Are you maximizing the connections available to you through the association? Here, Nicole Coon, vice president of membership and events at Housing First Minnesota, shares tips on how you can dig deeper into the resources at your disposal.
By participating in an online community, you’re a part of a large industry group of support, resources, one-on-one connections, and industry experts. Be a part of the conversation and be informed of trending relevant industry info. Share information on your own networks and add a note with your personal thoughts to connect with others and position yourself as an expert. Pose a question (chances are you’re not the only one seeking that information) to receive tips and best practices from others.
Virtual Events + Networking
Be sure you’re representing who you are. All too often on a Zoom meeting, an individual’s name might resemble the makings of a really strong password—letters and numbers and exclamation points, oh my! That doesn’t help ensure you are recognizable. Whenever possible, make sure your display name is who you are. Use your first and last name and, if space allows, your company or title. If given the opportunity for introductions, again be sure to use your first and last name and announce your company. You may think your first name is easily identifiable like Prince or Cher, but don’t leave that to chance. Let people know your intent to network and ask for the connection—put your name, company, title, and relevant contact information in the chat. If you see someone virtually you want to connect with, send them a private message asking them to connect offline.
You want people to know who you are and what you do, right? Make sure you log into your member account and provide as much accurate information as possible for the Housing First Minnesota online directory so people can reach you. From HousingFirstMN.org, click the link in the upper right-hand corner to sign in. Once logged in (be sure to use the main company contact’s login credentials), you can manage your profile at the top of the page. Under the Information & Settings section, you can edit your bio and add employees. If you supply their email address, they will be able to log in with their own credentials and receive our association emails. Want to add more to your directory profile and be sure you stand out? Consider upgrade options!
Plus, our online directory is a great way to find contact information of other members in the association. Find members by name, membership type, or by category. Have a question on a particular process, product, or service? Go right to the source and find a company that is an expert in that field. The listing will provide the main contact’s address and phone, and you’re able to send an email right through the directory.
If you have some time to give, consider joining a committee. A volunteer shared with me that joining a committee was a great way to make immediate personal connections. It made the organization more personable to have familiar faces that they would see at meetings and events. Another bonus of these new connections? The introduction to their network as well!
There are committees for almost every interest area you may have within the industry: advocacy, education, events, workforce, charitable giving, home tours, production size, DEI, etc.
Many of the committees don’t require much time outside of the committee meeting itself. Visit our committee page on HousingFirstMN.org and reach out to that committee chair or staff member about how to get involved.