Slow down, sharp curve ahead

It is amazing to me how fast things can progress in the social media world; it was only last month when I posted about a fork in the road I encountered and wondered which path I should choose. It was really me just talking out loud but there was some definite whining involved. In fact so bad, my dear friends Gini, Brankica, Griddy & Marcus had to jump in to save me from myself.

What does this mean?

People might think I had this master plan when I started blogging, but I really didn’t. Trust me, I don’t go that deep. With no initial expectations I thought I’d be less than invisible and was content to get the 2-3 replies as I try to develop my blogging voice; hence the ‘invisible’ tag.

I know why people stop by my place, but I am being totally honest in that I have never tried to drive traffic here. In spite of the activity and comments, I don’t feel I’m ready to be ‘exposed’ yet. I find greater satisfaction helping other achieve success which fits right in line with what I do in my role @LanierUpshaw.

Do you think this was a good or bad approach; was I too naive? You might say, “it worked, didn’t it”? But is this sustainable?

Sounds like a recipe for failure

Brankica has an excellent post @LiveurLove 15 reasons why blogging is like a practical shooting competition and why you must shoot;  a must read for anyone just getting started. About the only rule I followed was being social. I’m Brankica’s problem child, but she tolerates me.

Social I can be and people are responding to me because they like me, not because I have this incredible content that I’m spewing out on a regular basis.

Have I just been lucky; does it really matter? Would you recommend this strategy to anyone?

So what’s my issue?

Last week Ari Herzog asked if he could interview me based on a comment and subsequent responses I left at Marcus_Sheridan’s house @TheSalesLion. What I thought was going to be a mention in his blog turned out to be a feature article.

It was so well written and even included a comment from my mentor @GiniDietrich (I’m her problem child too, but she can’t shake me), it literally blew me away. Ari can write and if he can make me look that good, you really need to go by his place to check him out.

My dilemma? Now that I am not so invisible anymore, it caused a mild panic. I’m thinking I better find some direction now. The bloggers I want to emulate are too numerous for me to mention, but if you see me in their house it’s because I’m trying to soak up everything I can.

Should I be satisfied where I am? Should I change anything or just keep going down this road? What should success look like?

Is it true?

Yes, I am a whiner but the support I have received is ‘priceless’.  It’s also amazing to me how much your priorities can shift even in a 30 day window and what was important then is no big deal now.

Now what?

The power of community is strong; Griddy replied to me that she feels closer to some of her online friends than her off-line friends and I couldn’t agree more. I feel like I know a lot of my online friends very well.

I would be remiss if I didn’t mention Mr Mark_Harai; that guy is pure gold and would strongly suggest anybody trying to figure out this crazy social media world to stop by his place and say hello. The dude just rocks.

Finally, as I evolve I will be exploring how I can incorporate the power of community into my day job @LanierUpshaw. But the one thing I want to stay true to is my friends, my voice and my personality.

Thank you my friends for supporting me on this journey.

63 thoughts on “Slow down, sharp curve ahead

  1. Check you out with your Share This buttons! My, my you are becoming an all grown-up blogger, aren’t you? 🙂

    I don’t know – do you really need to do anything different? Why not keep this up and do what you want with your community of good friends here, and then use your experience to help LU create their own community?

    You can be a strong participant in that – but not the exclusive writer – and write about related business-type topics (can include social media/PR info) and maintain this as a separate post.

    Seems like a good way to keep the balance. And I really don’t think you’d be happy throwing in the towel on this and going exclusively LU. Much to tame for you, being the problem child around the neighborhood, and all!

    Keep up the momentum, Bill! I’m rootin for ya!!!

    • The problem child I am; I wear that well.

      I got your e-mail and you made some very good points. I really like the idea of extending an invitation and providing a link to selected people. This will give them the opportunity to see what this is all about.

      I think this is one way I can start blending the two but it will have to evolve. I am fully aware I am playing in the ‘social’ arena and people are a lot more chatty. My thoughts, and just like attending a Chamber After Hours, the more places I can leave my fingerprints the more I get known. Ultimately that is all I am trying to achieve; know me well enough so when I make that call you will take it.

      Thanks for stopping by and hope to get a draft of my post to you soon.

