Social media has opened new doors for many work-at-home moms who simply don’t have the time to dedicate hours and hours to attending networking events every week. It means we can stay cozy in our pajamas and network with likeminded moms 24/7 without worrying about the need to take random breaks for a trip to the playground or when the baby wakes up early from her nap.
But sometimes you need to put on your business best, pull out the business cards and meet with people face to face. What social media and online networking doesn’t have is the ability to create a truly personal connection. It’s that intangible quality that comes from meeting live and in-person, exchanging stories and maybe even a hug or two.
Simple ways to take your online relationships offline
Telephone Call – The simplest way to step an online relationship up to the next level is to arrange a telephone chat. Yes, it’s not exactly like meeting face to face, but it’s a step up from typing.
Coffee Chat – If you are lucky enough to live in the same city, arrange a coffee chat or if you are comfortable with that person and your kids are about the same age, a play date.
Tweet-Ups – Attend local social media gatherings, or tweet-ups, to both connect with your current online friends and find others in your area who are active in social media.
Networking Groups – Find local networking groups that serve your market and commit to attending at least one event a month.
Conferences and Events – Combine networking and learning by attending regional or national conferences. If possible, arrive early and arrange a meet-up in advance to get to know your fellow attendees.
Now that you have met face-to-face, use social media to extend and continue the conversation. The easiest way to take the conversation back online is to thank the person in social media for the opportunity to meet with them.