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This weekend was the first of 5 Playoffs for Women’s Flat Track Roller Derby – where the top 40 teams around the world compete to see who is the best of the best.

That's me - Jamming for the Cigar City Mafia Photo by Christopher W. Weeks

That’s me – Jamming for the Cigar City Mafia
Photo by Christopher W. Weeks

I played Roller Derby for 7 years and loved so much about the sport – the skating, the feeling of knocking the snot out of another skater and sending her flying, the friends I have made literally all over the world, and so much more. (If you’re not sure what roller derby looks like, Google it, along with the name of your city. My guess is you have at least 1 local league you can go see in action.)

But today, I don’t wanna reminisce. Instead I wanna talk about how the #1 rule of roller derby applies to doing business online.

The #1 rule of roller derby is: Don’t be a d-bag.

(Okay, so it’s not an official rule in the rule book, but it is certainly commonly known as the #1 rule.)

That’s it. Don’t be a jerk.

Sounds simple, right? It seems like it would be, but in roller derby, in business, and really in life in general, I see this rule being broken all the time – and usually by people who don’t even realized they’re being d-bags.

Let me give you some business examples:

1.  This is probably the biggest offender right now… Have you ever been added to a Facebook Group without being asked if you have any interest in joining?

My guess is that if you’re active on Facebook, this has happened to you.

This is such a pet peeve of mine. Here’s why…When I join a group it’s because I have a genuine interest in being a part of it – it’s on a topic I’m interested in or involves people that I want to interact with and learn from. When I’m added to a group instead of invited, many times it’s not something I’m interested in so I don’t participate, or I feel a bit like I’ve just been spammed and now I don’t really want to participate.

And then I see these same group leaders bragging about how many people they have in their group. Well, yeah, if I just added all of my Facebook friends to my group, I’d have a bunch more group members, too. But how many of those do you think would actually want to be there?

So, to not be an unintentional d-bag, invite, don’t just add.

2.   We run a fair amount of ads on Facebook. That’s how the majority of customers in my family’s business first find us.

Every once in a while, someone will comment on our ad (that we are paying for) something along the lines of, “You should try my product instead! Here’s my website and how to order from me!”

This one blows my mind. Would you want to buy from someone who piggybacks off someone else’s ad to try and get in front of potential customers?

We buy from those we know, like, and trust. And someone who tries to advertise on someone else’s ad looks unprofessional and untrustworthy.

3.  This one isn’t exactly business related, more like just being a d-bag online in general related, but still important to note…Occasionally, ads we run will get nasty comments about my mom’s appearance or the validity of what she’s promoting. 

I just don’t get this. Facebook makes it easy to help decide what is and is not shown on the newsfeed. If someone doesn’t like an ad, all they have to do is click the downward arrow in the top right corner and tell Facebook to hide all ads.

But when they write hateful and hurtful comments, they’re just being jerks. There’s a tendency on social media for people to feel like they can say things they would never say to someone’s face.

4.  Then there are the people who are just way too salesy that they come across as spammy and turn people off. they are really d-bags, but they also are not inviting sales.

There are so many examples of this. Here’s just a couple…

Have you ever been tagged in someone’s post about a super special sale, but you’ve never even interacted with that person (in real life, let alone on Facebook)?

Or someone’s personal page is filled with nothing about their personal life – only promotion about their business.

There are so many better ways to get your product in front of people. In fact I talk about lots of ideas for how to do this in my blog about creating more engagement on Facebook and in many of my Tuesday Tips videos.

Uh Oh, I Recognized Myself in One of These!

It’s okay. I will be the first to tell you, I have been guilty of some of these in the past. (I have definitely added people to Facebook Groups before without asking permission, and I have been way too salesy and turned people off.)

So, let’s say you recognize yourself in some of these examples or just want to make sure you’re not being a d-bag on social media, what can you do?

1.  Put yourself in the shoes of the person receiving what you’re putting out there. Would it make you feel good to receive it or not? If not, find another way that doesn’t have the ick factor.

2.  Focus on giving value. Value grows the know, like, and trust factor. It makes people want more from you. And it makes them ask to join you. And ultimately giving value results in people asking to buy from you.

If this post was helpful, be sure to grab my Free Ultimate High-Profit Ads Checklist. It walks you step-by-step through each piece of your funnel to have in place for your list building Facebook ads.

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-Jenn Possick, The Ads Maven