Most bloggers love to write posts and to publish them. Some even love to blog books, writing and promoting them post by post. And, most bloggers also like staying safely online, checking our stats, sharing and retweeting on Twitter, commenting on Facebook, replying to readers, and generally hanging out on the Internet. It’s a nice, secure world to live in, isn’t it?
But there comes a time when you have to leave the safety of your home in cyberspace as well as your home office or little computer space and venture out into the real world. Yes…that place outside the door that contains real, live human beings, not just gravatars.
The Importance of One-on-One
Building platform online is immensely important if you want to create a successful blog and blogged book. Yet, there’s an amazing thing that happens when you actually meet some of those same people you know from social networks—and new people—in person. Your networks begin to grow even more quickly.
It’s as if word gets out that you are a real person, and more people want to know you! They tell their friends, and their friends follow you. People tweet about your talks at a conference, and their followers follow you. If you actually go to conferences and speak, or even just attend and make an effort to meet people, the world gets out! People will share their experiences of you and their photos with you. Photos of you interacting with people impact readers on an emotional level. And then more people want to connect so they can vicariously be part of your next outing. Your reach magically grows.
Of course, you can also collect email addresses when you’re out and tell people how to connect with you on social networks.
Meeting Influencers Face to Face
Plus, when you go out into the world, you can meet the influencers in your field, those with a larger following, more reach, and more authority. You can shake their hands and tell them how much you enjoy their work—and they can look you in the eye and see that you mean it. You might even be able to buy them a cup of coffee and talk to them about how you might work together, thus forming partnerships that will help you in the future. This is much easier to accomplish in person than by email or Facebook message.
Tim Ferris, author of The Four Hour Work Week, has talked about how he made many connections online but then spent a lot of time going to conferences and events to meet influencers and actually cement his relationships with them. He attributes this online-offline strategy to the success of his books. Follow his lead. I know I have.
Be Both an Introvert and an Extrovert
I’m one of those odd writers who is both an introvert and an extrovert. I love hiding away in my office tucked upstairs in my house in the Santa Cruz Mountains, a good 20 minutes away from anywhere. I can stay home for days without leaving the property. Yet, I really enjoy coaching clients, conferences, speaking at events, and meeting new people.
It’s important to develop both qualities if you want to truly build your platform as a blogger and an author. Get comfortable alone writing your books and your blog and quietly social networking as well as going out in public amongst large and small crowds of people. You’ll find that by utilizing both your real world and cyber interactions, you’ll have more success as an author and blogger.
I sell more books when I go out and speak—not just at the event but through Amazon.com. The more often I speak publicly, the more books I sell. Keep that in mind.
Go Meet Readers
Here are 10 ways to get out and meet your readers:
- Attend a professional conference
- Join a meetup.com group
- Start a meetup.com group
- Attend a local writers’ group
- Join an association related to your area of expertise and then attend meetings
- Attend a meeting related to your idea readers’ interests or expertise
- Ask to speak at associations or groups to which your ideal readers belong
- Speak or read at a local bookstore
- Offer a workshop or class
- Just get out and meet people whenever possible.
How do you feel about getting out from behind your blog?
Image credit: piksel / 123RF Stock Photo