It’s Not About Getting A Bigger Audience, It’s About The Quality of Connection

You want a bigger audience, right? There is the assumption that exposure to more people is the path to success, to riches, to glory, to validation, to the career you always wanted.

Probably not.

Too many people skip past honing the basics, rushing to grab a bigger and bigger audience, despite the flaws in their product or service, their creative work, their marketing, customer service or so many other areas.

I was listening to a workshop from Tad Hargrave the other day, who brilliantly described the problem as this:

Clients come to him to make their business more successful. Their goal at the start is to ask him to help them get more clients. So if their business is represented as a bucket, that person wants more water in their bucket, where the water represents clients.

But when Tad looks at their businesses, he sees untapped opportunity. Ways that their business model is not serving existing customers as well as it could, and because of this, they are leaving money on the table. Using the metaphor: their buckets have holes in them. So Tad would rather fix the holes in the bucket so that it can better hold the water in there already, rather than pouring in more water to try to capture some value, even as it quickly slips away.

Tad gives examples of ways that the businesses he works with can generate more revenue from existing customers, by better understanding their needs and how their business can provide even more value to them. So instead of running around all the time trying to “grow their audience,” they will be focused on creating a more sustainable core business.

Smaller is oftentimes better. Even in business. Tad talks about this concept and others here as well.

I find similar themes when I work with authors. Oftentimes, they think they just need exposure to more people – millions more people. When really, they need to better serve the relationships and audience they already have, in the communities they are already a part of. There is so much potential still unlocked. It is there, if they would only stop and pause long enough to see it.

An example of this is a question I often ask writers I speak to: does your family, friends, and work colleagues know that you are a writer? You may be surprised how often they sheepishly tell me “not really.” They don’t share that side of themselves with those around them, it may be too personal, or invite too much judgement from those they care about most, or judge them most harshly.

But for these writers, the people around them represent their tightest connections, their most important network. If you are a writer trying to get a foothold as to developing an audience, understanding your readers, and living the life of an author, this could be your easy in to do author readings at local schools, libraries, or bookstores. That this helps give you the experience you need to grow the support for your work in your local community, and be the launchpad to extending beyond.

In other words, don’t rush past those who already respect you, on your way to pitching others.

This is similar to the 1,000 true fans concept, that it is the quality of connection to others that matters, not the quantity. For a writer developing their career, this can be the shortcut to growth, and to understanding the value that relationships play in finding success.

On Refinement: Do Fewer Things, More Effectively

I have been in a process of refinement recently. Challenging what it is I hope to create, who it is I hope to become. A process that results in doing fewer things more effectively, in understanding not just what I do, but how it affects the world. The result of all of this will be some exciting new things, all centered on refining what We Grow Media is, and how I can provide even more value to those who inspire me: writers and publishers.

Some of this will be “surface” level stuff, I will be launching a new website soon, along with a new logo, and a new profile image for social media. I know, this sounds incredibly self-centered to even mention. But it matters. It matters to consider every aspect of how I communicate with others – ensuring it all aligns to a single purpose.

It’s crowded out there. The highways are crowded, the coffee shop is crowded, the media is crowded, your email inbox is crowded, and social media channels are crowded. As I grow my business and become further engaged with writers and publishers, chances are that I have microseconds by which to communicate with someone new. How I use those microseconds matters.

The ultimate goal is to establish the seeds of a trusting relationship. One that will share and help – one that creates meaning over time.

Beyond the “surface” refinement, I have been tearing down and rebuilding the services I offer. Ideally – you won’t even notice. Nothing about WHY I do what I do will be changing. I will still be offering courses, workshops and consulting. But the details matter, and I have been analyzing them, and getting LOADS of feedback from others.

Mostly, I have been looking deep into the past, and deep into the future. Of who I have always wanted to be, and what I hope to build with We Grow Media. This is not about following short-term trends, this is about measuring value in years, not months.

It’s a fascinating process, one where I have to really focus on what I believe in, rejecting roads that lead to easy revenue, but don’t build anything long-term.

For me, the goal is to focus more on helping to push others forward. On partnering with those who inspire me. On turning not just idea into reality, but dream into achievement. Those I work with – writers and publishers – are often those working against great odds. And it’s my goal to help stack the odds in their favor.

This process is not about becoming a faceless brand, but to scale what I do so that it has an effect greater than what one person can give. That there is a unique differentiator in what I do, one that is never about having “competition,” but rather, in having colleagues. Those who are as passionate and driven as I am about similar goals.

