My most recent Indie Business Podcast features my interview with Brian Solis, principal of FutureWorks and author of Engage: The Complete Guide for Brands and Businesses to Build, Cultivate, and Measure Success in the New Web (affiliate link). Brian is one of the most prominent thought leaders and published authors in new media. If you have not visited Brian's blog, I strongly encourage you to add it to your weekly reading list.
If you can't find the time to digest Brian's nearly daily meaty social media commentary, then be sure you don't miss this 30-minute podcast. In it, Brian and I addressed a number of topics aimed specifically at helping Indies successfully embrace social media. It's well worth your time to stream or download the entire podcast, but in the meantime, here are 3 ways to make the most of social media outreach.
- Leave the past behind. According to Brian, one of the main reasons many Indies are not making the most of social media can be explained by the fact that many are still stuck in Web 1.0. In times past, it was acceptable to initiate conversations, push out information, and talk”at” people. Today, those things are unacceptable. Today, you must talk “with” people. What's more, you are not starting most of the conversations. Other people are.
Whether or not you like it, people are talking about you . You have to leave your comfort zone and not only join their discussions but also facilitate them. Other people are leaving digital footprints about the products and services you offer. In order to attract and retain their attention, you must know who they are, listen to what they are saying, and make them a part of the process.
Find the people, then go to them. Every experienced social media practitioner will tell you that “listening” is the first step to successful implementation of any social media strategy. After all, you can't participate in a conversation if you don't know what the subject matter is or how to make your best contribution.
Brian expanded on this concept by confirming that one of the reasons people become frustrated with social media is because they reach out, but no one reaches back. The problem with this strategy is that it supposes that people will come to us, when social requires you to go to people. Not only must you listen, but you must listen to the right conversations in the right places.
Where you should listen and what you should listen to is unique to your individual business. To find out where the right conversations are, Brian recommends checking out Analytic,ly, a low cost service that monitors keywords and conversations on Twitter. Listening reveals the “right” conversations and empowers you with the information you need to participate efficiently and effectively.
Be engagement-worthy. If you ‘re not worthy of the people's attention, you will not be heard. As you bring increased value to the table, participants in communities that form around you will begin to get something out of being connected to you . As your influence grows, suddenly, you become the resource for the specific type of information being discussed. According to Brian, it's about
helping people do things they couldn't do before they met you.
Once this begins to happen, you begin to add significant value to the discussion, and that's when the business opportunities manifest themselves.
Brian says that social media does not replace other things we must do to be successful in business. It merely augments them. If you continue to do those things and add social media, over time, you'll begin to enjoy the kind of influence that can only have a positive impact on the bottom line.
Listen to the Show
You can enjoy more of Brian's Indie-focused social media success tips at whichever location is most convenient for you:
- You can download it on iTunes. (It usually takes a few hours for Podpress to feed the show to iTunes so if you don't see it there when you read this post, please try again later.
- You can stream or download it at my radio show website.
- You can stay where you are and simply click on the arrow at the bottom of this post to listen right now!
Coming Up June 14!
Tomorrow at 1:00pm EST on Indie Business Radio, Pam Slim author of Escape from Cubicle Nation: From Corporate Prisoner to Thriving Entrepreneur (affiliate link), will share the secrets to leaving your cubicle and taking the throne as the king or queen of your own Indie Business!
See you then!
Question: What do you think of Brian's tips for Indies? How can you incorporate them into your marketing outreach?