Tuesday, November 8, 2011

One Link Stands

This morning I was grateful to discover a tweet by Ann Tran who shared a post by Liz Strauss, Founder of SOBCon :: I want a relationship not a one-link stand.

All of us have had someone reach out to us, that we barely know, wanting us to RT, "Like", Share and Email our friends and family excaliming how excited we are about their Widget . . . and it's frustrating. As Liz so aptly says "I’m a person, not a network."

The self entitlement of those offenders who reach out and expect to use your network for their own gain without first having a relationship is nauseating. These same people will post what I call "comment vomit" to your blog or Facebook page. . . links to their own sites, often selling tickets for their latest and greatest widget for the low, low price of 49.45.

Regardless of how these "one link stands" reach you, it immediately makes you feel like you have a number on your forehead and you are nothing more than means to their end. These "networkers" just don't get it.

Be warned that you may encounter push back when you refuse to market a Widget from John or Jane Doe and be called unfair, selfish or mean spirited simply because you value your relationships and don't want to sound like a carnival barker. No matter how graciously you decline or downright ignore their pushy demands - you holding your ground to protect your network is met with, what I can only describe as, a rendition of high school bullying mixed with a 5 year old's temper tantrum.

Regardless of the circumstances . . . don't be bullied into to promoting someones product you don't have a relationship with. Lord knows I have pissed off my fair share of "You first, after me" people in my community who tend to wield etiquette and expectation like a double-bitted axe.  Those with no respect for real relationships who are only interested in making a sale - well, they tend to resort to desperate gossip because people won't "help them in these difficult times" to promote their Widget.

Never be apologetic for protecting your ethical boundaries and your relationships. 

Liz hits the nail on the head when she says "I want to get to know you before I recommend you or share what you do with my friends." We are social creatures who thrive and flourish because of our relationships. It takes time to get to know people and engage with them on a daily basis . . . to remember their dogs name is Gus, and that their new book was written in 6 months. Your relationships are precious and should be treated with respect.

Each new relationship you forge brings with it more than just what Widget you can sell - it brings with it the joy of discovering more about yourself as you learn about them. When you take time to cultivate relationships, you unearth the richness of being a part of something much greater than you alone could ever imagine. . . these people are your friends who care about you. Value them, celebrate their victories, laugh with them and console them . . . they will do the same for you.

Remember that just because you expect me to promote your Widget . . . doesn't mean that I am willing to risk my reputation to recommend you.


What has been your experience with "one link stands"?

How have you handled those who try to bully you into "networking" to sell their widgets.

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