Remember Your Social Skills
I’ll be the first to say it – I’ve never been the most social of people, in person or online. That’s where I often struggle when it comes to networking. Figuring out what to say doesn’t come so easy to me. I’m more a listener than a talker.
But being social is important when you work at home too. It’s key to not feeling so isolated, a problem which can otherwise plague many a work at home parent. Many moms new to being at home find they dreadfully miss the little bits of social interaction that working outside the home brings as a matter of course in most jobs.
It’s a good thing there are a ton of ways to get social time online.
Forums are of course popular, and they’ve been around a long time. If you like to talk about a particular subject they’re a great way to go. They’re also handy for business networking.
Social networking sites of various types are also very popular. Facebook is quite good, although you may want to separate your personal self from your business self by having a separate page for your business. Once you’re on there you may be amazed by how many people who know you are there too. It’s nice to be able to separate the two so you don’t drive family and friends nuts with business chatter, and business friends don’t have to hear more than they want to about your personal life.
Twitter is another great resource for general social networking. It’s also quite good for promoting your business. I go off and on for how much I can tweet, but even just reading all the things people post there is quite entertaining and sometimes educational.
For pure business networking there’s LinkedIn. I’ve only used this one a little, but professional networking is the focus there. I understand they have quite a number of tools there you can use on your profile, but I haven’t really tried much there. I know you can do thing such as add a SlideShare presentation to your profile there.
And of course, friends in real life are very important. Online friends are great, and they can be quite supportive in a crisis but sometimes you need people physically there too.