Posted by Mitch Mitchell on Jan 20, 2013
Last year around this time, I was asking people on all 5 of my blogs to vote for me in blogging in the Shorty Awards online competition. This year I’ve decided totally against anything like that for my own sanity, pride, and peace of mind.
What’s the deal? Last year at this time I was feeling as though I was actually something sort of special. I had a highly ranked blog, was writing lots of posts everywhere, starting my Black Web Friday series because I just knew that I had the juice to get things done, to change some minds, to actually make a difference.
You know what; none of it made a difference. I got 26 votes in the Shorty category after working it hard for almost an entire month. Not only did the Black Web Friday series mean nothing to almost anyone but it didn’t mean much to the people and websites I profiled either; they didn’t care. And even though my blog was ranked nicely then, around 78,000 on Alexa (don’t give me any grief about Alexa; I don’t want to hear it), the rank is now sitting around 160,000, even with consistent posting, and feels like it’s falling fast (although traffic has been up since the beginning of January & Alexa works on a 3-month model so within a couple of weeks it should start moving up again).
Some of you know that I’ve written a number of posts on the topic of influence, and why having influence can help you not only make a better income, but get things done in ways that being more anonymous, or irrelevant, can do for you. Well, while that’s still true, it seems that irrelevance is destined to follow all of us around for a long time, which is basically our entire lives.
That almost sounds depressing doesn’t it? Well, I’m not going to let it go quite that far, but I do need to explore this topic a little further. How many of you folks who read this blog know the name Chris Brogan? What about Scott Stratten, or Gary Vanderchuk or Marcus Sheridan or Ileane Smith? In blogging and social media, these are pretty big names. Take them out of blogging and put them on the street, and maybe one day in six months someone will walk up to one of them and say “Hey, aren’t you…” So much for influence or relevance.
Want more examples? How many people think of Tony Orlando these days? What about Brittany Morgan? Ric Ocasek? Michael Anthony Hall? Robert Townsend? All of these were super huge names at some point, all had influence in multiple ways, and all have, or seem to have, disappeared; I bet most of you have no idea who any of those folks are.
You want more? The nominations for the Academy Awards just came out last week. I knew almost none of the movies and almost none of the actors and actresses who are up for those awards. Last year’s Grammys, I asked myself why I would even think of watching it when the only name I knew that I’d heard of previously was Taylor Swift; that will be the same thing for this year’s ceremony, another one I won’t be watching.
See, we’re not alone. And truth be told, the guy who got the most votes for blogging last year was totally unknown in the United States, so even though he got an award, what did it get him in the long run? Maybe in his country he was elected Pope (I know, I know…).
What does all of this mean? Do we stop trying for significance? Do we stop participating in social media, in blogging, in our local activities and such? Do we crawl into bed, watch TV and eat chips and give up the rest of our lives to this reality?
Ain’t no way! Here’s another truth; we’re not as irrelevant as we think we are. For all the lack of relevance I’m talking about here, there are nearly 375 people who are subscribed to the feed for this blog. There’s lots of people higher but I’m happy with that figure. There’s nearly 300 subscribed to my main business blog. And I have a nice number of people subscribed to my business newsletter, though I couldn’t tell you if people are reading it or not.
The videos I do with my Hot Blog Tips Hangout crew have reached close to 8,000 views; that’s not bad for just over a year of videos; at least I think we’ve been doing it that long. My own video channels are quite paltry by comparison, yet I have had some views so I’m not complaining.
In other words, irrelevance doesn’t mean obsolete; it doesn’t mean hidden, and it doesn’t mean useless. Each of us, through our blogs, our outside actions, what we do at work, etc, are relevant to someone. That’s important to note because sometimes we feel as though no one notices what we do. We want more comments on our blogs; we want to make more money across the board; we want people to call us up and tell us how much they want us, need us, can’t live without us.
Tough to be us isn’t it? Well, here’s the thing. We are what we are. We can decide to try to be more, we can decide to try to be better, or we can try to be ourselves. Frankly, being ourselves might or might not put us over, but what more comfortable spot is there when all is said and done? Strive to be the best you can be, strive for bigger and better things if that’s what you want. But when you start thinking about insignificance, think about someone else. You are special; we all are.
Posted by Mitch Mitchell on Oct 12, 2012
This might seem like a strange question, but it’s an important one; do people know who you are in all the social media circles you’re in? If you think it’s a strange question I’ll explain why it’s not.
Back in March 2011 I wrote a post here titled Why I’m Now Mitch Mitchell. In that post, I basically talked about changing my name in this blog from just Mitch to my full name. Sure, I still compete with the guy who was the drummer for Jimi Hendrix and a particular reporter in Dallas – Fort Worth, but I’m being found. It also worked out well for me, as you saw in my post about Google Authorship.
