Earlier this week I read a post by a guy named Mark Schaefer, who writes a blog called Business Grow, titled Why Are the Social Media Elite Ignoring Us? It was really a post responding to a question he was asked as to how to get the top social media and internet folks to notice us and, by extension, help us get bigger on the blogosphere.
I like how Mark responded to the question, and he wrote one line that I thought was the best takeaway in the whole conversation: “Start your own sphere of influence.” Goodness, how powerful a statement is that, especially to someone like me who’s talked a lot since the last third of last year about the topic of influence?
It’s interesting because it also touches upon a post Danny Brown has recently on diversity in social media, or kind of a lack thereof because, though there are many minorities in social media, many of “us” aren’t really recognized by the at-large folks who book conferences or read other blogs and decide to recognize people for their blogging prowess all that often. There were a few people who said they don’t want to be recognized because they’re minority, but would like to be recognized for being good, and some of them are very good indeed.
There’s really a fine line between being successful and just being considered as good. People that participate on American Idol are very good; only a few of the winners have been successful, and a couple of non-winners have been successful as well. What this shows us is that sometimes, even with a great boost from something or someone big, you might not really end up being considered as one of the best. How many American Idol winners and runnerups have failed to capitalize on what has to be the biggest boost their careers could have ever had?
At the same time, how many people do fairly well because they’re captured the attention of a loyal few? I like to think of our blogging community as a loyal few. We visit each other’s blogs and get to know each other’s names and what we like. We comment on each other’s blogs and help to encourage each other. Some of us buy from each other if there’s something we find of value because we trust the other person after awhile. And we’re there for each other if need be; I don’t know how many causes I’ve taken up to support my blogging friends over the years.
It becomes incumbent for each of us to find our ways of being taken seriously by the blogosphere, or social media sphere, if that’s what we’re shooting for. It’s also up to us to produce what we feel is the best we can offer to others when we blog or interact in some fashion online. Sometimes it’s a lucky break, sometimes it’s the wealth of what we produce, and sometimes it’s just not going to come.
How does one person write for a year and end up with thousands of subscribers and followers and another person write for 3 years and end up with maybe 100 people following? I don’t know, and I’m betting the people who succeed don’t really know. But they didn’t sit around wondering how it happened; they did what they had to do, and it came to them. And if it came to them, it can come to all of us.
Don’t wait for someone else to make you a success; be successful all on your own. And if you ask me, if you’re consistently writing in your blog, you’re already successful.