I’m interested in what YOU have to say.
(Warning: rant ahead…)
These days, whenever I browse my Facebook news feed, all too often I find myself bombarded by an avalanche of quotes and platitudes from people I’ve never met.
Ghandi tells me to “be the change you want to see in the world” and “live as if you were to die tomorrow; learn as if you were to live forever.”
Zig Ziglar asks, “Will you look back on life and say, ‘I wish I had’ or ‘I’m glad I did?’”
Oprah tells me “where there is no struggle, there is no strength.”
And some dude called “Unknown” wants me to know that “The only barriers in life are the ones we create with our minds.”
All righty then.
I’m sure you know the kind of quote + image post I’m talking about… they usually look something like this:
Don’t get me wrong, I have nothing against sharing the occasional moment of insight or inspiration…
But when my newsfeed gets clogged with an overwhelming onslaught of pithy sayings, you know what happens? It gets BORING. All those inspirational and insightful quotes run together and start to sound exactly the same.
Through sheer volume and repetition, they become unoriginal and all-too-easily forgettable.
And that’s the exact opposite of what you want your online presence to be!
I can’t tell you how many times I’ve gone to check out a person’s profile to learn more about who they are. And all I find is quote after quote — many of which I’ve seen far too many times before.
There’s nothing in the person’s OWN WORDS – nothing to tell me who he or she is as a person.
THIS is what I want to know about you if I’m following you on Facebook.
I want to know what your life is like… what you’re passionate about…what makes you laugh… what makes you think… how you see the world around you… what you love… why you do what you do… and what you’re doing to make the world a better place.
THIS is what sticks in my mind and think, “YES! I love that person.”
Now, that doesn’t mean I’m suggesting you NEVER post or share a quote from someone else.
It just means that it would be awesome if you did it in moderation, and made sure that YOUR voice and personality still came through loud and clear on every post you share – even when it’s a quote from another person.
Here are 5 simple tips on how share quotes in a way that ADDS personality and authority to your online presence, instead of detracting from it:
1. Put your own personal spin on it
Tell us WHY you’re sharing that particular quote or saying. What do you find so interesting, inspiring, or insightful about it? What reaction did it spark in you? What did it make you think? What has it inspired you to do?
2. Only share quotes that haven’t already been shared to death
If you’ve already seen the same quote – or a close variation of it – several times on your news feed, chances are most of your friends have seen it too. Same goes for quotes shared by famous people with millions of followers.
Just like familiarity, repetition breeds contempt – or at least indifference.
3. Create your own unique design
If you absolutely love sharing quotes and can’t imagine not doing it, one easy way to put your own personal stamp on it would be to create your own image and add your website URL to it, so people can see that YOU are the person who originally posted the quote.
If the quote is interesting and insightful enough – and hasn’t already been overshared – it might even encourage people to visit your site and learn more about who you are and what you offer.
4. Create your OWN original quote
Instead of sharing other people’s words, why not share your own? If you can summarize your most important pieces of insight and advice into short but powerful statements, take the time and put THOSE quotes onto images or graphics and share it with your network.
That way, you’re offering eye-catching pieces of easily consumable content that are actually ORIGINAL and do a great job of establishing your personality and authority.
It’s the best possible way to guarantee you’re saying something that no one has said before! (At least, not in those exact words.)
5. If you DO quote someone else, confirm its authenticity
Say you come across a quote that truly touches your heart and inspires you — and you dearly want to share it with your network because you hope that it moves them in the same way and adds a moment of brightness to their day.
Have at ‘er!
Before you hit the “share” button, take a few seconds to search the quote in Google and confirm that those words were actually said by the person in question.
Sharing a quote that has been falsely attributed to the wrong person (Einstein’s letter to his daughter, anyone?) WILL have a negative impact on your credibility.
I’ve seen some people laugh off such accidental misattributions by saying, “Oh, it doesn’t matter who says it… it’s the sentiment that matters.”
But – for me, at least – it DOES matter. A LOT. If you’re not willing to take the few seconds it takes to confirm the accuracy of something you’re sharing on Facebook for hundreds or thousands of other people to see, it makes me question how much time and effort you put into other aspects of your business – such as your products and services.
And that’s not something you want your potential clients and customers to be wondering about.
All right, there’s my rant… thanks for letting me get it off my chest!
The bottom line is this – if we’re connected on Facebook, it’s because I want to know what YOU have to say.
Your words are far more interesting and valuable to me than whatever the world’s most-quoted thinkers have to say.
So let’s hear ‘em!
I bet they’re going to be brilliant.