Networking: From Online to Offline, revenge of the « Shy »

Image 1So you are the shy type. You have problems in crowded events. Well, social media to the rescue. Have a simple socialmedia strategy and look at people coming towards you. Much easier , don’t you think ? Besides, being active online greatly maximizes the time you spend networking offline anyway.

It’s the time for Tweetups, Podcamps, Yulbiz, Webcom and all kinds of event when you finally get to meet those people you keep chatting with over Facebook, Twitter, your blog and in some cases LinkedIn. Let »s put this to good use shall we ?

Picture: Besides the fact that it adds to your credibility, one good reason to have a real photo as your avatar is that it makes you easily recognizable.  It happens often in these meetings that someone will look at me kind of funny saying; « You’re Startupcoach aren’t you ? It’s much easier to approach someone when you « know » who he or she is. Use the same avatar everywhere, and use a recent one, just to make sure. Make it easy for people to come up to you.

Participating: « Be » in the conversations. A certain amount of « human-ess » is required online if you want to come out as ‘fun o be with ». I’m always amazed at how quick the conversations pick up when people you meet offline are the ones you’ve been « chatting » with online. The topics are right at hand, some blog post can come to mind, or news about common online friends.  Furthermore, usually people will offer to introduce you to other people in your line of thought, your line of work or your expertise. You network will expand accordingly.

Polarize: As in ‘take a stand »!  Even if some lengthy conversations can take place over the net, some topics can only be discussed in real life. If you take a stand on a particular issue, people will seek you at those events. Can be seen as a double edged sword but at the same time you can’t stand out of the pack by being average. If you don’t like the « talking about the weather  » stuff, that the way to go.

Come on get out there, reach out and…shake someone’s hand 🙂

Photo: Eric Baillargeon