Saturday, December 22, 2012

5 Ways You Can be Helpful Online

Being helpful anywhere in life is probably a really good thing.  If you don't believe that, you probably will be bored by this post.  (Turn around - Go to Jail - Do NOT pass GO! :)
It's great to KNOW that we should be helpful online, but HOW can we be helpful?
When people discuss social media, the Number One thing that I keep reading and hearing that is to engage others online.  The NEXT thing on that list is to be helpful.

The problem is that I hear this message, but I seldom hear about how to put this great concept into action.

Let me offer a few suggestions.
  1. Share Valuable Material
  2. Promote Content Someone Else Created
  3. Respond to Someone Else's Material
  4. Find a Way to Make Something Easier
  5. Explain Things Other People Don't Get
Below, I will explain each of these a little further.

1. Share Valuable Material

This is probably the easiest thing to do on the list.

When you find something that somebody else created, find places to share it.

Q: What types of things would we share?

A: Blog Posts, Articles, Videos, Neat Pictures, Books, Music, etc.  Anything that you think is neat, funny, or whatever else is good to share.  Of course, GIVE THAT CREATER CREDIT.

Q: Where can we "share" this material?

A: At the very least, we can Tweet a comment with a link to that person's creation on Twitter.  We can share that material on Facebook or LinkedIn.  If it's an image, we probably could share it on Pinterest (but at the time I am writing this post, I have not used Pinterest...This is only speculation.)

If you have a blog, you can share it on there.  In fact, you can share it on your blog AND Tweet a link to it.

2. Promote Content Someone Else Created

This is really an extension of Point #1.  We share material, but when we promote it, we usually take it to another level.

We promote that person--REPEATEDLY.  Promote that person's work more than one time.  In fact, you can make sure that nobody misses an opportunity to promote it.

You can write a press release, featuring this person and his or her work.

You can find a place to write a review or a recommendation.  If that person is your LinkedIn Connection, you can write up your endorsement there.

You can create a video endorsement.  This is probably over the top, but that's sort of the point.

3. Respond to Someone Else's Material

Here, we've returned to an easier, less involved method to be helpful online.

When somebody posts something you like, leave a comment.  Most people are shy about being the only one to comment on something.  However, what often happens is that many people will only consider commenting in places where other people already left comments.  This way, they're not in the spotlight.

By being the first person to comment on that person's work, you are encouraging others to look at it, and you are making it easier for many of them to leave a comment...all because they won't "be the only one."

4. Find a Way to Make Something Easier

All of us have things we know that we "should" do, but we keep avoiding them.  Maybe we don't know how to do something, or maybe we only know something well enough that we're not very efficient when we do it.

If you see someone struggling, find a way to make it easier for that person.

What is an example of "making it easier" for someone?

Example #1

In my case, it's usually pretty easy.  Many people would like to have press releases written about them or their business, but they don't know how to write one or where to submit them.  For me, this is not a very hard assignment, and I have access to resources that other people do not.  So this can help them a lot.

Example #2

I create videos for people.  Sometimes, they're training videos.  Other times, they are simple videos to promote their business, acting sort of like an online animated business card.

Example #3

I post on some guest blogs.  Owners of these blogs usually are looking for good material to present to their visiting readers.  While I will put backlinks within my post, I reduce their stress by providing some content for them.

Truthfully, I could continue, but hopefully, these examples get you started.  However, if not, feel free to ask me, either in the comment section of this post or send me an email.  I will do my best to help you learn how to help others, a worthwhile cause in my book.

5. Explain Things Other People Don't Get

Most things we know seem SO easy to us.  Of course, everyone else knows about them.

CAREFUL!  That's probably a POOR assumption.

Through giving talks and demonstrations, I've learned that many people need help with the beginning parts of things.  For instance, recently I gave a talk about how to create a Twitter account.  Later, someone sent me an email indicating that she created her Twitter account BECAUSE of what I showed her.

We take for granted that people know how to create Gmail accounts.  I've learned that some people still need help with this.

My point is that you probably know something that somebody else does NOT know but would LIKE to know.  YOU can be the person to help that person understand.

Here are some of the ways I've explained things to help other people online:
A. Write a blog post explaining things.  (Case in point, you're reading this, right? :)
B. Create a short video that shows the "How To" steps...creating an account, entering a post, etc.
C. Create an infographic (See: Easy Way to Create an InfoGraphic Using MS PowerPoint 2007)
D. Send instructions via Email

Don't underestimate your ability to help someone else.  The sooner you learn and truly believe that (in ANY field, not just online marketing), the better you will feel about yourself.  Just as importantly, you will help other people feel good about themselves.

We all benefit when we help each other.  I would love to help as many deserving people as possible.  Hopefully, I meet like-minded people when it comes to this thought process.

What do you think about THESE suggestions?  How else are YOU helpful online?

Like this post?  Other recent posts are
To visit The Ultimate Analyst company website click HERE.


  1. This was a great blog! I want to be helpful, but sometimes I feel I have very little to offer because I'm so green. But I can attest to the fact that I have actually "friended", "liked", and "connected" with some truly helpful people online. I'd love to act in kind.

  2. Thank you for your kind words about what I had to say here.

    Truthfully, it seems like you are pretty well accomplished yourself. You have a book that you're expecting to release in March 2013. You already have a website with some charming blog posts.

    Do you remember which way to be helpful made the largest impression on you?


Hey there! Thank you for taking time to read my post and share your thoughts with me and my other readers. I'm always tickled when I get a non-SPAM comment. Honestly, sometimes I'm even okay with some borderline SPAM.

Let me know if you would like for me to address a topic by sending me an email at

Thanks, again. I look forward to seeing you soon.