Social media reminds me of light; it converts the stuff of minds (and souls) into the energy of inspiration. Doesn’t have to be “spiritual” inspiration. It can be business inspiration, relationship inspiration, whatever inspiration.
Notice the “star stuff” part. No stuff, no gravity, no light, no inspiration.
In the marketing realm here on Planet Earth, the new/old buzzword seems to be “content is king.” You might be getting tired of that, but it’s as true as it’s ever been. The foundation for content can be something you make in the material world (like my husband’s jewelry), or it can be storytelling, teaching (including informational blogs), services (like my editing biz). Concentrate on this “stuff” and you can then move on to using social media to make it visible. My mantra for anyone doing anything they want to share or have an energy exchange for:
Create value and be visible.
So, let’s assume you are creating value, some sort of “stuff” that people will “gravitate” to if they know about it and would be willing to engage in an energy exchange to be transformed by it (money for products or services is one, but not the only method of energy exchange).
This article is about the “be visible” part. Creating content is one thing; you also have to believe in yourself and the value of that content for others so you don’t fall into the trap of staying invisible out of fear of critical review. Being visible (within your own boundaries and in sync with your own personality) is essential if you really want to meet someone else’s desires or needs with your product or service. But, no, you don’t have to take the “used-car salesman” approach. It’s counterproductive anyway. Remember, you are providing real value in whatever your content is; stereotypical used-car salesmen are not. So, you can be visible and ethical at the same time. My marketing friend, Lynn Serafinn, has a whole book on this subject, quite good, called The 7 Graces of Marketing. So, if you need to get over the idea of being visible (that is, marketing) as sleazy, go check out her book. 🙂
And no, we still haven’t gotten to social media. Amazing how that works. Next up, the blog. When social media first started to split like atoms in a dying star and take off like gamma ray bursts from a black hole, a number of folks got disconnected from the blogging aspect, but they’ve mostly now realized that you need a home base for your content or writing about/displaying your content. Begin with substantive information about you and your star stuff. Equals website with, say, a weekly blog and what you’re up to or care about that might be of interest to others and related to your products or services. Unless you are a chef or restaurateur, this does not include what you had for lunch. 😉
Now, you are ready for social media—unless you are extremely introverted and just want to make stuff/provide a quality service; in which case, you need to hire someone more extroverted who believes in you and your star stuff and knows where and how best to build your social media tribe. Whatever you love and are best at, do. Whatever you dislike/aren’t best at, seek to delegate as soon as possible, and set your energy exchange so you can pay to share these tasks.
So, let’s say you like chatting with folks on social media yourself, but find the plethora of options rather overwhelming. Be calm and know that you don’t have to be visible everywhere. 🙂 As Chris Brogan says, here we are at the outposts of your galaxy. Remember, outposts are outposts. Take care of the core first (see previous paragraphs), then budget your time (or money for someone else’s time and talent) on making yourself visible on social media. Wait, more than visible—real and reciprocal. This is not a passive marketing or automatic dissemination space. When they say it’s all about relationships, they’re right. And remember what I wrote about value? Applies to social media interaction, too.
Focus and real conversation with a sprinkling of “here’s what I offer” are keys to the continuation of your own sanity and to helping your tribe (especially the folks who need/want what you offer and will do the energy exchange) connect with you.
So, here’s the recipe for next week: Twitter, Google+, LinkedIn, with Pinterest/Instagram for visual spice. The teaser is, guess who’s missing? Next week I’ll tell you why I believe in this recipe, and also how to deal with the missing piece. Stay tuned…