“All the world’s a stage.” ~ William Shakespeare
Shakespeare had no idea!
Michael Hyatt begins his book Platform acknowledging that there has never been a time in history when this is more true. With the viral nature of social media and youtube – there really is a global stage at our fingertips. I have been blogging for several years now and without really trying have developed a small following that sustains itself when my life takes over and I don’t have time to “check in” with a post.
My friend and social media strategist, Colleen Foshee, says you’ve got to have a presence on “the Big Three.” That would be Facebook (fan page, not profile), Twitter and Linkedin. She also recommends that you do short videos (10 minutes or less and post them to youtube). She has done mountains of research and discovered that these four things help you to get noticed in a noisy world. Social Media Maven, Sandi Krakowski, says don’t waste your time with a free blog – get yourself a Hostgator or Godaddy website, plug in WordPress and get to stompin’ on those keyboards.
If you want to be heard – somewhere out there in the vastness of the World.Wide.Web you must find an audience.
That is front end. Getting yourself out there. The back end is building the following through with your social media presence to find your audience or you “tribe” as Jeff Goins calls it. You have to be committed. You might have to get educated. You might… You just might be taking the stage and very soon.
TRUE CONFESSION: I have not been so much committed.
I have come at this hit or miss. I’ve switched platforms. And I’ve experienced some really crazy favor from God in the last year or so…
Am I an expert – NO! But, I didn’t come on here to give you expert advice. I came on here to offer some of the benefits of my experience in six years of blogging and coming up in a social media age.
The truth is that world stage Shakespeare alluded to has never been more accessible or more crowded. Auditions are taking place every second with pithy tweets and inspiring status updates, along with the occasions when a blogger hits “publish” and a would be cinematographer splices a bit of webcam video into Youtube.
Yep, it happens just like that.
Unsuspecting authors, public speakers and artists of many varieties stick their toe in the water and become an overnight sensation. At the same time, millions and billions of people get their stuff out and never get heard. The question that remains…
HOW DO I GET MY VOICE HEARD?
Seriously when I first started reading Michael Hyatt’s book, I sat down on Twitter and immediately met the follow limit. Yep, I broke the first cardinal rule of social media – I followed too many people too fast. The powers that be in Twitterville shut down my following capabilities for a bit. I spent so much time responding, thanking, and tweet retweeting I landed right in the middle of Twitterpated!
Not that lopsided, lovestruck state that Thumper found himself engaging in on Bambi. No, I am talking that data smoggy, foggy state that happens with information overload in the human brain.
Ya’ll my obsessive-compulsive nature keeps me up at night checking the home screen of my iPhone and responding to those World.Wide.Webbers who are engaging what I have to say.
Auditions are taking place everyday on the internet, and people like Seth Godin suggests that laptop owners of the world have the ability to make their wildest dreams come true. He asserts in his messages like “Poke the Box” that if you own a laptop you have access to everything that major marketing agencies world-wide have access to so get out there and do your thing.
My tips for making the long haul in the chaotic cluster of clammering voices trying to rise above the din of a noisy crowd & be heard.
1. Research. Pay attention to where your social media traffic is coming from – almost every blog and social media tool – short of Twitter – tells you the location of those who frequent your soapbox arena. Think about what you have to say and research the search terms that get you noticed in those arenas through Keywords and Tagging.
2. Be Consistent. Now this may seem a bit like preaching to the choir based on my previous true confession. Most people recommend that you make a point to post regularly and often. Let your readers know how often you will be posting if you are not planning to post everyday. Sandi Krakowski recommends you auto-update Facebook and Twitter hourly with ten minutes of live interaction per hour.