That in building a company, this is not about putting fake external things on top of who I am in order to seem “professional.” But rather, to do what feels right – to build a business via relationships and a positive impact on the world, not simply by following the smell of money. That the true results are measured in the legacies we leave.

I have had an amazing year by absolutely any measure. For this, I am unbelievably thankful. I appreciate your joining me in this journey, and hope that we are able to connect more fully next year.

Thanks!
-Dan
973-981-8882 | Twitter: @DanBlank | dan@danblank.com

Should Writers Focus on the Craft of Writing or Building Their Audience?

Is it better for a writer to focus only on developing their craft, or also on understanding how to build and engage an audience? This is a debate that has been thriving online this year in the writing community, so I thought I would address the topic today.

The latter issue here: “building and engaging an audience” has been disparaged by using terms such as “branding,” “marketing,” “platform” and similar words. The implication is: Should Bob Dylan have spent his time in 1962 writing songs, or designing ads for his album? Does a writer corrupt their work by focusing on marketing instead of creating an amazing work of art and craft?

So for writers, I’ll also take the easy way out: For me, the answer is clearly to focus on both creating one’s work, and connecting their work to the world. Why? Because doing so provides two things that are incredibly powerful, and somewhat rare:

  • Confidence.
  • Turning intention into reality. That lots of folks TALK about having a writing career, but many of them treat their work as a hobby. That many other things take precedence to the millions of things it takes to become a successful writer.

That an inherent part of building and engaging an audience is sharing. That without sharing one’s work, it runs the risk of dying in a vacuum. Twenty years ago, that vacuum was a manuscript at the bottom of a desk drawer. Today, it is a lonely word processing file on your hard drive. Never shared, never improved based on the outside world, forever trapped in an endless and closed process of revisions. That, even a work that is only shared in writing workshops, and never “published” to readers, is a work that perhaps has no end. There is always another edit that can be made.

For many writers, that keeps their work “pure,” because it is not complete. So they don’t have to wrestle with the hard choices about publishing, marketing, connecting – because as they will tell you: “that is putting the cart before the horse.” But if a piece of writing is never completed, always in revisions, then how can it impact the world, and build your legacy as a writer?

While Bob Dylan did not spend 1962 designing ads for his work, he did spend his time in cafés, performing, speaking to those who had similar beliefs, exploring other musicians, and engaging in the world around him. He was intentional to get his music in front of others, to be where he needed to be, to meet the right people. When I speak about a writer building and engaging an audience, these are the types of activities I refer to. To be present in the community you hope that your work has an effect on. Not to be simplifying one’s work and exploiting it in exchange for money. (that’s just icky)

If A Book is Published in a Forest…
But the real risk is that once a work is ready to be shared, is if the author has no skills or foundation by which to get people to read it. So the work dies.

The act of “publishing” is not the critical part of being a writer, it is the act of being read.

The process by which their stories and ideas spread, and truly impact the world.

I have heard this chant at writing conferences and writing blogs again and again: “Write the best book possible.” “Focus only on your craft, and the world will eventually find your work and reward you.”

Bullsh*t.

I’m at the age where I remember a world before the internet. A world where it wasn’t assumed that everyone would have “followers.” Where people wouldn’t complain at “only” having 48 followers, a world where that would be INCREDIBLE to have 48 followers!

When I was a kid I was an artist. When I was a teenager I began writing poetry and other forms of what was called creative writing. I got into photography. In college, I published a music fanzine, which occupied far more of my resources than college work did. (sorry mom and dad) In my twenties I became (a very poor) musician, and created a series of (unpublished) pop up books. Since then, I have gotten more and more into nonfiction writing.

Through each of these projects, I remember how hard it was to not just create the work, but to connect it with others who may appreciate it. That for many writers, artists, and musicians I knew, their work only got polite attention from friends and family. Is that enough? If you are a writer who has written for four decades, is that enough for you? That when you die, your legacy dies with you because your work never found an audience?

What is This Dreaded Word “Branding,” Anyway?
To me: “branding” is about learning how to communicate one’s purpose, the value of their work, and connecting that to the world. Not to change one’s work because of the world, just connecting to it. That many creatives stumble when asked about their novel, their art, their music. They give long convoluted explanations, half-apologizing along the way.

When you know what you are about, when you know how it taps into what others are passionate about, then you are able to make powerful and meaningful connections.

