"Followed. Follow back, please." I and other fellow writers are probably just as sick of hearing those words as you are of typing them. Seriously. It's time for a new strategy because all that one does is make me NOT connect with you. Harsh? Possibly. Necessary? Yes.
Don't Make Demands or Expectations
If I see words of expectations or demands in comments on my profile or content, I ignore those users. To me, if you are the type of person that expects or demands things from people, you aren't my kind of people. Therefore, there's no need to check out your work. You'll have much better luck by leaving comments on my work or that of someone I read. I thoroughly enjoy seeking out and connecting with new members. However, if I am expected to or someone tries to force me to, it'll never happen.
Do Show Me Your Awesomeness
If you want me to check out your work, give me a good reason to instead of demanding or expecting that I follow back. Write good content that people will want to check out. The thing is, I am not going to connect with you just because you connected with me. That would be too many notifications to handle in a day, not to mention the fact that some would likely be spammers. No thanks. I connect back when I like the content or the person behind the content -- or both. Show me I should connect with you simply by doing what we writers do best.
Don't Connect With Me Just So I'll Do The Same
It's very obvious when people do this. Unless you actually have the intention of reading my work and aren't just seeking a follow back, don't bother connecting with me. A connection is worth nothing if you never intend to read the content posted by that member. I repeat, if you are only hitting that follow button just to see if I'll do the same, go away. Please. Umm, now. On the other hand, if you actually want to read my work, I'd love to have you around, of course. Just don't ever ask me to follow back. If you're any good, I'll likely do so naturally without the demand.
Just be you.
This goes back to showing me your awesomeness. I don't want to see you using techniques to get a reciprocal follow from me. I just want to see you. The uniqueness of each writer is what gets me to connect with them. A connect back request will prevent me from seeing that awesomeness because from that point on, you are invisible to me. But unique content, thoughtful comments, and a respectful attitude toward fellow members is very likely to win me over. Just be you and I just might connect back.
*I originally published this elsewhere (no longer published there).
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