3 Surefire Shortcuts to Getting Ahead Online

I had an uncomfortable experience in the last couple of weeks and bet you can relate. When you enjoy connecting others to their dreams and to those who can help them reach those dreams, like I do, you are easy to reach. I might not be able to spend a ton of time with all of my Tweeps and Peeps online but I’m always willing to help with an encouraging word, a resource, a targeted gold nugget to move your forward. Imagine my surprise when someone whom I respect and liked but had never met, privately messaged me on Twitter (DM) and asked me to share him with my followers.

He didn’t first give me a warm shoutout. He didn’t retweet any of my tweets and I get retweeted a lot! He didn’t even use my name in that Tweet, the most magical of all phrases to each of us. Nope, he just came out and asked. I direct messaged back and heard nothing and then a couple of days later, a second Tweet came through with the same request. Clearly, I thought, this has to be an automated message. By this time I was annoyed, he had leveraged none of the simple and surefire shortcuts to get my attention and warm me up before asking for a favor. Don’t make the mistake he did.

Before you ask someone for a favor, especially someone you don’t know, be sure that you use the three surefire shortcuts to getting ahead online here.


Retweet a comment they’ve made on Twitter or reshare a post they’ve made on Facebook. It is the ultimate virtual compliment to share another’s comments and content.


Email a personal note either through Facebook, LinkedIN, or locate the person you want to reach through their website and send a message. Today we are all easy to reach in a manner of speaking, when you make the effort. (Now, I know that the “gurus” can be a bit tougher, but honestly, there are ways to reach them too and often the social networks give you direct access.)


Find their blog and make a comment or two or three on a series of posts. This is always appreciated and unless they are getting hundreds of comments, your presence will be known and valued.

Had this person done any of these three things, I would have recognized him and been far more receptive. Ironically I am on his ezine subscription list, or was until all of this and then I promptly removed myself.

I emailed him through Facebook about this and got the reply that he couldn’t possibly keep up with all of the folks who follow him or are on his list. I bet he wasn’t asking
all of them for favors, just those of us who have audiences he wants to reach. After all he was asking for my sanctioning of his messages to my 43K Twitter followers. He has 15K followers and was looking for a way to get his message out farther.

Remember, whether your message is value content or politically based (I guess I see those as mutually exclusive), warm up your target before hitting them up for a favor. In this day and age there is no excuse for approaching anyone coldly, rudely, or without the courtesy of the shortcuts detailed here.


  1. says

    There is the other side of the etiquette issue you posted here Melissa….What about when you have reached out to someone (after you have met them) and they don’t respond. If you continue to connect (via Linkedin or email), you come off as too pushy; if you leave it alone….well, you get the idea. How do you and how many times do you attempt to grow that desired but elusive connection before you give up?
    Staci Greenberg

  2. says

    oh and the second in poor taste and how do you handle it is the person who shoves their card at you in a networking function. They haven’t even said hello but you see a card coming at you as if its ticket you need. I recognize they might be uncomfortable and nervous but how hard is it to say hello, my name is Staci Greenberg and I am an interior designer, what do you do? I’m just saying….

  3. says

    This is great, Melissa.
    You are just so spot on with the importance of building relationships on social media. It takes focus, energy and time, but is well worth it.
    I love what you do, how you do it and most importantly, how you stay true to who you are!

  4. says

    This is great advice for those of us who are new to all this. Why would anyone want to recommend someone they know nothing about? You always talk about the know, like, and trust factor and it works both ways! This must be happening a lot. I have seen other posts today on similar topics.

  5. says

    In this day of elevator speeches/pitches, tweets, telecons, sound bites, blogs and more, it seems to have fostered a climate of lots of “talking”, less focus on personal connections and paying little attention to social graces. More attention and importance has been placed on connecting with as many people as possible, and quickly, than on substance and basic business etiquete. Thanks for bringing this up and highlighting the lack of common courtesy.

  6. Susie Sharp says

    Melissa, that’s just downright RUDE no matter whose rules you’re playing by. You might just click them off as they’ve probably asked several other ‘gurus’ to promote them as well. Ya gotta EARN that right honestly.

    Someone I thought was smarter recently offered to PAY me a dollar for every person I could get to follow his company on Twitter and Facebook. PAY ME! That’s when it hit me that he didn’t have a clue what social media was about. People like that aren’t ever going to ‘get it’. They think that now that they have a Twitter and Facebook account, they don’t need any marketing strategy. I’m just going to watch their online attempts fail miserably. There’s no point to me beating that dead horse anymore.

    There are enough people who are grateful for the content you provide (including me). Concentrate on that karmic goodness and don’t sweat the other folks.

    Susie Sharp
    Cleveland, Ohio

  7. says

    Great tips, Melissa! Reaching out in friendship and approaching someone in an effort to build value for everyone involved (instead of just asking for a favor) is a much better approach.

  8. says

    Hi Melissa,

    Thanks for sharing the story…I have always found that if you contribute, help another person online without any expectation of returning the favor, that you actually will receive more than you expected.

    The favor may not always be from the person you helped but the universe has a unique multiplier effect.

    Look foward to more of your posts.

    BTW…Are you a baby boomer? My site is all about boomers and I would like to share your stories with my subsxribers.


  9. Melissa Galt says

    Yes, I am a boomer at the young end of that generation, be delighted to talk further. You are right, sharing w/out expectation is totally the way to go, and it does come back in unexpected ways.

  10. says

    Hey Melissa – You are a master connector! I have learned a lot about how to connect and use social media just by watching what you do. Thanks for being a great example!
    Michele Scism
    The Results Lady

  11. says

    Hello Melissa
    Love your stuff! Totally agree re online etiquette. I figure that it is no different than attending a cocktail party – how would you respond to a fellow guest if the first words to you were “do you want to know about my business?” I suspect it would be a very short conversation!

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