How do you become likeable online?

I bet you will all have met someone who’s trying really hard to fit in, to be popular and cool. Maybe by wearing the clothes they think you like, or listening to music that you listen to, or hanging around places you like being in, whatever it is – it’s a huge turn off and massively counterproductive. Online is the same as IRL.

Rule number 1: It’s cool to not care

So what’s a better approach? At risk of being cliché, just be yourself. People don’t want to read about the stuff they already know, they don’t want to watch take-off copies of youtube videos. Chances are, if they like reading about skateboarding then they’ll already have a few really good resources to read and watch, they don’t need more of the same.

In short: Don’t spend your time trying to publish content that you think people like or want to read. Write content that YOU LIKE WRITING!

The reasons for this are obvious when you think about it:

  • you probably know what you’re talking about
  • your interest and excitement in your niche comes across in your content
  • having niche content with useful information in it attracts people who are more likely to come to you for your product or services
  • you are likely to make ties to other people in the same field and can start building a little ecosystem around it

Ultimately, people are more likely to find something of yours that they couldn’t find anywhere else. That’s what makes you interesting. That’s what makes you likeable.

Rule number 2: Talk to people you like

(And conversely – not to people you don’t.)

It might sound obvious now you’ve read it, but it’s all too easy to fall into the trap of trying to talk to everyone as much as possible and get them to like you so they promote you, see Rule number 1. So talk to people who write stuff you like, who you find funny or are knowledgable about your niche.

By actively engaging with people you find interesting, through social media or blog comments or forums or whatever, you build an online relationship with them. If they’re creating content that you like, you’re likely to share it or mention you in a blog post, and the same should be true of your content with them.

Rule number 3: The numbers don’t matter

I know that having lots of twitter followers would make you feel like you’re successful – and to some extent that might be true – but it doesn’t compare to having a highly engaged and focused community built around a shared interest.

You don’t have to talk constantly to potential clients either, having converesations with like-minded people who are equally knowledgeable about your field still generates interest. Take Twitter for example, by having a discussion or brief chat about a resource you found recently, or a problem you’re struggling to solve still gets you infront of their followers, and your own of course.

These kind of conversations reinforce that you’re human, not just someone looking for another twitter-following-machine.

People like people who are genuine about what they love. Simple.