The pandemic has rendered us mostly homebound. For those who are used to in-person meetings, expanding your professional network is a challenge.
But networking is vital for the success of your career. It does not just allow you to exchange ideas and information. It is also a way for you to create long-term relationships. Also, you can cultivate new opportunities with other like-minded people.
This brings you support from others, some of whom might be high profile individuals. Tapping on each other’s mutual resources brings growth for everyone involved. You may even see an increase in your status and self-confidence.
Meeting new people is not just useful for finding your next job. It is also how entrepreneurs find investors, for mentees to chance upon valuable mentors, and for startup founders to seek each other out.
Many of us underestimate the power of professional networking. Even if we do see its importance, it is hard to meet new people during hard times like these.
We are often used to meeting others face-to-face. However, Covid-19 has upended this habit. Video calls are now our daily reality. Even worse, it has become difficult to meet new people if your existing network is not conducive for that.
That is where networking platforms like Lunchclub can come in.
Lunchclub is a networking platform that aims to foster professional relationships. Backed by Clubhouse investors and Robinhood’s CEO, it can be described as a curated matchmaking app for professionals. The startup raised USD 24.2 million in its Series A round, and has bagged USD 30 million in total so far.
The platform has been facilitating professional, in-person meetings since 2018. After Covid-19, they quickly moved meetings online.
What makes Lunchclub special is its data-driven selection system. Its algorithm uses artificial intelligence (AI) to curate professional matches which are catered to you, your interests, and your goals.
Here is how you can get started and expand your network with Lunchclub:
Set up your profile
Once you have created your Lunchclub account, start setting up your profile.
The platform will provide certain prompts. These help the app’s AI streamline your professional matches and increase your chances of a successful meeting.
Firstly, select a dashing photo. After all, this is what people will look at when they click on your profile.
Write out your brief biography. You can even include links to your Linkedin and Twitter accounts.
Next, you will be asked to identify your interests. For example, you can indicate entrepreneurship, cloud technology, or anything else that you enjoy.
To break the ice during those awkward first meetings, your profile will also have some handy conversation starters. You can include what topics you would like to learn about and what side projects you are working on.
Wait for a match
Every Monday, you will receive an email that asks you for:
- How many meetings do you want this week?
- What times work best?
Twenty-four hours later, you will receive matches that have been specially curated by Lunchclub. The match even comes with a personalized introduction!
The matches you get every week are determined by a fully automated process. Lunchclub is powered by AI and uses machine learning algorithms to sort through its database of users. Finally, it will select the best match for you.
The platform uses a wealth of different data. This includes public information from networks, information provided in your profile, as well as feedback from previous meetings. Users are then matched based on these interests and objectives.
Make new connections
When both you and your match have agreed to the meeting, gear up and get ready to meet or e-meet them!
Lunchclub also facilitates virtual meetups which are suited for these troubling times. The app allows you to interact with your new professional match immediately and remotely. Virtual meetings are not just safe. They are also quick and easy to conduct using a phone or laptop.
Many ideas and learning points come out from such sessions. Whether it is a potential investor or a fellow startup founder, a meeting of minds always bears some fruit.
The best option for keeping notes during these meetings is Meetric.
Simply use the Meetric app to jot down key points, so that you can return to them later.
Even better, you can use Meetric to keep track of matches that you want to follow up with.
Taking note of who you enjoyed meeting with and what you talked about is vital. It ensures that your network is catered to you and your objectives. You are then better placed to achieve professional success.
Furthermore, using Meetric to take notes ensures that you stay on task. It makes you more aware of who you are meeting and what you are talking about. This deliberate, conscious effort helps you take advantage of your network in the best and most productive manner.
Meet with your match to expand your professional network and go beyond your social circle. Lunchclub saves you valuable time by helping you find the people you should know.
After your virtual meeting is over, you can provide user feedback to Lunchclub. This feedback is fed into the algorithm, making your future matches more relevant.