The more I get out and about, the more I realise that so many people are still not aware of the power of being Social.
I say social because, for me, it isn’t just about Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn etc. It’s about being really social. There’s a lot to be said for taking the time and getting out there, talking to people face to face.
We’re living in a world where it’s more acceptable to have found love online. Where following someone on Twitter and liking and replying to their tweets is no longer stalker behaviour. It’s almost expected that we’ll have whole networks of people we can work with, that we have never even met.
We all talk about how we’re now addicted to our phones. We can’t put them down and they’re destroying our relationships. It should be about how we’re using technology to improve and make our lives easier. Not take it over. Technology isn’t there to replace the connections we have with people. It should open up the way we connect and support those new relationships.
Technology is all about how you use it. Sending an email. Having a meeting over skype. Organising a group to share advice and support. Whichever way you want to stay in touch and keep others updated, make sure that it doesn’t out you in a silo. Balance it with getting out and about. Hang out at a local coffee shop or, dare I say it, head to a co-working space. You probably won’t strike up an incredible conversation with the person next to you who’s just there for the free wifi. You will, however, feel better for getting out of the house and into a different environment.
Choosing how to communicate
Every service and product needs to make sure they have a presence on a variety of platforms. There’s a need to target users in a way that’s relevant and accessible. It’s also important though to remember that your users could be other be in areas or industries.
Who are your users? I mean the people need to use your service, those who you interact with, the people you need to keep informed or report to. Ultimately it could be anyone who has could have an interest in what you do or provide.
For instance an e-commerce app has buyers and sellers. It also has investors, press, internal decision makers, influencers, employees, and other sites . These all have an interest in how this product affects them. Their needs may not all be a priority but they do have a need to be kept informed for one reason or another.
Exploring these needs and how best to communicate them will help to determine which platforms are the best ones to focus on. Being aware that there are other users who might need to be involved at some stage will just keep you one step ahead. This is particularly useful when you need to make changes quickly. These same rules apply to yourself just as much as a product. As a freelancer, you’re selling a service after all.
It’s about remembering that targeting is good for focus but you also need anyone to be able to communicate that next opportunity for you. Describing what you do or how you work in a single way that’s clear and simple means that everyone you meet will understand it. That way your message can be easily shared by anyone, and that everyone becomes a marketer for you.
Most of all it’s about being open to allow serendipity to happen. It’s good for the mind. It’s keeps you curious. As we know that’s how you find the energy to keep going.