I’m dating myself, but when I first started my business in 2003 there wasn’t social media like we know it today. Facebook didn’t exist yet (gasp!), blogs were just starting to help folks find kindred spirits online, and there was no iPhone to give us instant access to anything under the sun right from the palm of our hand – geez, how did we ever survive?! 😉 haha.
In order to find my community and clients I did tons of in-person networking. While it was draining for this introvert, I enjoyed making some wonderful connections (some that have lasted strongly to this day, including friendships and referrals). It was about the quality not the quantity.
Yes, it’s super-awesome to be able to connect with people from around the world. I’m ever so grateful for the relationships that have blossomed in our global right-brain community.
There’s something to be said, though, about periodically powering down and hanging out with people in real-life, too, right?
If you’ve been feeling caught in the frenzy of our fast-paced world, isolated despite your plethora of Facebook “friends,” or distracted by the never-ending feed of enviable Instagrams, viral videos, or political posts, you’re not alone.
I’ve been talking about this topic a lot lately with clients, cohorts, and colleagues. It seems many of us are yearning to kick it old school and slow down, savor, and connect more deeply with others.
Besides, it’s good for your creative spirit AND it’s good for business.
When you’re in real-time, face-to-face conversations, you can more readily gauge how your core message lands. You can develop more intimacy and trust in a shorter amount of time, especially when there’s safe space for vulnerability and authenticity like in a workshop or retreat. There’s a shared visceral experience that seeps into your bones in a way that doesn’t always translate as profoundly online and that can create a powerful shorthand for future interactions both virtually and in-person.
Plus, it’s nourishing at a soul-level to relate heart-to-heart and be truly “seen.”
With all of the chaos and noise going on right now, how can you make time for more real-life connection either with clients, friends, colleagues, or even strangers (who knows they might become pals or even customers at some point)?
To help spark some ideas, here are a few things I’ve been putting into practice. I invited a few friends to do vision boards with me. I’ve been going on walks with friends and meeting up for lunch or tea. I signed up for art classes at a studio just down the hill from my house. I’ve worked with a couple of clients at my studio and I’m also planning to do some workshops.
You could also write a client or a friend a handwritten note to share your gratitude rather than sending an email or text. You could attend a networking meeting or a class and aim to just make one heart-felt connection. You could volunteer at a local non-profit for a cause you care about.
What kind of in-person connection are you craving? And how can you bring more of that into your life and business?