We all know how important it is to promote our businesses and blogs online using social media, guest posts, and advertising.
But how you promote your online identity in real life?
I’ll admit that I think of myself as more effective face to face than over email. I really enjoy events, conferences, and meetups because I like meeting people offline.
I’ve come up with a few ideas of how you can promote your online business or blog in the real world. It’s just as important as promoting yourself online - and sometimes more so. Making a connection in real life just can’t compete with a tweet or blog comment. If someone likes you in person, they’re probably going to be very excited to follow you online as well.
For me, making real life connections has lead to a lot of successful partnerships and opportunities.
So for all the time us bloggers and online business owners spend in front of the computer, make sure you put some effort into a little bit of face time too!
1. Have nice business cards on you - always
People will ask you what you do for a living, and you don’t want to be caught fumbling with words trying to explain your innovative, creative, non-traditional business.
I like to hand people my very visual business cards - which immediately portray what I do and who I am in a tiny little package. It’s also awkward to tell someone about your website and then have to write it down on a napkin.
Whether you’re a blogger or a boss, you should have a business card. And it should be visual enough to portray what you do at a glance.
1. Teach a workshop or class
Although your blog or online business might have global readership, getting local is an awesome way to promote yourself in your very own town or city. Don’t discount the power of your own community.
Your workshops and classes might drive traffic to your blog, and someone wanting to hire you for a workshop might find you via your website. It goes both ways!
If you do DIY projects on your blog, or have any type of skill that would translate well into a workshop or class, see if your local community center, library, or other venue would host you. If you are successful promoting and organizing your own events, you could certainly turn this into another revenue stream by charging for classes and workshops.
Teaching workshops is a huge part of how I incorporate education into my blog. And I’ve met some really amazing people at the workshops that I continue to work with to this day.
2. Give a talk
If you’re a new blogger or budding business owner, you might think you don’t have much to share with others. But you would be wrong. You could give a presentation about starting a blog, funding your business, or just getting started with social media.
If you’re a seasoned blogger or boss, you’ll be surprised how many opportunities a bit of online recognition will give you.
Universities, colleges, and high schools are always looking for knowledgeable, inspiring guest speakers. You can either give a lecture, do a visual presentation, or both.
I’ve spoken for groups of 10 and halls of more than 300 people. It’s a great way to make real connections with your readers and soon to be fans.
3. Attend a conference or event
Though as of the time of this post I have never attended a “bloggers” conference, I’ve been to many, many events and conferences in the niche that I write about on my blog. I’ve been to about 20 in the last year, which is a lot. And I can say that it is the number one most important thing you can do to grow your blog or business offline.
Meeting other people in your field has value that can’t be expressed in dollars or pageviews, but it is so essential to having a successful project. It allows you to create organic, genuine friendships with people in your industry or niche. These friendships might turn into collaborations, business projects, or other fruitful partnerships down the line.
Finding mentors and people with similar interests as you will help you in countless ways. I attribute much of my success to the connections I made over the course of years of totally casual relationship building. I didn’t approach these events or conferences as “business networking events” but just as a chance to hang out and make friends.
Being at a 3 day event with the same group is a great way to make fast friends. Just make sure to introduce yourself to everyone you want to talk to. Just be outgoing and you might be surprised how many people actually already know who you are from your website or blog!
Meetups are casual events that sometimes take place at bars, restaurants, or other local venues. You can go to meetup.com to see what kind of groups are gathering near you already. Or, take the reins and organize the meetup you’d like to attend.
It’s pretty fun! I’ve met a lot of great people and made many important connections this way.
Meeting in such a casual, friendly environment really takes the anxiety out of networking and encourages you to promote yourself in a natural way. Everyone is interested in learning about what you’re doing, and it’s a great way to get involved in your community.
So, how do you promote yourself and your business/blog in real life?