Possibly the most useful blog post you will ever read

useful blog post

By Mark Schaefer

This is a blog post with a mission and shortly, you’ll see why.  I’m going to keep the link to use far into the future and maybe you will too. I think it will save you time and get you out of awkward situations for years to come. Perhaps this is the most useful blog post ever. Here we go:

Dear Twitter/LinkedIn/Facebook follower:

I enjoy connecting with people and am eager to help my social media friends in any way I can. However, it is a bit awkward when folks ask me to tweet a link, contribute to a charity, review a blog post, read your book, examine your website, ask for career advice, demand access to my business network, review a business strategy, or like a Facebook page when I don’t really know you.

The social web is a weird place. Perhaps you’ve been following me for some time and maybe you’ve even subscribed to my blog or podcast. Maybe you even saw me speak at an event. I can see why you might think that you know me. Over time, you’re building an emotional connection to me and I don’t even know it.

Here’s an example.

A young guy asked if I could jump on the phone and help coach his boss through his first speech. I never heard of this fellow before … or his boss either.

I mentioned to him that this seemed like a big request coming from a stranger. He sheepishly apologized and explained that he had been listening to my audio books and felt like we were friends.

Understandable. But from my perspective, it’s a little spooky to have people I’ve never heard of pop up and ask me to do them favors. And all these requests add up! If I answered every request from people who want to “pick my brain” I would not be able to feed my family. You see, as a consultant, my time is the only thing I have to sell.

How can we correct this situation?

For people who authentically try to connect with me on my social sphere — commenting on blogs, connecting with me on Twitter, conversing on blog comments or Facebook — I will enthusiastically and tirelessly help them in any way I can. In fact, I never say no. I give my time to help somebody almost every single day. I actively mentor people in need.

Remember that the social web is about being SOCIAL. It’s about giving. In fact, it’s about giving, giving, giving, giving, giving … and THEN asking. So please get to know me before asking for a favor, OK?

I look forward to getting to know you as a person because once we’re connected, you never know where it may lead.

I hope this blog post is useful to you not only by presenting a 360-degree view of the networking world but as a post you can share with your audience when they pummel you with requests for favors.

Your friendly neighborhood blogger,

Mark Schaefer

A shortened link to this post for your future enjoyment and use : )  bit.ly/GrowByGiving

Keynote speaker Mark SchaeferMark Schaefer is the chief blogger for this site, executive director of Schaefer Marketing Solutions, and the author of several best-selling digital marketing books. He is an acclaimed keynote speaker, college educator, and business consultant.  The Marketing Companion podcast is among the top business podcasts in the world.  Contact Mark to have him speak to your company event or conference soon.

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