      • “…know me well enough so when I make that call you will take it.” Yeah, I think that’s a key for sure. Finding you and seeing a solid (positive) presence gives you the credibility and goes a long way to getting you in the door, and then it’s up to you after that.

        Always making me think, Bill!

    • I think if you establish a certain credibility and presence, it’s much easier to get that audience. Yes, probably easier for me because I am established in my community but I think it would be a good model for anyone to follow.

      Be willing to give w/ no expectation of anything in return. If you can work from that platform, good things will happen anyway……..

  2. Hey Bill, just keep doing what your doing. It’s touches lives in a big way and that’s reason enough to just keep doing what you’re doing.

    Upgrade the platform and give the social web a big dose of Bill Dorman and I think it will change lives make the world a better place for all involved.

    There is no crystal ball, but I do know good things happen to those who selflessly serve others.

    Cheers to a bright future!

    • Rock and roll, right. I think I get hung up on trying to be too perfect and the more I am just myself the better I seem to do.

      Upgrade is on the ‘to-do’ list so hopefully sooner rather than later.

      Good to see you buddy and I know I’ll be bumping into you soon.

    • I guess it wasn’t an official mention because I didn’t link you up but our buddy John has offered to help. I think my IT guys can make it happen, I’m just slow to ask for help.

      You are the man though.

  3. I agree with Wendy and Mark–keep on keepin’ on! Your contributions are pulling people together across the blog world. I know I smile every time I see a Bill comment or tweet. If you decide to make the big move over to self-hosted, don’t worry. Brankica helped me with all the technical stuff, and I’m sure she’ll help a problem child with a big heart too!

    • Brankica’s my buddy; she will fall over when I ask her for help.

      Thank you for the kind words and I do think I just need to enjoy what has transpired and let things come into focus as I start to formulate my strategy.

      You had a good post about your father and teaching; I enjoyed reading it.

      Good to see you and thanks for stopping by; I hope your week is going well.

  4. Bill,
    “Trust me, I don’t go that deep”. Actually I think you do go that deep. Anybody that works with disadvantaged children gains my respect. And it’s obvious (to people watchers like me) that you have good networking and people skills. Your success in life and on the internet is no accident. There now, did I embarrass you enough.

    • You did sir, and I have been exposed. I won’t lie, I like attention but I will never be one to overtly call attention to myself.

      My persona on the internet is very, very similar to me in real life. I enjoy networking and get my energy from people.

      I do appreciate you taking the time to stop by today and I will be by your place later. As John Falchetto says, I have been carpet bombing some sites w/ comments on comments and I might have to back off a little bit so I can see all my friends.

      I hope your day is going well and I do appreciate your support.

  5. Hey Bill – your tanner brother from the hood is chiming in to show some love! (we gotta keep that joke going)

    I started my blog and didn’t have a clue what i was going to do. 11 months in, and still just going with the flow. I have amassed some pretty nice opportunities, but I haven’t actively sought after anything directly. I mention this because I believe you’re the kind of guy that people like and can trust…with that said, I’m sure you’ll find some nice opportunities landing into your lap as well.

    I think the biggest thing you should ask is what’s your goal with blogging. I haven’t idetnified mine yet so I’m still shooting from the hip, missing all kinds of targets! But, I’m honing my skills and deepening my network…so when I do take on that curve ahead going 80 mph (I drive a Lambo) then I’ll be rolling rather smoothly (joking about the Lambo…but I should be driving one!)

    Let me offer you this – I have your back completely no matter which direction you take. You’re not the average Joe and people get that about you. That’s why folks like Gini, Mark, Marcus and others have also taken a great liking to you.

    Good luck and please let me know if there’s anything I can ever help with.


    • My tan brother from another mother… are the best JK; you are really exploding and getting some recognition so I hope it helps bring some clarity to your plans.

      I too have a Lambo…, uh Mazda……:)

      My challenge is I do want to tie this into my corporate gig; I am one of the owners and would love to be able to blend this with that part of my life to make this all worthwhile. Realistically, the social media world tends to be a little more chatty (if I can paraphrase a comment fr an e-mail Wendy sent me) so how do you keep that energy and connectedness once you go corporate?

