Today’s Biz Ladies post comes to us from Mariah Danielsen, a veteran contributor, designer, marketer and shop owner. Today Mariah shares with us her go-to tips for networking your brand online in part one of a two-part series. Thanks Mariah for sharing your insights with us today. –Stephanie
Read the full post after the jump…
When it comes to growing your blog and brand, making connections and forming friendships is a must, but sitting around waiting for people to reach out to you won’t help expand. You’ve got to be the connector; reach out for those friendships, partnerships and opportunities that you want. Connecting and networking will help your business grow tenfold.
Networking can be done many ways, but they always fit into one of two categories: networking online and networking offline. In the first part of this networking series, we’ll focus on different ways to network online to grow your brand.
Networking became much easier when the internet and social media came to be because instead of having to meet someone face to face to network with them, now you can shoot them an email or send a tweet their way. It’s easier, less formal and much less scary than picking up the phone or meeting them in person. Using social media is a wonderful way to start building relationships.
Let’s dive into some different ways you can network on the variety of platforms you have at your fingertips.
Networking on Twitter
Mentioning, Retweeting to Break the Ice
Twitter is a great way to break the ice with someone. A simple retweet or @ reply gets your name on their radar and starts a conversation; the relationship can grow from there. Get the good vibes going, and if someone mentions you or retweets one of your tweets, reply to them or thank them.
Setting Up Twitter Lists
A useful way to network with Twitter is to set up Twitter lists. This is a way to keep up with all the people you dream of networking or collaborating with, and you’ll be able to stay up to date on the things they’re talking about.
Start by breaking down your lists into certain categories – one list for blogs you’d like to guest post on, one for people you want to collaborate with on a project, etc. This will help you keep on top of what people you want to work with are talking about.
A helpful way to network with people in a certain industry on Twitter is through Twitter chats. A Twitter chat is like an online meet up – it’s an interactive way for people to talk about a certain topic at a specific time by using a particular hashtag. They’re a fun way to find people who share your same interests on Twitter and can be a great way to meet new people to collaborate with. Twitter chats like #altchat, #blogbrunch and #omhg all take place on a weekly or monthly basis.
You can find more Twitter chats by doing an online search, many websites have lists of them. Also, keep an eye out for what Twitter chats the people you follow are doing, it’s a simple way to jump into a conversation that they’re having with others in the industry.
When it comes to networking online, Twitter makes it very easy to connect with people you want to work with, and all it takes is one little Tweet!
Networking with Facebook
Facebook is a little bit different because it’s much more personal than Twitter. You’re not going to be friends on Facebook with everyone you follow or everyone who follows you on Twitter. But if you’re using your business page, use it as a tool for reaching out to your favorite brands and connecting with your followers.
Sharing is Caring
You can start by sharing someone’s project, site or post. If you love a project someone is working on or a post they recent wrote, share it on your Facebook page – they’ll appreciate your share and if you tag them in the post, it’ll show up on their page too.
Contests & Parties
Contests will help you gain new likes and more interactions on your business page. Hold a simple contest or giveaway where all someone has to do is like your page and comment on a post. You’ll see what content your fans like best, and you gain some new followers in the process.
Facebook parties are fun too, especially for product launches and special events. Specify and promote a certain time to get together with your Facebook fans, host giveaways and hang out with them for a while.
Facebook lets you connect with your followers and is a way to share with them the things you love from the brands you follow.
All the Other Sites
There are tons of other social media sites out there that let you connect with people you want to collaborate with. Following those you want to network with on sites like Pinterest or Instagram will help you get to know them a little bit better and can serve as an icebreaker on Twitter or when you’re emailing them later.
Get in Their Inbox
Email is the king of networking online because it directly connects you to your dream collaborator and serves as a way to pitch them that big idea you have in mind. Even though it can be terrifying to reach out to someone about a project, sending a quick email can snowball into something big and exciting. The trick to email is to keep it short and sweet, make it personal and make sure it doesn’t sound like a mass email – those get skipped over more often than not.
When you’re ready to reach out to someone about a project via email, get right to the point. Quickly tell them something specific you like about their blog, site, project, etc. Then, in a sentence or two, tell them who you are and how you’d like to collaborate. Be specific and have as many details ironed out as possible. The less work they have to do, the better. Finally, tell them how they can get ahold of you and when you will follow up with them.
Then, do the follow up! If you haven’t seen a reply in a week or so, send the follow up email. Most people have an overflowing inbox, especially bigger bloggers or companies that get many collaboration requests each day. It’s possible that they missed your email or read it briefly with the intent to get back to you.
Email is a great way to network, but an email address is sacred – make sure you’re respectful of their time and inbox.
Those are some basic ideas for networking in the online world, where just a few seconds and 140 characters can change your life and business for the better! In part two of this series, we’ll focus on ways to network with people in the real life, offline world.
What are your favorite ways to network online? What big projects have come from just a simple tweet or email you sent? Share in the comments!