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The Social Media Bootstrapper – courtesy of Julian Summerhayes

July 5, 2012
The Social Media Tools Are Free.
Let me repeat.
Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+, Facebook and throw in a few blogs and you have unlimited reach.
To bootstrap* is not to think amateurish. But it does mean getting down from your High Horse, and stop complaining about the lack of opportunity.

You want to engage, make connection after connection after connection, and generate sales.
So, save for social media, what are you doing?
Think always – EARN ATTENTION!
To earn attention and to keep it you have to be interesting, thoughtful and think ‘them’ and not ‘us’. You know what you are like: every time you receive an email, you ask the perennial question
What’s In It For Me?
You may feel that all this social media ‘fluff’ is no different to any other marketing jargon, and you may be right – it may just be an excuse for people to clamber aboard another quasi bubble and milk it to death. The problem is you are taking a risk with something that you should see as a natural extension of business development.
However, more is not better. Everything you produce needs to be the very best you are capable of and not just put out there for the sake of it.
The biggest problem for most people is time. Most people will come up with a host of reasons why they can’t engage. In one sense it wouldn’t sound credible from someone who operates in this space to criticise your lack of engagement, but my deft or not-so-deft response is to say “Come on! What else are you going to do?
In truth, your biggest competitor is your desk, and whilst I am not advocating you give up on speaking to and meeting with real people, at least with social media you can use that desk time to reach a few thousand people that might not be possible no matter how many networking events you attend.
I would reckon you have to commit to an additional 15 mins as a minimum where you need to engage with your audience. Surely, as someone who cares passionately about your career you can afford to give up that much time?
You might also get familiar with a few tools:
  1. Hootsuite. This enables you to integrate in one place Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook;
  2. Buffer. This integrates with Twitter and LinkedIn and means you can post content when you are not around;
  3. A smart-phone. Seems blindingly obvious, but so much of your social media can be done on the go;
  4. The LinkedIn app which works on a tablet or smart-phone is quite good. It certainly works better than trying to deal with your profile etc via a browser on your phone;
  5. Google Reader. This is the best RSS (Really Simple Syndication) system out there. If you are not familiar with the idea of RSS, it simply means that you can aggregate all the news from the various websites that you routinely visit in one place. It enables you to share your content and many others across Google+, LinkedIn and Twitter.
  6. Finally, try Soundcloud. It is quicker than video and you might be surprised with how easily build a following.
One final note.
Get a Blog.
For me Blogging is more important than any other aspect of my business development. More than that it enables me to gauge the temperature of my market, get some immediate feedback and build my profile. Absent a blog, it will be difficult to establish a niche – unless you fancy being wedded to Twitter 24/7.
At the end of the day, social media is no substitute for Excellence in your service or product but it does open up a window to the world that was previously out of reach. And you might just find you enjoy it.
I hope you are enjoying these Newsletters. Please feel free to forward this to someone who you might also benefit. Also, if you are able to encourage people to sign up to my Newsletter (here is the link) then I would be really grateful. Alternatively, it is always good to connect on Google+, Twitter or LinkedIn.
Julian Summerhayes
Brand You
T: 07588 815384
Visit Julian’s Blog for more fabulous features
*Bootstrapping refers to a group of metaphors that share a common meaning: a self-sustaining process that proceeds without external help.
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