Don't Lead With the Ask

Let me be very blunt here. Just because I follow you on Twitter or we are connected on any other social network, does not mean that we are buddies, friends or instantly connected by the mystical powers of the Internet.

What it does mean is that we've begun a relationship and if I've hit accept in some form then it means that I'd love to get to know you better. By speaking to thousands around the world via my podcasts, public speaking and other avenues I connect with a lot of people. I'm very open on accepting connection requests on most services.

Lately though I've been getting a lot of direct messages (Twitter's way of sending a message to a single individual) from people I don't really know asking me to do something. Retweet this. Blog about that. Share with your community.


I know that there is always going to be a certain level of that with the level of exposure I can give to something. But, whenever one of those comes in my first instinct is to unfollow that person rather than checking out what they are trying to get me interested.

Just because you have a megaphone, you don't go walking into a cocktail party and start shouting out what you do and who you want to meet do you? Same thing online. Take the extra couple of minutes and drop me an e-mail to say hello and tell me about whatever it is that you want me to talk about. If you are really that passionate about it then I don't know how you can fit that passion into only 140 characters.

I'm the type of guy that loves to highlight good things being done by great people. Anyone that follows me on Twitter will see that I share a lot of links to a variety of topics. I will always do that, but your link will not be one of them if the first thing I've ever heard from you is the ask.

Take the time to at least say hello to people online before you start pitching them and asking them for favors. It is the only way you or your company is going to be successful in this crazy world of the Internet.

Am I wrong?

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