No, I’m not afraid of the word “branding” because it’s just a word. What you make of it – something restrictive or something empowering – is up to each individual. When I work with writers to develop their “brand” – it is never about putting a fake surface on top of their work. It’s always about cutting to the heart of their purpose, of the power of their work, and how that resonates in others – how it connects to the hopes and dreams of those they intend to connect with. It’s not about creating “fans.” That is a one way relationship. It’s about becoming a part of something. Together making a whole.

Building one’s platform is not about marketing. It’s NOT about creating an engine to constantly pitch others. It’s simply about being present. For me, it’s about real connections. I post my cell phone number all over the web and social media when connecting with others. Why? To show that I am a real person, and I want to connect with like-minded people. That there isn’t a barrier between us called “social media.” That I am not using social media how some people use their cars: as a barrier between themselves and others that allows you to assuage the guilt of cutting others off, speeding in a school zone, and honking.

If you call 973-981-8882, I’ll pick up. But please, I have a 1 year old at home, so call at reasonable hours!

Confidence and the Creative Process
What I believe in is a process of iteration. Where you create the best work you can, and then share it. Then you learn from that process, and create a new work as best you can, and share it. If you are forever trapped in the process of creation without sharing, without publishing and building the skills to do so, you jeopardize your entire legacy.

You don’t build a legacy based on intentions, but rather on actions.

The process of iteration challenges you in ways that are uncomfortable. But if you are open to it, you develop confidence. The confidence of a creator, and the confidence of someone who can clearly communicate the purpose and value of their work with the right people.

The reasons for this are best described on page 30 of Steve Jobs’ biography, as Jobs describes how creating and selling little illegal pieces of hardware called “Blue Boxes” to college students gave him the necessary ingredient to build a company that would change the world:

“If it hadn’t been for the Blue Boxes, there wouldn’t have been an Apple,” Jobs later reflected. “I’m 100% sure of that. Woz and I learned how to work together, and we gained the confidence that we could solve technical problems and actually put something into production.” They had created a device with a little circuit board that could control billions of dollars’ worth of infrastructure. “You cannot believe how much confidence that gave us.” Woz came to the same conclusion: “It was probably a bad idea selling them, but it gave us a taste of what we could do with my engineering skills and his vision.”

Why do I advocate that writers, artists and creators put their work out there? To focus on connecting with their audience? Because it validates. Because it teaches. It educates. Because it – sometimes slowly – builds confidence.

It also gives you a fuller view of the complexity and value of your work in the world – not just in your mind. That sales is a part of a book’s lifespan. That reaction is an important part of a work. That this inherently challenges the writer/artist/creator. That it takes your work out of the locked bedroom, and sees if it has wings – a chance to grow beyond ourselves.

Is this true for every creative work? No. Some books, some albums should be created in a pure vacuum. But the critical thing is that they are shared, and the artist goes back to the studio to craft something new. I do not think that Dylan’s early career would have improved by committee, or by responding to polls and research of his audience. He pushed others in ways that were uncomfortable, and forced them to evolve in the process.

In fact, many are huge fans of his early work, but his later work (after he has put in Gladwell’s 10,000 hours) resonated with a much more limited audience. Is this bad because he didn’t create popular work? Is this good because he followed his own artistic vision? Not an easy question to answer. If you go see Dylan live, do you want to hear “The Times They Are A Changin” or do you want to hear his 1988 album ‘Down in the Groove’ in it’s entirety, ignoring all of his work from the 1960s and 70s?

Many say they don’t care about popularity, but are they saying they don’t want to be appreciated either? This answer is different for every writer, artist, and musician. And we can’t assume one person’s answer holds true for others. But what keeps someone continuing to create even when they have found no real success with their previous work?

I was lucky that my early creative work was supported and encouraged by friends, family, and the community I was a part of. Their support gave me the confidence I needed to continue to create. I think that is a major hurdle for most writers, musicians and artists. We covet. We fear. We find excuses. We get trapped in revisions. Trapped in waiting for just one more thing to do before we share it.

Create, Publish, Learn, Evolve, Repeat
I’ve talked in the past about principles of the lean startup movement, and it 100% applies here. Of not just developing your brilliant idea, but developing a feedback loop, and getting comfortable putting your ideas out there – of making creation a social process where the needs of others are built into it. You need to develop a process that helps you work past points of failure. Any story of greatness is often riddled with moments where it easily could have all fallen apart, but they had the skills to move past it to find success. You need that. We all need that!

