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.