It’s so easy to get buried in information nowadays if you aren’t methodical about channeling, funneling, and organizing your incoming tweets, feeds, and messages. Even when you get organized, you have only made it to zero. How can you and your clients or company get above zero? How do you propel your company in a way that makes them visible above the others without looking like just another news regurgitating spammer junkie? For the sake of spewing at least one social media and business cliché in this post: How do you rise above the noise?
Some of the most well known thought leaders currently in the social media spotlight [@BrianSolis, @SethGodin, @ChrisBrogan, @Britopian, @Mediaphyter, @AaronStrout and many many many many more] did not get where they are by doing only what has been known to work. They’ve always focused on pushing us outside of the traditional approach, existing marketing patterns, and evolving the marketing status quo, focusing on the understanding of human behavior, it’s place in business. If there’s a calculated risk opportunity presenting itself that maybe others haven’t seen yet, they’ll try it and discuss it publicly. These folks know that business won’t get better and advance closer to that streamlined revenue utopia we all strive for unless they go ‘this way’ while everyone else is going ‘that way’.
Succeed and Expand
While being a copycat can be traditionally considered the purest form of flattery, I think it’s important for social marketers to realize that in the online marketing world, imitation is only imitation and offers no real value to what we are all trying to do if that’s all you do. News comes and goes fast and the competition for something fresh is fierce.
So You Have A Mountain…
…of data at your finger tips that you’ve accumulated. After lots of trial and error, say you’ve learned how to target and cultivate a niche market. What now? How can you aggressively capitalize on that market and get even more niche, dissecting it into more detail so that you can execute even more effective campaigns and conversations? You will need to get creative in the way that scientists had to when they worked towards dwindling physical matter down to molecules and eventually atoms. In some cases where there’s a mountain, there is a mountain range. After going to the top of one and slamming your flag into the dirt, set up a functional camp of explorers to delve deeper on said mountain, and then you should start heading down hill and start your next climb on the adjacent peaks to see what lies ahead (figuratively speaking of course).
Be The Modern Day Lewis & Clark of Marketing
Social media for me has really been more of an expedition than it has been a job. I think it’s really easy to get mired down in the day to day, pulling the same old story of coming into work, checking out industry specific news and influencers, retweeting some cool stuff, having some convos with relevant and meaningful people on Twitter and Facebook, and then heading home to throw down a Guinness and do it for another hour or so before bed. While it’s important to recognize, acknowledge and maintain all the things you’ve discovered over the last quarter and even the last week, the successes should only make you hungrier for more ideas, new territories and new markets. Never stop.
The Personal Brand: The Balance of Give and Take
Lastly, social media is un-ending monster-sized manufacturer of the personal brand. It has given those of us that know how to promote ourselves, our talents, our hobbies, our lives and everything we do, as a brand. While I’d be an idiot that should be slapped if I produced “Rich Harris the T-shirt”, I’ve always had some inkling of narcissism in my hat. I acknowledge it. I roll with it. I embrace it. However, I am also very aware that not only does the world not revolve around me and everything I have going on, more importantly there is an amazing amount of value in what thousands of other people are doing around me. Their marketing and business ideas, their ambitions, are all extremely important to the big picture and the greater good of successful business and networking.
It’s a great thing for me to simply acknowledge that there are others around me, but as someone who is trying to shine in his own little bubble, it’s more important that I extend myself and elevate those folks around me who also have great (and hopefully even better) ideas than me as well as great ideals. Not to cater to my hippie side too much here, but it’s important that you pay very close to attention to the balance between 1. Giving back to social media, business and marketing and 2. Building your own legion of followers. In my opinion, your value is absolutely and ONLY equal to the amount of value you place on others and how much you lift them and their social capital up. In this life, you get what you give and I believe that couldn’t be more true in marketing and business. The social information age is the perfect time and place to do it.
Part of your priority menu as a social marketer should always be finding people that are smarter and better at what you do than you are……and sharing their thoughts and leadership with others.
Thought Leadership Times [blog]
[Image Credit: Paige's Arting & Scribbling Blog]