10 Ideas for Connecting in Real Life
I recommend you seek new ways to get out, meet, and talk with potential customers, allies, and friends.
When you offer an opportunity to meet with your connections "in real life", you enhance your virtual interactions and you increase ways to spread word-of-mouth about your products and services.
Face-to-face conversation encourages more trust, transparency, and relationship-building. Seek out a panel discussion, an informal gathering in the lobby at the conference, or even a Tweetup with your followers. The World Wide Web is here to support human interaction, not to override it.
Use the tools at your fingertips to encourage person-to-person connections. Realize that a virtual relationship is only one facet of the deep connections we make with one another --- and an electronic relationship is merely bits and bytes on a screen -- true connection comes from ongoing relating, story-telling, sharing, and communicating.
- Focus on what you love.
- If you feel overwhelmed by constantly speaking at places that do not bring you sustenance and encouragement, take a moment to regroup, reconnect, and refocus.
- Find a place of strength.
- Feel free to say "no" to opportunities or people that do not directly fit your philosophy or field of interest.
- By specifying and being clear, you open up more targeted opportunities for your unique offerings.
Some examples of using social networking to support your in-person efforts:
1) Attend any of the multitude of conferences or seminars in your specific field or industry.
2) Create an informal meeting with Twitter or Facebook friends who are nearby
3) Organize a charity drive and work with others in your social networking sphere to promote a local nonprofit or community-based organization
4) Join a board or leadership group around one of your areas of interest -- invite the support of others in your network
5) Promote an event that you plan on attending and invite people from your social networks
6) Share with others who are interested in your specific topics -- take someone out to coffee or lunch to get to know them better
7) Consider offering a seminar, panel presentation, or group review of a specific topic you’d like to explore
8) Read with a book club - it's a great way to meet others and come up with stimulating discussion - join an existing one via teleconference or even in person!
9) Work "parties" are great ways to get together and support one another -- they can be physical or digital work parties - join with others to work collaboratively on a special project
10) Party time: you can always host cocktail hour, supper club, or an intimate breakfast
The important part about getting together with potential customers and readers is the ability to foster additional connections that carry you forward. When you organize around the topics in your book, you find a natural audience of people interested and enthusiastic for the knowledge you have to share.
Monica S. Flores @monicadear, a web developer since 1999, works with multicultural women entrepreneurs and fair trade, organic, holistic, sustainable, and green businesses. She blogs about how to create websites that build community and foster a feeling of connectedness. Find her at http://www.asuccessfulwoman.com.