I’m gonna be honest with you: When I started blogging, I had no clue what I was doing. I had this website which I posted photos on and that was basically it. I did not think of it as a business and even when I started seeing the possibilities, at first, I was very shy to really get active, let alone get to know the people who I could work with. Besides scary, I found it awkward and didn’t really know how to do it. I’m happy that all of that has changed and to all of you who still feel a little weird about it sometimes, here are just a few tips…
Just to be clear, I am not saying that these skills or tips will make it all happen. We all have our insecurities sometimes and networking is really something you should just try and find your own way in. We are all different and I think that it’s important that before anything else, you stay true to who you are. That being said, these things may be helpful:
1. Be yourself
In line with what I wrote earlier: be yourself! From psychology I have learnt that this is the biggest paradox of all, cause whenever you ask some one to be themselves, are they still themselves? Like, aren’t you asking them to be what you’re expecting them to be? For example, spontaneous? And is it still spontaneous when you ask? Uhu. Let’s not dig deeper into this, y’all know what I mean. Just don’t be fake and try to feel at ease.
2. Make it a habit
If you are not used to networking, that’s the first step: get used to it. Make a plan if you like. For example, you could set the goal of contacting at least one person you find interesting per week. Next question rising: What to say to that person? A quick “hey how are you, I admire you’re work, check out my stuff, would love to hear your thoughts,” would do! (A tad more personal though)
3. Internet = Real life
Whatever you do, just remember that people are people and although we tend to take shelter behind internet (“whatever, they cannot see me”), it’s important to keep in mind that the people you chat with are exactly the same people you interact with in real life. The only real advantage you have on internet is that you have a little more time to think of how to react to questions. Now, there are two things to keep in mind concerning this: 1. Never ask for something you wouldn’t ask for in real life either. 2. Since these internet contacts are the same people, you might actually wanna come out and meet them in real life. Do not hide behind internet: get to know people!
4. Be interested
Do you know the phrase “You gotta be interested to be interesting”? This is a nice one, I think. Cause don’t we all prefer genuine interest above straight business? Also, this makes networking a lot easier. As a psychologist I learnt that being curious was the way to go if I really wanted to know what was bothering and how to help my clients and in this field it’s nothing different. In line with being interested: always remember people’s names and their story.
5. Elevator pitch
If you haven’t heard of the term, I’m gonna ask you to google it, cause that’s a shame haha. My only point here is that you should really think this one through and make sure you’ll have it in mind when the opportunity occurs to present what you do. Nothing worse than stumbling upon your words when you’re trying to explain who you are and what you could mean to someone.
6. Deliver value
In the end, you want people to go home and remember you. You want them to be thinking of you first when they need that food blogger, that interior stylist or that fashion photographer. So recognize what it is you can give to others and showcase that.
7. Out with the un useful
This sounds hard and I am not saying that you can’t be friends with people if there is no reciprocity, but when it comes to business you sometimes have to make a cut. With knowing your own values also comes knowing who is not worth it or as I found a quote saying a few months ago “When you know what you’re worth, you’ll stop giving people discounts.”
Writing this went so fast, I didn’t even know I was so much into this, even though I am still learning myself. I have the feeling that this is also a good reminder for myself. Maybe I will write some more about effective ways of internet communication in one of my next blogposts. Would that be helpful? Let me know your thoughts on this topic!