Last month, “I’m Judging You: The Do Better Manual,” a collection of essays by Luvvie Ajayi, ranked fifth on the “New York Times Best Sellers” list for paperback nonfiction. It was an extraordinary debut for the first-time author who is neither a famous singer-songwriter like Patti Smith (#9 that week) nor a high-profile journalist like David Brooks (#6). Ajayi, who writes humorously about anything from cosmetics to racist microaggressions, is also not an alumna of “The Daily Show” or “Saturday Night Live.”
What she is is a smart, funny and hugely popular blogger with a half million monthly readers. “I started AwesomelyLuvvie after college, so my following has been building over 10 years,” Ajayi says. Her literary agent, in fact, was a regular reader before he approached her about writing a book.
Ajayi is also a digital strategist by profession, consulting for individuals and small businesses about using social media. Of course, she put her social media skills to work when promoting her book. “I started when the book was ready for pre-order,” she says, laughing. “Through Facebook, Instagram, my blog, everywhere—I’m still making sure my audience knows what’s going on with this book.”
The day after the 2016 Pennsylvania Conference, Ajayi took a time-out to share with us the three things she wishes people would do better on social media platforms.
#1 Stop oversharing.
“Some people tend to perform their lives on social media, and they’re not keeping anything to themselves. You need to figure out why you share what you share. Doing it for more ‘likes’ is not a good reason. Your content online could affect you at work. If you wouldn’t put it on a giant board in Times Square, then don’t post it either.”
#2 Quit with the Comic Sans font.
“It’s just not a professional typeface. No matter how accessible or reader-friendly it looks, it’s actually counter-productive if you want what you’re writing to be taken seriously. It’s called Comic for a reason.”
#3 Keep selfies off of LinkedIn.
“I’m talking about the photos where it’s obvious that you took it yourself. Using one as your profile photo isn’t the way to put your best foot forward.”
Luvvie Ajayi, who is also an HIV/AIDS activist, will be leading panel “How to Impact Positive Change One Idea at a Time” at the 2016 Massachusetts Conference for Women.