Introduce Yourself Anywhere and Prepare for Surprising Results

On Friday night at the Matchbox Twenty, Alanis Morissette concert here in Reno, I was reminded that you can network virtually anyplace.

At this show, I met a successful online entrepreneur from the Sacramento area. Sacramento is about 2 hours from Reno, and many people come here for shows, skiing and gambling, so it was no surprise that he’d come out for the weekend to play.

What did surprise me was his line of “work”. He sells a very specialized line of niche products online and by phone. From what I understand, he dominates this particular niche and has at least two people employed to handle the phones. Knowing that someone is doing well in such a seemingly tiny market was truly eye opening.

I spoke with him about his background online, and he gave me some great ideas to use on one of my non-Internet Business projects. We swapped email, and will keep in touch.

Since Reno is a tourist destination, it’s very common for people who are out for the evening to ask each other where you are from. But you can do this anyplace. You don’t have to wait for an Internet Marketing PitchfestSeminar to find people to connect with. Some of the best ideas come from people outside of the market you are in, since they can see things from a new angle. It’s a great win-win situation!

There are a virtually unlimited number of places, online and off, where you can network with people. All you have to do is put yourself out there and strike up a conversation. Here are just a few ideas to get you started…

  • Concerts, shows, movies
  • Blogs, forums (private ones tend to be much better), membership sites
  • Restaurants, bars, cafeterias
  • Social and service clubs (Rotary, Toastmasters, S.C.O.R.E., etc)
  • Online social networking sites like StumbleUpon, Squidoo, and many others
  • Stores. Especially ones you visit frequently
  • Amusement parks, Golf courses, Bowling Alleys, The Zoo…
  • Classes and schools/colleges
  • —your turn—

It may not always be a good idea to specifically go out to and look for people to talk to, but if the situation arises, why not see what happens? You could end up with a new venture partner, an idea, or a good laugh. Hopefully you’ll be able to contribute to them as well.

If you feel stuck starting a conversation, head to Amazon.com and search for “conversation” and see where it takes you. There are hundreds of books, on starting conversations, meeting people, and networking. The more you do it, the easier it will be. I’ve talked to interesting and helpful people in all sorts of places, tourist areas or not.

You can start by introducing yourself here. Leave a comment to this post, and be sure to link to your blog or website! Commenting and participating on other peoples blog sites is a great way to meet people online. It also will have a dramatic effect on traffic to your site.

About Tim Gary

I live in Reno, NV with my wife Careen, and the ever so talented kitty named Milo. Programmer by trade, web surfer and learner for fun, I have a ton of interests, and you'll hear about each of them in time!

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17 Responses to Introduce Yourself Anywhere and Prepare for Surprising Results

  1. Brad@job interviews March 15, 2009 at 7:40 am #

    Networking always works for businesses, Amazon conversations are a new source to me. Starting a conversation is the hardest part.

  2. Howdy! Great post… most businesses are merely ‘people businesses’ wrapped around what you are doing… example: real estate investing is merely a people business even though you are dealing in houses.

  3. Stephen Roland December 7, 2008 at 7:59 pm #

    Great post. I agree that every business owner should read this post!

    Extremely helpful!

  4. Monica@serviced offices london September 26, 2008 at 4:30 am #

    As part of a forward thinking team,I have noticed that dropping comments is definitely a good way to make some new online friends. I run a blog at which I just started recently. Great to meet you, I look forward to perusing your articles some more. And will definitely be reading a lot more from we regularly.

    Thanks for sharing,Tim.

  5. Riggie@ website marketing strategies September 24, 2008 at 3:04 am #

    Networking and writing sped up my business enormously too.

    I think every business owner should be writing all the time, and set time aside to network in his environment.

    -Riggie

  6. sam@cheap dirt bikes September 18, 2008 at 10:40 am #

    I was encouraged by your post, so I thought I would stop by and introduce myself. I make it a point to reward bloggers who are part of the ‘DoFollow’ movement.

    I can’t wait to come back and see what’s next.

  7. Kermit@Minneapolis Real Estate September 1, 2008 at 3:38 pm #

    When I first started selling real estate, about 15 years ago, I introduced myself to absolutely everyone. My business exploded as a result. I wonder why I don’t still do that anymore.

