How Real Life Networking Can Build Your Social Media Presence
Some bloggers seem to be everywhere online. Their posts and products are offered far and wide by many different people so you keep seeing them in different arenas.
Do you want to be one of those bloggers? Of course you do!
If you want to be part of this elite group you need to put as much emphasis on building relationships as on blogging.
The Secret Sauce
The real power comes from building relationships. If you make some friends online, they’ll naturally share your stuff for you. You can start by leaving blog comments (or responding to them) and progress to Facebook friends or following one another on Twitter.
Yet, if you want to deepen the relationship and truly support one another’s businesses, you’ll want to have real life convo. You can schedule a Skype chat to introduce yourselves. Lots of great project ideas come out of shared interests!
However, one of my favorite, and often overlooked connection tools sounds pretty old fashioned in our tech centered world but it’s this---meeting people IRL (that's In Real Life for newbies).
I know, it sounds pretty quaint doesn’t it?
Here’s a Radical Idea
Step away from the computer. Go to a place where other people are gathering and make connections in real life. (Hint: like the upcoming BlogHer conference)
Meetups, Tweetups, even old-fashioned Chamber of Commerce business card exchanges can be good places to connect with new prospects or at least create a new level of support for your business.
You Never Know Who You’ll Meet.
Personally, I’ve been delighted and yes, a little surprised, by the wonderful and talented people I’ve met locally in the two years I’ve been going to networking events. Surprised because of the number of other bloggers and online entrepreneurs surrounding me, yet I didn’t know they existed until I started going to local networking events.
Plus, I’ve found clients for copywriting and social media projects, right here in my backyard and some wonderful collaborations have resulted.
My experience is once we connect off line, we connect online – most often through Linked In or Facebook and we get to know one another a little better.
Next time we see one another, we’re on more familiar footing and it’s easier to talk about things that matter to us.
Plus, real life conversations are just different than online ones. You can see the other person’s body language and hear the inflections in their voice. You can interact in real time.
These casual types of business relationships can grow (meet for coffee or lunch to deepen them) and turn into referrals and other work if you nurture them. Nurturing is pretty easy if you’re in one another’s Facebook feeds.
BlogHer ’12 is an ideal opportunity. Step away from the conference and grab a coffee or a drink with someone you’ve known only as avatars for the past months (or years!). Get to know them personally. When you’re back home, you can set up virtual coffees using Skype for people you’d like to get to know better.
Do this on a weekly or monthly basis and watch your network multiply!
Getting out into the world helps you build the trust and personal connections that result in other people promoting you and what you do—both online or off.
Social media has the power to expand your business around the world. Take your social self out into the real world occasionally and watch what happens online!