The internet has made it incredibly easy for people and businesses to reach out to each other and cross-promote. But it also makes it easier for opportunistic people to use another person’s social media platform to boost exposure for their businesses. Though some people have been polite enough to write direct messages to me, asking if I would be willing to promote their businesses or causes, I find it rather off-putting when I don’t know the people at all. It is presumptuous to contact a personality or celebrity, throw in a compliment, then launch into, “Hey, please promote my business by sharing this link. Thanks!” with no offer of co-promotion. When was the last time you felt compelled to promote a business you knew nothing about, owned by someone who was a stranger to you, who had the balls to write to you and try to persuade you to post links all over YOUR timeline, with zero benefit for you?
Let me be very clear in stating that my social media platforms are MY platforms. If I choose to promote a business, it is because I know and respect the people who run it, and I know about their products and services. All those elements must be in place. I refuse to promote a business I know nothing about. It is not my responsibility as a fitness personality to offer free advertising for businesses that want to increase their exposure. If you notice my posts on social media, I promote businesses I have had experience with and usually have worked with, so I can vouch for the quality of what they provide or sell. I will never serve as a talking head for something I do not fully believe in.
Another thing I NEVER do is private message people asking them to promote my services. Yet I get such messages from complete strangers telling me how great their company is and how I should be nice and offer free advertising by sharing a link on my page. I would only consider such a thing if I am familiar with the company or I know and like the person who runs the company. If the person sweetens the pot by offering to cross-promote or bring me on as a compensated spokesperson, that’s even better. It’s not that I think I am all that, but please don’t expect me to be amenable to having people ride my coattails unless there is some sort of benefit. It goes both ways!