A lot has been said and continues to be said about how great social networking is. It has allowed us, online entrepreneurs, to reach our ideal customers in ways much more intimate, immediate and efficient than ever before.
It allows us to connect with the gatekeepers. You know, those influential people who shape the opinions, thoughts and even behaviors of our market or industry.
But if you're not (yet) one of the popular ones with over 25,000 Twitter followers, 3,000 Facebook fans or 1,500 LinkedIn recommendations, it sure can feel like high school all over again.
Unless, of course, you were one of the cool kids in high school.
I was a new student in freshman year and, of course, I felt terribly out of place.
I was scrawny and dark skinned, a real ugly duckling. My family didn't go on exotic trips during the summer. I didn't do cool stuff like take ballet lessons or play a mean game of volleyball.
Instead, I did nerdy stuff like ace math exams, sketch portraits and read books in the library.
As any adolescent girl would, I tried to fit in. I tried to get on the good side of a couple of very pretty, very popular girls. I laughed at their jokes. I tried to get into conversations with them.
I think you know where this story is going, right?
Ok, just to make things clear, this is what happened: those cool girls? They laughed at me. Not only behind my back, but straight to my face. I wasn't pretty enough, rich enough or interesting enough to be their friend.
But I'm glad I learned early on that it doesn't pay to try and be somebody else other than yourself.
I eventually did make friends. One of my friends was into classical music and gave us all the answers during a music exam where we had to identify the composer and period of pieces of music.
One was a wonderful writer who won short story writing contests. She also had a beautiful singing voice and a very kind heart. And she shared my love affair with Matthew Broderick.
One was a long suffering friend who never ever gave up on you, no matter how many times you were late.
One was a diligent student who happily dictated to me everything she had reviewed the night before a test, because it helped her remember them.
One was a beautiful ballerina who gave me a much cooler nickname and told me stories that helped me realize I was better off not having brothers (she had three).
In other words, I found my peeps. I didn't need to be prettier, more sophisticated or anything else other than who I already was.
So if you're trying to get somebody's attention on Twitter and they don't pay attention to you, do you take it personally? Do you up your charm level, butt in on convos and try to impress them with your witty banter?
Or do you move on in search of the ones who will resonate with you, appreciate you and recognize your brilliance?
Frankly, I'm too old and set in my ways to be any more charming than I already am (or not), and I've never been witty, and trying to impress someone is just plain too much work! I'd much rather be myself.
What are you thinking now? Let me know.
Lexi Rodrigo is a communication and marketing professional for multimillion-dollar businesses, co-author of Blog Post Ideas: 21 Proven Ways to Create Compelling Content and Kiss Writer's Block Goodbye, and host of "Marketing Insights LIVE!." Connect with Lexi on Twitter, Facebook, or LinkedIn.
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