On every site I go to, that’s the name I use. I link back to my site, as many as possible in as many places as possible. I usually have some kind of bio filled in so people can see what it is I do in all these different circles. My intention, as I’ve stated often, is to grow my influence, as I believe that’s one way to increase income possibilities since I provide services more than products. I’m all over the place online; people might not always remember my name but I know I’m being seen. I can say that because it seems I’m #19 on the list of leaders talking about leadership. Not bad, eh? 🙂
What’s got me talking about this subject then? A few days ago I came across someone I’m connected with on Twitter who I talked to once on a Twitter chat. I decided to see if I could find out more about her. The only link she had on her Twitter page was to one of those About.me sites.
I’m not necessarily a fan of those sites, although I can see the possibilities. It actually gives people a chance to list all the places where they can be found on social media as well as having a bio page where people can learn something about them. It saves on the cost of having to have a website, and if used properly it could work wonders.
However, most people aren’t using it all that well. Some have only an email address on there; how helpful is that? Some might have only a few words here and there; once again, not all that helpful.
In her case she actually has a lot of words on the page. And they tell a lot about her. Only none of it means anything. For instance, favorite colors, favorite flavors of ice cream, what makes you smile… okay, in the context of a blog post that might be interesting, but on an About.me page what is that telling anyone? She does mention where she works; that’s something. But you’d be hard pressed to find her on the website that she links to; once again, tells us nothing.
She has multiple social media pages also; now we’re getting somewhere. Uhhh, nope. Has a blog but no blog posts. Has a Pinterest page but no words and nothing about her at all. Had an Instagram page but, once again, no words and all the Instagram pictures have been moved to her About.me page; pretty young lady but no information. Has accounts in at least 6 other social media sites, but no information on any of them.
You might remember when I took a position on my post regarding whether to follow people as a social media strategy and having no other purpose was worth anyone’s time. I ask the same question here; what’s the point of being on social media sites if you’re not going to participate on any of them? It’s even hard to say you’re wasting your time because you’re not doing anything with them; it’s more that you’re wasting everyone else’s time because you link to these things but none of them mean anything.
She’s not alone by the way. I had the same lament in looking at many of the accounts on Empire Avenue, where people link to blogs they haven’t written in 3 years and other sites that are empty and vacuous because there’s nothing there.
What is the purpose of this type of thing? Any of you doing this, and if so what’s your strategic purpose? What do you think of this type of thing in general?
Posted by Mitch Mitchell on Jul 30, 2012
Once again it’s video time. The premise is simple, but I’ll lay it out in words, then let the video take over from there.
Those of you who read this blog know that I’ve talked often about the concept of influence. In my mind, influence brings you so much more than when people have no idea who you are. Influence is money; influence can be power, or at least having enough pull to get things done positively or negatively. When people trust you and see you as an authority, there’s nothing that can stop you, not even those people who inevitably won’t like you just because of who you are.
With that in mind, I ask the question and talk about this concept of just what will you do for more followers. This ponies off a conversation I was having with someone who’d canceled another meeting with me, which led me to ask the question about priorities and people, and a response she gave me that I countered later on. That part’s not in the video, but something else is.
So enjoy the video, think about some things I say, then let me and everyone else know what your opinion is. Go ahead; don’t be shy. 🙂
Posted by Mitch Mitchell on Mar 13, 2012
I’ve written around 1,250 posts on this blog since 2007. It’s been a wild ride, and I’ve had a lot of fun. I’ve touched upon some topics often, and one of those topics is marketing. It turns out I’ve written 115 posts on marketing, and my very first post on the subject came in October 2008 when I first started marketing my ebook Using Your Website As A Marketing Tool.
However, that was internet marketing, and as I took a look back through the archives I realized that most of the time I’ve talked about marketing as it relates to making money online. I’m not even including the posts where I’ve talked about affiliate programs; we’d have to add another 43 posts into the mix.
I did write an article on the reality of making money by blogging, and it turned out to be quite a popular post, at least by readers, even though it didn’t get a lot of comments. And yet, even in that post, where I got real in telling people how one really makes money blogging, I realized that I missed something, something that many people probably both think about and don’t think about at the same time.
That “something” is marketing, plain and simple. What’s funny is that I actually wrote a post back in November, around the same time as the post about making money by blogging, titled Social Media Marketing Is Just Marketing, and even in that post I didn’t talk about marketing, or the reason why marketing is important. I almost feel ashamed; almost that is. I tend to believe that all of us get to a point where we suddenly begin focusing on something, and when that happens it’s time to take steps forward, time to do something about it, time to talk about it. And as I went through a period last year when I was talking a lot about influence, I’m going to be obsessive for a short period about marketing.
