February 16, 2009 | Alyson Stanfield

Podcast: Introduce yourself politely

Are you summoning your real-life networking skills for the online world of social networking?

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14 comments add a comment
  • Yikes! I needed the reminder. It’s too easy just to click through. Thanks so much.

  • Ooops! I didn’t even think about that! I think i was rude to you! Thanks for looking past my mistake and adding me anyway. :) Great advice…

  • Well, They won’t let me on Facebook because they won’t accept my name but I’ve tried twitter and I just don’t get it. What is the point of introducing yourself? Can’t you just click the “follow” button (which I also don’t do because my page gets bogged down with that person’s ‘Tweets’ and mine get overwhelmed)The person will get to know you by the messages you respond to. So far, I spend time just writing messages to myself. How boring is that? I’ve been trying to understand social networking and after several months, I’m still clueless

  • Robin Neudorfer

    Hi Alyson, A great post. I realized that when I followed the above suggestion, I have had some great conversations (via mail) with the person. When I rely on default, it is most of the time because I do not know the person very well. They might have 500 friends, so what is one more. It does make sense that to send a little note, makes you stand out amongst the many others. Even if they don’t respond, at least you will always be one that was friendly. I will be following this suggestion. P.S. I introduced myself to a fellow artist online, because he has the same last name as my grandmother, and we traced some history and found we are most likely distant cousins. How cool is that?

  • Cathy Erdmann

    Thank you, Alyson! What a timely article, this very issue came up in conversation this morning. I’ve posted it to my facebook wall, in hopes that others will pass it on.

  • Cathy Erdmann

    Thank you, Alyson! What a timely article, this important issue was a topic of conversation this morning. I’ve posted it to my facebook wall, in hopes that others will pass it on.

  • Maleko

    As I try to expand my ‘social networking’ presence what a great reminder to do it the right way the first time. I see others with so many more ‘friends’, but try to remember that it is often about quality not quantity. Cultivating beneficial, sincere and honest connections. Thanks Alyson!

  • Gay Pogue

    Mea Culpa. Facebook has this “service” where they let you import your address book and then they look to see who is already on Facebook. Then you can pick and choose who to friend. I was sending a request to my son, I thought, but something went haywire and the message ended up going to everyone in my address book. I did not discover that until people started replying. Mercury was retrograde. The bad news is that I, no doubt, bothered many folks with the standard terse invitation. The good news is that many people joined Facebook because of the invitation, and I now do have far more “friends” than I ever expected I would. Lessons learned: 1) be careful with the Facebook system, 2) go ahead and invite many folks. I have made some interesting new connections because of all this.

  • Patty Sgrecci

    Whoops. I think I’m guilty of sending off a linkin request without a full introduction. Thank you for the reminder. All this networking is a bit mind boggling!

  • Thanks for challenging us as usual, Alyson. Your information is always so useful and applicable. I have a question … should my social networking sites be personal or business-like? I notice some people use their sites for both personal and business purposes, while others keep it strictly business. I hope this makes sense.

  • We are like little kids! You are right, we do need reminded of our manners. I think when I first started on these sites I just sent the request and may have even done it to you so my sincere apologies, but as I have settled into it a bit more I have been sending little notes and have had some lovely responses. Thank you again for your great helpful ideas. Kindest regards Lorna

  • I’m still misiing the point. What does this type of social networking do for you that having an online gallery will not? The few social sites I’ve visited seem tinged with egomaniacal airheads most often found in high school sanctuaries. Do serious buyers or artists really use these social sites for the business of Art? Anyone have anecdotal evidence? What is the age demographic of such sites? How much time is required per week to keep up what would be considered a “successful” social site? How do you define success in this genre? Is it redundant to your official web site? Art Hilger

  • I’m trying to get up to speed on the concept of social networking. I’m just taking little steps, because it seems like so much to digest! I have a blog and a shop on Etsy, so I’m making some strides, I guess. And thanks, Alyson, for keeping me challenged each day keep advancing with my online presence.

  • Art, I have firm anecdotal evidence that social network can be a real asset to visual artists. The artist is building a relationship with people through his or her artwork. Art is all about these relationships..it’s a way to communicate with each other. And the best way to communicate with people you want to reach is to talk to them where they are…where they hang out…where they spend time. Social Networking sites are the new prime-time television….But Social Networking is so much more than just advertising. It’s an opportunity for the collectors of your work to interact with you…to get to know you a little bit…to feel more connected with you. It’s like having an “inside the artists studio” show broadcasting 24/7. It’s very compelling.

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