The One Thing You Must Do Online Before You Meet People Offline

A video used to be embedded here but the service that it was hosted on has shut down.

P.S. I’m presenting a panel at SxSW Interactive Called “Are Women Taken More Seriously on the Web?” It’s happening at 11:30 AM on Monday, March 16th.


Hey! Laura Roeder here and as I’m gearing up for South By South West, I just wanted to give you a little bit of advice about how you can use social media and how you can use the web so that you aren’t approaching people cold in your offline connections.

So when you’re going into a conference, like South by South West, well there is going to be a lot of awesome people that you want to meet. I would just make a list, either on your head or on paper basically your wish list of everyone that you want to meet that is going to be at the conference. If it is on paper, you will probably like, show them your list when you meet them. I guess it kind of funny, my come across is a little weird.

Well, anyway, so you have a list of people. Instead of just approaching them totally cold when you see them at the conference; connect with them online first, so that they may have some idea who you are and this actually makes a huge difference when it comes time to say ‘hi’ to someone on the conference.

So, I just did this actually on Twitter with Jonathan Fields. I don’t think he and I have… I don’t think we have ever emailed, we haven’t really spoken much. But he is someone I will definitely love to meet in person. He just wrote a Tweet like he is coming to South by South West. I wrote him a message back, I just said “Hey! I’m going; I’m looking forward to meeting you.” So now, when I do approach him and say “Hi!” I just have that little bit of connection that exists already. I can say “Hey, I don’t know if you remember. I sent you a message on Twitter, my name there is ‘lkr’. You know, he might know, you know, put two and two together and know who I am.

So the people that you want to connect with, send them a Tweet, write them an email. Send them a Facebook message, and people, this is something people get’s so nervous about. Sending someone new a message, like “What should I say?” It really doesn’t have to be much of anything. You can just say “Hey, I’m Laura. I just wanted to drop you a note. I’m going to be at South by South West and I’m looking forward to meeting you there.” And that can be it and then you just mention that to them when you meet them. And it would really differentiate you from just some random person that they have no contacts at all.

Because usually, when you’re sending someone a message, the odds are really good that they are going to check you out. They are going to look at your true profile, click on your website. Or if you website should be in your email signature, they’re going to look it up from there. So don’t even tell people, don’t say like, you know, don’t ask them to do anything, don’t even say “Look at my website”. It’s just there and they are probably going to see it. They probably are going to remember that they saw it. Remember who you are. It just creates much more of a connection with someone in person. It is sort of takes your, it sort of steps, skips over that first step in building your relationship.

So this week, you have a week before South By South West, make sure that your connection with all those people that you want to meet and then they are going to have some contacts for who you are, when you meet them in person.

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About Laura Roeder

Laura Roeder is a social media marketing expert who gives businesses of all sizes the tools they need to make their mark on the web. She is the creator of the social media scheduling software Edgar, as well as social media marketing web courses like Creating Fame and Social Brilliant.


  1. Nice video. I’m jealous you’re going to SXSW.

    I’m predicting you’re going to become the brunette Julia Roy or Sarah Austin of tech.

    John’s last blog post..techguy: @sgraven Henderson is like neighbors with Metro Pizza. I’m sure your boss wouldn’t mind you coming. You’ll be missed.

  2. Great tip Laura! You’re going to be amazing at SXSW!! And don’t hesitate letting Rowdy Roeder out for a few videos too – LOL. xoxo

    Marie’s last blog post..ATTN: Creative Entrepreneurs. This is a MUST SEE Video!

  3. Great video Laura! Really nice tip-it makes total sense! Have a fantastic trip and an awesome time at SXSW:)

  4. LINDA EAVES says:

    Clever and practical tips as always. Seeing you describe was so relaxing and easy. Networking done with a light and “birdlike” touch. Tweet! Enjoy SXSW.

  5. Hey Laura, that was brilliant. I think you’re really on to something, and you’re going to have a blast at SXSW! I’ll be joining you there next year, hopefully. I just got back from a trip and I’m still getting my act together, but next year will be awesome.

    Thanks again, and I’ll be back to see more of your videos!

    Nathalie Lussier’s last blog post..No More Goody-Two-Shoes

  6. SAMBECKETT says:

    “Are Women Taken More Seriously on the Web?” You should use the example of Sarah Lacy, of how not to be taken seriously on the web. Her interview style is the worst I have ever seen, and give women a bad name when it comes to professional journalism. You on the other hand seem to be very focused and clear headed, nice work!

  7. Atajuelo says:

    Congrats for your videoblog, Laura. Hope to continue enjoying your tips in future! Best Wishes!

  8. Great vlog Laura. You’re so natural on camera. Ever think of acting? :) Have a great time at SXSW, and congrats on the speaking engagement. You’re spreading the value wherever you go! Hope we can connect when you get back.

  9. Hey Laura
    I totally agree.
    A micro rapport, if you will.

    I’m using Firefox and the video is not in synch by quite a bit.