Want to know a little secret? I have met some of my closest friends on social media. Katrice, Kristen, Tiffany, Jessica, Erica, Brandi, & Amy have all been met through social media or blogging. I trust all of these women with my business and personal life. Social media is one of the best free tools in the world, yet most people use it incorrectly on a daily basis. If you’re an introvert and have a tough time networking in reality, it’s time to maximize social media to grow your network.
Follow Similar People
No matter the platform, it is easy to find others who have similarities to you. I don’t remember exactly how I came across any of these women, but I know I saw me in them. That connection alone made me feel like we had common ground. This is very important if you want to network. I suggest when you start networking to do so with individuals who are similar to you in a multitude of ways. Yes, you want a diverse portfolio of connections, but when your only doing it to connect with people, it’s best to stay in your comfort zone at first, then branch out.
This is one thing I cannot harp enough about; when it comes to networking and connecting with others. Engage them. Don’t just like a photo or retweet something, actually take time to talk to them. That’s how you connect. I have an excellent memory. It amazes people at times, but it comes in handy with business. Those who constantly engage me, are the ones I will reach back and help fastest rather than those who don’t engage me. On a weekly basis, there are several emails regarding “free advice or free coaching services”. These people are usually the ones who have never engaged me, but would “love” to work with me. A little advice if you can’t afford someone’s service, you don’t need to tell them. Just form a relationship until you can. Otherwise engage as often as possible.
When I come across something that can be beneficial to someone else, if I don’t personally have their email then I tweet the link to them. I tell them how I read this article and that there are several points they would benefit from. People love to know they are being thought of, especially in a positive way. In addition to that, something else I do is, share other people’s content in Imperfect Concepts’ bi-monthly newsletter. In the links “I love section”, you can read articles ranging from content I read in the Times or a newsletter article that Brandi wrote.
Lend A Hand
If I say, “do you need anything”, I mean it. I don’t offer my time to just anyone. I keep my word and promises, so I make sure to not over extend myself in any shape, fashion, or form. Offer a helping hand to those in your network. Say you see someone who needs help with their website and you’re a designer or developer, reach out to them. You don’t need to charge or keep a stack of IOU’s for doing this. Let this be a helping a friend in need moment. You never know a time may come when you may need help, it might not come back to you from that person but someone else. I have hopped on the phone with complete strangers numerous times to help them with their MailChimp accounts or something of that nature. I remember when I first started out. Don’t over extend yourself, that’s the most important thing. No need to be Captain Save An Entrepreneur. Do it when your heart tells you too.
Social media is more than just pushing your products and amassing a large audience. It’s about creating meaningful connections with people from all over the world. When someone in Ghana, Indonesia, or New Zealand talks to me about my business I think, Wow, I must be doing something right. Connecting with women from all over the world.