Offline and online are not so different. However, starting a relationship online can yield easier and faster results!
Think of online courting like offline. Though it’s easier to take bold action online, it really should be just as careful and conscious as approaching an influencer offline. You only get one chance to make a first impression.
Here are my four steps to starting a VIP relationship through social media.
1. Find your VIP
How do you start conversations and relationships offline? The first step is usually a bit of research. You find the person and/or find out more about them. The Internet makes this so much easier. Thank you, Google!
Next, find out how you can approach them. It may be as simple as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc. However, with some VIPs you may have to get creative.
They say there’s only six degrees of separation, right? Test this with some social networking. Just because a VIP isn’t on social media doesn’t mean they don’t use email…
2. Dress to impress
Would you ever go to an audition, date or interview looking like a slob? No! Online, make sure your profile (every single one of them!) is dressed to impress.
I have a Social Profile Checklist. The basics are an engaging headshot, intriguing bio and website listed. It’s important that your VIPs have somewhere (beyond clicking around on your profile) to learn more about you!
Designing your profile can also mean boosting mutual friends and/or followers. For example, it’s easier to accept a Facebook friend request when the mutual friends are 300 (instead of three). It’s also an easier decision for a VIP to follow you back when thousands have verified you’re worthy of paying attention to!
3. Join their conversations
Like initial offline conversations, be more of a listener. Don’t be obsequious or obnoxious, but start authentically favoriting/liking and commenting on this person’s posts. Think of your online engagement as the equivalent of nodding your head, smiling and adding your thoughts to an offline conversation. Make sure this person feels heard, respected and supported.
Hopefully, after enough positive impressions and authentic conversation, the VIP will start responding to your posts just as much!
If they’re not putting much out, don’t be afraid to start a conversation! Do a little work to discover what you have in common. The connections or interests you share might just spark an incredible bond between the two of you!
4. Make an ask
When you’re ready, follow, friend or even direct message this person.
You’ll probably want to do more listening first… but don’t be afraid to go for it! Like a growing relationship offline, at some point you have to muster the courage to ask for what you want or need.
The key is to treat your online presence and daily actions like they’re “the real world.” That really is the world we now live in!
Leverage the tools, power and opportunities available to you! However, recognize the personal/professional divide is different for everyone… especially on social media.
I’ve heard certain CD’s adamantly say they’ll never do business through Facebook. However, I’ve heard other CD’s say they’ve done casting (not just research!) through Facebook and YouTube.
I know firsthand this process works. My clients and I have used this formula to connect with our dream directors, managers, significant others and more.
“Luck is when preparation meets opportunity”, right? Social media has created a world of equal opportunity! You have instant access to just about anyone and everyone! Your VIPs are not on social media to hide, but treat them like real people! Do your homework and work smarter, not harder.
Ever started a relationship on social media? Comment below!
Tony Howell is a digital strategist dedicated to helping you design your future—creating offline success from your online presence.