The economy sucks, your boss is a jerk, you are over-worked and under-loved; maybe it’s time to quit the day job and try this internet social media thing; I’m sure there is big money to be had. I mean really, how hard can it be?
What prompted you to jump in? Maybe leaving the job was not a choice. Did you put together a business plan, or did you think all you needed to do was show up?
I am somebody
You jump in, maximized the ‘tools’ available, gamed the system and quickly got many followers; this has to be success, right?
Wait a second; you certainly should be able to sell something now with this throng of followers. In fact, go ahead and tweet them all ‘hello’ just to remind them you are here and see the response; this should be great, right?
Why isn’t anyone replying back? Maybe if you tweet about the trip to Starbucks this morning you will get a response. What is wrong with these people, can’t they hear you; maybe your tweeter is broke.
The better mousetrap
It looks like everyone has a blog with their site and talking about all the easy money you can make and how to do it; yeah, that’s the ticket, do one of those. And when you set it up put ads all over the place and let the advertisers pay you; easy money indeed.
Ok, here’s your first post; you are ready to hit publish and just hope to keep up with all the responses. Damn it, where is everybody; is your site broken as well?
Who are they talking to?
This doesn’t seem to be working; so maybe you better go see what the popular people are doing. Wow, it looks like they are talking with each other, what a novel idea. Well, you can certainly do that, so this has to be where the money is, huh?
This is so cool, you can’t believe people are coming by and responding. I wonder if they will buy anything now because your stomach is starting to growl. Is ketchup really a vegetable; do they have crackers in the condiment trays at McDonalds?
How do you measure success and what does it look like to you?
You want measurement, how much money did your activities generate? Can you eat; pay the bills, how about a vacation?
Huge number of followers, an active blog, a Klout score of 80; what does all that mean if you have no green; looks like fools gold to me.
Are you just dreaming, or do you really have a plan?
Reality check; there is no free lunch. If you are going to play the game you better show up prepared, practiced and have a clear vision of not only where you want to go but what it looks like when you get there.
Oh, it’s fun, don’t get me wrong; but very few will be able to make a sustainable income from their social media activities alone. It will probably be a one-off endeavor you generate from networking, providing knowledge in your specialty, or creating awareness of your brand. And don’t plan on automation putting it on cruise control; it will always take hard work and lots of attention not only to detail but staying abreast of all the changes.
What do you think; do you have the staying power to remain ‘all in’? Have you hit the ‘wall’ or is that just growing pains?