Should the Beatles have never released an album until Sgt. Pepper? Until they had created a masterpiece? That is how some writers approach their career. All of their eggs are in one basket, instead of building a variety of skills, including learning how to share your work to find readers, not just an agent or publisher.

You have to launch to grow.

The Myth of Quality
Another part of this discussion that is often overlooked is that quality is subjective. That what one person loves, another hates. I have been to writing conferences where an author in the audience proclaims that their book is indeed the best it can be, and is better than anyone else could write it. But the topic was somehow repellent to others; there was nothing offensive about their work, it was just a topic that didn’t resonate, a cover design that didn’t resonate. I saw others actively trying to get away from conversations from this particular author. So here this person had a book they felt was great, but people were running for the hills. Was that due to the quality of the work, or their inability to communicate it’s value?

When you can’t communicate the value of your work, how can others experience its quality?

Likewise, we tend to equate the amount of time we spend honing something with the level of quality we are instilling in it. But quality and time have nothing to do with each other. Great works can be created in a moment, and no amount of editing and revision could have improved them. The hardest decision an artist makes is knowing when to put down the brush, when one more stroke will not bring to life their creative vision, but begin to destroy it.

Build the Bridge Before You Need It
One other way I want to look at this topic – considering whether a writer should focus on how they communicate their message, not just develop their craft – is to consider how they manage their writing career. So let’s consider how non-writers tend to manage their careers. You know: regular people you see day to day. This is how most careers are managed:

Someone works hard to find a job.
They get the job.
They work hard to ensure they don’t get fired.
They do good work.
They get comfortable.
They have no time for anything outside of work.
They build relationships ONLY within their company.
They build skills ONLY applicable to a very specific role within a very specific company.
They never learn to communicate to others outside of the company what they do. They rely on a business card and a title to say it all.

But then…
They get laid off.

And suddenly, they dust off their resume that hasn’t been updated in years.
They stop making fun of how boring LinkedIn is, and try to build their connections there.
They start calling people they haven’t spoken to in years.
They go to meetups in their industry that they have never even considered going to before.
They send out hundreds of resumes.

They panic, they get depressed.
They lose their identity.

But then…
They get a new job, and repeat the entire process above again.

That, oftentimes we eschew things like “branding” and “marketing” because we don’t need them at the moment. We feel pure without them. But… when your perfect work is finally done, finally published, and [if] it languishes on the shelves, suddenly, marketing becomes an interesting topic.

But is it too late by then?

Getting read and finding an audience is not about branding and marketing – it is about communication.

We See What We Want to See
We each have different heroes, and different worldviews. In the end, we will all see exactly what we want to see. I imagine Joe Konrath will tend to see stories in the world that prove self-publishing is the answer. Others see their own story – perhaps that the writer should never ever consider the marketing or business aspects of publishing. And you know what, everyone is right. What is right for you, is wrong for someone else. There is not one answer in publishing. Should you let branding and author platform kill your creative process? Of course not. Leverage them if you want. Ignore them if you want. But make a personal choice, not a black and white view of what is right for others.

So let’s all just hug and get on with writing, reading, and perhaps sharing some good conversation over hot cocoa.
-Dan
973-981-8882 | Twitter: @DanBlank | dan@danblank.com

Writers: Connecting to Your Audience Begins at Creation

When is the best time to begin thinking about marketing your book, connecting it to readers? At creation.

Before it is done. Before you have a title. Before the cover is designed. Before you have an agent. Before you have a publisher. Before you know the launch date. Before you have something to “sell.”

Dan Blank Why? Because marketing is not just a selfish process of selling something to people, it is a process of connecting with and understanding those that you share a worldview with. It is a process to understand your audience – what gets their attention – the marketplace they exist in – what gets them to take action – and how the support system around them operates: the agents, publishers, bookstores, book blogs, reviewers, and so many others that create the community around readers.

This is a process of learning.

When you consider marketing while creating, subtle changes can be made at this point that makes your work MORE meaningful to those you are hoping to connect with.
This is not about changing your work to pander to what others want. This is not about dumbing down to get mass audience appeal. I have been an artist, a musician, and a writer: I RESPECT the creative process – the act of listening to your inner voice to create something uniquely you. That you are doing something that moves our culture forward, and not just filling a gap in “the market,” or watering down your work to try to give others what they think they want.

