do you really need a website? do you really need a twitter account?
it really depends.
we all know that the internet allows you to reach a worldwide audience. what’s funny is that not everyone needs a worldwide audience (for example, talented designers). all you need is to be able to reach the people who need to hear from you. if you’re an artist, fame and notoriety helps, along with ease of access. once you get into finance, design, and certain other fields, sometimes the harder you are to find, the better.
a week ago i met a person who makes a living building out websites for clients. they didn’t have any kind of social media presence. “how do you get clients?” i asked. all through word of mouth, they told me.
this was frustrating, because at times it feels like i am running a media company – i update my twitter, i write on my blog, and i share interviews on my youtube channel and via podcast. it’s full time work, and my hope is that one day it will get me more clients. but here is someone who reduced the amount of work they had to do – they are credible in their circles and gain employment from those spheres.
there are no hard and fast rules. finding the people you want to work with is an art form. every platform offers its opportunities, as do your real world experiences. but, it is helpful to remember that twitter, facebook, squarespace and (shudder) wix are not necessary for success if your audience doesn’t need to find you there.
here’s a link to one of my favorite this american life episodes. it’s about a blind gentleman who learns how to ride a bike. the takeaway is that there is power in believing in someone. you increase the likelihood that your friend will accomplish a task by simply believing in them.
this goes the same in reverse. if your friends believe in you, you are more likely to accomplish your task. belief is an energy, and is contagious. it creates motivation and community. it feels good.
of course, blind faith or false beliefs are destructive. we must always ground our beliefs in evidence and subject our faith to scrutiny. however, sometimes this means that our faith is strengthened in our friends, and ourselves.
i was lucky enough to talk to a media consultant this past week. she makes a living studying the impact of social media campaigns for businesses, which is something that i am very interested in. i asked her a ton of questions about her career journey, and in return she asked me a lot of questions about my own business ventures.
today, i’m thinking about one of the things she told me in our meeting: “get sophisticated clients.” “are you interested in doing innovative things?” “yes, of course,” i replied. “well, that means you can’t waste your time with companies that aren’t interested in innovation. you need to find clients who are looking for cutting edge stuff, especially if you are providing cutting edge stuff.”
previously, i had been spending time working with small businesses and teaching them how to run their social media campaigns. this was all fine and dandy, but many of them were uninterested in social media as a whole, along with anything that was different from what they were already doing. “this is not going to help you in the long term, because the kind of work you will be doing will be a little bit basic,” my new friend told me. so, currently, i’m taking this to heart and continuing my search for “my people”, the tech-savvy folks who are looking to become better managers.