If you’re wondering how to build your network & create community around your work, here’s the no bullshit answer:
Do the Work.
Creating something and putting it out there is just the beginning. Networking is like any relationship, and it’s a two way street. You need to engage, be thoughtful and contribute to the conversation — not just with your work, but in the community around you. That’s BEFORE, DURING, and AFTER you have something to say or some content you want to get in front of others. Community is a 24/7/365 thing.
If you’re getting caught wondering why other people have such a thriving community, keep in mind they’ve likely been building it 5-10 years. It might appear that they just sit back and wait for engagement to happen, but I promise you, they’ve laid the groundwork over a period of years or worked behind the scenes to cultivate that community. There WAS a time when nobody saw their posts or content. And you know what they did? They participated in everyone ELSE’S community until people took notice. YEARS of work, clicks, likes, thousands of comments they put out there…until it flipped one day and there was suddenly (or not so suddenly) a thriving community on THEIR STUFF…right there in their lap.
If you are just starting, put yourself in a position to win. Go to conferences, visit online communities, follow people who are active in the industry and add your voice. The word networking is overrated. It’s just people and relationships. If you strive to build meaningful and valuable relationships –online and offline–you’ll be well on your way. There are no shortcuts. Want me to say that again? There are no shortcuts. Might as well start today, eh?
Success does not equal successful. If you have some initial success – building community or driving engagement around your work, your dreams, etc – that’s just the beginning. A spark does not equal a fire. A gust of wind does not equal windy. A drop of water does not equal a waterfall. In short – some initial success is a drop in the bucket…and the real pros know that one must repeat that small success 100x to be “successful”. If you ever find yourself sitting back waiting for the dollars, the invites, the fans to roll in, you will quickly become irrelevant. Be present and keep doing the work.
IN summary my dear friends, it’s a long game. Be patient. Not a few days, weeks, or months… It’s years. I hope this empowers you instead of breaks your heart. I believe in tough love. Building community around your work, your dreams – it’s a forever cycle. BUT….what you put in will come back to you (just not overnight ;))
One of the most asked questions [0:17]
Do The Work [0:39]
Links From The Episode
“You Can Have It” by Fresh Espresso: https://www.facebook.com/FreshEspresso