Do I Really Need to Build Connections Both Online and Offline?
I am an introvert by nature. I love to socialize, don’t get me wrong, I’m just not someone who can walk into a room full of people I don’t know and start up a conversation. My first networking meeting was very uncomfortable for me. Thankfully the person who had invited me was great about introducing me to people and made me feel more at ease. It is still not one of my favorite things to do!
I have been very fortunate to have been introduced to two wonderful women’s groups in the past year, where I have come to feel very comfortable and actually look forward to every meeting! I have made some amazing connections through these groups, for which I am very thankful.
The first group I joined was ETTWomen, a local women’s networking group that meets locally two times a month, once in the late morning, once in the evening. They are branching out into other areas now as well. One of the beautiful connections I made through this group is with Dixie Lincoln-Nichols, from Inside Outer Beauty and Dixie Bits Bath & Body, a certified self-care and wellness coach who has developed her own line of self-care products.
Dixie recently invited me to be a guest on her show, The Inside Outer Beauty Podcast. We spoke about 3 things you should consider before building your website. During the podcast we discuss the changes and challenges in our lives that have brought us to where we are today. By just listening to Dixie on her podcasts you can hear the peace and beauty she brings to her surroundings. Dixie, between interactions both offline and online, has a gift of bringing out the inner calm in others, a definite benefit to me! You can listen to my interview with her below, and be sure and follow the link to her website to listen to more podcasts with her beautiful connections!
The next group I have become a part of is eWomen Network, which holds a luncheon with a featured speaker once a month. This is still pretty local – in Central Jersey nothing is really too far – a half hour ride for me. I have made many wonderful connections and learned about some fascinating women and their journeys. I look forward to re-connecting and meeting new people at next month’s meeting. Check out their website and see if there is a chapter near you. I’d love to hear about it if you decide to visit one!
So, yes, we can join local groups – I’m sure there are more in your area than you realize – but we can also join some online groups where, yes, we can make great personal connections as well. I belong to quite a few groups on Facebook, mostly WordPress related, where we can exchange ideas and find/give answers to help each other out.
There are a couple of these where many of us have made personal connections and I have even been fortunate enough to meet quite a few in person, even though we live all around the world. I think that, especially working from home, being by myself a lot (although yes, I do enjoy the solidarity), it is good to know you’re not alone – at any point in the day there is someone, somewhere in the world, that I can reach out to and I know they’ll be there for me. That, is the power of connections.
How do you connect with others – online and offline? I’d love to hear about it – and I’d love to connect with you as well!
30 thoughts on “Building Connections Online and Offline”
I think it makes a lot of sense to have both an online and offline strategy these days. Inbound marketing and online paid traffic opportunities are huge right now, but there’s still a place for face to facnetworking and more traditional marketing practices. Like you, I’m a bit fan of networking. Not just from a marketing perspective, but also from one of personal support.
Great to hear your story on the podcast Mindy. Excellent post!
The personal support is so important! Especially for those of us who are solopreneurs.
Great post and nicely written. I believe in relationships both online and offline. I go to a couple of small networking events twice a month, just to get out there and socialise with other like minded people.
It is so wonderful to spend time with like-minded people, isn’t it, Sonya!?
Great points, Mindy. We truly DO need both online and offline connections, as they serve similar ends, but as you mention, you get different things from each as well.
I don’t think I’d have survived with my business without them!
I love being part of a group. I am part of a virtual group, yet also loved my time with a flesh and blood group that met once a week in my city. We need each other and have so much to gain by finding the support we need. Thank you for this post.
A great article and love the way you phrased it about introverts. It is becoming the norm and it is a balance of working with the right people. I wrote an article on my blog and really love where this is going in the business and social world. Great Post!
I personally much prefer meeting people face to face in person, although I have made some amazing friendships with people I have met online too. People I would love to meet in persona and spend some time with. I’ve had the pleasure of doing that with two of them already. As an introvert as well, I believe that some people feel more ‘comfortable’ online vs. in person. The challenge for me is that we are social beings and meant to interact person to person. Tonight I am actually going to a local Arts and Culture group and other than the person going with me, I don’t know any of those who are attending our private art tour. I always trust I will connect with people who I am meant to and have made lovely connections that way as well. Thanks for your thoughts in this post, Mindy!