      I do appreciate your kind words (where are you, aren’t you supposed to be at Disney; if so, good weather?) and support. I have your back to my friend.

      At some point we might need to chat and just see how we think this whole thing can work out for us.

      So good to see you and hope you are enjoying your week.

      • Hey Bill – headed to Disney World on Friday, and will be out there until the following Friday. We’re excited! And I’ll come back a little lighter (not skin complexion), but in weight because my pockets will be on a diet by the time we leave! But hey, this is why we hustle-hard!

        you asked a great question!

        Realistically, the social media world tends to be a little more chatty (if I can paraphrase a comment fr an e-mail Wendy sent me) so how do you keep that energy and connectedness once you go corporate?

        I say don’t change a thing. Maybe speak more into the business side of things (as you do), and allow your personality to be what drives whatever you’re after. Everyone doesn’t have the electric pulse to them, that people quickly take to. That’s a strength, so I say keep form!


    • Oh yeah baby, we’ll tan you up real good down here…:)

      I hope the weather holds, this wk has been pure Chamber of Commerce weather.

      I think you made a good point that if your ‘goal’ is recognition and even recognition in your industry you can still promote quality, lively stuff that people will want to read and engage. Ultimately, just be yourself and not some stiff board.

      I’m all about economic development so don’t be afraid to increase your line of credit if you start running short of cash about mid-week; and don’t call me, I don’t have any I’ve still got grown kids partially on the payroll………:)

      Have fun and enjoy.

  6. Bill,

    I like being the crusty old man of the blogosphere so much that I toot my horn about it a lot. In a few days I’ll celebrate my 7th blogiversary.

    Here is what I know for certain about blogging:

    1) If you don’t love it you won’t last.
    2) There is no “right way” to do this.
    3) Build your community around you.
    4) Give back and you’ll get more than you gave.
    5) It takes time to develop your writing voice and your rhythm. Let it happen naturally.
    6) Some of your favorite blogs will disappear soon.
    7) Your blog will probably evolve over time. That is different from your writing voice.
    8) Have Fun and don’t take it too seriously.

    Really, I could go on but I need to save some material for my paying customers. 😉 It is good to have fresh voices around and I am glad that I found you.

    • And that means a lot Jack coming from you because I respect what you do tremendously. I really need to spend more time at your place and as some of these things come into focus for me hopefully I can do so.

      I love to write and pre-blog it was something I hadn’t done it awhile. I do appreciate the fact I am getting feedback and support and enjoying the journey.

      So good to see you and I’m sure I’ll bump into you again this wk. Thanks for stopping by.

      • My guns are so big I had to add a paragraph or two to my biceps so it wouldn’t look out of place…….

        That was pretty awesome, Jack is one sharp dude.

  7. Hi, Bill.

    What you have been doing on and off your blog have been great. I think it will be really cool if you just continue what you have been doing, since you are already doing so much more than what most of us in the blogosphere have not really reached yet.

    Good luck to your journey, mate! What you have coming to you now are all because of what you have also done for others. Ari was so right to have featured you. 🙂

    • Thanks Wes for the kind words and support. The interesting thing has been because of this truly being a flat world, how far the reach extends. I love it…….

      I’m having fun with it and hopefully can be an inspiration to others on their journey as well.

      I hope your day went well and hope to bump into you again this week.

  8. Hi Bill,

    As someone who has only recently connected with you and who also started to blog with no clear idea of where I was going (I still don’t know!), I can very much empathise with what you are saying.

    I totally agree with Jack with his excellent list of blogging wisdom and would only add follow your instincts, they have served you well so far.

    Thanks for another thoughtful post.


    • Jack did have good info; and I agree with you to follow my instincts. I kept downplaying my site because I have the free WordPress and thought I didn’t have the right buttons and stuff.

      It’s great to have the traffic and for now I think I will just keep doing what I have been doing and maybe I’ll reach a light bulb moment again.

      I’ll have to go check your blog out; to tell you the truth I thought you were just doing the top 10’s.

      It is certainly good to see you over here and I appreciate the comments; I look forward to getting to know you better. Hope your day has gone well.

      • Thanks Bill, I have been veering off around all sorts of curves that have taken me to unexpected places on the blog rather than sticking to the Top 10 path. I hope your experiences will take you on a similar varied and interesting blogging journey.

