How do YOU meet and greet new people?

Meet, Greet, Network - How do you meet and greet new people?

As freelance writers, a large part of our business comes from connecting with others. In fact, while many of us begin by trawling the job boards we eventually find word-of-mouth brings at least 80% of our clients hammering on our front door. It is important to socialize and be active in the community, both online and off, but how is it done?

I’m not sure if you’re aware of it, but I suffer from social phobia. For those who aren’t familiar with the term, social phobia is a fear of people, social situations, or the judgment of others. It goes beyond mearly being shy to full-out anxiety attack with all the nasty side effects. My fear of people and social situations has left me feeling like I’m at a disadvantage when networking and building my business. The truth is, I don’t KNOW what I think most would consider common social niceties. So, I’m turning to you, can you help me?

I recently read a fantastic blog post and enjoyed the voice and dynamic of the author, Jay Baer. Being web savvy and a social media expert he provided several methods to connect and keep in touch. But, what is the social etiquette when it comes to introducing yourself to a stranger?

  • How do you approach someone who has never heard of you?
  • How do you introduce yourself?
  • What do you say on first meeting someone?
  • What would be considered rude or inappropriate?
  • If you have a mutual friend should you wait, or ask, to be introduced?
  • How do you establish a footing for new friendship?
  • Do/Should you introduce yourself in blog comments?
  • Do others feel frustrated having strangers introduce themselves (like movie-stars constantly hounded for autographs)?
  • Do you introduce yourself when you follow someone on Twitter?
  • Do you beg and borrow friends from your other Plurk buddies?
  • How do you ask to connect with someone on LinkedIn?
  • Do you attach a private message to your Facebook friend request?
  • How do you build your network if you’re chronically shy?

As you can see, I have many questions and these only begin to scratch the surface. So, I’ll put them to you and I hope you can help me.

How do YOU meet and greet new people?

Published by

Rebecca Laffar-Smith

Rebecca Laffar-Smith is a publisher, children's writer, and novelist. In 2010 she gave up a successful 12-year freelance career to focus on her three loves; family, community, and fiction. She self-published her debut novel The Flight of Torque in June 2014 and the first three titles in the P.I. Penguin series in from Aulexic in May 2015. At The Craft of Writing Fiction, Rebecca shares her journey of creation and learning with readers. She loves getting to know her fellow readers and writers and can be contacted through Twitter and Facebook, or Email.

9 thoughts on “How do YOU meet and greet new people?”

  1. Really Good Questions: I’ll be looking forward to the Blog that answers all these questions. You could become the guru that people look up to when overcoming these situations.
    Cheers Stephanie (your mother)

  2. This is really brave of you to share, Rebecca, and I commend you for that. I’ve enjoyed your writing – and friendship – for a while now and I must say that you always amaze me. You’re so very talented and I’ve watched you grow and share and be inspired and motivate others!

    As for the questions…

    I’m not sure where to begin. I started answering them and I can’t imagine how long the comment would have been! So I deleted it and am leaving this comment instead. Perhaps these questions are great ideas for future WRA posts? Sound good to you? 😉


    P.S. I’m SO proud of you for facing your fears and sharing them with the world!!!!

  3. Stephanie, I couldn’t write about it myself, which is why I opened the floor up for others to take a stab at these questions.

    I think this topic would make some fantastic future posts, Michele. I wanted to spark some conversation about it all because I don’t know the answers. Social skill is a in-depth topic and there could be a whole wave of post length content discussing how to interact with others as a freelancing professional.

    Everyone approaches their online and offline network differently and as a community we have a great deal to teach each other.

    Meanwhile, I’ll continue to muddle along. I remind myself that the only hard and fast rule (so far as I know) is integrity. If I can interact with others from the principle of integrity I’ll at least know within myself that, while I do not have all the answers or understand how culture and society work on the grander scale, I am at least approaching everyone as myself.
    .-= Rebecca Laffar-Smith shares: Where Does Creativity Come From? =-.

  4. And from my point of view, I’m totally amazed that you even have these fears. I mean, you always come across as such a professional to me in so many ways!!

    Yay for new posts! I can’t wait to read what others have to say. 😀

  5. I too suffer from a bit of social anxiety, in person as well as online. My father taught me something years ago – the art of bluffing your way past it.

    What I mean is, not pretending to be someone you’re not but just pushing yourself out of your comfort zone, creating the image of someone with confidence, once you act it, you believe it and it becomes easier.

    I still have trouble from time to time but then I remember what he used to say and I do that.

    I use this online as well as in my offline world. Online I will often introduce myself and give the new contact a small background on me.
    .-= wendishness shares: Thankful Fun Monday =-.

  6. It’s interesting to read about how many writers experience these sorts of anxieties. There are more of us than I would have thought. I’m proud of how well we are all doing in an online environment. It proves that we’re only limited by our own belief in our limitations. 🙂

  7. Very insightful post. Most writers are shy which is kind of ironic when you think about it. Writers are in the “communication” business where we solve problems and market our business.

    It’s easy for most writers to communicate online because they’re doing it from the comfort of their own home. Attending a networking event or press trip is another story because the people are “live” and in person. Oh no! Sometimes you just have to jump in the deep end and hold your breath. If you’re nice to people they’ll be nice to you. Give it a try and introduce yourself and see what happens. You’ll be all right.

    Advice: don’t waste your time “forcing” people to like you. You don’t have to impress people. If they’re genuine and interested in you, they’ll make time for you. If not, allow them to walk away from you because you’re probably better off in the long run.
    .-= shares: What’s a Real Editor Going to Do For My Manuscript? =-.

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