When everyone was at Blogworld Expo about a month ago, I wrote a post about how I felt like the structure and pricing of events in the Social Media marketing space was kind of…out of whack. The keynote speakers are scheduled for smack dab in the middle of the day. The events occur during the week instead of on weekends, many times. The set-up, I noted, made me feel a bit unwelcome.
Slowly, over the last month, I’ve been noticing that the structure of the events schedule in this space is a reflection of what is going on in this space every day. The surge of Social Media covers people who have made it big or who want to hit it big on their own. Where is the voice of the person who works for someone else? Where is the voice geared towards people like me?
My Two Goals
Earlier this week, I felt like my blog and my Twitter presence were having a City Slickers moment. I know some people feel ashamed to admit that they loved that movie. I still do! In one of the early scenes, Billy Crystal, who is turning 39, notes that he feels like he looks as good as he is ever going to look, he’s working as well as he’s ever going to work – and it’s just not that good. I was feeling like I had hit my plateau for my Social Media presence and it was all going to go downhill from that point.
After a conversation with Stan Smith, who is truly one of the most awesome people ever, I had another City Slickers moment. What is my one thing? Well, actually it’s two. I’m out here to spread the word that our family’s agency can help you do all kinds of things in marketing, and we can help you integrate various tactics together. I’m also here to help folks who, like, me, found getting started in Social Media to be quite the uphill battle.
My Two Goals are in a Different Stadium
If you look at the playing field of the Social Media world, you will see that these goals are not exactly the common currency. There is advice on how to grow your own business. There’s advice on how to make your first x number of dollars with your blog. There is advice on how to use ads on your blog so you can make money. There’s advice on how to do Social Media so that you can grow your business. It is all fantastic advice, and I absorb it all. But I can’t actually *use* a lot of it. I am not an entrepreneur who is sitting on a nest of little baby company eggs. I am not a president or CEO. I am not Director of Marketing at a humongous company. I am one of the employees of Clayman Advertising, a small agency that my grandpa started in 1954. I am not the boss. I am not concerned about how to keep my 27 minions in line because, well, we don’t have minions. I’m not worried about departmental warfare because we’re not really big enough to have armies, and departments in a small company would really just be a synonym for juvenile territorial conceit.
I am not out here to grow a Fortune 500 company, although if our agency could become internationally renowned, hey, that would be okay with me. But in the real world, I am here to let you know that we can help you, whenever, if ever, you need it. There’s nothing very entrepreneurial about that, right? In fact, we are at the polar opposite end of entrepreneurial. We are the old dame sitting on the porch watching the little ones play, but we are also in that crowd of kids playing all of the new games.
Who is talking to me?
Social Media is not my job
While we are in a business where keeping up-to-date on Social Media developments is essential, I’d be able to do my job sufficiently well, not great, but sufficiently well right now if I was not blogging every day or tweeting every day. I am happy I do this, because nine months ago I might have told our clients, “Man, I hear all the time how Twitter is great, but I just can’t figure out how or why.” Now I can explain the sense of community, how to network, and all of the other things you figure out by doing. But being out here in the Social Media world is not what I do from 7-5 every day. I wake up at 6 so that I can see what’s going on. I peek in as I am eating my 5-minute breakfast. I sneak peeks while I am waiting for a meeting to start or waiting for a phonecall. For me, this is a full-time hobby from the time I get home. It’s something I do on the weekends so that I can schedule posts out for the week.
In talking to Stan, the same thing is true of him and I’m sure many others. We work all day, try to eat dinner and do fun stuff (not that Social Media isn’t fun), and then, to use Stan’s word, we hustle. Because that’s the way the game is played. But in all of that hustling, there isn’t really someone talking to us. All of the advice about just telling your boss to go eat an ice cream cone – that’s not real in my world. It might be really motivational to someone who is ready to jump on the entrepreneurial trail, but that’s not real for me.
Who out there is talking to us worker bees? Who is talking about the people who didn’t get laid off over the last two years, but who were able to stay, fight and grasp and pull and fight some more? Who is talking about the fact that now, only just now, are things starting to look a bit rosier in the world for folks like me? Who is talking about the fact that Social Media really helped, but it wasn’t the end salvation?
There are some voices missing in Social Media, the voices who offer advice to folks like me. Are you looking for that kind of advice too?