We've talked about networking online in the promotion section. But what about the human interface? Do you socialize? Networking is an excellent way to get your content out there. Talk to people and tell them what you do.
- Have business cards made up with your name, your site, a little abstract about your content, and contact information. Carry them with you and pass them out.
- As you progress, think business cards and a brochure.
- When you mingle, be sure to ask questions during your exchanges about what they do. Ask them for a business card or how to get in touch with them for future dealings.
- Become an active listener. Listen to what they say and ask questions. If you seem interested, they may have a bone to throw you. Always follow up on leads you are given.
- Hidden networking opportunities. Strike up conversations with total strangers you come across in computer stores, bookstores, coffee shops, even grocery stores. If you find yourself standing next to someone, who seems to be interested in the same thing you are, talk to them. You never know what door you may be opening up--a future client? Source? Associate? Maybe even a friend?
- Be active. Join clubs, groups, or take a class you have an interest in. There are networking opportunities plus informational perks.
- Utilize your instincts. If you are standing next to someone who doesn't seem open to communication, don't bother talking to them.
- Don't burn bridges. Keep the lines of communication open after initial meetings. In the case of networking, absence does not make the heart grow fonder, it makes it forget.