My Social Media Kick in the Pants

Written by on March 30, 2010

I came across a pretty good blog post this morning looking for permalink do’s and don’ts from my pal Vicky over at PrairieHarpy. The title is “10 Mistakes Made by Social Media Newbies” and it was written not too long ago (December 2009) by Shari Weiss and is an exceptional list for people just getting into Social Media Marketing.

It made me think about some things that have been rolling around in my head awhile and inspired me to get some of these thoughts out in writing to share with y’all.

Her points are awesome and I’ve been trying to preach some of these very topics for quite a while to various people within my circle. My favorite from her list is #4:

Not jumping in and getting going:

Listening is critical, but if you don’t get started, you have nothing to listen to. Learning social media is all about experimenting and taking risks. One webinar coach suggested that we “Ask for forgiveness, rather than permission.” A colleague somewhat skeptical of social media evangelists isn’t a proponent of this advice.

I’m somewhere in between, but you do have to get in there and try things out. Most social media community members are very supportive of Newbies. If some are not, well they are definitely in the minority. Just say you are sorry and move on.

GREAT ADVICE!!!! One of my biggest mantras is that you cannot fail at something until you have tried it. In that endeavor, you also have to be truthful with yourself too. Signing up for a service is not “trying”. Making a half-hearted attempt to set up a blog is not “trying”.

Signing up and jumping in, whether you know what it is about or not, connecting with people and learning the ropes by trial and error is an honest effort. Actually sacrificing your free time, and working diligently to get a task completed to the best of your ability is “trying”. Always make sure it’s a 100% effort and not a “well, I’ll get around to it later” kind of effort. Anything else is really just cheating yourself of the opportunity.

My Kick in the Pants

The one thing on the list I’ve not mastered is her #10.

“Position yourself as the GO-TO Source for information in your area of expertise.”

I definitely need to be more assertive, and pat myself on the back here, because I *DO* know Social Media Marketing. I have worked hard for years, over a decade if we want to count. I’ve researched until the wee hours and attempted and failed 1,000 times over in my efforts to know all I can about website development, search engines and Social Media Marketing with all it’s good points and bad points.

I’ve made the mistake of staying on the fringes for too long and not putting myself out there in the middle and joining the others in the ring. I think it’s time to get on the social media stage, look for the spotlights so to speak, and I will be working on that the best I can in the upcoming months.

Will I always do the right thing? Probably not. Will I be wrong from time to time? You betcha. Will I be learning new and exciting things? Always. And in the end, because I have given it my 100% best effort, I know I will have succeeded at producing results that get me closer to my goals.

Along that path, I am lucky enough to be working with some incredible talent these days and I know that my enthusiasm, my knowledge, and my willingness to help them in any way I can will help all of us achieve whatever goal we desire.

So make sure you read Sheri’s post “10 Mistakes Made by Social Media Newbies” if you are new to this arena. It’s worth the time to do so.

Thank you Sheri, and Vicki (I hope that permalink stuff helped!) for the unintentional kick in the butt. You made my day quite a bit brighter. :)

Comments

  • 03-30-2010
    3:00 pm

    Shari Weiss

    Erika, your article is one of the most Awesome aspects of this whole social media Revolution — i.e., how “absolute strangers” can meet online and really help & support one another.
    :-)
    I loved writing that article: it was straight from my experience AND MY HEART!


  • 03-30-2010
    3:50 pm

    Erika L Rich

    I agree wholeheartedly with you Shari! The huge reach we have online allows us to really “surround” ourselves with people of the same general mindset and goals.

    Whether those goals are to have the hottest, tricked out car this side of the Mississippi, to be the programming guru everyone turns to, to help raise money for a certain cause, or to just be successful in a career and happy with life.

    That kind of optimism and “feel good” karma doesn’t always exist in someone’s personal, live, surroundings.

    I’m lucky to have a healthy dose of both in my life, but it’s been a long road to get to that nice balance.

    Today, Social Media absolutely makes it easier to be encouraged to achieve whatever dream you may want to achieve.


  • 03-31-2010
    1:21 pm

    Dotti Berry

    Talk about strangers meeting! This is a confirmation of exactly what you both have expressed. Here’s what happened…I clicked on Erika because she was FB friends with Dan, a friend of mine here in the Pacific NW, and then I find an article she has posted that I like and share on my FB…then, I click on her and discover common ground!! She’s a Living Ga. peach (still there) and I am a Ga. peach (transplanted) living in Blaine, WA…2 hours north of Seattle …discover that her husband lived in East Point, GA for quite a while where my 85 year old mother still lives! And, what I know is that in this short pace of a couple of days, I have discovered that Erika delivers VALUE! I am glad we have become connected for various and diverse reasons.

    I like what you recommend about just jumping in! It’s about progress, not perfection…a step anywhere (even if proven to be the wrong one) is still a step, and like a dance step, can be altered to have a more powerful performance! many thanks to you both, Erika & Shari!


  • 04-01-2010
    2:20 am

    Erika L Rich

    That was an awesome compliment! Thanks so much for that. I love the connections we can make in the social media arena, and online in general. I have to admit though, I’m not a native GA Peach … I was transplanted from the murky depths of North Jersey several years ago. :) Talk about a match made in heaven: a native born and bred Georgia (somewhat country) boy and a native born and bred, (somewhat urban) North Jersey gal. We have some good conversations. LOL!

    This was a fantastic week to really “jump in”. So much news was released, apps making progress, future online expenditures written about. The growth of our sector is going to be phenomenal over the next couple of years. People in this business need to be researching and capitalizing (either personal /career growth or business-wise) on the opportunities that are being handed to us, now more than ever.

    Thanks again for the connection!!! Looking forward to seeing y’all around. :)


  • 04-01-2010
    3:10 pm

    Tracy Matlack

    I agree with you Erika. I am a Newbie, and also the type of person who likes to jump in and explore. I like “Ask for forgiveness rather than permission”!


  • 04-19-2010
    6:15 pm

    Michelle

    I agree with you Erika. I am a Newbie, and also the type of person who likes to jump in and explore. I like “Ask for forgiveness rather than permission”!


  • 05-02-2010
    12:56 am

    Steven Feinberg

    Erika,

    Thanks for following me today. I’m a recruiter by trade who has been using social media to help people with job related needs.

    I have been a LinkedIn specialist by necessity for 3 years. I decided to take the plunge into blogging, Facebook, and Twitter and as a result have met some amazing people. I have also been afforded some opportunities that I would not have without it.

    I look forward to following your content and your comments on my blogs as well.

    Thanks again,

    Steve


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