April 24, 2014

Stop Wasting Time and Look At The Big Picture

Stop Wasting Time and Look At The Big Picture

Lately I have been struggling with managing my Twitter connections, keeping faithful to my somewhat-connector beliefs while trying to identify my audience in a better, more effective way.

While I still believe you shouldn’t be excessively picky on who to connect with, sometimes you really have to draw a line. I see Twitter accounts full of self-promotional links. Just that, nothing else. According to these people, the whole world of social media revolves solely around them.

Is it really worth to focus on the short-term plan, rather than the long-term, big picture?

Blogging for self-promotion

It could be pretty easy for me.

My company develops innovative marketing solutions, aiming particularly at emerging new technologies (mobile, web3d, advergames) used for promotional / marketing finalities. I could write just about this, using this blog as a mere case history of our projects and self-promotion of our products.

Would it work? Would it be interesting and engaging? I really doubt it. Maybe it could work for some other company, selling more consumer-centric products, that’s for sure. But for my company, no, I really don’t think so.

I tried for a while to post more technology-centric material, with good results among technology-savvy readers, industry peers sharing our same niche of market. Were they interesting people? Yes for sure. Customers? Not really, mostly because they had their own business up and running as well.

A world of opportunities

What I chose to do instead is considering my audience as something more than just a mass of customers, but an online community – and talking about audiences, I got my daily inspiration on the subject from the awesome Suzanne Vara, as it frequently happens lately.

I chose to write about stuff that interest me in first place, and that I am pretty confident will interest other people as well. But these people are probably not going to be customers either, so why do I even care?

Because your audience, any kind of audience, can be your best asset in this social media world, and perfectly complement your brand building strategy.

For my line of business, it’s really hard to have a direct reader->customer approach, we’re not giving away cookies after all.

So your objective, your end goal has to be something different, something not about immediately monetizing your efforts.

You really have to look at the bigger picture.

  • With this blog I show that my business isn’t just about my products, services or whatnot. I show it’s about people, working together for a common goal;
  • I respect my audience because I am not trying to sell stuff to it constantly – and by that I also mean that I don’t include a sentence inviting you to ask me how can I improve your business because I rock and you really should do it;
  • I realize that my audience is made of smart people who are not up for taking shit from me, they like to read interesting information but they won’t blindly follow my lead.

And when you do things right (or the closest to it possible), you realize people appreciate it, like my friend Paul Castain commenting on my latest post:

@esimplestudios You have great content and I thoroughly enjoyed your post. Rock on!
@paulcastain
Paul Castain

Start to value your audience

It can be your best ally. Its people can turn into fans of your brand – and not just in the Facebook meaning, but on a more serious note – and then, something kinda spectacular can happen when people from that very same audience turn into a friend.

With friends met like this, funky stuff can happen.

There can be business opportunities, chances that will make every short-term monetary gain pale in comparison.

Like a marriage, your audience is good for sharing both the good and the bad moments of your (business) life. Keeping it informed, of the good and bad things, is a key element of nurturing your audience and improving your online social networking, because the bad stuff will become public sooner or later anyway.

Your business is about your customers

The point is, though, you could never know where your customers came from. Because every little step you take today – including that one that looks insignificant or even counter-productive in terms of time spent – could become the source of something completely mindblowing in weeks, months or years.

I’ve seen this happening many times, some act of kindness, some information shared for no “$$$ reason”, just to be nice, turned into a friendship and then a business opportunities, eventually money.

Is it better to cash-in today or to plant the seeds of your business and let them grow into something amazing and unique that you really wanna be part of?

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Comments

  1. Murlu says:

    It’s definitely better to plant those seeds than go after the quick buck because someone that you rush through the sales process is in and out but those that have some kind of connection will often tell others – gotta love referrals!

    The only problem, and I’m sure you could agree Gabriele, is that far too many businesses don’t have the patience to wait for things to happen – they just want it now now now.
    Murlu recently posted..Accepting the 9-to-5- How To Get More In Life While Working A Full-Time Job

    • Gabriele Maidecchi Gabriele Maidecchi
      Twitter: maidoesimple
      says:

      Very true, it’s instant gratification time, you want to be awarded for your efforts in real-time. No time to wait for the big picture to shape itself. And that’s such a shame.

  2. Totally agree! I’ve recently been internalizing this meself…and the results have been extremely gratifying indeed.

    Always look at the bigger picture – your bottom line will thank you for it.

  3. Paul Castain
    Twitter: paulcastain
    says:

    I’m thinking a simple “AMEN” should suffice!
    Well stated!
    Respectfully,
    Paul Castain
    Paul Castain recently posted..35 Reasons To Email During The Holidays

  4. Patricia@lavenderuses
    Twitter: lavenderuses
    says:

    Hi Gabriele

    Building genuine relationships may take longer but they also last longer too. One of the reasons I love blogging is because it is more about relationships than just about marketing. I have just started doing product reviews and selling sourced products; but I built my blog first.

