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Why don't I have a social presence? Because zero ROI. That's why.

I was working with a client in my Registry Gold process. He was looking at one of our VAs who had responded to his request and told me he didn’t think she would be a good match for him. I probed: “What do you see that leads you to that conclusion?” He responded with, “Because she doesn’t have a presence in social media. No Twitter. No Facebook. No LinkedIn. There’s no way she can manage my social needs if she’s not doing social herself.”

He was right; she didn’t. But she had carefully let him know in her response that she had been managing social for her clients for several years, so I encouraged him to look deeper if everything else about her response felt good to him (and it did). I suggested that he have a conversation with her and ask her why she had no social presence, learning the answer rather than assuming something about it.

They talked, and when they did he learned that she’d started out with all the usual platforms, but after some time had chosen to have no social presence because it did nothing for her practice, and was a time suck. She told him that she’d chosen, instead, to put her time into raising her EQ and other skills (including social media management) so she could serve her clients better. She told him that she never understood the point of doing something that had zero ROI, and she would never suggest that he engage in anything with no gain.

He asked her to work with him on the spot.

And afterward, he and I had a conversation about it. “I learned,” he told me, “what I already knew but wasn’t practicing: that assuming is incredibly stupid. If I had based my decision on my assumption, I wouldn’t have this amazing person to work with who can do so much for me, including managing my social media. Another great phrase that applies is, ‘Never judge a book by its cover.'”

Would it have helped if the VA had explained that on her site, or in the reply she made to his referral request? You bet. But we all have blind spots about ourselves, and we don’t always know the exactly-right thing to share. Next time that something looks mostly terrific, look a bit deeper. Maybe there’s a gem waiting for you there.