The Importance of a Profile Pic
Whenever I join a new forum, the first thing I do is fill out my forum profile. All of them have this. And the profile pic is perhaps the #1 most important thing you can do to win people over.
People hate doing this they have zero confidence because they feel ugly, fat, whatever adjective you want to insert here.
You don’t need to be handsome or gorgeous. Unless you’re participating in a forum for good looking people, no one cares what you look like. Seriously. They just want to know that you’re being you.
Besides there’s always someone worse.
A profile pic is what fosters a sense of trust. I see you, I put a face to the name, and you’re not so timid that it makes me feel you’re hiding something.
I see people participating in forums using random images like from istockphoto.com or using some professional headshot from a model online. This is ridiculous.
A profile pic is supposed to be a picture of YOU. You can be standing on your head for all I care, but if it’s you that’s a step in the right direction.
The best profile pic is one that shows you facing the camera and smiling. You don’t want to look like a grump (then again there are some smiling grumps out there who I won’t name).
If you’re not in a sex forum, then don’t use a profile pic of some spread Eagle woman or a female butt in a thong – especially if it’s in a business forum where other women are participating.
I’ve seen some people use caricatures of themselves. That’s ‘okay’ but I’d still rather see the real you. Why cartoon yourself unless you’re promoting a graphic design cartoon business?
I also advise you not to change it every other day. I see many people rotating their profile pic and for some of us, it gets confusing. I know so many thousands of people online, that it’s helpful to me if I get to know a name and specific image.
If it changes, even if the name’s the same, and I see a picture it can throw me off. It’s good branding to stay the same for long periods of time.
Now I did change mine recently, but changing once in the past 6 or so years isn’t going to hurt anyone. I only changed mine because my old one was 20 pounds heavier and pale. So it was like treating myself to a little fixer upper.
I went from the left to the right, and I think it’s a slight step up:
Find a profile pic that you want too represent you all over the ënet in similar places ie: all Internet marketing areas. Use it in your gravatar.com account for blog commenting, etc. Streamline it so you’re building a brand with it.
I want you to know (and we’ll discuss this in a minute) that trolls live in every nook and cranny on the ënet. They will probably make fun of your profile pic at some point or another.
Really do you care? If so, why? I can honestly say that before I grew up (when I was in my 20s and early 30s) it would have devastated me, but now I don’t care at all I pity people who are grotesque in the heart like that people who have no sense of morals.
I wasn’t raised like that, so when I see some troll making fun of someone’s looks, I just think to myself (of the troll), ‘Bless their heart’ (a Southern saying) – because they must not be very blessed when it comes to having love and confidence and just plain old goodness in their lives.
This usually happens when someone disagrees with you about something. If they can’t find valid excuses for their ideas or behavior, they go the only place they know to go looks!
Why? Most people ARE vain about their looks and worry to death about not being up to par. Even supermodels worry and starve themselves because they never feel good enough, so what are the average people supposed to feel?
Funny thing is, I didn’t care at that point. I cared that a supposed friend had done it but not about what it was that they said. I know I’m overweight when it comes to what most people deem attractive – but my health stats can measure up to theirs any day and maybe even beat them.
I’m just not out there to be a porn star, so I really don’t care what those people think of my looks. As long as I feel pretty (and I do), then their opinion of my looks is irrelevant. I had my days of being tall, thin and tan and I much prefer what I am now, trust me.
I feel sad for hateful people, though. What it must be like to be that kind of person! How awful, you know? I go through life lifting people up and they have to spend their day in meanness. Just sad.
Anyway, I say all this because you need to know it happens and how to think about it. Don’t get mad or feel bad about yourself – feel bad for them!
Finding the Best Way You Can Contribute
Another common problem that’s tethered in confidence is not knowing anything of value that you have to say. Especially in a forum like Warrior Forum you feel like everyone’s eons ahead of you, so if you comment, it’s like you’re not worthy yet.
Well guess what? You’re entitled to your opinion about things. So if there’s a thread about spinning articles what’s your $0.02? Don’t know what spinning articles is? Google it! Then post your opinion.
How about starting threads? First you need to use the search function to see if questions you have may have already been answered, and don’t drag up threads that are years old so that you can post in them.
Go with what’s being talked about now. Let’s look at some examples. I’m going to pop into the Warrior Forum right now and have a look.
A newbie might look at the thread titles and get scared off. Maybe you know nothing about sniper sites or JV brokers or screencast software, but you could go to the mindset section of the forum and find more opinion-based threads where you could contribute.
There are threads on believing in yourself, not giving up and exercising your brain. Surely you could contribute on those, right?
Other sections of a forum (aside from the main one) allow you to ease into the atmosphere. There’s not frequented by trolls as much, they generally have a better quality of specialized content, and the participants love to have people commenting.
When you go outside of the main forum, it allows you to get to know some members and get used to posting before you move into the main area where there is more traffic and potential for disagreements.
Don’t discount your newbie status, either. Even if you’ve never made a penny online, your insight is valuable. You’re probably a consumer in addition to being a seller, so you have information that people want.
If someone starts a thread in the main forum about upsells and you hate them, say so! And say why, too. Don’t be afraid to voice your opinion even if you’re the sole dissenter.
