A Blog is Your Home. Twitter is Happy Hour. And How You Can Make Friends With Authors. 5 Comments

Roughly 75% of jobs are gotten through networking. Unless you plan on staying in your city forever… you should be making friends online.

(That doesn’t mean creating a Facebook profile.)

Traditional social networks (Facebook/LinkedIn/MySpace) are used for maintaining relationships you’ve already built. You meet in person… then you connect online. That’s how they work.

But Twitter and blogs are different. They facilitate building relationships because they connect you with people who share your interests. Following a random stranger on Twitter is like saying, “Hi – It’s nice to meet you. What you’re doing interests me.”

But follow a random stranger on Facebook? Then you’re labeled a stalker. See the difference?

To build relationships online, you need a blog and you need a Twitter account. A blog is like your home. It’s where you talk about things that interest you. It’s where people can learn more about you. And it’s how people keep up to date with what’s new in your life.

If your blog is home, Twitter is like happy hour. Imagine walking into a bar and seeing a room full of people. Everyone is standing in groups of three or four people, chatting back and forth. Now imagine that you have a remote control that can pause all of those conversations. That’s what Twitter does. Twitter allows you to dive in and out of each one of those small conversations. You can jump in, share your perspective, and build a relationship with someone new… all without going through that awkward process of introducing yourself.

Traditional social networks are for maintaining relationships. Blogs and Twitter are for building new ones.

The key is to build relationships with people who have had more success than you. Accomplished people are fun to talk with because they have great stories to share, they can open up some major doors for you, and there is a lot to learn from them.

How you can meet these people. I’ve met over a dozen authors by using my blog. Normally I find someone I want to meet through reading blogs or through Twitter. That is where it begins. Then I start by leaving a comment on their blog or sending them a message on Twitter.

If that goes well, I try and find a common interest that we share… Social media. Technology. Generational Issues. Marketing. Anything that we both would enjoy talking about over the phone. After chatting back and forth a few times on Twitter, I’ll email them and ask if I can interview them for my blog.

If they say yes, I’ll call them on Skype and record the call with PowerGramo. This way I can re-listen to the call to find the most interesting topics. After that, I transcribe the highlights of the conversation and email it back to them. They edit it and send it back to me so I can post it.

Why this works. I absolutely love doing this. First, you get to learn directly from someone really, really smart. Second, it gives you more content for your blog. Third, and most importantly, you help out the other person by promoting their stuff. Plus it lays the foundation, for future long term relationship with them.

It wouldn’t be possible without a blog. If you’re looking to expand your network online, a blog and a Twitter account are two things that you cannot live without.

So there you have it… Your blog is your home. Twitter is like happy hour. And how you can build relationships with successful people. Try it out and tell me what you think. I’d love to hear your thoughts. You can reach me at andy[dot]drish[at]gmail.com.

Andy writes about Marketing, Millennials, and Technology on his blog at www.andydrish.com. He is currently in a Leadership Development Rotation program at The Principal Financial Group. In his spare time, he teaches bloggers how to transition their blogs to custom themes on WordPress.org.  This post was submitted for The Talent Buzz blog post contest.

About Jason Buss

Talent HQ’s creator and editor is Recruiting & Diversity Leader, Jason Buss. Talent HQ is a premier online news and information channel for the Recruiting and Human Resources community.

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  • Posted on: Sunday, March 1st, 2009