You’re nobody if you don’t have lots of Twitter followers, and unless you share every detail of your life on Facebook you might as well not pollute this planet with your presence. Right? But when everyone else is shouting about their lives, how do you get heard above the clamour?
If you’re an individual with an awesome idea who’s struggling to get noticed in our bragging culture, then why not try going back to basics? Here are five tips for getting your ideas heard above all the noise...
1. Listen rather than shout
When everyone’s shouting out loud about their achievements it can be hard to get a word in edgeways. Be the person who listens and reflects and it’ll help you get noticed. One journalist says: "I knew somebody who whenever they interviewed somebody would try to chat with them and show off about their own achievements too, forgetting that the story was about the person they were interviewing. They’d miss small details. By listening and giving the person 100% of your attention you’ll pick up the small things, for example, an emotion, or understanding where they’re coming from better."
2. Invite your hero for coffee
If there’s somebody who could help your business idea go further, or who you’d love to collaborate with in the future, then go further than liking one of their Facebook posts or retweeting something witty they said on Twitter. Why not pick up the phone and give them a ring? You’ll always develop a closer bond with somebody when you hear their voice.
Or why not go a step further and invite them out for coffee. I once plucked up the courage to invite an editor out for coffee after a stream of rejected article pitches – I wanted to ask him for constructive feedback and get on his radar. It turns out he was rejecting me because I was still an unknown writer to him, and now I had invited him out to coffee he could now put a face to my emails.
3. Network face to face
It’s easy enough joining LinkedIn and following the companies you’d like to work for. Many companies post job adverts on social media; job sites that are easy enough to fire a quick CV off to. But if you’re the one at every industry event, asking intelligent and thought provoking questions to the panel, then chances are you’ll stand out and get noticed way more than if you’re just one of thousands on LinkedIn. If there’s a company you’d like to work for, or somebody you’d like to get to know then keep your eyes peeled for events or workshops they’re running. Turn up, and make sure you look smart and presentable and you’ll stand out.
4. Solve the world’s problems rather than complaining
Some people vent their frustrations on Facebook and twitter. There’s always a problem: not enough car parking spaces, or bad cyclists. But why not make your moment by pausing before you complain and think instead about how you could solve the issue?
Cyclists causing a problem in the town centre? Then why not help campaign for better cycling lanes or start up some cycling proficiency lessons for kids? Considering how to solve the things that irritate you could help you create a business or become a community champion – both things way more worthwhile than moaning on twitter!
5. Save news for one to ones
It’s seen as sexy to work in a digital industry. Being online and having a platform to shout at the world is seen as a mark of success. Those who work hard and get on with life . Jenny is a teacher: "I don’t have Twitter and I don’t even have Facebook because I don’t want my kids to keep tabs on my life. This means I don’t tell the world about my successes and promotions all the time, so when I meet up with friends face to face they’re always really surprised that I’m doing so well.
"I think they underestimate me, but in reality, it’s just because I don’t shout about my successes to the world. I’ve just become the youngest head of a department that my school has ever had, and yet nobody knows until I tell them face to face and then I can experience the pleasure and joy from my friend’s and family. I thought I would hate going offline, but I can honestly say it’s enriched my life.”