Thursday, April 8, 2010

Some thoughts on Networking

I'm not an incredibly social person right now...  I go through phases where I alternate between Mr. Must-Hang-Out-With-My-Friends and Mr. Contented-Being-Alone.  I can feel like I need to go out and socialize with my friends, and I can also feel like I'd rather just curl up in a ball in front of my TV and enjoy time in my bathrobe.

It's interesting how I can flip between these two extremes so easily.

When it comes to the internet, I've also been doing the same thing.  I can share on my own blog, but when it comes to putting comments on others I just fall flat.  It's like I can be "social" online, but only to an extent.    And sometimes I just don't feel like sharing at all.  Other times I can't restrain myself from making a slew of posts.

The other day, I was listening to an old episode of the Art and Story podcast (#109) and in the midst of their conversation they started talking about why they hated networking so much.  They echoed the sentiments that I was feeling--it felt somehow shmarmy or underhanded...  I didn't feel genuine when I was networking.  And I must admit, that feeling has prevented me from promoting myself and Relished Artistry a bit--there are situations I've been in when it could have been appropriate to mention my work, but I opted not to because I felt I was going to potentially sound like a shuckster.

But these guys started talking about networking as relationship building.  It's not about "promoting" yourself--networking is about getting to know someone else.  It takes a long time.  And it's not about making a sale, it's about learning who this other person is.

That made me feel better.  Looking at things from that perspective helps me  feel more confident that I can shape the way I network without coming across as insincere or shallow because I simply don't have to be.  I choose to present myself however I choose to.  And if I want to build relationships instead of network, I can.

It takes away the pressure.  It takes away the schmoozy aspect of it, and makes it a bit more... legitimate in my eyes.  Somehow.  I'm simply not a salesperson, and selling my self isn't any easier than selling encyclopedias door to door for me.

So as a consequence, I think I'm going to make a bigger effort to make more comments on other people's blogs.  Because it's not about generating traffic to my site anymore, it's about developing a relationship.  And that's easier for me to wrap my head around.

Until next time, Live Life with Relish!


  1. Corey, I only comment in blogs I enjoy reading.:) You always have an interesting point of view.

  2. I have a list of blogs that I read that are longer than my arm, and I hardly ever ever leave comments... I think now is the time to change that. : )

  3. And thank you for the compliment! LOL! I've been to your blog, too, and oh-my-goodness your handbags are awesome! Well done!!


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