I follow back! Like me and I’ll like you! Buy my e-book and I’ll buy yours!
If you interact with any writers on Twitter, Facebook, blogs, etc., then you see messages like these on most days. When I first joined Twitter, I ignored them because I was too busy creating my content to worry about people’s caring that I exist. Once I started blogging and had a FB fan page, however, I suddenly felt the sweaty palms and clammy skin of writer’s panic.
"Indie Hate" by MMRule
What to Do?
I wondered what I would do if no one liked me. And as every second of my despair continued, I kept getting those messages from my peers saying, “Like me and I’ll like you!”
Try “Liking” Yourself
I could easily have succumbed to the need to like and follow anything so I would see others do the same for me. I even considered making a personal Facebook page for myself. But I couldn’t. Because I use the pen name MMRule, I had to make an important decision: maintain my privacy and keep my name under raps or join #TeamFollowBack. I chose myself and I recommend that you do the same.
An online presence should exude confidence and professionalism. Twitter, FB, blogging, etc. are social, yes. But for us writers it is more than that. It is our chance to create a public image. Are we the sniveling new kid with too short pants who tries to sit at the cool lunch table? Or are we the one person at the party who can look cool wearing sunglasses after dusk?
Give Back on Your Terms
I want to give back. I really do. But I don’t want to contribute a series of meaningless gestures. I prefer to give my thoughts, creativity, and sweat to the online writing world. Likewise, when I share a blog or recommend an author, I want people to know that my opinion is worthwhile. Because I don’t like everything!
Automatic liking back and following shows a lack of confidence in yourself and will only give you an artificial sense of your success. Rejoice in those who love what you are doing, and continue to create a product that will draw in an audience. If no one cares about what you do, try delivering something new!
Are you part of #TeamFollowBack and hate when you don’t see others doing for you what you do for them? Or if you don’t follow back, what methods do you use to inspire people to like you? Start the discussion under the comments for this post!