How I Found My Biz Besties On the Internet

Didn't your mother ever tell you to watch out for strangers on the internet?!?! 

Kate putting her hand up to say "NO!"

 

Well I'm here to tell you to ignore that advice (in certain circumstances, obviously).

 

It was summer of 2020.  Everything was going to hell in a hand basket.  I had just started my business and I was desperate for some type of community but of course we were all stuck in our homes, sweating our tushies off, and experiencing extreme symptoms of existential dread.

As an extrovert, I was feeling especially cooped up and mopey so I decided to try to chat with other artists on Instagram.

I was immediately charmed by Emily's potty mouth humor, adorable artwork, and feminist meme curation!  When I messaged her about laser printing, it was love at first unnecessary crafting purchase.  We slowly started picking each other's brains about printing, website domains, Etsy stores and more. 

After chatting for a bit, I finally worked up the courage to take it to the next step: 

"I would love to have a coffee hang where we talk strategy/plans/dreams. Idk how comfortable you are with an outside hang, but it sure would be nice to have a creative buddy to chat with if you’re interested"

Don't fret, she did not leave me hanging, she responded with: 

"Omg seriously! I think we click and I’d love to connect with you!! Trying not to be a creep, but it would be awesome to hang out."

Which is exactly my vibe.  We finally had a little masked hang out and we not only talked about business stuff but also we spilled our life-guts. I don't know what it was, the breeze coming in off the water, the tickle of my mask, or her gregarious self, but we just hit it off.  

I remember walking in the door on my way home and seeing a text from her saying "Did we just become best friends?!?!" and the answer was "YES!" 

 

Kate and Emily giving big grins and thumbs up

 

 Thus began my adoration of creeping for friends on the internet.  

And while my love for Emily is unyielding and true, I couldn't help but start reaching out to other business owners and makers that I admired.  It was amazing how open people were to talking and sharing! It was so nice to connect with folks, especially those who are at a similar stage of business as you! 

Eventually I asked three ladies to see if they wanted to start a little group to talk about our businesses monthly.  I asked them all to reach out to one of their friends to join as well.  Thus began the original Biz Bud Hive.

The OG crew includes: Jillian Soprano, Jessica Chan-Charette, Allie Royston, Erika Wurm, and Beth Symons.

There are six of us and for over a year, we still meet mostly monthly to chat about our businesses, what is working well, what our sticking points are, and what the heck is going on for holiday prep.  We all have areas of our business where we shine and we share that with the group.  It has been such a joy to get to know these women and see their businesses flourish! 

Now I know this might sound too good to be true, but I promise you too can be a creepy internet weirdo who slides into folks' DMs to make friends

 

Kate looking at her phone and smiling

 

Here are my 6 simple tips for making friends on the internet:

 

1. Engage with their posts, don't just go in cold.  Like stuff, comment stuff, try to make it more of a conversation.

2. Lead with giving, if they ask for help or feedback, try to offer some.  Give a compliment.  Share something that made you think of them.  Show that you're not just trying to latch on to take.

3. Make the connect.  Ask if they'd want to do a IG video chat or zoom call (local meetup if you're close to each other).  Here is a sample:

Hey! I love seeing all the amazing ____ you create! I noticed in your stories the other day that you were working on ____ for your biz.  I've been tackling the same thing.  Would you want to do a video chat and brainstorm together some time?! Two heads are better than one and I know that the small biz world can feel lonely sometimes - I'd love to connect if you have the time. 

4. Be bold. Most folks are looking for connection too.  We're all doing this solo, so if you come at it genuinely, more often than not, people are eager to connect in some way if they are able. But be respectful if someone sets a boundary, don't push it. 

5. Nurture that friendship, baby! Now that you've made the connection, keep reaching out, connecting, and sharing! 

6. Let me help! If all of this sounds a little scary and outside of your comfort zone, don't worry, I've got your back! Let me take care of the networking for you!

 

Biz Buds Banner: Share Grow Thrive

I have created a community called Biz Buds that offers affordable professional development including access to

  • Monthly business book club
  • Private Facebook group where you can chat and share resources with fellow creative entrepreneurs
  • Replays of Live Videos with fellow business owners
  • Resource Library full of checklists, handouts, spreadsheets, and worksheets to help grow your business
  • Monthly zoom chat with your fellow Biz Bud Hive members! 

 

The best part is that it is a monthly subscription for as little as $3 and you can come and go as you need.  Professional development shouldn't only be available to those who can drop $1000 at a time. We all need that connection and support, no matter our budget! 

 

Let me help take care of the awkward networking parts, all you have to do is show up! 

 

Are you ready to share, grow, and thrive in your business?!?! Join Biz Buds today! I cannot wait to meet you, friend! See you in the Hive! 
 
Not sure you're ready to commit?!? Join my Biz Buds newsletter to find out about all the FREE resources I have available each week. Just sign up with the form below: 

 

April 04, 2022 — KATE TALCOTT