Real-life interaction, communication. Networking. Building trust and familiarity with prospects, clients, partners, contacts.

I believe that when you better understand what you stand for, what you believe in, what you bring to the picnic, and who you seek to help, everything flows better in your business.

- Chris Brogan, Sep 12, 2016

"Be awesome to someone today. Be awesome to someone every day. Someone you don't know. Anyone. Even if they're an absolute shithead to you. [...] If you take away one thing from me, let it be that: be good. Do good. In games, in life, in whatever. Respect people. Be excellent. Love even if you get burned over and over and over for it."

- Nathan Grayson, departing from PC gaming blog Rock, Paper, Shotgun

General Advice

  • Make and maintain eye contact
  • Smile (this is old, but can't be overstated)
  • Stand up straight
    • Mind your body language in general (reference: Amy Cuddy's excellent TED Talk)
  • Have a firm handshake
  • Speak slowly, audibly and clearly
  • Slow down, relax
  • Post an introduction when joining a community, Facebook page/group, meetup etc.
    • Thank people for having you there
    • "I'm pleased to meet you and look forward to sharing/contributing/etc"
  • Greet and address people by name and give personal credit
    • "Marsha, that was a great event yesterday night!"
    • "Thanks, George, for the excellent information."
    • "I love Tobias' photos on your Facebook page."
    • "Refer to Carol Tice's article on the Make a Living Writing blog"
  • Show genuine interest in people
  • Always say (thanks and) goodbye

First Impression

  • Encounter/approach people in person (at events, trade shows, expos, conferences)
    • Introduce yourself
    • Ask about their story
    • "How did you get started?"
    • Give advice during conversation
    • "What can I help you with?" / "What's your next big thing?"
      • Perhaps you'll want to be on my show
      • My Facebook group
      • Give you exposure
    • "Do you want to meet for a chat?"
  • When entering somebody's office / space, look around: are they parents? Do they ski? Golf? What do they keep around? Pictures? Items? Any part of their personality that helps you connect.
  • Small gestures (e.g. remembering people's name) makes a difference
  • Use something from your education and experience that resonates with your audience. E.g. never was one for working 9-5, but still get many good gigs
  • After you meet people, send handwritten notes! It stands out
    • It makes them feel noticed, heard, valued
    • It shows a bit of who you are
    • Alternately, find another way to stand out. :-)

Body Language

To avoid (from Personal Branding Blog, by Alex Freund):

  • Crossing your arms, which suggests you’re either overconfident or uncomfortable
  • Lack of eye contact, especially while the interviewer is talking
  • Not smiling, which makes you appear nervous or unfriendly
  • Hiding your hands, because the interviewer will want to interpret how open and honest you are by looking at your hands


  • Participate in social events
    • Have fun
    • Build common ground
    • Talk about your interests
  • Article on Business Insider
    • Be visible! (as in, connect and display)
    • Build & cultivate real, genuine relationships: invest in people
      • Visibility - Credibility - Profitability
    • Diversify: that makes you more likely to know "connectors"
    • Maintain: means constantly reaching out
    • Give back as much as you can! Be the go-to person for people
    • If you have a good relationship, reaching out comes naturally - but evaluate the relationship first!
    • Rekindle
    • Plan out talking pts if you're shy
  • Connect as an equal, acknowledge the other person
    • "Would you be willing to make a personal introduction?"
  • Keep the conversation going: after initial banter, ask questions
    • Prepare list beforehand
  • Introduce people to each other! They will repay you the same way
  • Strangers do not hand you gigs! Get to know them and allow them to know you. Then they’ll remember you when they have extra work
  • Help people whenever you can

Attending Events

This belongs to Networking.


  • When going to a conference:
    • Bring (relevant!) business cards
    • See if you can get a copy of the attendee list
      • Review prior to see who's interesting for your niche
    • Arrive early, have a plan which parts to attend
    • Introduce yourself to speakers, give card
      • Approach later with your questions
    • Be in trajectory of people you want to meet
    • Have a clear and easy-to-read name tag
    • Keep notes on business cards re. when and where you met
    • Use lunch & breaks to meet people
    • Afterwards: carefully sort through cards, follow up with key people
      • If possible, send handwritten thank you note
      • Include business card again

Hosting Events

  • Networking event
  • Seminar/Workshop
  • Presentation
  • Conference

Nourishing Relationships

  • Having candid conversations:
    • When addressing problems, talk about your relationship with the person first! Ease into it, don't drive them into a defensive position
  • Surprise them with kind gestures!
    • On social media, your membership site, Skype, phone, e-mail...
    • Call to give thanks, appreciation
    • Compliment (e.g. on Twitter)
    • Send a postcard

Following Up

How to from Personal Branding Blog

  • Be direct: state why I'm following up (if applicable, include CTA or request)
  • Respectful
  • Concise
  • Unique (esp. when sending several notes)
  • If handwritten: write nicely
  • Timing: sooner is better
  • Custom-format my thank-you cards

Bad Relationships, Crises

  • Responding professionally (article by Carol Tice)
    • Responding: only focus on the facts, leave out emotions
    • Own only what you can control
    • Reach out to happy clients to round out your online profile
  • Avoiding bad clients (Carol Tice)
    1. Listen to your gut
    2. Qualify them:
      • Google: "problems with x", "x sucks"...
      • Ask your network
      • What's their revenue? (Tice suggests more than $1.000.000)
    3. How important is their rep to them? => Will they pay?
    4. Can you learn something new from them?