4 Online Relationship-Building Mistakes {That May Make People Think You are Fruit Loop}

Creating online relationships is all about connection and engagement. It’s spending time, putting in the effort, and conducting yourself in a professional way at every opportunity. Some people…sometimes…miss the mark on that idea.

You know who you are..or maybe you don’t. Maybe it’s like one my dad’s favorite sayings; “A skunk don’t smell its own stink….”

So, to make sure you avoid some of these online faux pas, check this out:

Mistake # 1: Being a Butt-inski: In the off-line world you wouldn’t barge in on conversations with people you don’t know, right? The same works with the on-line world. Let people get to know you. Build relationships first, the selling will come later. Scott Stratten (one of the funniest marketing gurus out there) from UnMarketing is awesome about calling out the social media bone-heads of the world. Follow him on Facebook and learn from these offenders what NOT to do.


Mistake # 2: Using a Mug Shot instead of a Headshot: When representing yourself on-line, remember your on-line profile is like a virtual business card. Take the steps to make your profile photo not only a professional one, but also make it consistently your headshot of choice across all of your programs, profiles, and forums. Think of it this way. I am the moderator of a professional Facebook Group that encourages professional business feedback and support for each other. Molly Sue asks to join. I look at her profile picture and all I see is about four feet of cleavage (no, I am not a girl-perv) and the head-cocked-side-eye-come-hither pose may have been meant to draw attention away from a double chin, but my first impulse is DECLINE. Put your best business face forward people.

Mistake # 3: Now You See Me-Now You DON’T: You may have come out of the gate strong and worked hard to start building on-line credibility, but if you work awhile, disappear, and then re-appear weeks later you will run the risk of :

  1. Losing credibility
  2. Being dismissed as a “hit and run” poster.

Consistency is the key when building an on-line reputation.

Mistake #4: Commenting Just For The Sake of Commenting: We all have them. The people who seem to have anything better to do than pounce on every tweet or update we share with ridiculously lame or sour-puss comments. I recently shared a wonderful, motivational image and quote from another source (ie: one that was NOT created by ME), and the first comment out of the gate was, “That really irritates me when people don’t capitalize their ‘i’ s”…..


I don’t know what to say as far as avoiding that scenario (other than you can take comfort in the fact they are showing the rest of the world what a cone-head they are) but I can say, if you are “that guy/gal”…. STOP.IT. Make your comments meaningful and relevant, not a drive-by canned comment like, “Thanks for sharing!”

The do’s and don’ts of nurturing on-line relationships is very similar to nurturing an off-line one. Take the steps to keep it real, always be there, and show that you are making the effort and are here to stay. Valuable and long-term relationships on-line start with sharing and caring.

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