You don’t have to be an introvert to dread networking events. Initiating conversations with total strangers can feel a bit like going on a blind date—the results could be magical, or painfully awkward.
Though networking in person doesn’t have to be a nightmare, it can still be difficult to fit into your busy schedule.
Online networking via your smartphone has the distinct advantage of happening whenever and wherever is convenient for you. And it can also ensure there’s a mutual desire to connect.
So today we’re sharing our essential tips for how to network from your phone like a pro, plus the best apps for making awesome connections.
How to Perfect Your LinkedIn Hustle
Love it or hate it, LinkedIn is the behemoth in the online professional networking sphere and is a powerful tool for job hunting, recruiting, and making new connections.
If you’re serious about landing opportunities on LinkedIn, you’ll want to check out these on-point articles for how to get started:
- How to Write a Good LinkedIn Summary: Powerful Tips and Examples
- We Studied 750 Top LinkedIn Profiles. Here’s How to Write Yours Better.
- 4 Tips to Make Your LinkedIn Profile Stand Out to Recruiters
- 4 Networking Email Templates That Will Get You Noticed
But regardless of what strategies you employ to get noticed, the simplest thing you can do to impress recruiters is to always write with good grammar.
We obviously take grammar pretty seriously around here, but we’re not the only ones. Language and writing are changing rapidly in the digital age, but in the realm of business (and academia) traditional grammar rules are still king.
Employers consider good grammar skills an accurate indicator of competence, credibility, and professionalism. Even simple errors like confusing “there” and “their” or “its” and “it’s” can be enough to deter potential employers.
So be sure to thoroughly proofread your LinkedIn profile, and every message you write, before you hit “send” or “post.” You can also double-check your grammar with our new mobile keyboard for iPhone and Android (yes, Grammarly is finally available on mobile!).
Remember, you only get to make one first impression, so make sure it’s a positive one!
3 Networking Apps for Making Awesome Connections
While it’s important to engage with LinkedIn, it’s not the only resource available for building your professional network. Take your mobile networking game to the next level with these apps:
Ready to swipe right? Shapr is basically Tindr for professional networking.
One of the primary advantages of Shapr over LinkedIn is that it encourages you to forge a connection in person, rather than starting a correspondence that may drag on unproductively (or fizzle out quickly).
After downloading the app you can set up your profile in seconds by linking it to your LinkedIn account. Every day you’ll get a selection of around a dozen profiles that match up with your interests and geographical location. You can choose to “Pass” or “Meet.”
Providing a limited number of profiles to choose from ensures you’ll only spend a few minutes on the app each day, instead of falling into the trap of endless browsing.
Responses are completely anonymous, so you won’t know who’s interested in meeting unless you’ve both selected “Meet” on each other’s profiles, in which case you’ll be notified that you have a match.
Once you’re matched, you can coordinate to meet up in person for coffee and begin your discussions for world domination.
2 Bumble Bizz
Already on Bumble? Bumble Bizz is the popular dating app’s new networking mode.
Shapr and Bumble Bizz are similar in style but have some key differences. Shapr uses an algorithm to deliver your daily selection of profiles, while with Bumble Bizz you’re in the driver’s seat of deciding which profiles are of interest.
However, this does mean there is a vast number of profiles for you to browse, so be careful you don’t spend more time on the app than you do meeting up with people in person.
Bumble Bizz is also likely to have more women users than Shapr, due to the high percentage of women who already use Bumble in dating mode. This is a clear advantage for professional women who are looking to connect with other driven women in their area.
3 Let’s Lunch
If you’d love to network but are struggling to find the time due to your crazy schedule, Let’s Lunch connects you with people who not only have similar interests but similar schedules.
Forget the stress of cramming networking events into your busy evenings, now you can meet amazing people during your lunch hour when you were going to be eating lunch anyway!
Let’s Lunch has also expanded from just one-on-one lunches to lunch opportunities at innovative startups and companies who are looking to hire.