Thinking out loud: Taking it off/online

Posted: - Modified: | connecting, web2.0

Do you want to get more people you know to read your blog, connect to you on social networks, and interact with you online? Do you want to build stronger, deeper relationships with your online contacts, maybe even interacting offline? Here are some quick tips on how you can use your online network to strengthen your offline one and the other way around.

To go from offline contacts to online contacts, build value:

1. If you want people you know to connect with you online, make sure people can find you. Create a personal website that has your bio, some contact information, and links to more information on the Net. Put your website address on your business card and in your e-mail signature, and mention it when appropriate.

2. To get people to visit your website or read your blog, give them something they’ll find immediately useful. For example, if the coworker encounters a problem that you’ve solved before and blogged about, give your coworker the URL of that blog post and he or she will almost certainly check it out. If you’ve given your elevator pitch to people and they’re convinced that you’re the person who can solve their problem, they’ll check out your website too. Make it easy for people to find the information they’ll find immediately useful.

3. To get people to keep coming back, provide continuing value. If you follow the advice in step 2, you’ll end up accumulating a lot of useful information that can show people that you’re worth subscribing to. Make it easy for people to browse through your website and figure out if they want to subscribe to you or connect with you. If you want to connect with people on social networks, don’t think of it as a one-time connection, but treat it as an opportunity to develop an ongoing relationship.

To go from online contacts to offline contacts, build trust:

1. Teach people about your competencies. This is probably the easiest one to start with. Sharing tips and experiences shows people what you’re good at, and they can start to trust you in those areas.

2. Show people your character. If you go beyond just giving facts and start telling stories, you can form more of a personal bond with people. This helps them trust you as a person, because they get to know your character.

3. Be yourself. It’s a lot easier to go from online contacts to offline contacts if people know your real name. A picture and a biography helps, too. =)

Hmm, will think about this more. There’s something in here that might be useful… =)

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