In a lot of the current info out there on social media about how to create greater engagement in your Facebook groups, email lists, or posts is to write a prompt.
In other words, they're suggesting you ask a question to get the conversation going.
I've tried this. It hasn't worked.
What HAS worked?
Me. Just writing. Openly and honestly about my human experience, my triumphs and challenges, my most vulnerable moments (even the ones that bring guilt and shame).
Because it turns out, that connection with depth, when you're open and vulnerable, leads others to automatically be inclined to become open and vulnerable with you.
Case in point?
I opened up in my Facebook Group recently about how I've tried so hard to make my marriage work, and I'm not sure if it will.
I shared things in this post that I had kept hidden for some time, because I was afraid that people would judge me as failing.
I worried, before clicking "post," that maybe people wouldn't view me as the professional I want to be seen as, yet I keep encouraging my clients to foster that genuine and authentic relationship with their tribe, so if I'm going to lead the front, then I have to do by example.
Comment after comment after comment thanking me for sharing. Telling me they'd gone through something similar. Texts and private emails offering support. All these women inspired by me, because of my truths.
I never got this kind of engagement with any prompt question I was taught to ask.
Throughout my life, friends have always been surprised by how quickly people open up to me. At the store. Waiting in line. At a press retreat. Strangers divulge intimate details about their lives and even say beforehand, "I never usually tell anyone about this, but..."
And I know it's because I invite them in with my own vulnerability.
This is how we form bonds we remember.
This is how we make the most meaningful impression.
This is why clients come back to me year after year, even if there are long gaps (one of them after 10 years!), because I'm still the one they want to work with when the need arises.
Go. Be you. Be all of you. And watch as the world responds with more attention. In a time of falsehoods represented by the highlight reels online, your tribe needs you more than ever to be real.