Tag Archives: blogs

Why Are You Still Not Doing Social Media?

I ran into a friend at the weekend who has just sold her business for millions and is already starting work on the next one.

She does not use social media. Does she need to when she has been so successful without it? Is that why you gave up on twitter because you’re doing so well  you can afford not to?

Here’s some reasons why you won’t be getting away with it all your life.

  • The venture capitalists behind Google,  Kleiner Perkins Caulfield Byers have just announced a £160 million fund for new social media start-ups. Do they think it’s going away?
  • Mark Zuckerberg said this week that every industry could be revolutionised by social media.
  • Your competitors are already doing it.
  • Because without it your online presence is static. Using twitter to drive people to your blog which in turn sends them to your website is dynamic and engaging.
  • Influencers are talking to each other online all the time, can you afford to be out of the equation or can you wait until the next business lunch – in New York?
  • Generation Y will not forgive you when they come looking for you on social media and you are not there. (Gen Y may be interns now but they will be CEOs quite soon.)

What would you tell my millionaire friend about why she needs to start with social media now?

My Mission Statement

You may have noticed over the past couple of posts that I was building up to something with thoughts about change and self-promotion.

Well, after blogging here for a year I think it is time to make some tweaks. I have had such a great time over the past 12 months that there is no way I am giving up now. I have deepened existing friendships, made new ones and got to know stacks of interesting people whose thoughts and opinions I value.

Excitingly I have also gained new professional opportunities which means I am going to have to set aside Monday mornings for hard graft. From today I will be posting on Tuesdays and Thursdays, giving you longer to read my stuff, think about it, comment and converse with me! 

I get more time to look into ideas I want to share with you and I think there will be a lot to say. This is going to be an important year for social media, with a lot of the early ideals being swept away by a tide of new users adapting the tools for their own purpose. We need to decide how we are going to respond to that and to re-examine why we use social media in the first place, what it means for conventional marketing and how traditional media is responding and coping with all this change.

My primary aim is still to help you get your message heard, whether that is working with you directly on a PR Boost or just chatting over the best way to utilise all the ‘do it yourself’ options out there.  (There you go, that’s my Mission Statement for Lucythorpe’sblog as we move into Year 2).

So I will see you on Thursday with some controversial thoughts on social media in the future and in the mean time I will crack on with some work.

Lucy

P.S. For more information about the PR Boost click on About Me and I’ll explain how you can get a one-off shot in the arm to promote your business.

How Much Self-Promotion is Too Much?

I think it might be time for a rant! Sorry but this has really got to me and I’m going to share it with you because it raises questions for us all;

How much self-promotion is too much?

I un-subscribed to a blog this morning and I did it with a heavy heart. I wanted to like it, I really did. This blog is run by a successful blog-writing company, so it should be brilliant and to begin with I liked their style – the verve and pizzazz – I found it inspiring.

But as time went by and I got to know the blog, I was put off by the level of self-promotion. I am quite bad at self-promotion myself and have vowed to get better so maybe I am over sensitive. I will admit to having an About Me page which I use to highlight special offers, but in general I believe a blog to be somewhere where we talk and pass on tips and add value to each others lives, not a giant advert.

Surely the blog in question could make their offers via a newsletter and keep the blog for information on why blogging is such a great promotional tool? (if this seems ironic I mean promotion through sharing expertise not money off coupons.)

Most of the blogs I love are not shy to promote their services but they make sure it is in exchange for quality advice, information and discussion. Their  promotion is mainly around the edges, using a box or a PS at the end. I don’t mind this because if I rate them highly then I want them to get new business and do well.

You may say if I don’t like the blog in question then don’t read it. Well I don’t anymore. Rant over.

What do you think –  do you manage your self promotion with a light touch or do you think using a blog to sell is the whole point?

Networking: The Only Thing You Can’t Outsource

If you need extra help to boost your business, you can hire experts to do almost anything.

Blog advisors and social media experts will happily run a check over your marketing efforts, suggest blog posts, check your site traffic and target your Search Engine Optimisation. Writers like me will even create a series of articles you can use or help you talk to the right people on Twitter.

What we can’t do is meet and network with these valuable real-life contacts on your behalf.

I have a friend, a talented PA, who had a successful career in the United States. She would dearly love to find her ideal boss. Her dream scenario is to work from home as a “virtual PA”.

I am definitely going to point her towards  LinkedIn as a great place to get her message out, but it occurred to me that what she really needs to do is meet and talk to as many people as possible who can help her find her man or woman.

Women who want to return to work are often held back by the idea that they only ever meet other mums.

Actually a lot of those mums are already carving out new careers for themselves and have valuable contacts. Most have working partners who  spend their day in the business environment.