Here’s the reality. Many people probably aren’t going to be interested in this series of posts coming up, which is why I’m writing this preamble on the topic. Let’s talk about who these posts probably aren’t for. If you have a job and you’re happy with that job, these posts won’t be for you. If you’re not running a business, consulting, small, medium sized, these posts probably won’t for you. If all you want to do is affiliate marketing and nothing else, these posts won’t be for you.
But if you want to work on your overall business, no matter what it is, and you want to read about the trials and tribulations and ideas and, hopefully, successes of marketing, and I do mean marketing, not sales, since marketing leads to sales if you’re lucky, and I mean sales of all kinds, then stick around with me on my journey, which can become your journey. I have big dreams to fulfill, things I want to do, need to do, and I can’t do any of them if I don’t step up my marketing, my real marketing, marketing mainly for my offline businesses, some of which can be done online, some of which can be done offline.
It won’t be all I write or talk about; after all, this is I’m Just Sharing, right? But it’s going to become the next focus, and quickly. Are you with me?
Posted by Mitch Mitchell on Feb 18, 2012
If you get to thinkin’ you’re a person of some influence, try orderin’ somebody else’s dog around.”
Over this past week I decided to try a little experiment; y’all know how I like to try experiments from time to time. Going into this one, I was betting I knew how it would turn out, but still had some hopes that maybe I was wrong. In the end, there are some interesting lessons to learn.
What I did was fairly simple. I decided that for the week I was not going to initiate any conversations or share any information on Twitter besides the automatic posting of my blogs once they go live. This means the only caveat I had was that if someone wrote me first I would reply. But if nobody wrote me, I wasn’t going to post a single link, or do a retweet, or reach out to comment on something anyone said, including just saying hello. In essence, I wanted to see if anyone would miss me.
This might have seemed like a narcissistic endeavor, but I had an interesting premise and intention. I have written about the aspects of social media marketing and how it gets to be difficult because once you start examining the process you realize that you just might have to inundate the market with messages, depending on which social media platform you’re using, to try to get the word out and to try to reach as many people as possible. Since I have passed 50,000 tweets on the site, and figured I had a significant number of people following me that actually knew who I was, including some friends, that someone might wonder where I’ve been.
What happened is exactly what I was expecting unfortunately. For the entire week I got three messages, all of which I responded to. One was through private message, which means and public that for the week people would have only seen me respond to two people. That is, if anyone was paying attention. I did have some people retweet some of my posts, and I was included in a bunch of those Follow Friday type posts, but overall nothing.
What lessons did I learn, and what lessons can all of us basically learn from this little experiment? Let’s take a look:
1. Very few of us are important enough online to be missed by anyone. I think there would probably be less than 20 people who would be missed if they stopped doing anything on social media for more than three days without telling people they were taking time off. So it’s not that I’m supposed to be anyone special, it’s just that there’s so much going on that it’s easy to miss when someone suddenly is around.
2. Staying in the minds of people you’re trying to reach through social media means you have to be ready to dedicate either a lot of time or a lot of effort or a lot of technology to get the job done right. Strangely enough, although I’m not going to do it, I’m starting to get a better sense of why some people either use plug-ins that promote their stuff all day long, sometimes seeming like once a minute every single day, or have periods throughout the day where they’re going crazy posting all sorts of stuff on all the social media platforms. Some of us might get irritated by it, but my bet is that the overwhelming public doesn’t notice it the same way that someone like me does.
3. Even though social media marketing is one of the easiest things to do when compared to traditional marketing, and definitely more cost effective, it’s harder to establish a loyal and recurring market unless you can figure out what capture someone’s attention enough for them to miss you, share what you have to say, comment on what you have to say, and then pay for whatever you’re hoping to get people to pay for, even if it’s only to pay attention to.
4. If you want loyalty, get a dog. 🙂 Okay, let me expand on that one. Dogs are the only creatures alive that we’ll miss you from the day they come into your world until the day they leave this world. No other pet does that, and no person does that, no matter how much in love they tell you they’re in with you. This doesn’t mean that people don’t like you, it doesn’t mean they won’t miss you, and it doesn’t mean that some of them might not love you. What it means is that it takes work and consistency to get the world to listen to your message, to create your message, and to share your message with regularity. However, if you can figure out why there’s such a strong connection between people and dogs, and apply it to your life and your business, social media or not, you will never want for anything.
I will say this. During the experiment I did get more things completed than I normally might because I wasn’t checking Twitter all that often. I did post a few links on Google+, because it was totally hard to go cold turkey, and even though it helped supplant most of my Twitter cravings, it just wasn’t the same. I also put more links on Facebook than usual, and that wasn’t the same either. At least now I have a better idea of what needs to be done towards my quest to become more influential, while also given the something to think about as far as whether I’m ready to put in that much effort for the goal.
There you go; use the information as you can.