    • It has been a great ride and I think as long as were are enjoying it; then no need to over analyze, huh? I’m looking forward to the journey……

  9. Hey Bill,

    I would agree, you aren’t invisible any more.
    But that is a good thing, isn’t it?
    You have an amazing community who back you up and want to see you succeed.

    Just keep at it buddy and don’t be turned off becawse you are having success, we are here because we think you are doing well.

    • Thanks for the kind words; maybe my next post will be to come up w/ a new name. However, I’m kind of fond of the invisible tag…….:)

      I think we have a tendency to beat ourselves up too much at times and I probably should just take a deep breath and enjoy what I have; I am very thankful however.

      Nice to see you today and hope you are having a good one. I’ll bump into you soon I’m sure.

  10. Bill, the only reason all these great people came out to help is because they saw how much you bring to the community and how you have been participating online in the past months.

    As everyone here says, we are here because you are doing very well, and it’s only starting 🙂

    • No, no, no, you were supposed to say “wow, what incredible content; I can’t believe you haven’t been published yet”.

      I am having fun with it and it’s pretty much a reflection of how I would be in person. People do energize me and I love making connections and being in a position to help others.

      As we’ve talked about in other posts, the reach truly does flatten out the world and I really find connections to people like you very enriching. I think we would enjoy each other’s company in person as well.

      Thanks for the offer on the tech tip and let me grab my IT guy who should be able to assist; if not I will definitely be in touch.

      Good to see you today; hope your day went well, and I’ll be bumping into you soon.

  11. Bill,
    You have been a huge supporter of the bloggers you mention and many more (me, for instance!) and how can we entertain you on our porches and not pop in and visit you on yours?

    You ceased to be invisible, in my books, the moment you arrived at LFI. People like you. It’s hard not to like people who like and support you, right? So what you started off doing, you should continue doing, as all the comments have already said; just be you!

    • I did kind of just jump right in at your place, huh? There are some very good blogs I enjoy visiting, but yours has away of not only drawing people in to the conversation but keeping it going in many directions.

      I know I am by no means invisible; and when Ari did his post on me and I saw the response, it literally blew me away. Within this crowd I think most certainly know who I am.

      Having said that though, in the truest sense I think I am still somewhat invisible as a blogger but that’s ok; I’m not sure if I’m ready for prime time yet. But I’m not complaining and I absolutely love my network.

      Good to see you today and I appreciate your support. I’ve only been able to carpet bomb your post once this week and I might have to wait until your post tomorrow to get back in.

      I hope you are having a wonderful day today.

  12. Bill, you ask a lot of questions. What’s with all the questions?

    On a different note, I’m still trying to figure out why I like your blog and why I’m blogging myself. Your blog is refreshing and is written from a more personal perspective as opposed to a marketing one. I think that’s a good reason.

    There will always be an interest in bloggers who just tell the stories of their lives and use them to help others. As Lori said, just be you.

    And as JK suggested, just being you will probably net you some opportunities to…be yourself some more!! Who wouldn’t want to do that?

  13. Dude, I thought you were supposed to ask questions so people will respond………:)

    I think you have a point about just writing about what you know; it’s you, it’s unique and it’s your style.

    Somebody did ask me to do a guest post and I tried to come up w/ something a little more serious and it really didn’t sound like me at all. Fortunately it never saw the light of day, but it was a good lesson for me.

    I’m glad you think I’m readable and that’s really all I can ask for. I do appreciate your support and it was good to see you here today. I’ll be by to see you later.


  14. Bill, look at you man, love all this BD love in the air 😉

    People invest in people that invest in them. You invest in communities and conversation. When you’re around, things are better. You enhance a visitors experience. Thus, when you write, we’re going to show up to support.

    Plus your brain acts all funny at times, which makes me smile. 🙂

    Later bud,


    • As John Falchetto would say, “thanks for carpet bombing the comments”. I do appreciate you taking the time to not only stop by but add to it.

      I learned carpet bombing from you over at Griddy’s place and it certainly adds flavor and depth. But of course it takes time too but I look at is an investment in others.

      Good to see you and I’ll see you out and about. Hopefully we have the opportunity to talk today or soon; have a good one.