But… if your book needs to find an audience. If you need to take steps to become a full-time author. If your work needs to support your personal life or a professional business. Then…

You may want to consider the process of marketing during creation. In the past I have written that not every creation needs to be shared, and used the example of a series of pop up books that I once spent three years creating. I was exploring ideas and a story in ways I never had before. I realized that the more I thought about ‘the market,’ about becoming a ‘published author,’ the more watered down it became. So I threw that idea out the door, and it became a personal project, with zero goals of sharing it beyond a few close friends. As an artist and writer, that was satisfying. But it should also be noted that those books haven’t seen the light of day in more than a decade. Those who had seen the books during that time still ask me what I am going to do with them, offended that the answer is: “nothing.”

But… I didn’t need those books to be my identity. Or my career. Or the foundation for a business. I just needed to create them for myself. I just needed to explore that story.

So if you are working on a book, and don’t care if 10 or fewer people read it, then – GREAT. I love that. But if you will judge success by the number of people who read your book. By HOW engaged they are. By the connections you make, the lives affected. If you want your ideas to SPREAD. Then consider marketing early in the process of creation. Consider building your author platform. Consider if you know who your ideal audience is and how to reach them. Consider if you know how to talk about your book and how to connect that with interests and desires already in the minds of those readers.

Sometimes this process of marketing at creation happens naturally. You are drawn to the people, places, and ideas that align with what you are creating. Conversations are something you seek out. Relationships are built. Your work is already affecting the world.

But sometimes this doesn’t happen. The idea is coveted – protected – and thus, not shared. The creator hides their process, hides their work, becomes tongue-tied when trying to explain it, gets shy about even mentioning it because it means potential judgment. It takes a lot of confidence to talk about one’s personal creative process openly with friends, family, and coworkers. So, many writers live a double life. Their creation is born in secret.

I think the key is that we get jaded about terms such as “marketing.” That it means a different purpose and identity than “creation.” That great work should speak for itself, and magically find it’s way into people’s lives. That we engage with the business end of things as a painful necessity, hiring mercenaries to shout about our work for short periods, but that our grace comes with the legacy of becoming part of the pantheon of great writers.

Carolyn Parkhurst illustrates this best:

I understand that when we talk about marketing, you may be thinking this is akin to selling out, or focusing your very limited resources on the wrong things. But I have worked with enough writers to know that it is a lot of HARD WORK to find success. That too many writers fail to not just share their work, but they give up on the process of writing altogether.

It’s hard work to succeed, and not just for the little guy, the newbie coming up. It’s hard for those famous and successful writers as well – to find continued success. They worked hard to get where they are, and many of them rarely slow down, always trying to further cement their body of work, engage new readers, and extend their legacy. Their success is earned by inches.

I just watched the 2002 documentary, The Comedian, where Jerry Seinfeld shares his process of creating an entirely new comedy routine after retiring all of his old material. It shows the struggle he goes through to create good jokes, and to constantly test them out in front of audiences. He characterizes his work ethic this way:

“When I was starting out, I used to sit down and write a couple times a week. Then one day I was watching these construction workers go back to work, trudging down the street. It was like a revelation to me. I realized: these guys don’t want to go back to work after lunch. But they’re going, because that’s their job. If they can exhibit that level of dedication for that job, I should be able to do the same. Just trudge your ass in.”

The documentary shows Seinfeld – one of the biggest names in comedy – on stage in small clubs, testing new material from scraps of paper, forgetting his jokes, in anguish over nerves before a gig. It shows him – a very wealthy man with one of the most successful TV shows ever – trying again and again.

This is someone whose creative process is inherently a part of how he shares his work. Is it different for writers of books? Sure. In fact, it’s different for every individual. Only you can decide your creative process, how you will develop your writing career, how you will connect with readers. That is the joy of it, and for some, the endless frustration of it. But if your goal is to reach a wide audience, to engage people again and again, then consider how you share your work as you develop it. Consider connection during creation.

Thanks!
-Dan
973-981-8882 | Twitter: @DanBlank | dan@danblank.com

Promote an IDEA, Not a Product

I often hear this advice given to those engaging in social media:

Talk 95% about others, 5% about yourself.

Today, I want to dig in to what that might look like for an individual or brand. When considering this, I think people often INTEND to talk about others, but two things get in their way:

Dan Blank

  • Their runway is short. They have a new product launching soon, and they desperately want to begin promoting it now.
  • They are so excited about their own work, and they assume others will be too.

This is where people tend to ADVERTISE instead of ENGAGE in social media. So how can one do both? Talk about others, while also helping to establish their own brand? Let’s ask this question within a specific context:

Should Apple should spend 95% of their time talking about others, and 5% talking about themselves?