    Trust is so important and I’m sure people are fed up with a lot of the fluff that poses as the real deal. They are getting wiser and more sussed about those who are phoney. Great post. Thanks for sharing Gabriele

    Patricia Perth Australia
    Patricia@lavenderuses recently posted..Lavender Products Galore-Must Be Party Time

    • Gabriele Maidecchi Gabriele Maidecchi
      Twitter: maidoesimple
      says:

      Thank you Patricia. While I perfectly understand I can’t be an hypocrite and say I am not interested in business contacts through my blog, I believe that a simple “seller< ->client” relationship isn’t what works the best, for me at least.
      I prefer to build relationships that can potentially bring to business opportunities, and at the very least bring to knowing interesting people who eventually can become friends.

      Perhaps I am being naive but I think that’s the right way for me to manage this.

  5. Devesh - Technshare.com
    Twitter: tnsblog
    says:

    Great Post man. I like the idea of looking for big picture.

    Thanks for sharing this awesome post.
    Devesh – Technshare.com recently posted..WHY Are You Reading This Post

  6. Dennis Edell @ Direct Sales Marketing
    Twitter: DennisEdell
    says:

    I’ve been promoting this all along, and get shot down a lot.

    Communities turn into customers; life long, not the other way around. ;-)
    Dennis Edell @ Direct Sales Marketing recently posted..The Unrealized Idea – First Come First Served or Theft

  7. Walls Blank says:

    Hmmm… In an age of seo gurus full of no substance… finally a shiny tiny bit of useful words ring true. In other words I was actually looking for the info covered in this post. thanks!

  8. Daniel Sharkov@Blogging Tips
    Twitter: danielsharkov
    says:

    Heya Gabriele,

    Now that is what I call an example for a great title (and article as well lol). Anyway, you have covered some solid points and I’m totally with you! Blogging only for you and your business might at first seem like the best possible promotion, but it actually is far from that. The best way to promote something is indirectly. Mentioning it is not a bad thing, but it shouldn’t be the main focus. As you’ve said if you are doing that over and over again, it’s boring stuff and you won’t get much customers. Writing about what you are really interested is the best way to make an impression on people, since that is when you showcase the best you can come up with. Your last two points are valid as well. Your business is all about your customers. If it isn’t for those very same customers, there won’t be a business in the first place. Simple as that.

    By the way great job on adding Commentluv and Keywordluv. You are probably already seeing the benefits. Hope it works well for you. Have a nice day! :)
    Daniel Sharkov@Blogging Tips recently posted..More Comments and 6 Effective Techniques to Get Them

    • Gabriele Maidecchi Gabriele Maidecchi
      Twitter: maidoesimple
      says:

      Glad we agree Daniel, it’s no longer about “you” but about “everyone” nowadays, otherwise there wouldn’t be any point in embarking in social media at all.
      And yes, I see the benefits of CommentLuv+KeywordLuv, definitely, best choice I’ve ever made.

  9. I think being open and honest about the “bad stuff” is the better way to go. Not only do you get to tell the story your way, but it makes for a much better connection with people. I think it makes you look more trustworthy. If you’re sharing both the good and bad, people can trust that when you say something is excellent, and console you when you tell them something is terrible :)
    Jay @My Cloud Living recently posted..Why You NEED To Start A Project

    • Gabriele Maidecchi Gabriele Maidecchi
      Twitter: maidoesimple
      says:

      Being honest is what really matter in any kind of relationships, so I couldn’t agree more with you. Sharing even the bad stuff might seem counterproductive but in the end it pays as it shed a good light on you.

  10. Suzanne Vara says:

    Gabriele

    Thank you so much for including the article. I really appreciate the support you give to me and the blog.Heck, I even translated into Italian for ya. I love learning from you how different some things are in Italy vs USA. Thank you so much for that.

    I absolutely love this section:
    * With this blog I show that my business isn’t just about my products, services or whatnot. I show it’s about people, working together for a common goal;

    * I respect my audience because I am not trying to sell stuff to it constantly – and by that I also mean that I don’t include a sentence inviting you to ask me how can I improve your business because I rock and you really should do it;

    * I realize that my audience is made of smart people who are not up for taking shit from me, they like to read interesting information but they won’t blindly follow my lead.

    The 2nd one is so right on point that I want to steal it and use it on the website. It is not stealing if you tell that you are doing it, right? Just kidding. It packs such a powerful punch as I was reading an article the other day that spoke to just that. If you tell people that they can trust you, they are more apt to. Amazing. So I would guess that this holds true that if you tell people you are a rock star then they will believe that? Does trust have more meaning and hold more weight than rock star, superior, etc?

    Anyway, love the blog and happy to see it pop up in my inbox. I always know I will walk away thinking and/or writing something down to delve into further.

    • Gabriele Maidecchi Gabriele Maidecchi
      Twitter: maidoesimple
      says:

      Haha Suzanne feel free to “steal” what you want ;) In fact on a more serious note all this stuff is published with a CC license so it’s all into account.
      I was reading an article a way back that was exactly about what you mention about telling people “trust me”, so maybe you are right.
      Trust is the true essence in every relationship, when you lose it, it’s hard to get it back, and the loss of it – especially in social media – is contagious, as the (negative) word of mouth spreads on the net.

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