How do you stay connected to your professional community virtually?
I’m active on LinkedIn. I meet my old coworkers for lunch on a monthly basis.
I only really maintain a connection to other people in my profession via Twitter. I know several iOS freelancers who work remotely exclusively through Twitter and we’ll generally joke about the bad prospective clients that email all of us. “Did you get this one about building an app like Uber for £200?” “Certainly did!”
Google Hangouts and other messaging tools such as Slack are vital to establishing and maintaining connections with others. Technology is great, but don’t overlook the human element to building and keeping relationships with others.
Social media, and personal relationships that are maintained online and offline.
LinkedIn is a wonderful resource. Also, I am constantly producing white papers and blog posts, so I keep my name—and my brand—alive and well in the cyber community.
Mostly through social media and good old-fashioned online forums.
Aren’t we all connecting virtually already? Working remotely simply makes my IRL connections even more intentional and worth the time!
I usually read various forums and talk to people there, and if I get to know someone personally, I will use apps like Viber or WhatsApp.
Through Facebook and LinkedIn, as well as good old-fashioned email. I do have catch-up calls with key members of my professional community.
Social media is both an incredible time-suck and the best way to network as a remote worker. My advice to other remote workers is not to force themselves to use social media they don’t love, and to stick to the networks that appeal to them. For example, I spend way more time on Facebook than LinkedIn, so naturally most of my gigs have come through Facebook. That might seem a bit backwards, like using LinkedIn to see pictures of your friends’ babies and dogs and home renovations, but it’s worked for me.
I’m a part of several Slack teams that are focused on technical writing and content strategy/UX and can be a part of (or just read!) interesting, meaningful conversations between professionals in my field.
Typically on membership groups for other remote workers or digital nomads, as well as Facebook groups for people in food and travel writing.
I’m never afraid to reach out and meet new people in a similar space or industry. For example, the last time I traveled to Cairo, I reached out to a friend in the startup space there before I went. I was a journalist at the time, covering startups in emerging markets. He connected me to several incubators and accelerators, as well as a number of entrepreneurs who made my time there incredibly rewarding, both professionally and personally. I’m constantly having coffee, Skype calls, and meetings with people who are doing something I find interesting, and make it a habit to check in with people I haven’t seen in awhile to catch up.
Social networks like LinkedIn and conference calls help.
LinkedIn is critical. Also, industry conferences are perfect. The Texas Conference for Women is a great one!
Working in fashion and fashion technology, Instagram is a huge resource to stay on top of trends, influencers, and brands. I can easily spot a great activation from a brand, see where influencers like bloggers and editors are traveling, or learn about new markets where my clients want to expand. I can quickly send a direct Instagram message, or find an email and fire off a personal note.
Likewise, if I’m traveling to a city where I haven’t been before, I’ll search hashtags on Instagram for local events and people I can connect with. If there are similar interests between us, most people are willing to meet for a coffee or at least discuss an idea over email.
I participate in an employee resource group designed for remote workers.
I set aside time every day to scan my social networks to see what others are doing and to respond to requests. I’m a member of several Slack communities, I participate in lots of conferences (online and in person), and I make an effort to meet people in person whenever I can.
LinkedIn groups and Facebook groups have helped me grow professionally. I’ve also set up phone calls with some of the people in these groups to form a deeper connection. It’s been great!
LinkedIn, HoneyTrek Facebook page (great for showing our professional community what projects we are involved in), Facebook groups within our niche, Quora, and commenting on blogs/social posts written by people in our professional community.
Whichever city I’m in, I search for “city nomads,” “city expats,” and the like on Facebook, and join those groups. They are great to find out about celebrations, meetups, or events that are going on while you’re in that city, search or ask for information on apartments, etc. (I always ask about yoga and an English Catholic mass), and to meet people.
Twitter and Instagram. And “old-fashioned” email.
Twitter, iMessage, Skype, basically anything but LinkedIn.
I interview a lot of industry experts and attend conferences a few times out of the year. I remain in touch with the people I interact with as I genuinely have an interest in what they’re doing, as well as being sources for subsequent projects.
Social media makes it easier, but it really is a challenge. Luckily I have former colleagues who are still good friends, and a team of freelancers who understand my situation.
I’m getting an MS in CS at night so that keeps me exposed to new stuff in the field like AI and Big Data and I have some long-term programming friends and acquaintances.