I’m not sure about you, but I’m not the super talkative type unless I’m in a comfortable setting…with a glass of wine or bottle of beer.

Therefore, I’m especially uncomfortable going to clubs (first and last time was 5 years ago) because of a number of reasons:

  1. It’s too noisy; I’m old, I know
  2. I can’t talk to anyone (because I’m reclusive and aforementioned)
  3. I don’t know anyone
  4. There are a gazillion conversations going on that I’m not a part of (especially body talk via hump, bump and grind)

Here’s the issue. This doesn’t have to be in a club setting. It could be at WPPI. How many can honestly say that you talked to five random strangers…everyday? Let’s make that one everyday. This is the same at Starbucks, grocery markets, and so forth.

I know it’s not an issue of bashfulness. It’s an issue of permission and prefacing.


I was in Austin, TX for SXSW Interactive just last week and it was quite an interesting paradigm. Just imagine a convention of 17,000 geeks and entrepreneurs buzzing with creative collaboration. The energy was addictive.

sxsw cats

Whether I was in queue for food or a panel (or even while eating food or while in a panel), everyone engaged each other. Common questions were where we were from and what brought us to SXSW.

This was because of a number of reasons, but here are the main two:

  • We were united as one – geeks / entrepreneurs – so no walls
  • We were encouraged to discuss

Noise, Preface and Conversations

Here’s the situation.

Noise is bad. Imagine walking into a cocktail room where cliques are pre-formed. With a flute of champagne in hand, where do you start?

We can’t just walk up to a group and just start laughing hard at a joke, “that is SO FUNNY, right guys? Guys? Guys? Okay…” They’ll all probably wonder if you’re crazy.

Or… stand there alone amongst noise.


Preface. People LOVE to be part of conversations. “It’s rather easy,” some might say. But for the most part, one must first be invited to converse.

Conversations. Introduce what you’re doing to see if they’re interested. Then ask them to join the conversation (a form of call to action).


Social Media Application

Let’s take all of the examples above and see how this can applied to social media – namely Facebook.

You have a ton of pages you could “like.”

  • Which will help you most?
  • And once you do “like,” which will you actually participate in?
  • Why?


Imagine if you just landed on a Facebook page and there are already conversations taking place. Everyone has their own thing going on. Do you chime in? Do you start your own conversation? Noise.

tofurious facebook wall


Using a preface (as to what the page is about) and call to action (step 1…, step 2…), you can give your viewers permission to discuss and interact.

I love what Wedding Style did on their Facebook Landing Page.


What is it? It is THE LUXURY WEDDING SOURCE – a magazine by Grace Ormonde.

What do I do? Click “like” and join the fun!

Remember that Facebook is only one tactic where this strategy can be applied. Think where else you can use this knowledge!

What I want you to do next…

  1. Create you own landing page – I have a tutorial here
  2. Share with friends via Facebook and Retweet buttons below if you found this article helpful
  3. Comment how you could overcome wallflower syndrome because I’m like a vine gripping to the wall for dear life

Sincerely yours,

Lawrence Chan

P.S. I’ve been traveling so much these past few weeks that I might post extra for fun. If you think I post too much / too little, let me know here.

P.P.S. Me doing the Matrix at SXSW!

P.P.P.S. Don’t you love the landing page on the Wedding Style’s Facebook? It’s sometimes very hard to break the mold (in this case “edgy”), but I absolutely love the collaboration at this production. With Grace Ormonde’s visual instructions, it’s nearly impossible to walk away with anything less than awesome.

I had the pleasure of shooting with her on the 17th and 18th and her vision blew my mind. Truly pushed my limits.