December 13, 2011


attracting explorersThe days of explorers on the quest for uncharted lands have passed. Now a search takes an Internet connection and a comfortable chair. Progress!

Now that sites encourage visitor comments, you'll discover people everywhere. You may be attracted by a particular person’s photo or message. A quick click shows you more about them. Maybe you’d like to stay in contact?

Maybe they’d like to stay in touch with you/


In the beginning, there’s satisfaction in getting discovered. Over time, the “gee whiz” fades. Traffic is good but for results, you want the right explorers to discover you.

Some techniques help you get found. Analytics show you which ones. The problem is that you rarely know who your visitors are. That’s where LinkedIn helps. You can see who some of the explorers (more with a paid account) and then visit their profiles. Maybe you’d like to stay in touch with some of them.


Can you reach out to them? They will appreciate this and often say yes. I've experimented on LinkedIn and still find that over 91% of my requests to connect are accepted by strangers. What do they know about me? Little beyond what my profile shows.

If they visited my profile and then I invite them, the rate is still 100.0%. It's as if they are happy that I took the time to reach out. Some say they wanted to contact me but were reluctant. Some of these connections even led to business, though that was not the goal. It's a nice side benefit, though.


Since my LinkedIn network has grown larger than intended. I’ve taken steps to show up in fewer searches. For instance, I’ve removed some keywords and made my profile more specific.

Since we’re judged by the company we keep, I’ve started pruning and pulling out weeds. Here are examples of disappointing behaviour that’s likely to break a connection without warning:
  • too salesy: their goal is to take money from your wallet and fast
  • lack of generosity: they don’t helping others by curating or creating original content (neither parrots nor pundits)
  • inconsistency: they start and then quit
  • incompetence: they say things that are incorrect or misleading
There are exceptions for most silent connections. They aren’t doing anything offensive. They aren’t doing much at all. Some may be strategic. Others may eventually start sharing. You may have different criteria.

What are you doing to attract and get discovered by the right explorers?


PS If you’re uncharted territory, leave clues for the explorers ... unless you don’t want more business.

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