While I have had some experiences worthy of Clients from Hell, here’s what qualifies me for worst client status. I am all about advocating for integrating all the social networking sites. Am I doing this? No! Well, not enough. I have a desultory approach to brand building and tend to stop short and I second-guess myself.
The truth is, it is hard to justify the time to sit down and work on my blog, promoting my FB page or expanding my twitter presence. Secondly, it is hard to do it in a focused or defined manner. My excuse is that mine is a diversified brand and since I am a service provider, I don’t want to focus on one and run the risk of losing out on a different customer base. And isn’t it more important to spend time on finding actual work than on secondary marketing efforts? I also have extreme squeamishness about overt promotion to friends and family, which can get in the way of marketing, as you can well imagine.
I’m very sympathetic to clients who are unwilling to spend the time on social media marketing or are unable to define one service because I understand that this is complicated business. Just because it is social and fun, and many people do it in their spare time, does not make it simple or easy. The truth is these clients, like me, are not committing to the project and, again like me, they are unwilling to prioritize. It is easier to see other things are real work.
I read this very interesting write-up by Betty Ming Liu called 5 Reasons Why You Need to Blog a while ago. Every one of the reasons she has mentioned applies to overall social media participation. I particularly like No. 3 and No. 5:
Reason #3: My blog functions as a living room for conversations that help me grow. Everyone tells me that my site looks good and the content is interesting. What often impresses them the most are the reader comments. People take time to write heartfelt, thoughtful things. And when I’m job hunting, y’all make me look good because prospective employers notice the company I keep.
Reason #5: Your blog can connect you with people, ideas and opportunities you would otherwise miss. This last reason is why I keep blogging. This blog — and you — have given me profound insight on my life. Sometimes, clarity comes from simply getting down the words that were rattling in my head. Add to that the comments, which get me looking at things in different ways. The interaction with you is 21st century magic-making. And couldn’t we all use a little more magic?
I believe that social media participation is fairly critical to becoming more defined for all my clients. Whether it is for the small business owner who wants an About Page or a corporate executive who needs a well-researched white paper or an author who is looking for a copy-edit, it helps when they can look me up and see my social networking context, content and company. How do I know this? I look up people I work with as a matter of course. I get a sense of the person or the business based on their web presence. (I look up a zillion other things like new authors, back stories of TV shows I like and reviews of local restaurants and salons – I am a key part of the high statistics of search marketing!)
So, this post is a reminder to myself:
- Practice what you preach.
- You don’t have to wait to get it all just right – there’s bound to be a learning curve.
- Stay open to the new directions that may open up when trying the different paths.
- It is okay to play favorites, as it may not be possible to participate in all of them equally.
- Remember that commenting and engaging are as important as creating posts, tweets and status updates.
- It is a social experience and it’s okay to have fun with it.
- If thinking of it as self-promotion is stopping you, approach it as bringing people or ideas together.
Here’s hoping that I listen to all this great advice!
- The One Third Social Media Rule (socialbusinesstoday.net)
- “Demystifying Social Media” (danerwin.typepad.com)