With so much of our interaction happening via the web these days, it’s easy to feel alone and distant from all that is going on whether it’s hundreds of miles away or just down the street.
Some would argue it’s becoming increasingly difficult to find your “people” or your “tribe” because of technology, but that very technology can also act as a new tool to connect with your tribe and, surprisingly, find a few more tribes you fit into.
Still, there are people who are naturals at navigating the internet networking world while others always feel lost on the sidelines. So how can you start to find people and professionals that you can engage with online? Start with these basic steps and you’ll be on your way in no time.
First things first, to find people you want to engage with, you need to take a look at yourself. What do you like to do? What do you like to talk about? What kind of media intrigues you the most? Answering these questions will tell you where to look for people with similar interests.
You can join groups on social media for practically anything and follow public figures or organizations you like. If you’re a musician, subscribe to your favorite musicians’ YouTube channels. If you love astronomy, follow NASA’s Instagram account. Start following and commenting on blogs in your topics of interest. Every platform has something where you can connect with your interests, and your potential tribe will be among those followers.
Now it’s time to make yourself visible to your potential tribe members. It may be as simple as setting up a personal account on your chosen platforms, but you can also create a page or blog where people can come to see what you’re all about.
This is an opportunity to have fun expressing yourself with text, design, and layouts. If you’re not sure how to get started, look here or at other websites and blog pages you like for inspiration. By being yourself in this stage, you’ll be able to share your unique characteristics that other people are going to be drawn to.
At this point, you’ve given people a place to find out more about you, but you won’t be easy to find (and many people won’t know that they want to find you) if you don’t engage with the communities you’re connected with. So take part in conversations with other community members by commenting on and liking their shared content.
You can also start directing people to your account by sharing your own related content and making use of features like hashtags. You might even find yourself becoming a part of events and meet-ups in the real world after zealously engaging in online discussions.
Once you’re in the thick of engagement, you may think you’re done, but with politics, technology, and time itself, things are always changing, so there’s always something new to discuss and share. Don’t get too lost in the content everyone else contributes; you should be in the perfect position right now to become a powerhouse contributor yourself.
So keep reading and learning about your interests. You can do in-depth research or take courses to broaden your knowledge and understanding–all of which adds to your expertise and online presence. Soon you’ll find that, as you’ve been growing and engaging, others have been doing it with you, and they’ve become the “people” you were looking for.