Stop Talking About Yourself, Start Talking as Yourself

Imagine yourself at a networking event or cocktail party. You’re talking to a handful of people, and one guy is only talking about himself. Is he your favorite person to converse with? On the other hand there’s another guy who’s talking about you, your needs and your experiences. Which would you rather talk to?

Social media is a cocktail party, nobody wants to listen to you talk about yourself all day.

When I analyzed Twitter follower count data, I found that as the amount of self referential Tweets increases, the number of followers an account has decreases.

Now imagine that same party, with a different group of people, all talking shop. Most of them are saying the same things, stuff you’ve heard a million times before. But one person has a totally different point of view. You may not even agree with him all the time, but he’s bringing something new to the conversation. Who would you rather listen to?

People don’t want to listen to the same things, over and over again. Every time I do any kind of research on social media or contagious ideas, novelty comes up. People want to read and share things they haven’t heard before.

I’ve even gone so far as to test the idea I found that blog readers click more on ReTweet buttons that say no one else has tweeted a given article yet. They wanted to be the first person to share something and were far less interested in sharing it when it appeared many other people had already done so.

When I was doing research for my Science of Blogging presentation I did a survey and asked people what made them want to read a blog. In the responses, one of the most popular themes was that people wanted to hear unique perspectives, they wanted to read a blogger’s unique analysis and insights.

Now, we can’t all make headlines every time we Tweet or blog, but we can all speak from our own, unique perspectives.

So stop talking about yourself, it’s boring and nobody wants to hear it. But start talking as yourself and show us how the world looks through your eyes.