As a professional ghost blogger, I’ve taken my “one giant step” into the digital world. But entering my fourth decade as a denizen of the business world, I find face-to-face encounters are still my favorite flavor. The other day I had a delightful personal encounter with none other than the encounter empress herself, Susan RoAne. Here from California to speak at the annual gala of the Network of Women in Business, RoAne was offering tips on memorable mingling and networking. (In fact, her newest book, Face to Face: How To Reclaim The Personal Touch in a Digital World, comes out this week, and I’ll be in line purchasing my copy.)
Specializing in writing to market my clients’ businesses online, I may have been the only audience member to find so many parallels between blogging and RoAne’s hints about what she calls “memorable mingling”. The process of mingling starts, she explained, by us getting over encounter reluctance. Shyness keeps many of us, at a party or business meeting, from approaching a “stranger”, making eye contact, and starting a conversation. To shift our thinking, Susan had us picture a barn dance. Just by virtue of having come to that barn in the first place, each person who was there obviously had some interest in dancing (or watching, or playing music for the dance) – there really were no “strangers”. As Susan put it – “The roof is your introduction!”
In Won’t You Please Come Into My Blog?, I likened the Internet to a big trade show. Potential customers are milling around, looking for information or for a product or service. They are at the trade show for a reason – they’re under the “roof”, and so, as Susan reminds us, they’re not “strangers” at all! The very fact that searchers browsing on the Web have arrived at your blog “booth” means the encounter has already begun. All you need to do is make eye contact and welcome them to your website.
In memorable mingling, sometimes you make the first move; other times someone approaches you. With business blogging, you’ve made the first move and begun the process, literally “putting yourself out there”. The way the search engine process works, if you blog frequently, posting relevant, interesting content, and build “equity” by continuing the blogging, you’ll re be positioned to “win search”, with others coming up to you. It’s simple – The blog “roof” is all the introduction you’ll need!