As most of the world moves to reimplement shelter-in-place mandates, our businesses still have to keep moving forward. In the absence of networking mixers, conferences, in-person meetings and business travel, we’re leaning on technology more now than ever to make things happen with our current and prospective team, even when we’re not in the same space. Here are a few of the best apps that make it easy to forge professional connections from the comfort of your home.
This is the professional answer to Tindr. Shapr can be used to meet inspiring like-minded people who are looking to further their careers. The app’s laser-precise algorithm suggests 15 relevant people for you to “meet” daily. Based on how you swipe, you can build a roster of great contacts to swap resources with. You can even filter your networking wants and landing a higher paying job, building new friendships, hiring talent, or even become a mentee so someone you respect.
Conferences and networking events are exhausting, especially not that they’re happening via Zoom, which has been proven to induce fatigue in their participants. even when they’re digitally-hosted and happening largely from your home office. That’s where Bizzabo comes into play.
This app allows you to virtually introduce yourself to speakers, fellow attendees, and sponsors through in-app messaging. Bizzabo also allows you to schedule a time to meet in-person. Instead of leaving an event discouraged, you can now ensure you reach out to everyone available, increasing your odds of finding a solid contact.
3. Plain Sight
Plain Sight is a social networking platform for you to meet like-minded people in your area in virtual and physical spaces. What makes the app unique is its ability to remove the bias out of professional networking because the profiles don’t include photos, only users’ bios. Users are able to go into different “spaces” based on their interests and goals and are able to have meaningful conversations with fellow networkers. After a successful rollout in Detroit last year, the app is expanding to other cities.
We all know about Linkedin, but few of us are aware of its full potential as they are constantly updating their features. Some recent updates from LinkedIn are better analytics tools (so you can see who’s viewing your posts), a more streamlined interface, and name pronunciation (which is great for someone when you’re meeting someone new and avoiding an embarrassing mistake).
Peanut is a really special place for all women — in any stage of life. Created by Michelle Kennedy in 2017, she said she launched it to solve a need she’d experienced as a new mom: isolation. Since its advent, Peanut has become a place for working moms, women struggling with mom-shaming and women looking to re-enter the workforce to connect and figure it all out, right at their fingertips.
5. Bumble Bizz
Bumble started as a woman-centered dating app, but now it’s evolved into a professional connector as well. It makes it super easy for professionals to network, share, and learn from one another. The app also employs a geolocation feature for those who wish to connect locally.
You’ll complete a very straightforward business profile, set filters based on what type of people you’d like to meet, and then swipe your way through your options. Once there’s someone you’re interested in connecting with, like Tindr, you’ll swipe right. If that person also swipes (or already swiped) right, Bumble will consider that a ‘match.’
Once that happens, you’ll have 7 days to send a message. If that doesn’t happen, the connection is lost. Once connected, you can continue to chat on the app or move it to email, phone, etc. *Note that if the match is between a man and a woman, the woman must make the first move.
Still in beta-mode, the invitation-only app, Clubhouse is a sort of voice-based chat room and it’s taking the social mediasphere by storm. Intimate or larger conversations can occur in virtual “rooms” and users are able to moderate the discussion topic based on their choice. Everyday people and celebrities seem to be in love, with users including Kevin Hart, Drake, Chris Rock, and Jared Leto to name a few. Big-name CEOs have also been spotted participating in conversations. Ultimately it’s a great app to get back to the basics of actually talking to people in real-time and making meaningful connections through the power of the voice.