I felt like a little kid when the
plane landed. I was about to step onto Irish soil for the first time in my
life! Just the previous year, I set up my first vision board, and in plain
view, I glued “I-R-E-L-A-N-D” in big red
letters. So I wouldn’t miss it.
In 2015 I started using Periscope
to meet other people and find leads for my coaching business. I had a lot of
fun, and I worked hard. My friend, Rick Cooper, encouraged me to be more active
and introduced me to Blab, a live-streaming platform that allowed up to 4 people
to talk to each other on video at the same time. I met so many wonderful people
that way. In particular, I remember one Blab in which Rick invited Samantha
Kelly, aka the TweetingGoddess, to talk about her success with Twitter.
Listening to her, I could only think, “I really need to get to know this lady.
She is brilliant.” So we set up a time to meet on Skype and chat. Little did I
know that this would begin my journey to the Emerald Isle!
That night on Skype, Sam told me
about her start in business. A lonely single mom, she tweeted to promote her
Funky Goddess business after her kids went to bed at night. Soon thereafter,
she found other people who were also hungry to connect with business folks in
Ireland. Samantha is a brilliant woman, and she soon developed a knack for
engaging people in just 140 characters. Before long, she started her own
Twitter party, #WomensInspire, to help female business owners network and grow
their businesses. I’m not sure how many notifications she gets a day, but I’m
sure her phone blows up with them.
I had some experience on Twitter,
but nothing on a consistent basis. I’d participated in a few Twitter chats, but
I could not develop the consistency to receive much benefit. During that late-night conversation, Sam
introduced me to her circle in #WomensInspire. Before long, my phone pinged
with notifications. “So glad to meet you!” “Any friend of @Tweetinggoddess is a
friend of mine.” Likes and retweets lit up my phone as the notifications came
in. It was really fun! People seemed genuinely interested in interacting with
me! Sam’s genuineness and warmth opened the door for me to meet a number of
lovely and engaging entrepreneurs like me who wanted to get to know me. Soon, I
became a regular on #WomensInspire. In December, I purchased a calendar with
Irish pictures and put Ireland in my sights for a visit on my vision board. In
the meantime, I hired Sam as my Twitter coach, and kept on tweeting.
As I got to know more Irish people.
I discovered that they didn’t want to know just about my business. They were
curious about my family (Did you know I have 7 children?), my hobbies (I have a
black belt in TaeKwonDo), and the wedding we held in my back yard. When I shattered
my elbow in a fall and was hospitalized for 5 days, many ladies from
#WomensInspire tweeted “Get Well” wishes. Through Twitter, I had joined the
sisterhood of Irish business women. Stepping out on the stage in Dublin, I
could now see real people instead of profiles. We were not just business
colleagues, we had become friends! How did it happen?
- Twitter is a conversation. One hundred forty
characters may not seem like a lot, but much is said. I learned what was
important to my Irish friends. What they were looking for to grow their
business. How I might be able to help. Because I didn’t rely on scheduled
tweets to interact with people, I really did get to know the ladies I met. And
they got to know me. It is a two-way conversation. The less I focused on me,
the richer were the relationships I built.
- Be consistent. Getting the notifications that
first night Sam and I talked was exhilarating! Seeing the notifications, the
next morning was even more so. But participating in the conversation weekly is
a big key. Not just weekly. Daily. Twitter is about relationship, and
relationships require regular interaction to grow. Set aside time to
contribute, and watch your network grow.
- Be friendly. My personal advice. Stay away from
politics, or any other topic that divides you and your followers. Keep your
Twitter feed positive, and helpful. Contribute to conversations that build up
the community. You will get noticed. See point 2!
- Create a vision. I was never very big on Vision
boards. To be honest, I thought it was a waste of time. But after I looked at
pictures of Ireland every week, I started talking to people about how to get
speaking engagements in Ireland. The pictures inspired action, and action
materialized in plane tickets.
I’m going back this year. Thank you,
Sam, and thank you #WomensInspire for welcoming me to the Emerald Isle.