This is the mantra of younger kids and people networking – online and offline. Impatient for results, they wonder why no one’s responding, why won’t they retweet me, where’s my traffic and if I put a status update out there and no one comments on it am I being heard?
Questions like: How long does it take to get to 1,500 Twitter followers? What’s the time frame to see ROI on social media? I’ve got to see sales tied directly to social media, when will I see that? Are all just variations of this mantra.
Social is indeed social which means people are involved. In fact, networking is about working through people – their connections, their endorsements and their trust. To speed that up or leap frog over that, is like trying to bake a cake and taking it out early – you really don’t get the desired results and it’s quite messy. True, social media is networking on steroids and shortens that time yet it doesn’t completely replace it.
Jim Rohn, my favorite American philosopher, said “Working through people is like herding cats.” I couldn’t agree more. It’s time consuming, challenging and frustrating all at the same time. Yet, the golden goose of having a third party endorsement or a trusted introduction can catapult you to success and to circles of influence that would of taken infinitely longer without that connection.
Operate under the context that you are farming – not hunting
Jim Rohn gives the best rendition of the story of the sower and the reaper. Take a look at it if you’re unfamiliar with it. Note: It’s long. It’s an older video. The stories he use focus on network marketing which you might have your own opinion on. Focus on the story itself and how it can apply to your brand, job search, business or life.
1. The sower was ambitious and had excellent seed
This is the core of personal branding – to know where you’re going and to understand what makes you so unique to get there.
2. The birds got some of the seed
Even with the best targeting, there are some who just won’t like your style, won’t listen or it won’t be the right time. Be strong in your brand and realize it dilutes your brand and influence to try to please everyone.
3. Some seed falls on rocky ground
Negative reactions are less about who you are or what you have and more about what they prefer and what they hear. Know that so you won’t waiver.
4. Some seed falls on thorny ground
People are operating from the window of their own life experiences – it taints their view, always. For your brand, know that there will be distractions and disappointments. Paraphrasing Jim Rohn: And, while their viewpoint is interesting – do not let those little things distract you from big opportunities.
5. The sower keeps on sowing the seed
Some of the seed yielded a 30% return, some 60% and some 100%. Don’t spend your time trying to get the 30 percenters to be 100 percenters.
As a brand, how can you take this knowledge and apply it?
1. Discover your core brand attributes – what makes you so unique?
2. List your non-negotiables – these are your values. They are at your core and they define you.
3. With that information, you’re ready to be the ambitious sower. Now, do you have good product? If you’re the product, your brand attributes and non-negotiables are good – that’s a given (it’s what makes you uniquely you). List what else do you need to fine tune and have a good product (more education, experience, deeper connections, a better product line, a shopping cart that works, the time to answer people’s questions – these are all things that affect how ‘good’ a product is.)
4. Get good at communicating your goals. Be specific. Know your accomplishments and communicate them well. Have an in-depth knowledge of your interest areas and the current networks you have.
Not a hard list to understand and still very challenging to execute on.
1. Find your story.
2. Discipline your disappointment.
3. Focus on the platforms and people that yield 100%.
It’s our choices… that show what we truly are, far more than our abilities. ~ J.K. Rowling
Maria Elena is CEO (chief engagement officer) of buzz2bucks -a word of mouth firm. Skilled at making networks “work” and harnessing the power online and offline buzz, she facilitates communities for companies and professionals along with word-of-mouth coaching and seminars. She is author of Mouth To Mouth Marketing, the ebook Social Capital I.R.A. and a contributing author of Launchpad. Duron is a published expert on branding and marketing in Entrepreneur Magazine. She is featured weekly as the marketing coach on CBS television and is the co-founder of #brandchat -a weekly chat on Twitter all about branding.