My perfect vacation includes a really nice hotel by the beach and unlimited access to food and drinks, and that’s it. I don’t need to go to fun places, or do fun water sports, or visit historical monuments. I’m good just chilling in an air-conditioned room and going to the beach for a bit, and maybe visiting a few places here and there, if the places aren’t very far. Yup, I’m pretty boring if you really get to know me, so I don’t really go out to many events, except for the ones I have to go to, like weddings, family gatherings, etc. That is why it is a challenge for me to attend networking events in Seoul, South Korea. But I attend them as much as I can because I know how important it is as an entrepreneur to grow your network, with all types of people in different professions and fields. So I have found ways to connect with people from my own home as much as possible. Not only because it takes a lot of my energy to go to a networking event an hour away, but because I also need to use as much as my time as possible to build my businesses and brand.
So here are some ways I have been able to build my network from my own home, without actually meeting people face to face.
1. Hosting a Podcast
I absolutely love podcasting. I have two podcasts that I have hosted; HagwonStart.com and MarketinginKorea.com I still add new episodes to HagwonStart.com here and there, but MarketinginKorea.com serves as an archive of past interviews I have had. And I have been able to meet a lot of people by interviewing them for my show. Even though I only met one person directly through Hagwonstart.com, I have been able to interview around 30 different people for MarketinginKorea. And I also have shared the podcasts for MarketinginKorea in various Facebook groups, so even though I may not have met people yet, they at least got to hear my voice or see me share something in a Facebook group. This is important because it has lead to things to talk about when I first meet someone, because some people have said that they listened to my podcast and it was easier for us to build a relationship when we first met. I plan on interviewing way more people and further building my network from my home. I will no longer create new content for MarketinginKorea since it no longer reflects where I am at in my entrepreneur journey in Korea, instead, I am going to record episodes for EntrepreneurKorea and talk about a broad range of topics related to being an entrepreneur in Korea and I will interview a whole lot more people than I did for the MarketinginKorea podcast.
So podcasting has helped me to really build my network and has helped me build a strong relationship with a lot of other entrepreneurs in Korea. The best thing about interviewing somebody for over 25 minutes, is that you get to have a meaningful conversation and share a cool experience of creating something together. I found that I got to know someone much better by recording one podcast episode with them than meeting someone a multiple amount of times at events, because the conversation is usually the same when you meet someone more than once in passing. The conversation lasts for a few minutes and it’s all small talk. But when you record a podcast episode with someone, you just create something special, I don’t know how to explain it, but it’s really awesome. That is why podcasting is an amazing way to build your network, which is one of the reasons why it’s something I love doing and look forward to getting back into.
2. Commenting on Posts
Commenting on posts is also powerful, especially if you consistently post and are writing genuine comments. I’m not very good at this because I am not big on commenting or sharing my opinion openly on people’s posts, though I welcome people to comment on whatever I post. I just personally like living a quiet life, as much as possible. But I am good at replying to people’s comments and try my best to be as polite as possible.
Commenting on posts in groups and being active in the group is a good way of building relationships with others in the group. Of course there is a chance that people in the group may have fake accounts, but for the most part, it is a good way to connect with others in fields you are interested in. You can do this on people’s blogs, in Facebook groups, forums like Waygook.org and Reddit, or even on people’s facebook and instagram posts, or basically on anything anyone posts some content. Some of our customers at Flower Gift Korea have become our friends and have visited us at our shop when they visited Korea on their vacation. They kept commenting on our posts and we replied, and then we invited them to stop by our shop. Here are two instagram posts with visitors from outside of Korea:
Here we are with one of our customers/friends 👍 He is visiting Seoul, South Korea and decided to drop by Flower Gift Korea the other day. Thank you @steel_1700 for visiting us and also thank you for the tasty pastries you brought from outside of Korea 😎 Luckily, we weren’t busy at that time and we were able to have a great time chatting. If anyone ever visits Seoul and has nothing to do, contact us and let us know when you’ll visit us. We sometimes aren’t very busy from 5pm till 7pm (closing), so drop by, take a memorable photo, and chat, even if you aren’t a Flower Gift Korea customer. It’s great meeting people from different parts of the world 🙂 #flowerbouquetKorea #Seoulflorist #Koreaflorist #KoreaBusinessPresent #Koreaoffice #SeoulBusinessGift #Seoulflowerdelivery #Gangnamflowerdelivery #Gangnamflowers #itaewonflowerdelivery #itaewonflowers #myeongdongflowers #myeongdongflowerdelivery #Apujungflowerdelivery #flowersKorea #flowersSeoul #Koreanflowerdelivery #flowerKorea #flowerseoul #Koreabusiness #BusinessKorea #flowerbasketKorea #seoulflowerdelivery #Seoultravel
We had our first overseas customer visit our shop while she was visiting Seoul. Thank you @angiensy for visiting Brandy and me. Also, thank you for the snack. 👍 That was very thoughtful of you. If any of you visit Seoul, let us know you will be dropping by Flower Gift Korea, say hi, and take a picture with us. 🙂 #koreaflowerbouquet #koreabusinesstrip #koreatrip #seoulflowershop #koreaflowermarket #kpop #flowerdeliverykorea #yongsanflowers #incheonflowers #seoulgift #yangjaeflowers #sinsaflowers #koreaflowerstore #flowerdeliveryseoul #seoultravel #flowerdelivery #Koreaflowershop #seoultravel #newyork #Toronto #boston #california #KoreanNewYearGift #seoul #flowerdelivery #seoulflowershop #FlowerstoKorea
So commenting and replying to posts is a great way to build your network online.
3. Following and Liking Profiles
This is pretty much similar to commenting, but you may be shy (like me) and don’t have much to say (like me). So another thing you can do is follow some people who you would like to get to know better or think would be a good connection for you and consistently like their content. Over time the person you follow will be so used to your likes that they will be thankful for your support. And slowly but surely you guys will become familiar with one another and then you can work up the courage to comment on something. I know for me, some people have randomly followed one of my social media accounts and just kept liking things I posted. After awhile I just figured they were my friends. I don’t usually think about how I became friends with some of the people on my accounts, so I just figured they were always one my friends to begin with! So if it worked on me, and I believe it can work on others as well! I mean, who doesn’t like to have followers liking their things? However, I believe this approach only really works for people who don’t have a whole lot of followers to begin with. If they have a lot of followers, you better consistently leave some comments if you want to get on their radar.
4. Emailing People
I haven’t done this often, but I have emailed people that I have met at past networking events to see how they were doing. Emailing isn’t as popular as it once was and there is a lot of spam email going around, so it can be a little more difficult to build your network via email, but it is possible. And I don’t mean getting people on a mailing list, though that’s a great idea to further build your brand and I probably should get an opt in for an email newsletter soon as well. Though emailing people can be seen as cold calling, sometimes people reply. This type of networking works best if you actually have the person’s contact info and you actually met that person before or have mutual friends.
So these are the ways I have built my network online without meeting people face to face. Since most of us are on Facebook or other social media platforms, it is quite easy to further build your network online. You just have to be a little brave and be active in the places where you need to be. I personally really need to improve on commenting more on people’s content and emailing people I am able to email. But at the same time, you need to be you and do what you are good at. It’s all about the long game, so make sure you enjoy what you are doing. But don’t forget to challenge yourself and get out of your comfort zone.