Life is short. If there was ever a moment to follow your passion and do something that matters to you, that moment is now.
This week officially begins a new chapter for me.
Just a little over two years ago, I sat down to write a novel, something I’d been wanting to do for a long while. It got off to a rocky start; I ended up with three distinct beginnings to three very different stories, and there I sat: stuck. So I signed up to work with an accomplished writer and editor for eight weeks and received the kind of guidance and feedback that helped me push through. I found my story. I figured out who my main character really is, what she wants, and what she doesn’t even know she wants. I was on my way. What a relief!
However, right around that same time, (more…)
I’ve been involved in marketing for much of my career. And over the last several years, I’ve immersed myself in the world of email and online marketing, in particular, developing a level of expertise that my clients, friends, and colleagues have come to rely upon. I’m going to make a bold statement here.
I am appalled at what is passing for “Social Media Expert” in some quarters.
But maybe I’m wrong. What do YOU make of the self-described social media expert who doesn’t respond to comments on their Facebook Business Page and posts little more than “inspirational” quotes and links to their own website – but who conducts seminars and workshops that purport to tell YOU how to “do” social media?
Or the webmaster whose own company website violates every “best practice” known to mankind? (Slow-loading Flash, click-wasting “Intro” or landing pages that are an exercise in self-indulgent “artistic” expression but add nothing to YOUR website experience, music or voiceovers that assault the ear as soon as you connect, dead links sprinkled throughout the site, etc etc etc)
Back in the day, I remember getting annoyed with the ad agency whose own print ads failed to demonstrate creativity and a compelling message. I mean, why would I ever hire you if you can’t even create excitement about your own service/product/brand? But what I see online on a regular basis is taking incompetence to a whole new level.
Talk about shooting yourself in the foot! The examples above are the kinds of things that positively turn off prospective clients, so remind me again: Why would I be interested in hiring you to market MY products and services online??
And, truthfully, for me it goes deeper than that: As someone who HAS put in the time and effort to hone the required skills and expertise, I resent the fact that this kind of sloppiness tends to taint those of us who work hard to remain current in our knowledge and achieve results for our clients.
Because there is no official “certification” or “degree” for “Social Media Specialist,” I suppose it’s a case of “Let the buyer beware.” But those who have made it their business (and often their passion) to learn everything they could before launching their businesses are fairly easily identifiable, if you know what to look for.
- They have researched and stay up-to-date with the various social media platforms so they know which ones are likely to work best for your business (one size does NOT fit all).
- They have particpated in beta testing or were “early adopters” of new sites and applications, so they can help YOU avoid the pitfalls and problems known to exist in each.
- They will develop a personalized, targeted online marketing plan for each client, rather than just “jumping in” and “winging it.”
- Their approach is one of online ENGAGEMENT, and not just “posting” to social media.
- They have first-hand knowledge and experience developing effective online communications (yes, it differs from print!).
So, please don’t just dive in head first with a so-called social media maven, expert, guru, diva, or consultant, because the main thing to remember about the world wide web is that once it’s out there, it’s there potentially forever – whatever “IT” is. There is always the chance that copies of “deleted” pages and posts still exist somewhere in cyberspace as a cached page, on someone’s personal computer as a “screenshot,” or as an excerpt being circulated by someone who received or saw your material before it was deleted. Wade into these waters with someone who knows the tides so your reputation isn’t at risk of being washed out to sea.
I’m new to WordPress, so I’m hoping some of my Facebook friends, LinkedIn connections, and Twitter followers will help me out when need be — but I’m up for the challenge!
Until recently, my business focus has been on the homebuilding industry; however, my intention for some time now has been to expand my efforts to help all kinds of entrepreneurs — whether they call themselves business owners, consultants, freelancers, independent sales professionals, whatever — to …
- Start up new ventures
- Brainstorm new products and services
- Market to their target audience
- Harness the power of new media and email marketing, and
- Get and keep their businesses moving forward
Thus, the new WordPress website!
I will continue to serve the homebuilding industry with strategic marketing solutions and expert sales training / coaching / mentoring programs. But, we live in interesting times, to say the least – and the New Economy has created a huge number of New Entrepreneurs. So, whether you volunteered for duty or were “nudged” into it by circumstance, I’m looking forward to helping you do what I’ve been doing myself for the better part of 25 years now — identify your passion, marry it to your talents, and develop a satisfying business that allows you to live the lifestyle you’ve always wanted.
Is there anything better, really, than life on your terms?