Social media and blogging can be wonderful, incredibly effective tools. But here’s the big secret: your business will not collapse without them. Resolve to navigate by heart instead of by “should”.
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By and large, when I talk to folks about web strategy, social media and blogging are at the top of the frustration list. Mostly it’s about the time commitment or a fear of the unknown. But for some people? It’s just. Not. Their. Thing.
So c’mere. Closer. I’ve got some secrets to share.
Your business will not collapse if you don’t blog or tweet.
See, your business, your message, is about *you*. It’s true that whether you’re brand-new or have been around the block, you’re constantly tweaking, re-defining, and learning who “you” are, but that comes from inside, not from the “you have to”s and “you should”s of the people around you. So if you are, in your heart of hearts, not a writer, and you truly have no desire to do so, why would you make yourself write? If your gut tells you that Facebook or Twitter is definitely *not* for you, why go there?
Faking it *will* hurt your business.
Social media (and I’m including blogging here, mostly to save myself from having to type “social media and blogging” repeatedly) is about being real. It’s about community. About connection. If you phone it in, if you fake your way through it, it will not work. People can smell that bullshit from a mile away. Sure, you can hire someone to do this stuff for you, but unless that person knows you, your message, your business, your industry, and your right people inside and out, your business inside and out, up and down? It’s probably not a good idea. (And it’s also expensive, if they’re doing it right.)
Put it to the real-life test.
Imagine going to a real-life, networking function. You walk in, get your name tag, grab a glass of wine, and run into the center of the room. “Hi! I’m Bob, and I sell widgets!” you proudly announce. And then, before anyone can respond, you duck off to the corner of the room, drink your wine, and ignore everyone. Every week, you go back to that same mixer and do the same thing.
Does that seem effective to you? Or just annoying and kinda rude? Would you ever do that in real life?
To put it in a different perspective, would you do business with Bob?
When you aren’t “into” the social media thing, when you don’t actively participate in communities, have conversations with people, and aren’t generally present, you’re Bob at that mixer, and you’re not doing anybody any good.
Resolve to navigate by heart.
Social media and blogging can be wonderful, incredibly effective tools if your heart is in them. But you can get by without them. Just like so many other things, it’s more important to do things that feel right than the things you “should do”.
Of course, that doesn’t mean you can sit back and will clients to your doorstep. Well, you can, but it won’t be terribly effective. If you decide not to go the social media route, you’ll need to find other ways of community-building and signal-boosting that *are* right for you and your business. But that’s another post entirely! 🙂
Dani Nelson is a geek and a hippie with a passion for helping smart, creative entrepreneurs make their businesses better. Her secret ingredients? Strategy, tenacity, tasty beverages, and two unshakable beliefs: that you (yes, you) have awesome things to share with the world, and that marketing doesn’t have to be awful.