My guest post today is the fantastic Missy from Wonder Friend. She recently attended Blissdom and has an amazing perspective to share here at TMC. This is the kind of post that will resonate with you and I know that every blogger who reads this will take away something valuable.
I recently attended Blissdom, where we talked social media and blogging for three days. And my husband attended Lotusphere 2011, where the theme was Get Social. Do Business.
My husband heard Kevin Spacey, Academy Award winner and producer of The Social Network talk about the role social media has played in his career. Years ago, he developed a web site where screenwriters and actors could collaborate and discuss. They didn’t call it social media then, but that’s what it was.
At Blissdom, I heard talented bloggers and business people talk about the power women wield in the realm of social media.
Clearly, we’re on to something here. Social media is not a passing fad. Any social media savvy blogger knows that now is the time to make your mark, to find your place.
Of all I learned at Blissdom, one of my biggest takeaways was this: the social media possibilities are like so many drops of rain. Sure, some of those possibilities are going to hit the ground and evaporate before you get to them. But it’s raining so hard that there are more than enough drops to fill your pail.
Let’s just pull three key words from that metaphor: fill your pail. Not her pail. Or hers. Or his. (There are some dudes in this game, too.)
As you walk along the beach, be sure that when looking left, right, behind you, and way, way out at sea, you can easily pick out your little pail. Be certain that you will know it by color, by the words surrounding it, by the content inside, by the pictures you use to decorate it.
Please, by all means, marvel and wonder and ooh and ahh over the other pails scattered on the beach. Examine the gorgeous shells in that one. And look at the giant castle created with this one. Run your fingers through the sand in another. But at the end of the day, the only pail you need to know inside and out is your own.
My pail looks nothing like yours and that is good news. Yours? Is amazing. You? Are amazing. But you are not me, and I am not you, and that’s exactly as it should be.
Your blog, and any other social media ventures, should be authentically you. Please do not write anything, sell anything, buy anything, comment on anything, post a photo or a video or a stick figure drawing that doesn’t fit you.
I think a lot of new bloggers, myself included, fall into the trap of grabbing every opportunity. When I saw bloggers I admired write a certain way, or join a network, or partner with a brand, I rushed to do the same without stopping to think: is this a fit for me, for my blog? Personally, I don’t regret my past choices, but I do know that I will approach things differently going forward.
To keep the metaphor going, we end up running around the beach, panicky, shoving our pail under the rain here… but maybe it’s falling harder over here… or maybe over there? Meanwhile, there’s plenty of rain falling back at that original spot. We just need to focus in order to catch it.
So let’s talk goals. If you know yourself, if you identify your passions, then it’s much easier to keep the focus needed to fill your pail. Sit down, think, write, daydream and brainstorm. Then do it again. Take your time. There is no deadline here.
Of course, feel free to give yourself a deadline if that’s how you work best, but do not – please, do not – create a deadline for the wrong reasons. Don’t do it because you must win a contest, you must get syndicated, you must earn advertising dollars, you must receive sponsorship, you must get hired.
All of those things are indeed the spoils of a social media savvy blogger. They are worthy goals. A brand partnership that works, a job in social media: these are fantastic things. And the social media savvy blogger knows that the key to achieving these things, these spoils, is authenticity.
Savvy social media is figuring out what your pail looks like and what you’re going to fill it with. Once you know that, the beach is yours.
Please send me an email if you are interested in guest posting at Theta Mom® for TMC Network. Full details can be found on the Network page.