, max.

Embrace the power of video calls. Face-to-face interactions foster trust and help you pick up non-verbal cues. Opt for video whenever possible, and you’ll also sharpen your emotional intelligence.

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Let AI break the ice for you. Worried you’ll run out of things to say when you meet with a new coworker for lunch? Generate a few ideas/topics with your fave AI platform beforehand. 

A simple prompt like, “Brainstorm 10 questions to ask a coworker who’s interested in [hobbies/industry] during conversation,” should do the trick.

Celebrate your network’s achievements. Don’t just be another connection request. Investing in your network’s success and showing your support strengthens your bonds. Congratulate them on promotions, new projects, personal milestones, etc.

9. Craft a Captivating Personal Brand & Online Presence ✨

Building an online presence and personal brand is non-negotiable when connecting with others in the virtual world. Your brand encompasses everything from your values and skills to your aesthetic, experiences, and more.

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Establishing an online brand when you work remotely:

  • Shows strangers you’re a real, friendly person they can trust and approach.

  • Highlights your capabilities, interests, and skills.

  • Provides a platform for you to share content via blogging, podcasting, coding, newsletters, video content, etc. You’ll spotlight your expertise and establish yourself as an authority in your field.

  • Gives you a hub to connect and engage with your network.

  • Attracts potential employers, recruiters, and network connections.

We think this is one of the top online networking best practices. So use these two guides to ace this task:

Networking For Remote Workers? You Got This!

Building a professional network remotely helps you create a vibrant community that may skyrocket your remote career. Each connection you make, virtual coffee chat you have, and interaction you engage in brings you one step closer to unlocking the next opportunity that may change your life.

Just remember to pay it forward. Think about what you can contribute to build a friendly, supportive, talented remote network where everyone thrives. 🙌

Psst! You don’t need to know anyone special to find the best remote jobs. We Work Remotely is the #1 place to find the newest remote roles worldwide. We’re also the largest remote work community. Come say hi! 👋

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