This contributor post was written by Tiffany Han.
Everyone talks about community as a way to stay connected in the online world, promote your creative business, and have more fun.
But where do you start? It’s often hard to find your entrÃ©e, especially when it seems like everyone out there is already omgbesties with each other.
Tired of sitting at a table all by your lonesome at lunch? Here’s a quick start guide to making friends on the internet:
1. Start a conversation.
This one seems simple – and lots have said it before – but starting a conversation can be a great way to get the friend-ball rolling. Tip: Create a secret twitter list of people you want to be friends with. Watch their tweets and respond when you have something meaningful to say. Responding with nothing but “Great post!” likely won’t get you more than a thank you, so consider what you can add to the conversation.
Did you love Brittni’s latest DIY (so adorable, right?!) and are excited to duplicate it using your collection of vintage pillowcases? Tell her!
Did someone’s recent blog post about transition resonate with you so much that you had tears in your eyes? Tell her!
This is the time to step out of your comfort zone and start becoming an internet chatterbox! While you may not receive responses from everyone, these conversations will create a momentum. I have real-life friends who I met on the twitter. It can happen for you too.
2. But, don’t be a stalker.
While you may want to respond to every single post in your secret “be my friend please” twitter list, consider being on the receiving end and how you might take someone responding to every twitter post you make. Remember, we’re going for meaningful conversation here, and it’s likely that you aren’t going to have something contributory to say about each post. Quality is what counts in the making friends game, not quantity.
3. Step outside your niche.
There’s a feeling amongst us that we need to be bffs with everyone who’s doing what we are on the internet. But if you’re a photographer, you’d be very well-served getting to know people in complementary industries. You are a gorgeous photographer, so while it’s good to know other shutterbugs, you might really want to get to know some stylists, event planners, and DIY bloggers.
Think beyond your niche and identify people you could collaborate with one day. How can you support other people while they support you as well? Everyone loves a win-win.
Your turn: do you have any good strategies for fostering online community? Any twitter bff-love stories to share?
*Photo & design by Brittni Mehlhoff. Note: Franz + Gertie are definitely BFFs.