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.