  15. Bill, you’ve come across the second major problem that bloggers face: “Now what?”. The first major problem is “Why isn’t anyone listening?”

    When people started to listen to what I had to say, I also wondered “Where am I going to go with my blog? Will people like where I go?” I even began to panic a little. But, in the end, I’ve adopted a Zen-like approach to things, and just blog for the hell of it.

    Now, you’ve hit the second question a lot faster than I did, but the same rules apply. Ask yourself this Bill, “Why did I start blogging in the first place?” Whatever core reason there is, the one that lies deep within your heart, go with it. Stay with it, and stay true to yourself.

    The rest will follow on 🙂

    • You make a good point; just go with all the things you like about it that brought people by your place and see where it takes you.

      I think you have to be careful about trying to change your ‘style’ because it might start to sound totally different than the real you.

      I like to bring energy and excitement on and off line. I also get my energy from people on and off line. Everything else seems to fall into place.

      Good to see you over here Stu and I left something for you at your house. I’ll see you around this wk.

  16. Bill, you are no longer invisible…we can see you, and no cloaking device will hide you any longer:)

    You are a hoot and a half with your razor-sharp wit, and an inspiration in terms of your honesty and ah-ha moment writing. (now I just have to find a Canuck word so I can drive you crazy with the spelling;)

    And hey…how come I’ve got the mystery avatar? Was it something I said in the schoolyard?

    Keep it up Bill: to quote the song…”we love you just the way you are” Cheers from the neighbourhood (just had to get the spelling in) Kaarina

    • Thank you ma’am; just don’t be off-colour…….

      What is up w/ the mystery Avatar? I can’t be choosy, I only have the free sight and whatever it offers. I want everyone to think I’m frugal even though am famous and wealthy beyond imagination now.

      Thanks for the very kind words and I hope you feel that what you see is what you get. It’s the only way I know how to be, even though it’s pretty goofy at times.

      And that whole school yard thing; as soon as you started talking about brass knuckles I had to beef up security a little bit……….just sayin’….

      So good to see you and thanks for taking the time to stop by. Hope your day is going well, eh?

  17. I love that old saying, “don’t fix it if it ain’t broken”.

    Just think of it this way Bill. You are enjoying your time online, blogging, meeting new people, learning new things and voicing your opinion. So when you do, if you do, decide to take this in some type of direction you have a HUGE following and plenty of people who will support you. No matter what you decide to do. And that my friend is the key!

    So just keep doing what you’re doing and enjoy the ride! Isn’t that what life’s all about anyway!


    • Hello Adrienne and thanks for stopping by and taking the time to comment.

      I am enjoying my time and I think at some point in time I will find my direction. For now I am perfectly fine with continuing to build my network.

      Hopefully as I continue to grow I will be smart enough to become more efficient. Clunkity, clunk….

      Hope your day has been well; talk to you soon.

  18. Bill,

    Thanks so much for having me. I just like the wonderful bloggers you have mentioned have been overwhelmingly surprised by the way you share your personality in the way you comment and the way you write. As things continue to grow I would say do just what you have done to bring you were you are today. Being you is actually good enough. Being Marcus on the other hand would be better but being you is a good place to start. 🙂 just kidding. I enjoy you and the work that you do around the blogsphere injecting humor and joy wherever you go. Keep up the great work and if you don’t know what to do with the extra traffic send them my way.

    • No, I really do want to be Marcus when I grow up. Ever notice how serious that cat is though; you think he ever has any fun? I’ll bet he starches his underwear…………just sayin’……..Marcus is the man, he’s got a good heart and he is a good dude. He’s been an excellent mentor for me.

      I do have a certain personality and my only concern is that it might wear thin at times, but for the life of Riley I just can’t help myself. I’m one of these guys who seeks out humor and I don’t care what you say I’m probably thinking of something funny (see my response to your post). Fortunately, I only verbalize about 1/3 of what I’m thinking; maybe more so in printed format……..

      I do appreciate the kind words and support, very, very much appreciated. Good to see you and I’m sure I’ll be bumping into you again soon.

  19. Hi Bill,

    We come here because we like you. And the desire to reciprocate a great comment (a form of support in social media) is a strong driver in all of us.