What would that look like? Maybe something like this:

  • How others create beautifully designed and functional objects. These could be case studies, videos, interviews, or merely reflections on other companies that do things well.
  • Stories of people’s creative process: how they whittle away the unnecessary to create their work. This could focus on people from history or current day artists or designers.
  • Creative uses of their products: how their customers use Apple products to create vibrant businesses and creative work.
  • The problems in the world that Apple sees, and a focus on those who are solving them. EG: The need for green design and smaller packaging in consumer products.
  • Their passion for design – where they see great design elsewhere in the world.
  • Those who have inspired the world (and Apple) along similar values.

Apple has done some of these things in specific places, but not the exact 95/5 ratio.

Think DifferentThere are in-between areas, where a company such as Apple talks about both others – and themselves – at the same time. So when you see those old “Think Different” ads, they featured others: Jim Henson and the like. So technically, Apple is talking about “others.” But really, they are trying to align themselves with an IDEA, then get you to buy into that idea, and by doing so, you are aligning yourself with Apple. It’s the whole:

If A = B and B = C, then A = C

…thing. So in the example above:

If the creative spirit = Jim Henson,
And Jim Henson is in an Apple ad,
Then Apple must = the creative spirit

When you promote ideas larger than yourself, you give people infinite ways to find a way in. It aligns to preconceived notions they may have had, or experiences that were meaningful to them in the past. That someone has a childhood of memories about how free and excited Sesame Street made them feel, and now as adults, those feelings are being tapped into to shape our viewpoint of Apple products. That, as someone building the image of your brand, you are somehow channeling an idea that is buried in their mind, surfacing it, and getting them to say: “YES!” to something that just happens to be two inches away from your brand.

There is a halo effect to that.

That if you believe what Jim Henson believed, then you and Apple are alike. They are friend, not foe. That, just maybe, we can trust Apple. You aren’t that tribe on the other side of the river: “other.” You are from the same place, going in the same direction.

There are also in-between areas such as a math tutor broadcasting the message: “I am so proud of my student who just got into Harvard. Nice to see our hard work together pay off.” So here, the teacher is talking about someone else, but also talking about the value of their own work, and aligning themselves with the reputation of Harvard.

The Apple ads above are quite old. Nowadays, Apple does this by showing off innovative apps for their iPad and iPhone devices. Sure, they are promoting others, but in doing so, promoting the capabilities of Apple’s own devices.

Another interesting example can be seen in 37 Signals. Their homepage does indeed talk 95% about THEMSELVES.

But… their wildly popular company blog does talk about others. It shares a range of things about their viewpoint as a company, who inspires them, about trends that they feel threaten the things they value. In fact, most of the posts are somehow related to themselves, but it’s not always directly promotional. They are taking a layer off, bringing you inside to connect with their ideas, their employees, and those in their community. And you know what: it works. It’s an incredible resource because of HOW they talk about things. They aren’t promotional, they are exploratory, they are creating a worldview.

In your own use of social media, it would involve ReTweeting others as much as sharing your own observations; It would mean including @names liberally; It would mean sharing the INSPIRATION for what you do, not just the sales pitch for what you do.

That, when you talk about ANYTHING, you are promoting an IDEA, not just a product.

I think this is why I (and many others) constantly use Apple as an example. Sure, they are always promoting a product for us to buy. But, they also try to show us what great design is, that it is more than a list of features, that what you remove is as important as what you add.

Steve Jobs talks about this in the 1990’s:

“The focus is about saying no. And the result of that focus will be some really great products, where the total is much greater than the sum of the parts.”

When engaging in social media, this is something to keep in mind. That what you share, that how you interact reflects on your brand and overall message in subtle ways. That when someone says: talk more about others than about yourself, they mean to support, help and give more than you ask or take. And that this will come back to you in thousands of small positive ways.

It is a long term strategy. In that same Steve Jobs video that I mentioned above, he talks about the investment Apple is making in the future. This was at a time when Apple stock shares were at a historical low: in the teens. He said: when the press have a shortsighted view of what Apple is building, and they undervalue the stock, go out and buy it. The stock is now in the high 300s, and the company is one of the greatest turnaround stories in the history of business.

If you want to build something of lasting value – the foundation of a legacy – talk more about ideas rather than making an overt sales pitch.

Thanks!
-Dan
973-981-8882 | Twitter: @DanBlank | dan@danblank.com