If you are looking at this post and wondering what is involved in going from no social footprint, to a social footprint, let me summarise my experiences over the last 5 years.
I will start by saying I am in the latter third of my working life and many of my age bracket would glaze over at the thought of social media, blogging and the like. I don't challenge that perspective but do have an alternate view.
What do I need to start?
My thoughts on this question have changed. I started with the belief that it was important to be strongly represented in a lot of places - LinkedIn, blogging, Twitter, Slideshare, Facebook etc and then came podcasting and video and then came Snap...
But my position has shifted markedly.
I was heavily influenced at the start by "The 4-Hour Workweek" which made multitasking through targeted outsourcing achievable for all. So I had this feeling that abundance was achievable, so be abundant.
More recently I have been influenced by Seth Godin and his influence feels more profound.
When Seth talks about audience and engagement he encourages people to truly work out what is valuable to the person on the other side of the conversation. His challenge is to have you or your product or your service seen as remarkable. Will someone remark about you or your work when you are not there...if yes, then you are remarkable.
My summary of steps to take, starts with determining your sustainable intent. Work out what matters enough to you that you will write a blog post about it every week at a minimum. If that answer isn't clear - don't start on a path that requires your own content. There are other paths...see The 4-Hour Workweek.
The Next Steps
After determining if remarkable is the goal or not, these next points should form part of your considerations:
- Who already has an audience exhibiting interest in your subject area? Swim in their social stream and do some learning.
- Which channels will I stitch as my publishing platform? I suggest less over more, especially as a starter. Give some thought to blogging and Twitter as your starter pack. With blogging there is a lot to be said about the Wordpress vs Squarespace debate. I have used both and recently shifted back to Squarespace. Happy to share my perspectives - drop me a line through the "contact" form.
- Writing - check!
- Personal or outsourced - might seem a big question but I would push for personal and not outsourced. There are factors that will weigh in the other direction but especially if you are starting out, the learning from owning all elements of the content become invaluable.
- Audio - podcast or just audio files.
- Not needed at the start but it does offer an alternate delivery medium and I have used it in a variety of ways, including podcasts and "snippet" voice updates to clients. Very effective and worth the investment of time to understand.
- Video - YouTube and Vimeo.
- These seem like the obvious platforms but with the rapidly growth in the production and consumption of video, this will only increase in the professional world. It is worth considering the production of short (less than 5 minutes) videos to deliver messages to clients. This has been my richest learning experience and its effectiveness constantly surprises me. Doesn't need to be over produced, but needs to be thought through and be aware that the ultimate measure is the quality of the audio.
- Writing - check!