3. Tweet It Up! Develop a Following. Start by following people who inspire and influence you and retweeting what they say. Share pithy comments and quote your best stuff out there on Twitter. Share those funny thoughts and personal reflections in 140 characters or less – link up to Scriptures and other people who inspire you. Tweet-Retweet-Refresh-Reciprocate-Repeat! CAUTION: Never follow more than 100 people a day. Red Flags will follow if you do. TIP: Become a regular visitor and commentor (make them count) on your favorite public personalities blog. I have developed great friendships in the Blogosphere through Beth Moore’s blog because a sense of community develops there.
4. Get Help from Friends! Facebook Fan Pages start with Friends. Ask your friends to help you achieve your goals and tell them why. Encourage them to share, like and comment on your statuses on your FAN PAGE. Share your victories with them.
5. Link Up! LinkedIn is social media with a resume. It is a place to get connected based on your business acumen and experiences. Here you want to get involved in groups and find others who will endorse you for various items listed in your profile. Again, it is reciprocal. You get what you put into it. Status updates and interaction on the platform is what will get you noticed.
6. HOTLINK! Hot linking is linking to other websites and webpages on the internet. If you read something on a site that inspires a blog post – give credit where credit is due. Hyperlink the website page’s address to the reference in your post. Create hotlinks to your own stuff. If you want to redirect people to another post in your blog or on another website you have – push traffic with links.
7. Share the Love! Be sure to interact with users. If someone posts a comment on your blog or in response to a status or tweet – take some time to give them a genuine shout out. Let them know they are valuable to your journey and how much you appreciate them. Not Gratuitous flattery, but genuine gratitude.
8. Use Auto Posting Apps! I use Hootsuite to schedule everything but my blog posts through this application. Last night I scheduled two days worth of interaction for my Twitter, Facebook Page, Google+ and LinkedIn accounts.
9. Prewrite Blog Posts! If you get inspired to write a blog post late at night – don’t immediately publish it. Schedule it to go in the morning between 9:00 am and Noon your local time. This is an optimum time to capture your followers and readers. Use auto posting features in your blog to link your posts to your tweet and status updates. With WordPress it is Publicize. If the muse strikes and a number of ideas come together in one sitting – break a long, long post into several shorter posts and run a series. TIP: Write about events and link to the event pages and tweet with their @profile name in the update. Women of Faith picked up an excerpt from a blog I wrote about their events.
10. Host Giveaways! If you have a product or have a review for a product – give some of it away through social media. It’s fun, interactive and it promotes interest in your writing and offerings!
Get Over the Lie of Self-Promotion!!!
For everything God has created is good, and nothing is to be thrown away or refused if it is received with thanksgiving. Do not neglect the gift which is in you, [that special inward endowment] which was directly imparted to you [by the Holy Spirit] by prophetic utterance when the elders laid their hands upon you [at your ordination]. ~1 Timothy 4:4, 14 (AMP)
I have had a number of conversations with friends these last few weeks about the lie against “Self-Promotion.” I’ve heard the arguments that it is prideful, boasting and if God intends for your voice to be heard He will make the way. AND, in certain circumstances where ingratitude and God’s glory being denied exists, it can be true of anyone. BUT…
The exact opposite may also true. When God does something good in your life you are compelled, and would be remiss if you did not share that truth with those around you! Give God praise, Give Him glory and tell people what you have to offer. Every good and perfect gift come from Him – so if there is good in me to share – it is to His glory. He did not inspire that message in your heart so it would get lost in a sea of voices that are crying out the world culture over His glory. Promote what He’s done, and receive the blessing that comes with it. It is not gratuitous self-promotion it is stewarding the gifts and the favor you’ve been given.
“[And I pray] that the participation in and sharing of your faith may produce and promote full recognition and appreciation and understanding and precise knowledge of every good [thing] that is ours in [our identification with] Christ Jesus [and unto His glory].” ~Philemon 1:6 (AMP)
In most any arena of public professionalism these days – promoters, agents, publishers and strategists are looking for people whose voices are drawing a ready made audience. YOUR VOICE MATTERS – Do What It Takes To Be Heard! What steps can you take today to move closer to your dreams.