    Great content is a very small factor, much smaller than people are willing to admit. And what is great content for me may not be great content for you, which further complicates the issue.

    Keep on doing what you’re doing…you’ll do great 🙂

    • I think the desire to reciprocate drives more traffic than anything.

      I was thinking today about what my blog is and its really just an extension from small talk to actually telling a story. Not much different than you and I sitting around and talking.

      Everybody has their style of writing and everybody has an idea of what they like to read. Hopefully I find enough of those that I can match up.

      I’ve enjoyed it and like the fact people actually take the time to stop by and comment.

      Good to see you Dino and appreciate you coming by. I will be seeing you around.

    • What he said… I agree great content is subjective, will vary per the reader and gets too much hype in the larger scheme of things. Not an excuse to crank out fluff, filler and junk, just agreeing with Dino. Reading your blog and comments Bill, don’t think it’ll ever be an issue so long as you keep doing what you’re doing.

      • It’s been a nice journey so far; I’m much more ‘exposed’ than I thought I’d be at this point.

        If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it, right?

  20. I personally love The Invisible Blogger because a) it goes against everything in the blogosphere and b) as you grow, it is going to be the BEST oxymoron. I love the work you’re doing and I love that you’re such a strong proponent for digital communication at work. Keep at it! I’ll never try to shake you.

    • Yay, so I have a seat at the table? I was thinking of changing it to the billyblog or something but I do kind of like the invisible moniker.

      I still find it amusing people show up here and I actually have 4 guest post requests. Just because I have a certain level of popularity doesn’t necessarily equate to being ready to be front page somewhere though.

      I really am just trying to go with the flow and whatever it is, it is….

      Corporately we need some direction so with the assistance of 4 other people initially I’m going to develop a plan, see what it looks like, who is responsible for what and let our IT guys take care of the detail stuff.

      I do appreciate your support, but I appreciate your friendship most of all. Good to see you and hope your weekend has been going well.

    • Hey Farouk, thanks for taking the time to stop by and comment.

      How long have you been knocking around in here? Happy with your journey so far? Feel free to come by anytime.

  21. Gini is right, I like the idea of where ‘the Invisible Blogger’ can go as your blog grows and develops. Pretty much cannot disagree with a single comment… except jealous that Jk went to WDW without me. 😉

    I certainly cannot get any more zen or deep or smart than the others, will say that you have to answer these questions for yourself. From where I sit Bill, this is you. Writing, commenting, blogging, making friends and taking it all in stride. Not sure I’d want you to ‘force’ any changes or feel any undo pressure. Asking these questions of yourself shows how much you respect this journey, that you get there’s more to it and it’s for you to decide. All I can say is that I’ll be here to heckle from the peanut gallery, just to keep honest. FWIW.

    • Wow, that was kinda deep and all heckling is appreciated.

      I’m not really trying to force any changes but I actually do have a business voice; but if I try to use it and it sounds too corporate or too salesy, I don’t want any part of it.

      I’ve had two meetings in the last two days with a prospect that will be paying $1.4 mil for their insurance if they do business with us. In the meeting yesterday, I made a couple of silly remarks and then followed up with “in all seriousness”. I didn’t think much about it, but the person with me told me today she thought that was very effective the way I used it.

      That’s just me and I guess it might not work on everyone but if I stay true to myself it will probably work enough of the times, huh?

      Good to see you and thanks for the tech tips; I think I got one of them done.

      • Read something about that today in advertising, boils down to personality going a long way. I’m being more ‘me’ and it’ll work one day or it won’t, but I am the better for it. And I see the buttons at the top, nice.

  22. Hi Bill,

    I should have written a similar post. I feel I have been in the exact same situation, maybe I’m still there. I haven’t had a strategy, not when it comes to traffic, and not when it comes to content. I just write about marketing and what I feel like writing.

    I haven’t defined success, and I wanted to be invisible (but didn’t use the tag). I just wanted to write and help out. But then, like you, something started to happen and I’m not so invisible anymore. I still don’t have a strategy, and I just do what I love doing, and because of my blogging (well, it’s part of the reason), I have just finished writing my first novel (suspense, about a serial killer).

    To me, a lack of a strategy sounds fine 🙂

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