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If you’re like me, you miss the eWomenNetwork in-person events and the opportunity to establish relationships. Our unique networking format allows us to hear what others do and find unique ways to help. By sharing in circles and learning by listening we establish trust and the beginnings of a solid relationship.

Now that we’ve been driven behind a keyboard, it seems like making quality relationships is tougher to do. How do you write a LinkedIn invite that doesn’t feel like a sales pitch? Should I just “friend” someone on Facebook or call people out of the blue? All of these questions become easier if you had a strategy to build rapport and make your potential colleague eager to talk with you by letting their guard down.

It’s true in person but it seems to be especially true online that we distrust people who ask for something the first time we see them online. How do you feel about unsolicited LinkedIn messages offering a “free course” or “15-minutes of your time” request from someone you’ve never met? You’re skeptical, right? This feeling continues through all of the online world, so we need to be seen and get closer to someone we’d like to meet.


Here’s how you can do it:

Listen – Odds are the person you’re hoping to meet and interact with is putting their voice online either in writing, podcasts, or posts. Read them. Listen to their stuff. This baseline investment is no different than standing in the circle at a chapter meeting to hear what is on someone’s mind. While a simplified first step, many people do not take the time to read what others write or watch an entire video.

Comment – Start the relationship by commenting on their work. You don’t need to gush, simply point out something you learned or thank them for creating the article or show.

Share – Up the relationship by commenting on a few posts and then start sharing specific pieces of their work that you like. In a digital sense, a share is an endorsement. You’re bringing to your fans and followers a perspective that they might not have heard

Connect with NO ASK – After listening, commenting on a few posts, and sharing some work then reach out with a connection request. Do not send the automated request, just write a line or two that you’ve been following their work and you’d like to connect and learn more. Do not – ever – ask for anything in your first outreach. You’ll be seen as sales-y and your chance of earning a relationship will go down.

Give – If you get a connection, do one more thing before you ask for anything…give. If you’re a writer, podcast host or presenter, give away your stage. Reach out to the connection and ask if they would like to be featured on your product, show or blog.

Ask – If, by now you’ve been listening, commenting, sharing, and giving, you’ve set yourself up to ask for something from the contact. Don’t ask for a sale, that’s still a few steps off. But you could ask for a brief one-on-one or some feedback on your work.

Creating relationships online isn’t much different than creating them in person. You give before you receive and you “show up” with an honest intention to learn about the person whom with you’d like to do business. These steps are just one way you go about meeting and connecting with almost anyone.

If we’re not connected, no worries – just send me a request on LinkedIn or reach out for your free 30-minute Premier Success Coach call. I’d be honored to learn more about your business and how I can help you stand out

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