    I have a successful real estate website that I use because the posts index and rank very quickly. But I have not really utilized the social or commenting aspect of blogging. Perhaps I should.

    I have not commented on blogs until now. However, I have run into people and ideas I probably would never have encountered. For example, one of the commenters on this post teaches hypnotic seduction techniques. I bet he picks up some business from leaving his comments and link.

  8. Justin@Toronto real estate August 18, 2008 at 2:31 pm #

    When I was at a local business competition I introduced myself to several competitors in the “online business” category.

    These friends have helped me in joint ventures and in general website creation–networking was seriously one of the best things I started doing for internet business success.

  9. Prince Samuels July 29, 2008 at 4:33 pm #

    wow! great info. guys. i like the sample introduction from this website. i’ll definitely stay with your

  10. Hello Tim
    I especially liked the sentence with “or a good laugh…” because this shows an important set of mind: you must not take it too seriously, because people will think you are weird if you are always trying to network. But if you are active getting to know people and not expecting anything, then you will succeed in networking, too.
    Thanks for this interesting article!

    Mike

  11. Victor J@Hypnotic Seduction Techniques June 8, 2008 at 4:11 am #

    It always helps to make friends. You never know when you’re going to meet someone that will make a big difference for the better in your life. I always seem to stumble across those people rather randomly.

  12. Tim Gary May 19, 2008 at 8:31 pm #

    Hey Achat,

    Thanks for stopping (uh… stumbling) by.

    I will definitely keep your suggestions in mind. Especially about writing more. I tend to do too much thinking, and not enough writing, even though a list of topics grows almost daily.

    -Tim

  13. Achat Vetements May 15, 2008 at 7:07 am #

    Hi Tim
    Stumbled across your website, and, as I myself am an internet entrepreneur (British expat living in south of France) some of your articles are extremely useful for me. I have subscribed to your site, and will be back soon 🙂
    I notice above that you are asking for feedback on the blog. Here are my top 3 :
    1. Clean up the right column – its a tad messy, I dont think the double-column structure works
    2. Add more photos if you can to liven things up (your copy is lively…but may look somewhat tern if no photos)
    3. Write more often 🙂

  14. Tim Gary April 16, 2008 at 10:17 pm #

    Hi Jon!

    Thanks for stopping by. Seems we have a lot in common. I have at least 1000 books on the shelves. Many read, many not. One friend of mine pointed out that it could be a good thing, if only as a “comfort”, and I agree to a point… But there’s so much good info out there, it’s impossible to “acquire” all of it… And if you have a good selection of the basics, AND APPLY THEM, it will mean a million times more than all of the info on the shelves.

    Ahhh “research”. I know it well.

    Every turnaround I’ve had in my life has been due to becoming aware of something I’m doing, which isn’t serving me… and then making a change. It’s rarely easy, or overnight, but once awareness takes hold, the process speeds up a thousand fold.

    Thanks for the very kind words, and I hope that I can continue to provide something useful to think about!

    If you ever want to contact me, feel free to drop a note via the contact link just below the blog header. I’m sure we have a lot in common.

    -Tim

    PS. You ought to come out here (Reno) for Hot August Nights… I’m sure you’d have a lot of fun with all the hot rods.. Maybe a bit old school, but still fun 😀

    PPS – I’d love to hear more about what you like and don’t like about the blog. Same for anyone else reading. Please share! I do much better with interaction, than I do with “just posting”.

  15. Jon April 16, 2008 at 4:25 am #

    Hi Tim,

    Found your blog a few days ago, and subscribed. Why? You combine two topics I’m interested in. Also, each of your posts that I have read got me thinking about my thinking. I liked “Where Information Goes to Die”. I tend to buy books and not finish them, even though they are good reads. I don’t make the time to read because I spend too much time doing “research”.

    There are a few other things I found refreshing about your blog, but alas, I’m out of time. I have subscribed to your feed and will keep reading.

    Thanks!

  16. Luke March 20, 2008 at 2:52 pm #

    Howdy, Tim!

    I have noticed that dropping comments is definitely a good way to make some new online friends. I run a blog at 10kLuke.info, which I just started recently. Great to meet you, I look forward to perusing your articles some more.

  17. Robert Michel March 20, 2008 at 12:00 am #

    I just stopped by your blog and thought I would say hello. I like your site design. Looking forward to reading more down the road.

    Robert Michel