We're sitting at a table in a little, family restaurant/bakery that serves gluten-free pizza, sandwiches, and baked goods. Oh such, yummy, yummy baked goods! * Salivating *
Then someone at another table strikes up a conversation with us. That's the kind of restaurant it is. Most people are regulars. I mean, it's the only gluten-free bakery around, and if you need to live gluten-free like us, that's where you go. It's small and it's family owned and it's customers all have one thing in common. We generally have information we can share to become healthier, and that makes it all likely for someone to talk to you.
This guy talks to us about why he lives gluten-free, about our kids, about books, about life. And then he drops this line, "So do you go to church anywhere?"
Oooooooh, is that why you're talking to us? An agenda!
Gee thanks, mister. I feel so, so, so-- I don't know. Used? Unwanted? I'd make a good pew warmer, is that it?
It was like talking to an overly-friendly used-car salesman. Or a worker in a furniture store, who elbows you and winks and says, "Go to our branch and tell Bob to give you the special. Tell him Jim sent you." Right. Whatever.
So when networking, connecting, being friendly, leaving notes on blogs, sending friend invites, sharing tips, joining conversations, whatever, don't, don't, don't center everything around what you want to sell! People can spot a fake from a mile away and generally run screaming.
So from your friendly, neighborhood spiderman--er, I mean friend--here's some friendly advice on being friendly:
1. Join conversations and DON'T mention your books.
2. Read other people's books and show interest.
3. Be helpful with your criticism and your praise.
4. Be silly and talk nonsense on forums. Be natural.
5. Promote others.
6. Make someone else famous.
7. Be a blessing.
8. Give someone else a chance to shine.
9. Ask questions rather than give all the answers.
10. ___________________________________. I don't know. You fill in the blank.