Playing to Your Social Media Strengths

Blog by Julian Summerhayes. 645 words.

Social Media is a distraction from the day job.

There is a dichotomy between business development and fee earning. One gets in the way of the other, frequently.

Social Media is hardly new on the block (in the wider community) but it is for professional practice. Its lack of meaningful uptake is driven by apathy.

If you are going to make a leap of faith then understand that Social Media is not another pipe for your un-remarkable content. You can, of course, give it a go but don’t be surprised if you run out of steam, or turn your audience off in double-quick time.

Some of you love the conversation (and not, please, the “I am always right” type).

Some of you love the engagement (it’s nice to hear about the success of others).

Some of you like to share content that is of interest.

Some of you like to crate content (but not enough, yet).

Some of you like to explore.

But whatever is your thing (combined) with your practice area, then play to your strength(s).

Don’t get seduced by too many platforms.

When I started on my Social Media journey I felt like a kid in a candy store, and consequently spent so much time building my profiles that I ended up with too many platforms and too little content.

My advice: create something remarkable. Focus on one or two platforms. A blog is nice but just the name often puts people off. Talk about writing stories, winning business and engagement and worry about the platform later. Posterous is very good if you don’t want to bother with all that stuff that goes with another WordPress blog.

And work at it.

And work at it some m-o-r-e.

And spread the word so it doesn’t come the preserve of any one department.

Unless you find that someone starts to talk you up on a World stage, you have to be prepared to push on even when you have no engagement. Those people that get *It* right don’t do so by accident.

I follow lots of interesting people and one thing that sets them apart is that they refine, redefine and improve their art. Yes, you have heard this infinitum but it is the only way you will understand what your audience wants. Fail faster should be your mantra. Don’t expect at this stage for one article/blog post to maketh you a Social Media star.

In my experience success doesn’t (just) come from success, which is rarely permanent. No success usually comes when people are committed, passionate, happy and in love with what they are doing. Of course they don’t want to fail all the time, but they see that as part of the process and not the destination in and of itself.

How does that translate into real World practice?

Talking to people helps.

Explain the Social Media paradigm. If you need help go and read Seth Godin’s blog posts or Chris Brogan.

Once they have got it (the idea of earning attention), then focus their craft on building a following, and a reputation for producing material that matters to their clients and referrers. If people recognise you as the Go To person then you will find that people will be just as happy to instruct you outside of the normal channels.

And keep playing to your strengths as a collective. Don’t come to rely on the same people all the time.

If all you ever hit is a brick wall of “I-can’t-be-arsed”, then don’t be afraid to say something. Social Media is simply too important to splutter along the floor of “I haven’t got time”. Now there’s one to contemplate. Your prowess is making money from time but you can’t see the need to look outside of your cubicle and spend time leveraging the biggest game-changer that has hit the profession

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