Make 3 New Connections: Day 22 of the 2015 October Platform Challenge

Some people have trouble with platform building, because they carry around the wrong ideas about what they’re trying to do. For instance, some writers think they’re just trying to push their information out to others (and sell-sell-sell). Still others think they’re just trying to gather huge numbers of friends and followers. But how I view social media and networking (online and off) is an attempt to make real connections with other like-minded people. There may be moments when you’re able to help others; there may be moments when others may be able to help you.

Make 3 New Connections

For today’s platform-building task, make an attempt to connect with at least three new people on one of your social networks. Doesn’t matter if it’s Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+, Pinterest, etc. The important thing is that you find three new people who appear to share your interests and that you try to friend, follow, or connect to them.

As a person who has limited wiggle room for approving new friends on Facebook, I’d like to share what approach tends to work the best with me for approving new friend requests. Basically, send your request and include a brief message introducing yourself and why you want to connect with me.

That’s right. The best way to win me over is to basically introduce yourself–something along the lines of, “Hello. My name is Robert Lee Brewer, and I write poetry. I read a poem of yours in XYZ Literary Journal that I totally loved and have sent you a friend request. I hope you accept it.” Easy as that.

Notice that I did not mention anything about checking out my blog or reading my poems or buying my book. How would you like it if a stranger introduced themselves and immediately asked you to buy their stuff?

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A Final Word on Making Connections

Also, it should be said that the end goal is not to just have three new connections. Over time, you should try interacting with the person. That means responding to questions, offering advice, and sharing your experiences.

In other words, you should try to continually deepen your connections. I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: Ten deep connections are more valuable than 1,000 completely disengaged connections.

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roberttwitterimageRobert Lee Brewer is Senior Content Editor of the Writer’s Digest Writing Community, which includes editing Writer’s Market and Poet’s Market. He regularly blogs at the Poetic Asides blog and writes a poetry column for Writer’s Digest magazine. He also leads online education, speaks on writing and publishing at events around the country, and does other fun writing-related stuff.

A published poet, he’s the author of Solving the World’s Problems (Press 53) and a former Poet Laureate of the Blogosphere.

Follow him on Twitter @RobertLeeBrewer.

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Catch up on some recent Platform Challenge tasks here:

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98 thoughts on “Make 3 New Connections: Day 22 of the 2015 October Platform Challenge

  1. semayawibeth

    Done! Actually did it twice, as I’ve discovered that a good network is like a net AND a trampoline! Your “peeps” can help each other and catch each other in case of a slip or fall. 🙂

  2. Carli Fierce

    Agh! I’m so far behind! But I made a commitment on Day One to finish every task for each day. I will finish. I’m glad you did this, because typically I only follow/friend people I know in real life. This pushed me outside of the box.

  3. YvonneM

    I’m now playing catch up so since the 22nd I’ve connected with three new people – 1 on twitter, 1 FB and 1 Linkedin so mark me done! – I will continue to do this – great idea to continue to build on it not just connect.

  4. DRZ

    Done.
    Also, exactly right: when the first thing I see is a message to check out someone’s blog or “follow me and I follow you back,” more than anything it feels like I’m connecting to a product, not a person. So I usually ignore it.
    Another thing I look at is a person’s twitter feed. Do they have tens of thousands of followers, but their feed is 100% their own tweets? That’s not necessarily bad but….it gives the idea that they only want to talk and listen to what they have to say; and that what you have to say won’t interest them in the least.

  5. Cindy

    I have been working on finding like minded friends on the social media networks. When you drive a rig most of your life you become a loner and only have a couple friends; finding new friends is new concept and is a new challenge. I am up for it. I have never turned my back on a challenge.

  6. penandpapermama

    Oops! Forgot to post yesterday–hope 6:30 am today is okay! So yesterday I made new connections on Facebook and LinkedIn …

    But the cool thing is that connections I already have, which have over time turned into real friendships and business partnerships, have led, this week, to my being recommended (without my knowledge!) to do editing work for a publishing company … and chatting by email with the publisher, has, within just a couple days, led to a couple more people from the company emailing me, too, and of course me emailing them back. Yay!

    Day 22 complete 🙂

    1. DRZ

      Don’t you love it when connections online make connections — even partnerships or friendships — in real life? It doesn’t happen too often, but when it does, I feel like I understand exactly why I’m spending my time online. In the end, it’s about making connections.

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