If you were to meet people who appreciate who you are, what you do and what you love, and can help you do more of it and get paid for it, would that be a bad thing?
TIP: You might first want to read How To Use Twitter to get influential people to help you
BEGIN: Find people in two or more of these 5 categories:
- People who have needs or interests you can help them with;
- Supportive people you enjoy being around;
- People who work doing something you love;
- People who work doing something you are good at;
- People who work doing something that you could (or do) get paid to do.
Also, be a little biased towards people who live near you. How do you find them? Join Twitter and find them by their bio description (click the Tips links below to search for them), then read what they say on Twitter and on their blog to see if they are supportive and someone you would enjoy getting to know.
Also realize that anyone you would love to get to know probably has friends you would love to meet. Ideally, look for people that you can do something helpful for, and people who live near you.
BE IN TOUCH: Help them when you can, and have fun taking an interest in who they are and what they do.
Be helpful and supportive when it feels right. Comment on their blog, share helpful information, tell them what you like about them, etc. The “work” part of it is that you have to allocate time to do this. Once you have committed some time, simply be sincere. Share information about yourself and ask questions.
BE WHO YOU ARE: Share your interests, questions, hopes and desires
Sure, die-hard “networkers” will tell you to organize everyone’s birthday information, have a set of things you want to achieve and a list of people you think can help you achieve them, etc. But a lot of good things will happen naturally when you’re connected to the right people if you share about yourself.
If you have trouble sharing, work at it. Start with simple things. Make sure you have said enough about yourself that people get to know things about you through your comments on Twitter. I actually don’t do this enough! I spend more time helping, responding and sharing links than I do sharing about myself.
AND THEN WHAT? My wife’s experience
Skip this first paragraph if you are “results-oriented.” But the first thing that happened to her was she found people she could really be of help to. It’s very gratifying to find the perfect connection, where a quick word or link from you can be the answer to someone’s else’s dire need. And since she connected to the right people, that started things happening right away.
Okay, but what about “results?”
She is a dance teacher, among other things. By the time she had been on Twitter two weeks four new students had sought her out to inquire about taking lessons with her. Note: She never said—or even remotely hinted—that she was looking for students, because she wasn’t! Although she is happy to have them, she simply hadn’t thought that far ahead. She was just convinced that the best way to have a good life was to find a way to connect with people that you can do something for, and to connect to a lot of them. So, for measurable results #1: additional income from dance students found through Twitter.
By the time she had been on Twitter two months one of her new Twitter friends started looking for a better job in radio for her! And also giving her advice and connections to helpful people to get the jobs they found for her. And they found here two jobs that pay about TWICE what she was making that she came under serious consideration for.
Again, she never said—or even remotely hinted—she was looking for another job. In fact, she wasn’t! She had a job she loved. She didn’t even think her contract would allow her to look for another job.
Folks even provided her contract advice so that she became eligible for those jobs, and connected her to people considering hiring her, and others advising her on how to get hired.
What about doing business on Twitter?
The same rules apply! You might want to put more emphasis on finding people doing something similar to what you are doing and look at the people that follow them. And consider providing more highly useful links. You want to be a resource for people.
What else should I be aware of?
Pay attention to what people do and share! They may be doing thing that you would love to do and just hadn’t considered. I realized I could sell my used dance dresses on Etsy after I saw so many people on that site. So read about what people do and listen to what they say for ideas that could apply to you. I’ve also had lots of great advice and links from folks on Twitter.
Remember: help people AND share your own interests, questions, hopes and desires. Yes, Twitter can be a “reality show about you,” and you should share the occassional few tweets in a row when you’re going through something, but to get the most out of Twitter, I suggest concentrating on the helping/sharing/networking aspects.