#FakeContacts When a stranger asks you to spread his project (or worse)

"I have started a new project that I think you may be interested in and I would also like to explore if you can help us in the dissemination". This phrase, poorly worded -- why deny it- (I Started, We you can help) is becoming one of the new viruses of our day.

If you're short on time, I'll sum it up for you in a minute:

Before getting into this new wildlife from the web 4.0, the one that governs now, let's review the history and its recent evolution.

The first FakeContacts, those "friends" created by a bot

Until recently, The FakeContacts were those friends or Fake contacts bought on social media, especially Twitter and Instagram. A regrettable practice based on the wrong principle: if you have a large community it's better than if you have a good community.

I recommend to anyone who still thinks this works so read the book "Influencers"of Carlos Rebate (Active company, 2017). Rebate talks about the importance of 1.000 true followers, a qualitative goal of achieving a community that we really influence and is willing to read - really- what we wrote, to buy what we sell.

The makers of friends are still there

The problem is that creating a Bot it's practically free. The first Bots they were very rudimentary, created profiles without a photo, unintelligible in name, no descriptions. Today there are Artificial Intelligence programs that fine-tune by creating fake profiles. They create images of people who don't exist, that are a combination of thousands of photos tracked from the Internet. Create possible names, And the best, create biographies and publish content.

If your ego finds reward in the fact that you are followed by a 50.000 people who don't exist, Go ahead, I can't fight that..

But believe me., Those 50.000 they're not going to buy you anything, or to read anything, they're just going to give you "likes" and fake comments until the networks decide to remove them (I think they're on it).

The new ones FakeContacts, those who ask without giving anything in return

The evolution of FakeContacts It's just now they are real people. And they're probably your contacts. (even if you don't know them). His biographies are imperfect, I mean, Human. Its value proposition is real and powerful. You look at his professional record and he's not imposted. So far, everything seems to be in order.

His biographies are imperfect, I mean, Human

The problem is that they go from being "contacts" to "FakeContacts" at some point. They ask you for something without giving anything of value in return, and they do it automatically, without having bothered to read your "bio" before.

In his book "Brand is you" (Ed. Rasche, 2015), Eva Collado explains it loud and clear:

Don't you dare sell your services in the first message you cross with your new contact or ask for a job or favors... would you do it on the street with a stranger?

I've come to the conclusion that when these people contact you, you've already been placed on a spreadsheet as "possible lead for...". And what's after the "for..." it's very varied:

  • Send a CV to the first change (luck they're no longer papery, it would be an environmental attack).
  • Invite you to an event that's nothing interesting to you. I've gotten to get a message inviting me to visit a new chicken farm, My god....
  • Asking you to make them broadcast of an event (this one is very common) that has nothing to do with your business universe or that competes directly with you.
  • Asking you to do like of a post they just posted, and that's obviously a slug.
  • Ask you if you want be affiliated or franchised projects not linked to your professional activity (the last, an offer to open a hair product franchise).
  • Asking you to you work for free in a project where they make money, go a win/lose from which I'll do a monograph shortly.
  • The best: I have received offers of self-styled "Experts" in personal brand offering me a free audit to help me increase my online communities. A curiosity, when you look at their profiles, Have 15 Followers. Anyway...

An experiment during the Covid

In full confinement I did a little experiment. I wanted to put in place of these "requesters for nothing" and try their luck. I picked ten random victims, on a network like Linkedin. And I sent them a direct message from the same network talking about the importance of employer branding and inviting them to a very select webinar, with date suggestion included.

They were Level contacts 1, and all the people were HR directors. HH and contacted me from years ago. The language used, Right, brief and direct.

The result: Only one of the ten people answered, politely rejecting the invitation. I agree, statistically it's not valid, but it gives you to think about the effectiveness of such requests.

The only solution not to be FakeContacts is to contribute, give and create value

I hope I don't disappoint you, but there are no magic formulas to achieve a good harvest without having sown first, subscriber and watered with care. And that requires Time, Tracking, interest and a lot of empathy.

Before you direct a message to someone you have to put yourself in place and find out if you really need what we can offer you; if it gives you value, and if you do it in a clear and differentiating way.

As a advisable practice, it's worth walking around the profiles of the people we want to send a request for action, see their websites (if they have), your experience, their skills. With that we can manage not to be Spammers and above all, don't thicken your list of FakeContacts. Happy week!


Stock Photos from Boule / Shutterstock

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