It's Not What You Can Do
February 15, 2011
"I simply can't hit submit!" I could feel the stress in her voice as I answered the call and heard my friend Cindy make this panicked and quick declaration to me. As I began talking with her and started to investigate why she was so upset of simply clicking a button, the true story started to be revealed.
I have known Cindy for over 10 years; she is one of the best marketers I know. She runs her business with a dedication and focus that gives her clients the absolute best solutions. She attends many seminars each year, reads the latest trends and research consistently ... and even went back to college to get her MBA.
But today, she has come to a complete stop.
You see, Cindy understands the power of social media. She understands that being in the game is so important today, not only for her clients but also for herself. She has absorbed herself in the knowledge of why most people have joined the rest of the world to tweet, blog and post.
What she didn't take the time to do was to ask herself, "Why am I really doing this ... and what real purpose does it serve for me and/or my company?"
As I talked her off the ledge slowly, she explained her fear in hitting "submit" on a blog entry. Cindy said to me that she has never really enjoyed blogging. She only did because of a belief that as a marketer, there would be an expectation for her website to have one. The "everyone is doing it" explanation.
As we continued our conversation and I dug deeper into her dilemma, it was interesting to hear her discuss her strengths. Cindy shined when dealing with people on a one-to-one basis. Her entire company was built on custom solutions for each of her clients individually and she took great pride in telling me about the work for each one.
But as we visited her website together and reviewed the few blog entries that were visible to potential customers, there was no consistent focus -- none of her passion -- and it was evident that she was writing based on what she thought the world would like to see, instead of sharing her own unique voice.
For her, writing a blog was probably doing more damage than good. It was also creating stress each week, adding a ton of time to her schedule and leaving her feeling less than excellent.
I encouraged to stop blogging immediately and remove the link from the website, so she could focus on other social outlets that matched up better with her strengths and real purpose.
I simply finished by saying, "It's not what you can do, but don't, that will make the difference."
How about you? Are you doing social (or one platform) simply because everyone else is? Or do you have a real, relevant, meaningful message that is well-defined and unique to your singular purpose?
If you can't answer that question, you may be doing more harm than good, too.
If you are submitting pages and updates simply to fill space with no real filter of why, you'll get a reward based on your contribution.
If you take the time to explore this part of your brand, you will also discover what's right for you and it may not be what the rest of the world is doing at all. I hope not.