ADOTAS – I’m headed to PubCon over in Las Vegas soon where I’m hosting a party (with Adotas as a media sponsor) and meeting up with many friends and colleagues from all around the globe. Because of all this, I started thinking about the importance of offline social networking. Bloggers know all about reaching out to people online because that’s what we do — but unfortunately, many do not utilize offline networking. This isn’t very productive, as there are many benefits to face-to-face meetings.
Meeting another blogger enables you to connect with the aim of becoming what Chris Brogan calls a Trust Agent, someone of interest and a valued authority in your field. The bloggers you meet that go on to write a post will hopefully reference and link to your blog.
There are several benefits to being referenced to by other bloggers:
Audience Share: the reader of one blog is likely to read many blogs and ultimately give yours a chance.
Trust Share: The readers trust blogs they are reading more if they were referred.
Google Trust Share: Google will trust your blog more if there are more links to it, which will lead to you getting even more traffic from natural searches.
Talking to Strangers
To succeed as a blogger off-line, you need to break the first rule your mother told you and talk to strangers. I recently met a famous journalist and successful businesswoman and she told me that one of her Golden Rules To Success was to talk to strangers; you never know what opportunities can arise. You are there to connect with other bloggers and the best way you can do this is to talk to as many as possible.
For the most part, they like meeting other bloggers too. You should seem confident and be the person who opens a conversation. Once you are talking with people, you should connect with them. Perhaps ask about their blog and be ready to give them a simple and interesting description of your own. If you can’t describe your blog, how are they going to remember or trust it as a source of information?
Try to enter conversation with people and be part of ongoing conversations. You should build friendships as well as demonstrate that you’re a valuable source of information and that your blog will be too.
The Information Exchange
“How can I help you?” is the best question in the world. Why? Because you are able to help lots of people. And the more people you help, the more they will help you back.
You will find the people that reciprocate and they are the ones you want to build relationships with because they will be the people connecting with other connectors. There are pools of connected people all working together—both on- and off-line—to help each other successfully. And you want to be in these pools.
Blogging about them, interviewing them on your blog, exchanging guest posts, introducing them to other people they can connect with who work in their area are all easy ways to help fellow bloggers.
I can’t stress the importance of exchanging information. You really need to have a business card with your contact information on it. If your blog is a part-time interest, get cheap cards with the details of your blog on it. You want to be able to follow up after the meeting and connect online.
And most important: follow up. Your offline networking will all be in vain unless you connect after the event. Ideally, you should follow up with an email or Facebook, etc. the next day.
While a blog can be used for simply outputting your ideas, most bloggers want interaction and communication. Attending blogging events enables us, as bloggers, to meet each other in real life which helps build personal relationships much faster than only through the Internet. I have made many friends over the years at conferences, parties and discussions and I encourage you to go out and do the same.
Speaking of hanging out and meeting face-to-face, I think all of you bloggers coming to PubCon in Vegas should come by and meet me at the party I’m throwing at Zuri Bar in MGM Grand on the evening of Wednesday Nov. 9. I really would like to meet you—that way we can figure out how to help each other. Please see more info on my blog and on Adotas.