The Power of Building Offline Connections in a Digital World

In a world of texting, tweeting and burying our heads in the newest smartphone on the market, we often forget that some of the most meaningful connections are in person.

learn more about Carrie Rich

By Carrie Rich • Sep 9, 2014 Originally published Oct 10, 2014

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

In a digital-crazy world, it's important to get back to our core, to remember that in-person networking is extraordinarily powerful, perhaps even more powerful than digital networking.

So how do we set ourselves up for success when it comes to building offline connections? How do we take our digital connections and turn them into quality offline relationships?

Here are my three tips for building valuable offline relationships:

1. Leverage social media as an icebreaker. Networks such as as LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook are great ways to send a quick message to someone letting them know you would like to connect online and offline. If you are located in close proximity, send them a message to set up a coffee date.

Related: Why You're Thinking About Networking All Wrong

As the co-founder and CEO of The Global Good Fund, an organization that supports leadership development for young social entrepreneurs, I used Twitter to connect with the U.S. Ambassador to Armenia, a person who was also passionate about social entrepreneurship. We set up a meeting to see if there was an opportunity to collaborate. He is now hosting a Global Good Fund event at his home in November and providing long-term value to our organization.

2. Become a personal hub. The ability to showcase your personality and your passion is best delivered in person.

Related: In the Digital Age, Relationships Have Become Fragmented. Here's How to Enhance Them.

When you're passionate about something, your voice changes, your body gestures become animated and others become interested. This nonverbal communication is difficult to convey online. So become a connector and get personal. Host a public networking event for people within your industry or a small informal dinner gathering at your home.

Our organization hosts monthly gatherings called "Salons." We have dinner with a small group of guests engage in meaningful discussion about how to live a life of purpose. These events allow us to connect on a deeper level with our community and create passionate fans, instead of just digital followers.

Aside from engaging in enriching discussions, event organizers often become seen as influencers -- a social-media concept played out in real life.

3. Speak up and stand out. Forget about the vanity metrics of how many Twitter followers you have. Instead, focus on making a lasting impression in the flesh.

Related: 6 Ways to Make a Great First Impression

Seek out speaking opportunities at events relevant to your work. Volunteer to serve on panels or be a judge on a panel. Connect with people who you want to be affiliated with and mingle in the same circles. Having a key role at these types of events will establish you as a thought leader and will allow you to connect instantly with strategic contacts.

Also, consider attending events outside of your particular industry. You'll not only learn valuable insights to connect back to your work, but you'll stand out from the crowd.

When it comes down to it, the best way to accelerate your success is to put aside your smartphone, make eye contact, engage in conversation and forge a lasting impression that may in turn help your bottom line.

Related: The Importance of Staying True to Your Roots as an Entrepreneur

Carrie Rich

The Co-founder and CEO of The Global Good Fund

Carrie Rich is the co-founder and CEO of The Global Good Fund, an enterprise dedicated to investing in the leadership development of high potential young entrepreneurs committed to social impact.

Related Topics

Editor's Pick

This Co-Founder Was Kicked Out of Retailers for Pitching a 'Taboo' Beauty Product. Now, Her Multi-Million-Dollar Company Sells It for More Than $20 an Ounce.
Have You Ever Obsessed Over 'What If'? According to Scientists, You Don't Actually Know What Would Have Fixed Everything.
Most People Don't Know These 2 Things Are Resume Red Flags. A Career Expert Reveals How to Work Around Them.
Business News

Survey: A Majority of Americans Are Living Paycheck to Paycheck

Sixty-four percent of U.S. consumers live paycheck to paycheck — even those who earn more than $100,000 a year.

Business News

Massive Fire At Top Egg Farm Leaves Estimated 100,000 Hens Dead. What Does This Mean For Egg Prices?

Hillandale Farms in Bozrah, Connecticut went up in flames on Saturday in an incident that is still under investigation.

Business Solutions

5 Procurement Trends To Keep on Your Radar for 2023

Procurement professionals must adapt to inflation and a shortage of skilled labor in the face of an economic recession. Investing in a workforce paired with retraining and development strategies will put your company on top amid economic uncertainty.

Business News

'This Just Can't Be for Real': Fyre Festival Fraudster Billy McFarland is Now Hiring For His New Tech Company -- And He's Already Selling Merch

McFarland was released from house arrest last September and is currently being ordered to pay $26 million in restitution to fraud victims.

Business News

Out With the Kibble and In With the Steak. The World's Richest Dog Has a Net Worth of $400 Million – And a New Netflix Docuseries Too

'Gunther's Millions' is set to unpack the pooch's mysterious fortune and what those around him have done with his inheritance.