Want to get people talking to you? Find a subject that they’re interested in. This is as old (or older, but at least made popular by) as Dale Carnegie’s How to Win Friends and Influence People. Say their name a lot. Get people to talk about themselves or things they know.
Take my sister…please! This is the one who doesn’t return calls (sorry, Sis, I’m making a point here), hates to talk on the phone. We communicate with brief texts here and there. I mean, we love each other and all, we just don’t always engage in long meaningful conversations…until yesterday, that is, when I receive no less than 31 texts in a 30 minute period.
Find a topic that interests them.
As a sister she’s always there if I need her. But to expand to a business application, it’s because I found a topic that really interested her. I needed her help, and she really dug deep to come up with answers and support me.
I’ve written a funny article for an Online Satire Class taught by Caitlin Kunkel through The Second City Training Center. I want to pitch it to run on Scary Mommy. And, here’s a marketing tip—you should make sure that your pitch (for an article, sales, idea, etc.) matches the target audience, tone and style of the place where you want it to run.
What’s the Policy on Public Cursing?
My own policy is symbols #$%&^ are acceptable for curse words, but no actual full curse words. Even for emphasis. Even if I’m really mad. And, while many humor sites do have cursing and lots of it, Scary Mommy didn’t seem to be one of them (which is ironic, if you know what I mean—with a kind nod to all of the “loving-but-at-times-including-me -pushed-to-being scary-mommies” out there).
So my question to my sister was “what are acceptable alternatives to f#%+ing a$$h*le, sh*tty and f#%k face?
And that’s when I realized that it wasn’t that my sister didn’t want to talk to me. It was that the topics that I chose to talk about were boring! Here she responded brilliantly and thoroughly! Really…farging ice hole? Farming bass troll? Approving the word crappy for family use? Fudge face? Not only that, she included links to sources to affirm that these are all real “things” in use in popular society. The woman is a frickin’ genius! (Is frickin’ okay? Or is it friggin?)
Chris Brogan of Owner Media (along with anyone who advocates for blogging for business) says that for a blog post to be worthwhile for business you want to let people know why they are reading it and provide a gem of insight or help, so here it is: People like to do business with people they like. And, in first impressions—people will remember less about what you said and more about how you made them feel about themselves. And that means finding out what interests them. What makes them tick. Encouraging them to share and then listening to what they have to say.
And, great news, you’ll learn so much and probably feel closer in the process. I know I do. Even if my sister and I both think the other is an arse* at times.
*138,000 results on Google for “is arse a curse word” say no. Can anyone from Great Britain confirm that?