When it comes to social media, a lot of things don’t happen simply because people are afraid to ask for them. You don’t get enough stumbles or tweets or shares on Facebook, your questions go unanswered, and you think it is because people don’t like you or your content enough. The truth is that people might just not see a certain tweet or blog post from you. Most of us follow several blogs and accounts and have our own work to worry about. As much as we try, we miss out on a lot of important things in this information overloaded virtual world of ours.
If it’s something important that you would like to share with the world, why not ask your community for help? If they follow you, that’s because they find what you have to say interesting. They have retweeted and shared your thoughts before, so why not ask them to do it again?
Asking for help from your community takes courage. Why? Because you have to trust yourself and to trust them at the same time. You practically take a leap of faith and wait to see if those you rely on will actually help you. As a friend of mine pointed out, deciding to help someone means you’re in control, asking for someone else’s help means losing control and delegating the entire decision making process to someone else.
While scary at times, this is the role of a community – helping and supporting each other. Of course, there is right and a wrong way to approach your online connections, so here are some pieces of advice to get you started:
1. It always has to go both ways. If you ask for something, make sure you’re ready to do the same for the others in your community. Better yet, it’s better to ask for help after having offered it.
2. Don’t take advantage of your community. They will help you every time you need it, but that does not mean you have to ask for their help everyday. If you abuse their kindness, they will eventually stop helping you.
3. Be nice! When you ask for help, when you give it and everywhere in between, remember to be kind and pleasant to your community. Say “please”, “thank you” and “you’re welcome” whenever needed.
Extra tip: it takes time! Just because you showed up and people welcomed you in, does not necessarily mean you are in a position to ask for anything! Gaining trust takes a while and it’s better to work on your relationships with members of the community before starting to ask for favors.
Now that you have read the tips, I believe an example would help! Last week I published a review of My Blog Guest, a community where blog owners and guest posters meet, connect and exchange guest posts. I wanted the review to get as much visibility as possible because My Blog Guest helped me a lot and I believe there are many bloggers out there who would benefit from joining this community. So I asked the members of My Blog Guest to help me spread the word and they did! Of course, I had been around for a while and the visibility the community would get would benefit all of us.
How about you? Have you asked for help from your community, be it to share something, answer a question or give you advice? How did you approach them and did they come through?