Overcoming shyness to network with Twitter connections

These days, getting a job is as much about who you know as about what you know. Infact, sometimes, who you know can be more important than what you know.

I have a bit of social anxiety and can be very shy and awkward around people I don’t know and tend to be a little more inward at networking events. But did you know that Twitter is a great tool to do a little bit of “pre-networking”?

There have been numerous times that I’ve been at events and have seen people who I “know” through Twitter, but have been too shy to introduce myself. Mostly because I haven’t spent much time talking to them on the social network and I’m afraid they won’t remember or recognized me.

But, for those who I have been fortunate enough to crawl out of my shell and actually meet (Hi, Jason Mollica!), it was one of the best things I ever did for myself.

Meeting your Twitter connections in person just solidifies a great relationship with these people – whether they’re mentors or friends. Heck – even family! (I have cousins I’m friends with on Facebook that I’ve never meet.)

So, what are some ways you can ensure that you’ll be able to meet these people face-to-face after only speaking to them? Check out a few below…

Source: Shannon Eileen Blog

Source: Shannon Eileen Blog

Interact! A casual “hello” or commenting on a link isn’t going to help you out here. You need to interact with them and your shared interests (sports, music, technology, whatever). If they’re someone who reaches out to students to help them a lot, take their advice and tell them how it helped you. Have real conversations with substance instead of a few “thank yous” or “that was cool” responses. It won’t help you overcome the shyness, I promise.

Join in Twitter chats! Sometimes, the most inspirational people host Twitter chats where you can interact with them on a more professional level and share your thoughts and experiences if you’re unsure of how to proceed on a one-on-one Twitter conversation. Plus, Twitter chats give you a great opportunity to “meet” other cool and inspiring people, too!

Ask if you can email them! If they can offer you advice, but 140 characters isn’t the way to do it, ask people if you can email them. If they’re really willing to help, they won’t say no! Building a relationship with people is important and shouldn’t be done just on Twitter. Emails, phone calls and actually meeting people are important steps in the process, too!

Emily Vontom
President
EMU PRSSA
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