HOW TO: Use Social Media to Connect with Other Entrepreneurs

In Networking on January 11, 2010 by Josh Tagged: , , ,

This post originally appeared on the American Express OPEN Forum, via Mashable where this has been reblogged.

Starting a company is often a lonely and nerve wracking process. One day, you’re working at a big company with tens of thousands of people and health benefits, and then the next day it’s just you, maybe a co-founder, and a lack of steady income.

Yet you’re really not alone. There are thousands of others making similar journeys around the world, and even more who have not only gone down the entrepreneurial path, but succeeded. These people are more than happy to share their advice, insight, and stories — if you know how to find them.

That’s where social media tools come into play. Forging new connections has never been easier due to the increasing accessibility of people, ideas, and information. Web communities based around business, entrepreneurship, and programming are thriving all over the place. Twitter, Facebook, and other social networks have become an amazing way to learn new lessons and keep in touch with other entrepreneurs.

If you’re looking to enrich your entrepreneurial journey by sharing with others, I have a few social media suggestions that will help:

Follow Entrepreneur Twitter Lists

A few months ago, Twitter launched a feature called “Lists,” which gave users the power to create lists of their favorite users. Many have used this to create Twitter lists of top entrepreneurs and startup founders.

Following these people and interacting with them is a good step towards building connections. Check out Listorious’ collection of entrepreneurship Twitter lists to start.

Connect With Amazing Entrepreneurship Communities

Entrepreneurs are already gathered in a lot of great places on the web. Finding these hidden gems of community and startup enthusiasm could be just what you’re looking for.

To start out, we suggest checking out Hacker News (a community sharing some of the best articles on startups, development, and human nature), TheFunded (focused around raising money for your startup), and PartnerUp (helps you find business partners and co-founders).

Use Social Media to Find Local Events

While connecting online is great, there is no substitute for shaking hands and meeting in person. Luckily, social media can help you in this regard by helping keep you in the loop about events you’ll want to attend. Tools like Meetup and searches for Facebook Events are good ways to get started.

Just Reach Out

In the end, social media only helps make it easier to connect – you still have to do the hard work of building a relationship with fellow entrepreneurs. Use social media to find them and reach out, but be sure to take it the next step and start a long-lasting conversation.

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