So my friend needs to take the opportunity at parties, dinners and social occasion to let people know that she’s looking and with a little judicious use of social media, she could find the boss she’s looking for.

Why We Can’t Afford Free

I know a man who spends his days keeping society on the rails, and his nights gambling on the internet to pay for it. He is a magistrate and it’s one of the many jobs that people do for free.

There is an expectation today that things will be free and it has penetrated our lives to an astonishing extent. Kids graduating now, have grown up without any notion of paying for music, TV, movies or games.

Free, as Chris Anderson explains in his fascinating book of the same name, has its own economics. It knocks everything else out of the water. You simply can‘t compete with free. A CD that costs a penny will stay on the shelf if the one next to it is free. The free CD is a no-brainer because you make no commitment.

The free generation is pretty much “hostile to copyright”, as Chris Anderson has it, and is playing its part in taking down industries which no longer fit the old model. The record labels, the newspapers, even paid for TV and boxed-up video games are all struggling in a world where what you want is available now, online and for free.

This hostility to copyright has invaded intellectual property too. There is an expectation that your ideas, your experience and your expertise should be available to others for free, hence my friend the magistrate, who has to fund his good works by gambling.

But now there seems to be a backlash underway.

There’s been a surge in blog posts recently from people who have had enough. They have titles like, “Why do we blog if there is no money”, “How to make sure you don’t sell yourself short as a freelancer”, “Why I can no longer give my work away for free.” Witness also the move by the Third Tribe group of social media experts towards a paid for community. Access to the new stars of social media is no longer “all areas” but behind the velvet ropes.

Free and its counterpart, Cost, are heading for a titanic struggle.

Free has conditioned us to give away our efforts almost constantly. We make and share playlists, write blogs, review products and book our own tickets. We populate the internet with our free labour and our free content.

But to make a living, whether you are Rupert Murdoch trying to squeeze a  return out of your investment in newspapers, (who we don’t feel sorry for) or a struggling copywriter looking for payback from your free online advice, (who we do) money is at some point going to have to come back into the equation.

Murdoch is tackling the problem by putting up pay walls for on-line newspaper content, encouraging others to do the same. Whether people will go for it remains to be seen.

But the fact of the matter is, if information really does demand to be free to the end user, as Chris Anderson has it, then the big guy can afford to pay for it and still make money. Economies of scale and clever new ideas pay for give-aways on the back of profits made elsewhere.  (See Chris Anderson’s book for chapter and verse on companies offering free electric cars, free stock market trades, free long distance calls and even a shop in which the goods are all free.)

They can afford to do this because ‘free’ is an illusion. We are still the ones who pay.

So the shiny new economics of free look remarkably similar to the old economics of paid. And the little guy who struggles to keep up? He may end up paying too by going to the wall.


Someone is stealing my stuff.

Someone is stealing my stuff and I’m not too pleased about it.

It’s not like they broke into my house and took my computer but just the same theft is theft isn’t it ?

Here’s what happened. I was browsing on Google to check out how my blog was doing and I came across a post I did a few weeks ago. It was on a site dedicated to dogs. Now I did mention the Dog Whisperer Cesar Milan in a post about Malcom Gladwell’s new book, but it certainly wasn’t a post about dogs and I should imagine anyone coming across it while browsing for a little light canine reading would be very disappointed.

So why is someone scraping up all the blogs which mention dogs in some random way and putting them on a website ?

To make money of course. Money out of my and other people’s words.

I sound naive don’t I? People make money out of any tiny niche going. It’s the way of the world. I do know this. I know this because I have seen people selling courses on how to make a pitch at a networking event which exists to try to help people meet other people who might know people who might buy their stuff.

But selling ads round a load of dog blogs which in my case isn’t even a dog blog ? Come on.

The wise thinkers of the internet say we need to let go of our intellectual property. We should have the confidence to put our ideas out there. Post up your writing, your music, your business ideas all for free and then reap the rewards …er they always lose me when it comes to where we get the rewards from. Malcom Gladwell did a brilliant review of Chris Anderson’s book Free, the Future of a Radical Price in the New Yorker taking down a lot of this argument.

They argue that ‘Information wants to be free’. But does that mean free to be plagiarised or sold on as something else ?

Getting exposure for your ideas is seen as the holy grail, so if  dog loving eyeballs rest on my blog shouldn’t I perhaps be grateful ?

Well I love it when my blog comes up in directories and search engines just as much as you do but I’m not yet so much of a media tart that I want my stuff out there at any cost and what’s more the people searching for relevant content are being short-changed.

To that end I promise to look at the way I tag my posts to check they are relevant.