06/05/2012 03:30 pm ET Updated Aug 05, 2012

Do You Have an Online Personality?

I belong to many LinkedIn Groups and most have a post where you are supposed to introduce yourself. Reams and reams of people post in these threads hoping to reach out to their target audience or magically appear so attractive that the group members think:

'Oh I simply MUST get to know that person.'

Well here's a truth. Posters in this thread get no hits from this method. Why?

Because its untargeted and uninteresting. Basically it's spam -- or at the very least -- bacon (yes, that's a real term as I discovered the other day and not just something that's tasty in a sandwich after too much beer the previous night ... ;-)

This is one sample introduction:

Thank you for the opportunity to introduce both myself and the company I represent.  My interests in being part of this group is to develop my business and communicate with people who have an interest in both supporting what we do in the charity sector as well as the development of our charity membership. 

Would you connect with this person? Blah. There is simply too much online noise nowadays for any single person to be heard and technology has transformed our marketing techniques from outbound (characterized by prevalence and push methodology) to inbound (word of mouth and personalization).  In techno-speak, you want your one-to-many relationship to be bi-directional.

And that means creating a relationship with every single person in your network. Impossible? No. Difficult? Yes.

Top three tips....
  1. Take the opportunity to write personally to your existing contacts at given opportunities without pushing your skill set/company -- for example during popular holidays like Christmas (general good feeling runs high and you will will get a higher response rate -- respond to these people). Relationship first, marketing second.
  2. Divulge some personal details online. There are tomes of literature dictating how people 'should' use twitter for business. Never tweet what you had for lunch is a common one. Rubbish. Whilst tweeting what you had for lunch every day may be overdoing it, you should absolutely reveal some side of your humanity. No one connects to a machine. (Unless you're Agent Smith).
  3. Use humor as appropriate.  There's a great saying in French 'Femme qui rit, moitie dans ton lit.' It means Make a woman laugh and you're halfway to getting her into bed (One can only imagine how much M. Sarkozy must have made Mlle Bruni laugh). In the online world, if you can spread joy through humor, then you start the relationship on a great note.
This is my introduction:
  1. I really like playing super Mario. Still (yes still, and I'm approaching 40...). 
  2. I thought being addicted to social media was a bad thing, so I decided to build an online consultancy so that I could justify the amount of time I spent on Facebook...:) 
  3. I have only been blogging for 7 months, but somehow SOMEHOW managed to get the blog republished in The Huffington Post (without sleeping with anyone).
Whether or not you consider it controversial is of course your personal opinion. But it conveys my humor (dirty and irreverent), my job (risk taker & entrepreneur) and the fact that I am recognized for a skill.

And I'll tell you another thing -- it got me a fair few responses  :)


I started an online consultancy. It made me want to drink copious quantities, smoke myself into oblivion and hit my head against a brick wall. Instead I wrote a blog.