For indie business owners, we've already discussed the importance of making connections with people who share your values and interests. We've also discussed the importance of priorities and a semblance of life balance, so: if you're not naturally inclined, how do you make time for building relationships online?
Here's a question for you: are you time-oriented, or task-oriented?
To answer this question, create a list of all of the daily or weekly activities you do to make connections. It could be:
- Public forums
Based on your own journal, do you think you are task-oriented, or time-oriented?
Is it easier for you to sit down for an hour a day and network all at once; or, is it easier to keep a checklist and visit one site now, another site later, and another as you have time?
Time-oriented networking plan
Give yourself an allotted amount of time to network, say, one hour.
Take a look at the networking methods that are important to you - it may be helpful to rank them. Say, 30 minutes of blogging, followed by 10 minutes spent in forum threads, 5 minutes spend on Twitter, 5 minutes spend on Facebook, and 10 minutes spend on Pinterest.
You might find that getting online first thing in the morning distracts you for the rest of the day. You might consider doing an hour or two of work before checking mail and social networking, just to keep productivity levels high.
Task-oriented networking plan
If you are a task-oriented person you will still need to have your list of methods, and have them ranked. Now, take a serious look at your daily schedules and see where these activities will fit in. It would definitely help to keep a checklist.
Here's an example: right after you check your email in the morning, post a new photo on Facebook. Then, during your coffee break, pin a couple of pictures. At lunchtime you might feel compelled to get on Twitter to foster your relationships. After dinner you might write your daily blog post and visit your favorite sites.
If you were feeling overwhelmed with the social networking side of running a business, having a solid plan will help you stay focused.
Personally, I am task-oriented, and I LOVE blogging and Pinterest. I find that I struggle to keep up with Twitter, so it's not a priority for me.
How about you? Are you time or task-oriented? Which one social platform is irresistible to you? Which one platform could you easily give up?