It’s a bit like tending a pan of hot grease. If you don’t monitor the temperature and watch what is cooking in the pan—you’ll soon start a fire that will consume the whole house.
How do I manage all this…oh and I forgot to say—I’m also creating a once a month online garden magazine.
Experience helps a lot. Having the right tools to expedite the process is key. Maintaing a level head when things go wrong and your blog/website crashes. But what really keeps me on top of my game?
Knowledge! I can stay on top of my game because I persevere through a problem with great focus and determination. It may take me a week, month, year to sort out the details of a challenge—but sort it out I will. And what have I learned from this process?
I have learned success. What do people lack when swimming in the social media? They lack two things—they lack perseverance and being open.
I’m specifically talking about building your business and friend base at the same time. It truly does work that way. You can’t get on FB just to build a business and you can’t build a business without connections and friends.
I’ve got some tips for you. Those of you who try to pick my brain to find out how I tick–read on.
1. Don’t be exclusive. I get request all the time to help promote garden books. Why? Cause my audience is the gardener and not the professional gardener. I want to be in the backyard of those needing my help. I’ve noticed that most folks on FB—I’m talking garden book authors and the such—-tend to talk with only other garden authors. They friend a lot of people but hardly ever visit the FB page of their followers. I make it a habit to visit at least 10 new followers a week. I go to their FB page and always, always, always I can connect on some level. So I do. It helps that I genuinely love people.
2. You won’t make it around to everyone so don’t try. I know folks who make a habit of stopping by my blog or FB page and writing the word ‘cool’. Well big whup. I don’t care that you come by often—but I do care that when you do—you appreciate what I wrote. Moral—you can not be everywhere but you can leave quality where you are.
3. Do 3 things new every day. Ruts get in when you tread over the same spot forever and ever. I am forever blazing a new trail and most of the time I invite along my friends. Today for instance—I went to a message board and posted a new topic which engaged a good discussion. How many of you belong to message boards but never start a topic? This is called sucking the system dry. If you are trying to build a social media audience and you aren’t engaging—then you’ll blend with the curtains.
4. This is huge so listen! People are curious by nature–no matter if they are shy or outgoing–people love to know what you are doing. I have been brutally honest on my site and sometimes even shocking. If you can’t do that—then it’s going to be harder on you to make it. You can still make it—-but good stories last forever. Proof is in my stat records showing the consistency of folks reading the humorous mistakes in my life. Fortunate for them, I make a lot. Most are funny.
5. Which brings me to the point about being funny—-you don’t have to be a comedian to lighten the mode of conversation. Most people are funny without trying. At least one funny thing a week happens–if you pay attention. Write about it. Your readers will love it. And it’s good to be humble which humility tends to do. How many times have ya’ll read the dictonary? the encyclopedia, the budget—the Gettysburg Address? I know blog authors who write facts day in and day out cause it’s their reputation at stake but boy do they love me advertising their books—-huh? —-why me?–I’m all over the place with topics—-well—cause they know I’ve got a good site that attracts quality people who love to garden—just the folks they’d like to see buying their book/product/information.
6. Get out in the social media world and sign up for stuff. FB and Twitter are no brainers. I don’t much like Twitter cause I think it’s a lazy man’s way to build a business. Sorry–but you have to have twice as many friends on Twitter to accomplish your goals. The feeds are difficult to read and the audience you are looking for wants to stop and digest the information. Twitter won’t let you do that. It’s better for you to be able to respond and engage than twit and run.
7. Social media works if you are an interesting person. This requires that you read a lot. I think those #clubs or groups on twitter are exhausting. I don’t go to a single one and my blog is indexed 100% by google. Again, participating in the #groups on twitter will be a good time but how many of your potential audience are you reaching? Seems to me like it’s a bunch of your peers having a good time. You are #grouping with a bunch of folks you are in competition with. Go find your customers and not your peers. To do this—you have to be an interesting person. To attract other people—you got to know cool stuff. Stay up on what is new in your line of business.
8. Be physically attractive in your profile photos and correspondence. I am a size 16 needing to be a 10 but my hair is clean and neat, I am wearing cute clothes, and non of my teeth are missing. Dress for the picture taking and remember your audience. My audience is moms between the ages of 30-70. They don’t want me to be sexy—they want me to be clean and happy. They want to come looking forward for a hearty welcome and a pretty face. They don’t care if I’m rich or poor as long as there is food for the soul. Give from my heart to theirs.
9. Change up your site occasionally—people will notice.
10. Don’t stay with something that isn’t working. I’ve used blogger, vox, godaddy, typepad, and a few others and non was the equal to wordpress. Blogger came close but their upload time for photos just killed me. Don’t stay some place either blog or forum where you feel stale. I started my blog in February 2008 and then made a bunch of stupid mistakes in the months following. It never hurt me much—I just kept getting better every time I persevered. My followers would see I was getting better and so by a year in to it—-they just followed me on to the next project all the while trusting me.