We all know that friendships (actually, relationships in general) take work. You need to be intentional about building and maintaining them.
This is even more true when it comes to building and maintaining relationships online.
In this post, I’m covering my tips for connecting with the right people online. Hopefully, these tips will help you find awesome business friends who will cheer you on and support you through your journey in business.
Start the right conversations on the right platforms
Some platforms are better than others when it comes to using them to connect and start conversations with like-minded people. Below, I’ve listed my top three platforms and how I’ve used (and continue to use) each one of them to meet and start conversations with people who ended up becoming close connections and eventual friends.
Since Instagram is such a visual platform, it’s easy to get a quick feel for someone’s overall “vibe”. Plus, many people share glimpses into their “real lives” on IG stories.
I’ve found Instagram to be a great place for connecting with potential business friends, since most people in the creative entrepreneurship + online business space are post regularly on the platform. And the majority of people on IG are used to engaging in conversations in the comments under their own posts, and the posts of others.
When I connect with someone on Instagram, and the main thing that inspires me to leave a thoughtful comment is when they post things that showcase who they are on a personal level (as opposed to just sharing quotes images or reposting other people’s pretty photos without much explanation).
To connect with people on Instagram, try to add personality to your own feed and leave thoughtful comments on other people’s posts when they share something that resonates with you.
Twitter is one of my favorite places to start quick conversations with people — and the conversations have developed into real life friendships on more than one occasion.
Follow people in your industry, in your city, even people who share similar interests. From there, it’s easy to make a connection by simply tweeting them with a question or replying to something that resonates with you.
After you’ve exchanged several tweets, you could send a DM to see if they want to set up a coffee chat. (If you’re not sure what that is, watch this interview with Abby Herman, who explains more!) It’s a simple way to deepen the friendship!
Of course, Facebook groups are an ideal place to connect with potential clients. But they’re also a great place to meet potential business friends.
Many groups have “fun” threads from time-to-time. A host will prompt members to share something a little less business-y, like a fun fact, favorite food, etc. If you’re really looking to connect with people online, I’d make it a priority to show up in these “fun” threads — and read other people’s comments as well.
You never know when a fun fact or tidbit of info can spark and engaging conversation with someone who might end up becoming a good friend.
Align your online presence so it’s easy for people to connect with you.
The platforms I listed above are all great for connecting and starting conversations with potential business friends, but it’s important to keep in mind that everyone uses social media a little differently.
You never know when or where someone might be “introduced” to you online, so make it a point to be yourself across all social platforms — including on your website.
Although people tend to use social media slightly differently, you can bank on the fact that everyone knows they can find out more about you on your website. That’s why it’s important to make it easy for people understand you and connect with you when they visit your online “home”.
In the video below, I’ll walk you through a few simple tips to help you infuse more of your personality into your website.