Online entrepreneurship can be a lonely place. For me, my home is my office + sometimes I transplant a mini bubble office at my favourite local cafes where I can observe + be observed. But, for the most part, I’m working solo with interspersed one-on-one consultations via Skype.
But here’s my secret. You can make friends online to ease that entrepreneurial silence. Here’s how.
Make Friends Online in 3 Easy Steps
1. Find them.
To make friends online, first you have to find + nominate the potentials. Here’s where to look. Check out your favourite Facebook groups, blogs, forums, social media lists, and other online hangouts. If someone seems interesting start following them, comment on their shit, and build a rapport. Does this seem intimidating or even creepy to you? Well, here’s what I have to say about that. Folks posting online are posting online willingly + often to get noticed. As entrepreneurs, bloggers, and, well narcissists ( most of us ), we like to feel important. More traffic, more comments, more engagement is like sweet crack in our blog ego pipe. (Wait, how do you smoke crack?) Anyway, you get the picture! Start buttering them up.
Still feeling nervous? Check out my tips for making friends when you’re an introvert
2. Reach out.
Now that you’ve nominated your new friends, it’s time to reach out + introduce yourself. Email is your best bet, I’d say. I mean you want to make friends online, right? Be polite, clear, and quick. Don’t tell them your life story, just tell them what they need to know to see that you’re a fan + want to connect. Be up front about what you want. No one likes a sneak-in sale so just tell ’em how it is, you want to make friends online. Remember, some entrepreneurs get hundreds of emails in a day, so don’t freak out if they don’t reply right away. After a few days send them another quick email to introduce yourself + your friendship request again.
3. Follow up.
Part of the trick to make friends online is following up after you’ve made the initial connection. Maybe you met over Skype or in Google Hangouts + the conversation was fun, light, and helpful. Tell them so. Also, it’s important to suggest a followup conversation, hangout, or event. Don’t assume they will take the initiative + don’t assume that if they don’t they’re not interested. People are busy, girl! If you want to make friends online you have to be bold + ask!