Are You Just Clucking?

There is an old farm expression: “I can hear you clucking but I can’t find your nest”.

The 2010 version: There is a whole lot of clucking going on instead of real, move-the-needle conversations. Social media seems to goad us into speaking when we have nothing—really—to say. Beware of three cardinal sins:

Shameless self-promotion. You have information that will help clients and prospects solve problems. That is NOT shameless self-promotion. We veer into shameless territory when we lose sight of how the reader will benefit. Give them wisdom or make them think—or laugh—but don’t bore them with your irrelevant minutiae (give foursquare the boot.)

Ignoring publishing standards. Self-publishing is a great invention, but not if you don’t hire yourself a rock-solid editor to save you from yourself. Editorial gaffes scream amateur. And your blog or newsletters? Typos demonstrate that you don’t pay attention to detail, or worse: that you don’t care about the quality of your work.

Incivility. Snarky can be lucrative (Bill Maher anyone?) but it’s a niche suitable for very few. Engaging in spirited—but respectful—conversations forges new relationships and creates break-through ideas. Your mother was right—manners matter.

So go ahead: promote, write, push the envelope. Just don’t be clucking with the other chickens.


  • Anonymous

    and then their is the listening challenge … or did I misspell that?

  • Ed Rosenbaum

    Well said as usual rochelle. I look forward to your Monday blogs.
    It is time to start making money from social media instead of useless chatter. I am coming out with a three part tele class on Customer Service the end of the month.

  • Chris Haug

    Michelle, your are spot on with the "Shameless Self Promotion". I'm highly sensitive to being seen as a "self promoter", probably to the point of under-promoting what I offer a client/prospective client.

    I always try to let my actions and results speak for themselves, not my words. It would be great if you could share a couple of examples of what you consider to be effective promotion and "shameless self promotion"

  • Rochelle Moulton

    That's great news Ed–congratulations on launching your class!

  • Rochelle Moulton

    Hi Chris,
    Finding the line between "good" and "shameless" promotion is an art form and often in the eye of the beholder. This beholder believes the content in your blog entries is "good" promotion–it's geared to your clients and helping them. Nothing even remotely shameless.

    Two great folks to watch: Charles Green and Seth Godin Both consistently produce relevant, client-focused work and promotion.

    As to "shameless"–a good rule of thumb is to put yourself in your clients' shoes. Is this information relevant? Interesting? Timely? And hit the send (or delete) key accordingly…..One of my personal favorites was an electronic, heavily produced mailing from an investment banking firm (in March of 2010) extolling the deals they'd made in 2009.

  • Robin Dickinson

    Love that expression "conversations that move the needle". Hmm. Real food for thought.

    Thank you, Rochelle

    Robin 🙂

  • Rochelle Moulton

    I like how our conversations (and yours with your Centurians) always do that Robin–thank you!

  • Marc E Hankin

    Rochelle, Thank you for sharing. That is meaningful advice. If I could I would re-tweet your post. (right?). Keep sending these extremely useful suggestions. Thanks!

  • Rochelle Moulton

    Hi Marc,
    Always a pleasure–thanks for "dropping by"!

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