What happens when you close your blog to comments, or shut down your Twitter account? Perhaps some looks like this one. But sometimes we have to eat our peas. And sometimes we get to ignore what everyone tells us to do.
I played soccer from fourth to sixth grade and I hated it. I was terrified of the ball – it would either come to me and I’d have to do something wonderful with it, or it would get kicked in my face by one of those big defensive fullbacks. It just brings back bad memories thinking about it.
The only reason I played was because all my friends were doing it and I was afraid of what others would think, looking on in shame and horror that I wouldn’t do what everyone else was doing.
Apparently I haven’t learned much since then because it’s sort of how I feel about Twitter. I don’t exactly hate it – I’m ambivalent towards it, and only spend my time there because I think I have to. I have not received a single piece of business through it which obviously is caused by the fact I’m ambivalent towards it.
Twitter has become my “peas of marketing” and I’m being told to eat them. And I eat them because:
- Appearance. Yes, appearance does matter. I’m in digital marketing. I speak, I blog, I teach businesses how to do it. How would it look to you, if you were doing due diligence to hire me and I had no presence on Twitter? Weird.
- Walking the walk. You could argue that first point, even, but I take it one step further. I test technologies and strategies on my own business to apply to client work. You have to walk the walk and know the ins and outs of SEO, the latest and greatest plugins, new technologies and networks in order to help clients navigate this.
- Accessibility. It’s a very accessible and public channel with which to communicate. If someone wants to reach out to me I don’t know – for example, if I”m speaking at a conference – we can easily connect here and chat. If I ignored the conversation on the conference hashtag, I would be seriously douchey.
So I eat my peas every day because I’ve been told to.
But that doesn’t mean you have to do as I do.
I’m working on a great project with a client – it’s something the whole team is emotionally invested in and we have built something we are proud of. I will hopefully share more later here on this blog when I have something of value for you – something you can learn from. I make a point that this blog isn’t about promoting clients; it’s about helping you.
Back to the project. Although I hate to use the term “thought leadership,” this is truly a project based on that. We’re looking ahead to the launch and obviously one of the outlets should be social, but the client said: “being on social makes me sick to my stomach.”
I thought about it for awhile. I should make the case for social – the importance of social signals to search engines, the ability to extend networks, and the accessibility it gives leadership to the audience. But I am not about to make someone do something that makes them sick to their stomach. and certainly, it will come across that way, if we do.
When Seth Godin closed his blog to comments, we all gasped with our hands pressed to our hearts, and the back of our hands to our foreheads. It can’t be! How could he do such a thing?
Yes, social is important, and yes skipping that avenue will make the climb a bit harder but I’m a big fan of doing things the way we want to do them; not how they should be done. In this case, we’ll focus the plan on blogger and media outreach, and interaction by way of comments; and we’ll provide other channels of communication for feedback.
It’s a philosophy on life and business.
This is absolutely not a commentary on social media. My point here is in having the confidence to do things a little differently, and rather than apologize, or make excuses; provide alternatives and stand behind the decisions that might go against the grain. I stopped playing soccer and started running track. I didn’t lose friends; I made new ones! I still do things I don’t love like hang out on Twitter. And those dishes aren’t going to wash themselves.
It’s not a perfect world. Sometimes you have to eat your peas. And sometimes you get to ignore common advice.[ssba]