As I’ve spoken on stages all over for years on Social Media, there is something that I’ve observed countless times. Many people seem to think that if they can just gather a bajillion connections on Social Media sites, then the clouds will part and the money will fall out of the heavens. This thought actually reveals far more about these people than they probably even realize about themselves. It reveals that they think of people as commodities and they have a lottery mentality regarding wealth. How naive.
However we are offline, we are probably the same way online, because we can’t outrun our character. No matter where we go, there we are. You can tell a heck of a lot about someone by looking at their Social Media profiles, just like you can tell a lot about them if you chat with them at a networking event. If all they do is talk about themselves, they’re only thinking of themselves. You don’t need a psychology degree to figure that one out.
As you’re using Social Media, ask people about themselves. Find out about them and be genuinely interested in them as people, not prospects, shills, dollar signs, etc. This may take some major personality redesign for some people, but it’s worth the effort. All things being equal, people do business with and refer business to people they know, like, and trust. People aren’t stupid and they know if someone is being authentic with them. The paradox is that so many people are trying to figure out clever ways to accomplish things when in reality, authenticity and transparency usually accomplishes things much faster than guile.
You can’t hide who you are, how you think and what you consider valuable for long in the online world. Social Media forces transparency. Realize this and seek to add value to everyone. When people know that you care about them, everything changes. Stimulate conversation not a monologue. Initiate relationships. The world is getting smaller. Build a community of people you care about and people will care about you. A simple but radical thought, huh?