Tag Archives: sincerity

Trading favors and your integrity

chain linksDang if I wasn’t chatting online with Lara Schiffbauer (of Motivation for Creation fame) about being uninspired (me), when another LinkedIn endorsement from a stranger popped up in my inbox.


My LinkedIn profile (what I wrote) is all true. And many people are endorsing me for skills that I have.

But I wonder why strangers endorse me. I have never met these people, have never edited or proofread them, have never seen them comment on my blog, am not connected with them on FB or Twitter. Do they expect a return endorsement?

Stranger Danger!

Why endorse someone who is a stranger, a person you know nothing about? Why endorse a person for editing if you have never seen the fruits of their editing labors? I just don’t get it (and don’t do it either).

Selling out, trading favors

If Jane Doe endorses a book (trading an I’ll promote your book if you promote my book), I look at that book and other books she’s endorsed. If she endorsed a stone-cold-loser book, then I can’t trust her any more. Or if she is endorsing five books a day, I wonder.

See also The line in the social media sand – that’s your integrity, with guest Therese Pope of Zenful Communications.

Facebook Fan Pages70s-platform-shoes

People trade likes – you like my page, I’ll like yours. All good.

But after I like your page, you’d better give me something of substance. Post after post of quotes from your Amazon reviews or how your book is doing in the ratings (mememememe), and I’m strapping on my boogie shoes. I’ve been a little lax on my FB page lately – need to put on my boogie shoes!

See also Is your fan page a little flat?


I find myself spending less and less time here, because it seems that many people are, 1) promoting only themselves, 2) tweeting quotes from their book reviews over and over, 3) boring me to tears.

If you follow me on Twitter, you know I, 1) post my blog links, many of which are guests, 2) tweet vocabulary, 3) re-tweet what I find helpful or inspiring.

What are you tweeting?

See also Twitter-quette – it’s my turn.

Liar-liar-pants-on-fire promotions fire

Do you want to be known as sincere, believable, someone with integrity?

Or do you want to be for sale, cheap?


Try not to become a man of success but rather try to become a man of value. ~Albert Einstein

A pure hand needs no glove to cover it. ~Nathaniel Hawthorne, The Scarlet Letter

Who lies for you will lie against you. ~Bosnian Proverb

A lie has speed, but truth has endurance. ~Edgar J. Mohn

All quotes from Quote Garden.


Filed under Social Networking

Tips for personal customer service in a virtual world

What is good customer service?

Susannah Friis wrote: For me, it’s helpfulness, coupled with polite friendliness. If I crack a joke and the sales person laughs, they are my new best friend. (Find Susannah at Personally Speaking and follow her writing journey at The Writerly Way. Stop by, say g’day.)

Geoffrey VanDyck, VanDyck Computers, wrote: It starts with the customer. Without the customer, there is no business. If helping the customer is beyond the capability of the customer service agent, then it means directing the customer to someone with the authority to do something. (If you are in Minot, ND, look to Geoffrey for his awesome computer skills. Find Geoffrey on Facebook.)

Jessica Pettengill Messinger wrote: Customer service reps who sound like they’re smiling, who are friendly, and who do all they can to help get my appreciation. If they can’t help you, they should refer you up the chain of command. I talked with a customer service rep today, and she made a very stressful situation much better because she was pleasant. (Check out Jessica’s children’s book Stinky Feet via CreateSpace.)

Tonia Marie Houston wrote: A good customer service rep knows how to listen before asking the right questions. This takes empathy, experience, and respect. (See Tonia Marie blogging at Passionfind or at the group blog Hugs and Chocolate.)


Years ago, I could walk into a local store and the cashier would call me by name and shake my hand. I’d ask for specials, find a few sales, and get a good deal. I would walk out of the store feeling valued, an important person.


Much is lost via internet connections, emails, Facebook messages. You don’t get the same friendly face-to-face you used to.

“Shake hands” as soon as possible

When I get an email from a prospective client, I send a return email within 24 hours.

If I know I cannot respond to emails within a day (travel, family visiting, whatever), I consider putting an auto reply in my email with a brief explanation for my absence and my estimated return.

Sharing, not dumping

When I connect with a new person online, I check out their Facebook, Twitter, website, and blog.

When I respond, I interject something personal. Like, “I see you live in eastern Pennsylvania. My mom grew up in Lansford, PA.” Or, “I see you are a Yankees fan. I’m a die-hard Phillies Phan. Perhaps I will see you in the play-offs?”

Agreements and promises

Agreements, with or without a contract, are critical. Though I conduct most editing business with a contract, I often mentor and advise without a contract.

If I promise turn-around in three days, you get turn-around in three days.

Honesty and providing other resources

Recently, a prospective client came to me with a sword & sorcery novel. I told him his genre was not my strong suit. Even so, I gave a free sample of my editing prowess, noting problems, suggesting numerous changes and improvements. I also suggested a number of editors he could contact if he was not happy with my critique.

Obligations, sincere apologies, no excuses

Ever screw up? Yeah, me too. See my recent blog post, Obligations, sincere apologies, no excuses.

What personal touch do you miss with virtual customer service? How do you connect – personally – with new friends via the internet?


Opening photo by Rhonda Harvey. Connect with Rhonda via Facebook or on her Rhonda Is Losing It blog.

Handshake photo by Charles Simpson Global via Photobucket.


Karen S. Elliott was raised by a mother who wanted to be an English teacher and who worked for Merriam-Webster as a proofreader and an aunt who could complete the Sunday New York Times crossword in a day. Their favorite expression was, “Look it up!” Karen is an editor and proofreader, blogger, writer, and a fabulous grandmother to two wonderful little boys.


Filed under Branding & Platform, Social Networking