YOU 2.0 The New Killer App


tribeThe past Marketing Monday post gave some in depth information and suggestions about twitter and how the whole social networking thing fits together. What follows are some more thoughts and guidelines to help you start sorting things out.

The key and absolute most important thing to remember is that you are witnessing a living example of evolution driven by our need to connect, to communicate on whatever level we need and to be able to do so by choice. The evolution is not pretty, and is most definitely not linear and will not produce a  cure all, fix all, super-duper whizbang app that magically makes our world into what we want it to be. That app instead is looking more and more like us because it reflects our ever changing desires to be social, to connect with other humans. And because we are that app it will never stop changing, it will evolve as we evolve, changing it’s identity as our needs change. A fad it will not be, because WE are not a fad.

So what’s an artist to do? Well the simple answer is another question …do you want to continue being an artist? If you do, you will need to adapt yourself and your business by re-tooling, rethinking, and re-visioning on a continual basis.  What we do is uniquely social and personal and our success depends on how well we adapt and learn to build our connections. With this in mind what follows are some things you must do, tools you must have and thoughts you must hold to help you adapt and grow.

Actions you must take…

  • Determine your network readiness -identify your own readiness to build your system-what do you need to learn? How can you learn it? Where can you learn it? Are there ways you can get started that will not require a PhD ?
  • Identify your networks – where are they geographically? who are they made up of?
  • Identify your vision for your networks – each of your networks will likely be different – Know what that difference is and how you can tap into it. How will a mutually beneficial relationship with that network look for you?
  • Identify the status of your networks – do you have the tools to start building the network? E-mail list, what are their communications tools. You may need to use a combination of tactics for those you have a connection point and those you don’t. Use  e-mails when you can and old school analog methods for those you are not electronically connected to.
  • Identify key contacts in each network – They should have and know how to use e-mail, they preferably will be internet savvy and have the ability to reach out to others who enjoy your work.

Tools you must have…

  • Your blog – as mentioned earlier your blog is the mother ship of your network, build it nurture it and make it a place your network wants to come back to.
  • A place and way to sell your work on-line – There are a lot of choices from Etsy to Artfire to Zazzle depending on what you make, find a place that works for you. In the beginning choose a place that is ready for you to move into, and provides you with all the tools you need to show your work, and process transctions with minimal sweat on your part.
  • Tools to talk to your network – E-mail, Facebook and Twitter and all the ancillary tools that support their effective use. Be prepared to add mobile tools as well. Think of these tools the same way you think of your phone…most importantly focus on being human.
  • Tools to segment your network – Find and use the tools available and emerging to group your network according to your vision. Some of these tools are just becoming available and many are yet to be discovered.

Thoughts you must have…

  • A clear vision of your business and where you want to be and how you will get there.
  • Willingness to shed your fears and an openness to change
  • A deep knowing that you are in charge of your destiny, that what you think determines what you attract into your life and ultimately your business.
  • Your buyers are your friends ready and willing to support you.
  • A confidence in the value of your work.
  • The strong belief that just because you build it doesn’t mean they will come, success doesn’t happen overnight.
  • Not everybody is going to want what you have to offer, it is up to you to define you are best suited to serve and then do what it takes to attract them.
  • A deep understanding of the values and stories your work evokes and that the combination of the two are key to your success.
  • Success is not a guarantee all the tools in the world and all the strategies and tactics available cannot guarantee continued success unless you know how to use them
  • You will have ups and downs and it is how you handle the downs that determine your success.

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 YOU 2.0 The New Killer App

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Let’s talk a minute…about what your strategy shouldn’t be

Incandescent light bulb

The other day I had a coaching session with one of my clients during which we both had a major light bulb moment.  She was fretting about how all this new stuff would take up her time and keep her from doing what she loves…making art.   The light bulb switched on when I said ….our uses of social media/networking are different, because we have different visions. In fact I would say that each of us have different visions and those visions drive our strategies. ..we will  each have the right level of emersion that will work for us and that level will match our visions.

As a blogger my vision is to find and help as many artists as I can in whatever way I can. To do that I need to approach networking in a way that reinforces my vision. So I need to obsess over Search Engine Optimization (SEO), trends of page views etc. And I  also need to find and emerse myself in social networks that might hold potential readers…artists needing help negotiating the constantly changing business environment. So I spend a lot of time on-line finding and following trends to see if they could be helpful to my readers.

On the other hand you as an artist have a very different strategy, while mine is to sniff out information, yours is to find, build and nurture connections. If your strategy matches your vision the time needed to implement and follow your strategy will become less and less. In fact the time needed can be very little once you have your networks in place. You won’t have to “tweet” all day, you won’t have to spend hours on Facebook, and you won’t have to write multiple blog posts everyday. Remember,  the point of social networking for working artists is to use it as your very own communications channel,  to be an artist first and web/social media maven… only if it fits your vision.

 Lets talk a minute...about what your strategy shouldnt be

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