An important part of personal representation is aligning with like-minded individuals. Here are 6 ways to reach out to your people.
1. Social Media
Twitter chats on specific topics, LinkedIn groups devoted to particular subsets or even conferences or events and Google+ communities on tons of different interests are just a few ways to tap into a niche. Join the groups relevant to your community in order to gather deeper insights into the pain points of your potential community members, as well as what resources they’re sharing.
Forums can be incredible ways to meet people due to the somewhat anonymous nature of the medium. They can be a great start in getting to know about other people, and you can even enhance your status as a community member by answering questions or posting valuable information that others use. The key is to stay active in the community and don’t be overly promotional. Most forums have checks to reduce this from happening anyway.
But, even without these, it’s always a better idea to be helpful to the group. After a while, people will recognize your authority, and it will be much easier to sell to these people in a subtle manner.
3. Give More Than You Take
When you look to meet others, be willing to give more than they give. If you have some information that you believe the people you are meeting will find valuable, go ahead and give it to them. Also, keep the channel open so they can reach out to you after your initial meeting. This sets the stage to nurture the relationship even further. The more you can offer, the more they will want to engage with you. Of course, you don?t want to give all your products and trade secrets away. But, relationships are developed by giving away as much as is reasonable.
4. Attend a Conference
Attending conferences can be a tricky thing, as some have a much higher return than others. However, if you can identify specific members of your community who will be at an event—whether speaking, sponsoring, or attending—contact them beforehand to see if you can carve out some time for a side conversation while there. That way, you’re not taking up any of their work time, seeing that they’ve already reserved this slot for networking.
5. Start a Blog
Start a blog and allow visitors to leave comments on your site. There is nothing more discouraging than reading a great post that a reader can’t leave a comment or question on. Sure, you’ll get some spam comments by allowing people to comment, but there are a lot of great plugins and programs to help filter spam out, and it’s well worth the time and effort to publish good comments.
When people do leave good insightful comments, be sure to respond to them and thank them for participating in the conversation. If someone leaves a question for you in a comment, be sure to respond to their question. It looks bad to other visitors to see questions go unanswered.
6. Live Video
Prep for Getting to Know People
Technologies such as Facebook Live, Google Hangouts or Periscope can open doors for many people. It can be a good way to connect with new people. It is also great practice for meeting people face-to-face. These tools are also often used to teach people about something of value. This gives you instant credibility, assuming you teach something good. It also makes it much easier to reconnect with people after the webinar is complete.