Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter are free, right? Just sign up, throw your picture in, say something about yourself and you are good to go; nothing to it, huh?
Did you have a goal when you signed up?
Facebook and LinkedIn were relatively easy to get up and running and even though I am probably not using either anywhere close to their full potential, I’m certainly in deeper than a novice level.
Twitter was a whole different animal, it took me 4-6 months to ‘get it’ and even then it took a little luck for certain things to happen to get me fully engaged.
My only goal was to try to find out what it was all about. I knew there had to be more than me telling people I went to Starbucks.
I think I can do this
Once I got in and started engaging with other bloggers, I started getting some feedback and wanted to go deeper. I decided you needed a blog to do that.
I like to write but didn’t have a topic per se so my only goal was to at least get on the field, in the door, etc. I thought this was the ticket ‘in’.
How does this parallel my day job?
I like my day job, in fact I’m one of the owners. We are a 70 yr old regional insurance agency. Therefore my strategy might be a little different from some of the solopreneurs I converse with.
About 10 years ago my firm bought an agency in a neighboring town and wanted me to run the office. It was only about 12 miles from our main office and I already knew plenty of people there so I accepted the challenge.
When I got there, I jumped in with both feet. I got on the Chamber and Main Street boards and became a fixture at many events. I willingly accepted leadership positions as well. This opened many doors for me on a peer-to-peer level and it happened because people got to know me. They saw I was committed to their community and it didn’t matter that I was from out-of-town.
It was new and exciting and very similar to my twitter beginnings. Because of my commitment and involvement in the community, and having a great team to work with, this office out performed our two larger offices many a quarter.
What did I learn?
When you commit to something with a clear vision and sustainable business plan it will increase your chances of success tremendously.
It’s hard work and sometimes you scrape your knees.
Just as I grew my day-job business, I have enjoyed similar success in the twitter world with the same level of commitment.
Where will it take me?
I would like to be able to say I had the same business plan and focus with my twitter success but I do not. What I do know is, what little success I have had is certainly no mystery and I am very excited about the opportunities that lay in front of me.
So what did it cost?
Time, and I won’t lie to you, lots of it. When I say committed, I’m talking 3-4 hours a day at times while still doing my day job.
When I hear of my friends answering comments, writing posts at 2:30 am I cringe. I will be successful, but I don’t want it to consume me.
I’ve thoroughly enjoyed the journey and I want it to remain fun and exciting; if I’m losing too much sleep it might lose its appeal.
What’s the reward?
I have met some incredibly talented people. I love my community and fully understand the power it brings. As they say in the commercial, that’s “priceless”.
If any long timers happen to weigh-in would you like to share how you effectively manage your time AND stay engaged?
Any tweeners or newbies want to weigh-in and share what has worked for you so far?
My reward is I feel like ‘I’m in’ and I know it can create many, many opportunities not only for me but to help others and that alone is worth a lot to me.
How is your journey so far?