I wrote a guest post over at Search Engine People last week on “What Farmers Can Teach Us About Social Media.” It’s looking at what we can learn from how a farmer scatters seed and how we should scatter our message, whatever it might be.

Part of it is from the manuscript I’m working on called “Social”, so there’s a sneak preview of some of my thinking in this post. Here’s an excerpt:

Of course, with all this talk of going from “push to pull” and “interruption to permission” and “search to social”, there is one little problem: it all starts with an initial push and an initial interruption. How can someone give you permission to talk to them if they haven’t already met you? How can someone search and find you if they don’t already know something about what their problem is? How can you pull someone to you without them first coming into your remit?

Jump over to Search Engine People to read.

Your Leading Thoughts

  • We talk about volume vs value – how do you make the first step towards value?

Archived Comments

  • http://radsmarts.com Robin Dickinson


    Stop counting people and start making people count i.e. seek to understand what really matters to the people around you and help them to get it.

    Best, Robin :)

  • / Scott Gould

    Hey Robin

    I phrased the question badly. What I really mean is, in the light of “it all starts with an initial push and an initial interruption. How can someone give you permission to talk to them if they haven’t already met you?”, how do you then convert that into value?


  • http://twitter.com/VelChain Dave Lutz

    Scott, interesting post. I think you enable yourself to make the first step in three ways.

    1) You provide answers, help and guidance where you don’t necessarily need to. A good example is by adding helpful and thoughtful comments on blogs, giving recommendations or answers on LinkedIn, e-communities or listserves.

    2) Your stream tells your story. Today it’s very easy to see the kind of information that an individual is broadcasting. If the filters don’t contain immediate value in the last few exchanges, you’re going to be ignored.

    3) New potential connections will also look for common ground. Do they know and trust your other connections? If there is a match, they’ll give you a chance.

  • / Scott Gould

    hey Dave, replies to your points:

    1. So we become know by helping others and people see that (online and offline?)

    2. I agree that your stream does tell a story. That’s a powerful thing to say. I used to be good at my stream always telling a story – now, not so much..

    3. So this means show common ground? Show how I’m trusted? Right?


  • http://twitter.com/VelChain Dave Lutz

    Scott, my replies to your replies…

    1) I think that authenticity really grows and shows when you help others…both on and off-line. Farmers used to do it by helping out friends in need. Barn raising anyone? The key is to do it without expectation of getting anything in return. If you have a hidden agenda or play the quid pro-quo game, it’s just a matter of time before that tarnishes your reputation.

    2) Your on and off-line reputation is much more transparent today. If your stream is self serving (only tweeting UR stuff) people think you’re playing for profit vs. interested in helping others.

    3) For me LinkedIn does this best. Before I accept a connection request I can see how we’re connected by reviewing common 2nd degree matches. If they were recommended by someone I trust or have multiple common 2nd degree connections, the chances they are a worthwhile person for me to know goes way up.

  • / Scott Gould

    Hey Dave

    1. Agreed. You can’t fake caring. I’m having the dilemma at the moment in realising that I don’t care as much as I say I do – my actions don’t line up with my words. I can also see how when my actions do line up with me words, more connections and opportunities arise. Sowing and reaping.

    2. Agreed. Your on/off line worlds are more transparent, and become increasingly more transparent the more popularity you get. You can be hidden and fake with little influence, but the higher you go, the more transparent you become.

    3. I’m not so hot on LinkedIn – so probably need to get better here. However Twitter.com does do the same now

  • http://twitter.com/VelChain Dave Lutz

    Scott, for me LinkedIn is the network that allows me to deliver the greatest ROI. There are tons of high level decision makers that primarily only play there. Generally speaking, Influencers are my connections on Twitter and Users are my connections on Facebook. All important, but you need to show thought leadership and accessibility to decision makers to make the business bell ring louder.

  • / Scott Gould

    Hey Dave

    Interesting – I’ve not met anyone else who can say that.

    I need to spend more time there then, following your lead!

    I think the key thing for you though is accessing decision makes as you say. For me, it’s more about drawing people to me.