Of course the key is to be polite and not bash everyone for not having the same viewpoint as you do.
Make a commitment that you’ll find some way to contribute to a forum and by contribute I mean participate. Even if you just create a ìme tooî post in an existing thread, if you MEAN it, then it helps others see where the majority lies on a certain topic (like ethics, for instance) or likes and dislikes.
Handling Trolls, Cliques and Old Timers
These three groups are very different and you need to know how to handle their participation without it affecting yours at all. Let’s start with the trolls. A troll is someone whose goal is to disrupt the conversation and make people feel bad.
These are the most pathetic people some even grown men and women who have nothing better to do in their lives than annoy people. For some reason, they remind me of Beavis and Butthead sitting in their parents’ basement (only their grown).
These people you do two things with: ignore and report. You don’t respond. You don’t argue. You just click the report button and move along. Most forums have some sort of rules of etiquette that they want you to abide by, so they can get banned for that.
Cliques are frequent in forums. These are groups just like in high school who have the most popular leaders and many followers and they have each others’ backs when they post.
It’s perfectly okay to disagree with a clique. This ISN’T high school no one’s going to slam you up against a locker or fight you and put it on YouTube. You have to have courage to post regardless of who gets into a disagreement with you or how many.
Who cares? You’re entitled to your opinion.
You can either try to figure out who the cliques are so you can be prepared, or not care at all and post whatever the heck you want. That’s what I do but I still have an idea of who is up each others’ butts (it gets obvious).
Old timers are a different breed. These poor souls have some egotistical claim staked on the forums. They feel it’s THEIR house and you’re just a visitor until you earn your stripes.
Well unless someone’s a moderator who can ban me, I don’t care. With mods, I’ll bite my tongue somewhat if I really care about staying there. I had to do this in a Warrior Forum thread not too long ago.
It bothered me that I couldn’t blow my top but in the end, the mod and I made it light hearted and he complimented me, so it worked out for the best.
I kind of feel sorry for old timers. I’m considered sort of an old timer on the Warrior Forum. At least seasoned. I wasn’t there in the beginning but I was there before the big move.
Still, I never lift a leg and pee on the forum to mark my spot like a dog because it’s childish and embarrassing to me to see people do that. It’s a forum. LOL! Not my home.
You need to be respectful of everyone until they don’t deserve your respect, and the time they’ve been on a forum is not the determining factor. And again, who cares if you get kicked out?
I wouldn’t care if I got banned tomorrow from any forum. It’s not my bread and butter. I like participating in some forums, to help newbies stay away from scammers, but I never put all my eggs in one basket.
Know the Rules
The quickest way to get smacked down on a forum is to not read the rules. Every forum has a section and if you can’t find it, introduce yourself and ask if there are any rules so that you get informed before you break them.
? Each forum has different rules.
? Some don’t let you have an affiliate link in your signature file some do.
? Some don’t allow you to name and shame other people. Some do.
? Some limit the number of links you can use in your profile or sig file.
? Some say no blatant advertising whatsoever.
? Some ensure you’re not making racist comments or harassing other members.
? Some forums have rules about uses of font size, color and things like bolding or italics.
? Some don’t allow porny avatars.
Just read the rules and remember them. You don’t want to get scolded. It can make you feel small and your confidence will fly out of the window.
Lurk, But Not Too Long
I have some readers who say they’ve lurked for years in forums and never once participated. I don’t feel this is best, but if all you want is to gain information, go ahead and lurk.
I prefer people lurk for a little while maybe a week to kind of get to know personalities and then start posting.
If you run into someone who’s grumpy or rude to you, then click on their profile and go see the rest of their participation on the forum.
I did this not too long ago when someone was so rude I couldn’t figure out why. One peek at her entire participation on the forum and I quickly came to realize she was just a flat out grump rude to everyone, always argumentative.
Again pity the person you encounter like this, don’t hate them. They’re not worth the energy.
If you’re a lurker coming out of hiding, you can feel free to tell people how long you’ve been lurking there.
Don’t suddenly start posting 80 times a day even if they’re brilliant posts with tons to share. I saw someone do this in Warrior Forum one time and people jumped all over him. It WAS annoying, I have to admit.
Every other post was his and he was new!
It’s a shame that’s how he came onto the forum because had he slowed down a teeny bit, he would have won tons of fans, but instead he was viewed as a desperate spammer.
Since then, he’s slowed down and gotten into a groove, but first impressions really spoiled it.
Be a Welcome Wagon of Your Own
There’s one wonderful thing you can always count on people will be joining AFTER you sign up for the forum.
And guess what?
They’ll be JUST as nervous and shy and leery of posting as you are.
So why not welcome them into the forum? Let them know you’re new too, and looking forward to getting to know them.
They will look to you as a kind person, enjoy participating with you in the future, and you don’t have to worry about them having an ego about the length of time someone’s been there.
Forums deliver a wealth of information, a great place to poll your audience or fellow marketers, and a lot of support and friendship. Not everyone’s there to support some people simply enjoy tearing down.
If you ignore them and focus on the good, you’ll have a fantastic FREE resource at your fingertips.