Mindy, I agree being a part of groups, both online and offline, is important. You gain so much knowledge and support from other like-minded people. I’m in several online groups and am making some amazing friends. I’m hoping to carve out the time to join a local writers group next year, it currently meets during my work hours.
That would be a terrific group to join, Tamuria! It is hard with the in-person groups when they do not meet at a time that works for you. I’ve tried many meetups and they are hard to make it to because they are later at night and my kids are at home.
Such a well-written post! We do have a need of basic human interaction, and I find if I have a “regular group”, it is great for building those connections. Sadly, life goes by, group dynamics change, and we need to find that next great fit. It doesn’t work to go to one that no longer fits.
As a previous host of the Power of She networking group her in Phoenix, I do expand that to be a virtual one too. There was much more participation in the in person one but likely as that is what those ladies were looking for not as interested in the online. I am highly interested in online too as my business is serving women worldwide. I do not call myself an introvert but do feel I likely am as have many of the traits. We all need connection regardless of how we do it It is the feeling we get with those connections that help us to expand from within ourselves. Great read, thanks!
Thanks for sharing, Teresa! Great point about the connections we make helping us to expand ourselves – so true, whether online or offline!
I too am an introvert, although most people would not think that because I do a lot of public events. What I do though is I usually do them with another person who is extroverted. Introverts tend to get tired when in groups and extroverts get energized. I let my extrovert friends engage the crowd and I just do my intuitive readings or teach my part. It really helps!
Excellent strategy, Candess!
For my work as a translator, I am a member of the national translation’s association here, which is also divided up into regional sections. Translators are not the most sociable group or easy to connect with, but it does help to have such a network.
For the wine side of my business, the word of mouth and online connections are proving to be very good.
Of course, to know people via online groups like the one we are having here, STL, is very good also.
Virtually every online social networking maven says after you make the connection online, take it offline as soon as you can. Either in a video call, phone call or in-person visit. I think that makes complete sense. That’s where you make the real connection.
Yes, Jackie, this makes total sense and I need to get much better about doing this!
I agree in these times we need both the online and offline kind of connections. Since I started my other business before email existed (the dark ages I know) I learned and valued the groups and connections made “offline”. Now I have added in the online networking and have met amazing people that I would never have had the chance to know previously. The best of both worlds
Even though I’m an introvert, I do like speaking with others when I’m in the mood. LOL. I can make an effort to network in person, then retreat home. Online networking is, of course, much easier.
Hi Mindy 🙂
I am an introvert as well 😉 I am also a blogger and network marketer, so I have learned to share my value through my blog posts and on social media. Joining groups on FB is key to meeting those that are like-minded and may have some of the same goals as you. I belong to a few awesome communities that have been so supportive and have helped me become more outgoing…..
Great post and share!
Hi Mindy, I agree, that having both an online and offline connections are important. Getting out and having face-to-face interactions are good for business even if you don’t do business with that person. There’s so much to learn from someone else if you are willing to take the time. I belong to two MeetUp groups where I get great feedback and business tips from them. Well worth the time to walk away from the computer.
Ironic that both you and Clive posted about introvert networking. LOL Love these tips and it is so important to network if you have a business, for sure. I’m going to check out your eWomen’s Network, thanks for sharing that.. and for your journey.
Kristen, that’s great! I think you will really love eWomen!
Face to face meetings are so important. Even more so in this digital age. I’ve been in the entertainment industry for years and we have a joke about the Cannes film festival that is so apropos here- you travel a few thousands miles to have lunch with people who have offices down the block. When you aren’t ‘present’ people tend to forget about you.
I love these tips and how important they are to the “YOU Economy!”
My online community is one of my most sacred places. I pay to be part of a digital community and it is the first place that I visit nearly every single day.
Yes, I am a big fan of connecting and collaborating. It is interesting that even if you are in the same target market, you can still do some work together. The end result is usually powerful.
You got me Mindy. I would never imagine you an introvert. It’s really hard to tell when you meet someone on social media . To me you’re very outgoing and helpful for sure with your great tips.
I love the idea of finding local groups. I’ve been contemplating that myself. I will look into that in my are.
Thank you, Webly. It is much easier for me to be “outgoing” online, although it took a lot for me to get even there! I hope you do find a local group or two, it really is a great experience!