I still run across people who do not see value in investing time into social media. They say things like:
“I just don’t see any value in it.”
“It is not worth my time.”
“I started a blog yesterday. But I haven’t gotten any business yet. It clearly doesn’t work.”
“I need to focus on REAL marketing.”
“I don’t have time for fads.”
“My market doesn’t spend time in that space, so I don’t need to…”
In fact, the percentage of sales and small business folks NOT using social media is still pretty staggering. And I will continue to do my part to help educate these good folks on the possibilities. Before I continue that mission, here are a few things that have happened to me, ONLY because of my participation in blogging and the social web:
1. I’ve been approached about writing a book.
2. I’ve been asked to contribute bits to other’s books.
3. I’ve had my blog posts picked up by other blogs, exposing me and my writing to thousands of new readers.
4. I’ve met some amazing people, people I would not have met otherwise.
5. I’ve learned so much. Each day, I get exposed to new blogs, opening up a whole new world and opportunity for learning.
6. I have reconnected with old friends, people that I had thought were lost forever.
7. It enabled me to co-host a TweetUp that had 200 people in attendance, including people from five states and Canada! I’ve always been a connector – social media scaled it big time.
8. It has allowed me to connect with someone like Tom Peters.
9. I have been asked to guest blog. Often.
10. I have been able to strengthen my personal brand. Because in addition to my business writing, it has also given me an outlet to write about things I am passionate about, such at this and this.
11. And most importantly, from a business perspective, I have found and engaged new clients.
Key takeaway from this post: If I can do this, ANYONE can do this.
Seriously. Here is how it happened for me:
> I am not a particularly good writer, but I have been a pretty steady blogger since 2008. As a result, I do think my writing has improved.
> I make a real effort to share the work of others. And I plan to get better at this.
> I make an effort, by monitoring blogs I care about on my RSS reader, to comment on the published posts of others. I can do better at this too. And not a day passes where someone doesn’t express sincere gratitude for this, which, I don’t have to tell you, deepens the relationship…
> I am not worried about the raw numbers of followers. I used to worry about this, but I have forced myself to focus on the actual relationships. The impact of this change in thinking has been powerful.
> I am NO guru. Or expert. Or Jedi Master. I am still learning. Every day. And realize, every day, that I have MUCH more to learn.
> I have become a much better listener.
> I have been able to help A LOT more people.
> My sphere of influence is small compared to many others. But, the point is, I have a sphere of influence.
> This whole world of the social web is evolving. Constantly. The sooner you recognize this, the faster you will evolve with it. What works today, probably won’t work tomorrow.
> But that said, the importance of building relationships will NEVER change. Just the means of doing so. As soon as you understand this? I mean, really understand this? Social media will make sense to you.
I am just a guy, working from home, with a manageable book of clients, running a small little business. If someone like me can see real results from this investment, anyone can!
Agree? Disagree? Let me know…
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[cartoon by @gapingvoid]