Five years ago I went to my first American Christian Fiction Writers Conference. I knew no one. I was just shy of being scared of my own shadow. I came away with a handful of contacts, but didn’t know how to stay in connected much since I wasn’t into social media.
Since January of this year, I have jumped into blogging, twitter, and hootsuite. Wow! Talk about revolutionizing my communication network.
This past conference in Dallas I felt as if I were in the presence of family. A reunion. What a lot of difference 5 years can make. What a lot of difference in how I network.
There are ways to maximize your connection opportunities to build lasting friendships and forge strong industry connections. These are not your typical social media suggestions, but a model of relationship building to forge industry connections that last.
5 Tips To Increasing Your Industry Connections:
*Invest in others. It seems so simple, yet it is a very important part of connecting with others. Help someone with their WIP or pitch. Your thoughtfulness will not be forgotten.
*Celebrate Others Success Celebrate with those who are successful. This journey is too short to forget to celebrate with each other. Sharing in another’s joy forges strong relationships.
*Cry with others who are sad. This is HUGE. In the midst of your successful moments, there are others who have been stung by life. Put your own agenda aside and focus on the hurts around you. Those dreams that haven’t been realized.
*Follow-Up. When you come back from conferences or events take the time to follow-up with those you’ve met. Keep their contact information in an easily accessible location and touch base periodically.
*Personalize Your Interaction In Social Media. This is all about relationships and not just your writing. A great read to help build these relationships is Tribes:We Need You To Lead Us by Seth Goodin.
Industry connections are long term if you plan to be a writer. Not every conversation is about you and your agenda. In fact, if you listen more than you speak it will show that you care and a connection is made. Ask questions and learn from these experts who’ve been in the industry longer than you, or specialize in a specific area.