There are many versions of these type of lists available, but not many with this type of thoughtfulness.

  1. Don’t ask people to follow you back. If you want to follow someone, go for it BUT don’t ask them to follow you back. Saying that just makes things awkward. If someone finds your account interesting, they’ll gladly follow it regardless of whether or not you follow them.
  2. Keep DMs short. Don’t write them a 2-page essay. And never message someone saying: Can I ask you a question? No one wants to say yes and then wait for your next question. Time is everyone’s most important resource. Don’t waste it or ask for more of it. Be direct.
  3. Don’t be vague. If you have a business opportunity or want to collaborate with someone, get to the point. DON’T say: I’m building a new product that you might like, let’s connect over a Zoom call for an hour to talk about. Just tell them what it is/ what you want upfront.
  4. Don’t argue with people online. Just don’t do it. It’s emotionally draining and there’s a 99% chance the other person won’t change their viewpoint. Once you reach a certain audience size, you’re going to have haters, it’s inevitable. Ignore them and move on.
  5. The bigger the ask, the more value you must provide. If you ask someone to send you a link to their most popular article, they’ll probably do that. BUT… If you want detailed, specific advice on a subject, offer to pay them or help them with a project in exchange.
  6. Don’t ask for free stuff. DON’T say: Can I get 3 books for free? OR: You have so many followers, can you share/retweet my post? Again, you’re asking for something without offering any value in exchange. Offer value FIRST, ask for a favour SECOND.
  7. Remember the digital world is forever. Write and talk online in such a way that you never have to worry about anyone screen-shotting your posts and publishing them in the NYT. This goes for DMs as well. Don’t write any hateful comments. Be kind and respectful to everyone.