I bet you are wondering why I am constantly begging you to stop being coy, a nice guy, putz, wimp, wuss, wall flower, git, used-car salesman, poseur, recluse, hermit, fool, daydreamer, or introvert when it comes to being online.
Well, because I am trying to help you break down all your inhibitions, that’s why. I want you to be more willing to treat your social media followers the way they deserve: at the very least like allies, fans, and acquaintances; and, hopefully, like the friends they are or will become.
I know my methods are unconventional, but you really need a push. A chum of mine who will go unnamed picks at me on Facebook because I am getting to him! He’s conflicted! He is fighting me, however — and he doth protest too much! He’s afraid because he really wants to enjoy a fair world: a world where someone who is as completely over-the-top talented at what he does should rightfully attract the sort of social and financial rewards that he fully and rightfully deserves.
Everyone reveals themselves painfully one way or another, be it in a role in a movie, lyrics delivered with passion in a pop ballad, opening a vein in the pages of a novel; and, what’s more, all of these adored people who are easily- and naturally-followed aren’t.
By making connections online, I am not talking about starting a cult. I am not interested in advising anyone to use their friends, fans, followers, and connections to start a new religion.
But, in the same way that acting schools work on breaking through shyness, stage fright, and the general inhibitions of being self-conscious, I want you, too, to realize that in order to be the best community manager, brand representative, or your social media face, you’ll need to take all of this social media stuff as serious as a heart attack.
I don’t want you to become a fool for social media — or even a court jester — I need you to realize that you aren’t so much trying to become a cult of personality so much as you’re working hard (and not hardly working).
If you build it, they won’t come: even if it’s beautiful, charming, funny, or even offering the schematics for creating a legit fusion reactor — not until someone (either a super-someone or a lot of someones) know it’s there.
And it doesn’t matter how much money you’ve spent on ads or on an SEO consultant or even the way-too-many-tens-of-thousands of dollars you’ve spent on a gorgeous — the perfect — brochureware website.
Even that eBook or properly-published book of dead trees will mean nothing if you don’t have a prepared audience — a very large audience at that — then your brand won’t fly, your hours won’t be spoken for, your products won’t fly off the shelf, and your books won’t be read.
I guess, at the end of the day, even cults (and religions, I guess) need to build the same sort of trust in order to grow their followerships and deepen their influence, power, and treasure — to both ensure a legacy and legitimacy; however, just because it works for cults, hearts-and-minds are essential when it comes to not only becoming part of the most important conversations (upward influence) but also when it comes to having access to everyone else as well (popularity, penetration, and name recognition).
Just remember: there’s nothing inauthentic, duplicitous, untoward, skeevy, douchey, antisocial, or cultish about behaving such a way — unless, of course, you’re inauthentic, duplicitous, untoward, skeevy, douchey, antisocial, or the leader of a cult.
Pray tell me what your intentions are with my strategies and tactics, my good man, good woman? My tools and processes are agnostic and amoral — and what I recommend is that you allow your beautiful mind, soul, humor, and heart show brightly through, to as many as possible, from the bottom up and from the top down.
So, please do work hard at building a lively congregation, for sure — that should be your goal. And, like a church, coming back to your social media pews is not mandatory at all — you shall always be competing with Football, Lake Wobegon, 5ks, 10ks, marathons, CBS Sunday Morning, and also a warm beckoning bed. You need to be better and more compelling than all of these things and more. And since we’re not really talking about church, you haven’t Heaven and Hell to compel.
So, it’s worth it to get over yourself, do it now, and while shamelessness and fearlessness might
not be the right answer for you, it would surely be worthwhile to find ways of loosening up, lowering your inhibitions, and getting to know the online community you have, want, and aspire to, openly, honestly, and with the goal of growing your audience and amplifying your own good message.