When it comes to networking, making connections with people who have a greater influence in your industry can be beneficial in ways that go on and on. This has proven true for many people, I’m sure, and I know I’ve seen it in my own experience.

Two recent examples come to mind for me, writers who rank high in the upper echelon of influencers in the publishing industry: Frances Caballo and Anne R. Allen. Frances hosts a blog called Social Media Just for Writers, and Anne co-hosts a blog with fellow bestselling author Ruth Harris.

These writers appear all over social media. I see them frequently cited by people like Joel Friedlander and Joanna Penn. A recent post of Frances’ on her blog linked out to articles by Anne and by Joanna Penn. So you can see that this upper echelon consists mainly of folks who know each other and support each other’s work. It’s not about competition. It’s about collaboration, sharing resources and ideas.

I’ve been the beneficiary of Frances’ wisdom for quite some time, having gotten into one of her courses on social media for authors in early 2016. More recently, Anne featured me on her blog to talk about Miles of Files. Now, when I first contacted Anne about appearing on her blog, I was looking to do it as the kickoff of a blog tour. She mainly hosts bestselling authors, but I guess we hit it off, and the rest is history.

The reason I explain all this is that I want to emphasize the importance of connection. These were not what I’d call “transactional” interactions. Sure, I paid for a course Frances sells, and sure, I offered a free post on Anne’s blog. But my motives weren’t strictly unselfish, right? I wanted to get more exposure through Anne’s blog, and I wanted to get better at using social media for business from Frances’ materials. I think we all benefited from our interactions.

Beyond that, I have seen my own name and picture pop up out of nowhere on an article that I didn’t even know about…all as a result of these relationships. To clarify, Frances and I follow each other on Twitter (and Anne and I do, too), and sometimes they post an article that’s been published elsewhere. Last week, I saw where Frances had posted an article on Joel Friedlander’s site, The Book Designer. Her article gave great advice on how to be social on social media, with illustrations from actual interactions. Lo and behold, there I was, having tweeted the replay video of one of her webinars after she ran it.

Next thing I know, Anne posted the same article on Facebook, so I shared Anne’s post on my Sahno Publishing Facebook page…which I guess inspired Anne to then go ahead and like my page. I also posted in the comments section at the end of Frances’ article, and here’s how that went:

So, you can see the automatic benefit of this kind of actual, personal social media interaction: a real person liking your content, and your name and face getting in front of that person’s audience. That’s how it works. I’m not saying I’m great at this stuff. What I’m saying is that I’m genuine and sincere, and I understand that you have to give to get. And really, it’s just that simple!

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