I was reading my friend Ken’s post about his community and all the amazing ways the members of the community have come together to help one another.
I have a deep appreciation for the benefits I’ve received from being a part of an online community. I know how much having a broad social network has helped me develop new business and assist others to find jobs and other opportunities. I, of course, realize the benefits of being a content creator and have enjoyed the payoff in the form of friends, great working relationships and the kind of support that has lifted me up and given me confidence, fresh ideas and inspiration.
Here are five personal stories of my social media success:
- One of the longest-term clients I’ve had knew me first because of my personal blog (where I used to write a lot more about social media till I had this blog). She was delighted to learn that I lived and worked only a few miles away from her business. A mutual connection in our social network introduced us and the rest is history.
- I am very good about keeping my online social network up-to-date, entering new contacts into LinkedIn and connecting with new people I meet at conferences and networking events as soon as I can. This practice has led to speaking engagements and the introduction to new clients. I’m also pretty committed to providing recommendations to others on LinkedIn, allowing me to also receive endorsements from others with whom I’ve worked. It’s a wonderful boost to my business to have these online “testimonials” about the work I’ve done.
- In a wonderful mash-up of more traditional media and social media, I’ve worked with a local affiliate of three television stations as a blogging expert and social media correspondent as well as providing guidance as a consultant to the news staff of the stations. This mutually beneficial relationship has allowed me to develop relationships with a wide local audience and helped the television media use a social presence to expand their reach and build more solid relationships with their audience, a very gratifying experience indeed.
- On Twitter, I have met, followed and learned from many people in my industry. A few of these have included Gini Dietrich, Jay Baer and Ken Mueller. I’ve contributed guest posts to Spin Sucks and to Inkling Media’s blog, helping me increase my reach to new audiences. Not only that, but all three of these people are dear friends whom I’ve enjoyed knowing, reading and talking to often.
- There’s the misguided perception among the uninitiated that is that the social media active live their lives online. Those who aren’t engaged online seem to think that those who are conduct all communication via Twitter, Facebook and other online networks. What they’re missing is the moment that two people who have known one another well via an online relationship meet in person for the first time. Kismet! Joy! Bonding! A relationship cemented with a handshake or a hug. One of my favorite instances of this is when Self-Made Mom and I kept e-mailing and Instant Messaging (this was in a pre-texting era) to find one another across a room full of hundreds of other women bloggers (“I’m wearing polka dots!”) until we spotted one another and beamed the smiles of people who were already friends.
When people wonder if social media and social networking “really works” I can answer that with real stories of my own (and these are five of dozens that I have and love to share) and those of clients with whom I’ve worked.
I continue to be surprised and delighted by the connections and re-connections formed via social media, like the opportunity coming from a high school friend and another coming in from my sister’s college roommate — don’t discount the reach of your entire network. You just never know where the next opportunity will come from.
Tell me: what are some ways social media has worked for you?