Here’s how you can help me

by Mack Collier

If you’ve read my writings for any amount of time, you know I love the rockstar metaphor as it applies to how companies can have fans as opposed to customers.  And I’m a big fan of how @amandapalmer connects with her fans and leverages those connections to grow her brand.  Yesterday I found this interview with her, and noted this section where she talks about musicians making money:

I think asking for money is generally considered shameful in the art and music world; it has been for ages. Art has this untouchable romanticism constructed around it; this cultural ideal about artists and how they shouldn’t touch money because it strips away the integrity of their art. But that’s obviously bullshit, especially if you look throughout history and see that artists have ALWAYS needed to fund themselves and their work creatively, sneakily, with gusto and with shamelessness. The only mistake I think I’ve made is not making the connection sooner. I think I was still living in the delusion back when we signed. Living inside this idea that we, as major-label-artists, would get to live on the Special Cloud of Art without Commerce. If I’d been thinking ahead, I would have been training and educating our audience from the very start to support us directly.

In reading that, do you see any parallels to bloggers/etc making money off social media? I sure do.  I think this is one of the biggest roadblocks for many of us that are active in social media: The fear of self-promotion.  Just in discussing the results of last week’s Twitter engagement experiment with others, so many people have told me that they never thought to tweet their new posts to Twitter, or that they could never do it more than once.

Folks I was tweeting a link to each day’s post 4-5 times every day on Twitter.  Not one person said a word about it.  Now I’m not saying that we should all suddenly turn into pimp machines for our content and brands, but I do think we need to get over some of our hangups about self-promotion.  We need to learn to ask for help, because most times our readers and the friends we have connected with WANT to help us.

So I want to practice what I preach, and do that here.  Here are some ways that you can help me, and I would really appreciate if you did:

1 – Hire me to help you with your social media efforts.  Or if you don’t need help right now, refer me to a friend or colleague that does.  If you need help creating and executing a comprehensive social media strategy, launching a blog or Twitter presence, or just need someone to look over your shoulder from time to time, I can help.  No matter how much help you need, or how little your budget is, I can find a way to work with you.  If you do, please email me at mack.collier@gmail.com.

2 – If you’ve been thinking about starting a blog, ‘Just Do It’.  My friend Lisa Petrilli finally pulled the trigger on her blog last week, and her results have been nothing short of amazing.  In fact, her very personal post from today about asking a stranger for help partially inspired this post.

3 – When you learn something, share it with us. Every time I write a post where I share this blog’s stats, or where I talk openly about my prices, I get two types of reactions.  The first group is grateful that I gave them a ‘behind the scenes’ look at exactly what I did, and that it helped them understand the process.  The second group is stunned that I ‘shared the numbers’, and wonder if I made a mistake in doing so.  Guys, I understand completely that a lot of people looked at my posts from last week and thought ‘Whoa!  So Mack’s only getting that many visitors a day? I get more than that!’  Of course they do, so what?  If sharing my stats with you helps you understand exactly what I did AND helps you with YOUR blogging efforts, then I could care less who knows what my numbers are.  I’d rather be spending my time helping you, than worrying over who might have more visitors than I do.

4 – If you get value from my posts, please share them with others.  You can do this in two ways.  The first is by simply sharing the content itself with others, by forwarding it, RTing it to your Twitter network, or even emailing the posts to friends.  The second is by taking what you’ve learned here, and using it to help your own blogging efforts.  This is what excites me, if I can help you become a better blogger or better use social media to create value for others.

5 – Start the next #blogchat.  This week we had over 3,000 tweets and over 350 active contributors to #blogchat.  Both marks were records, almost doubling the previous marks.  Starting #blogchat has been one of the most rewarding endeavors of my social media career.  Think about some ways that you could create something that can help others, and run with it.  Then tell me about your efforts so I can tweet it to my friends ;)

6 – If you are ever at an event where I am attending/speaking, please find me.  Let me know that you read my posts, so I can shake your hand and tell you how grateful I am for you.  I’m dead serious here.

Those are some ways that you can help me.  Actually, there’s one more way you can help me: You can write this same post on YOUR blog. Tell your readers how they can help you, and my guess is they will be more than happy to.

Lisa Petrilli May 25, 2010 at 9:41 am

Mack,

The fact that you say writing this post was partially inspired by my post – is simply the greatest blogging compliment you could probably give me. I am simply stunned and overwhelmingly grateful.

Thank you from the bottom of my heart – and way to ask some strangers for help! :)

@LisaPetrilli
.-= Lisa Petrilli´s last blog ..You’re Just Not That Into Me (the introvert’s guide to attending a conference) =-.

Mack Collier May 25, 2010 at 3:10 pm

Lisa if you haven’t been paying attention, your blog seems to be inspiring a lot of people ;)

Davina K. Brewer May 25, 2010 at 10:47 am

Mack, the “self-promotion” thing is one of the biggest Catch-22s of social media. If you don’t put yourself out there, how will others find it? If you put yourself out there too much, then you’re just broadcasting and not engaging, right? But if you’re not representing yourself with conviction and passion, should others take you seriously? You could keep going in circles here.

I watched your experiment last week, made a note to RT my own posts more often. But it’s all relative…. you’re a power tweeter in my stream, with 50+ a day, so tweeting your own blog post 3-4 times is nothing in the scheme of things. For a slacker like me, who sometimes only gets on Twitter a few times a day, retweeting my own stuff that much in a day would be excessive.

As to the Jerry Maguiresqueness of this “help me help you” post, bravo. Love that most people can help you by helping themselves, offering something of value (a new blog, a new chat, RT smart info). And if I ever get the chance to meet IRL, I’ll certainly introduce myself.
.-= Davina K. Brewer´s last blog ..Following from the Fringe: My 5 to Follow Friday Challenge =-.

Mack Collier May 25, 2010 at 3:13 pm

Davina I think you are right concerning frequency. If you only leave 3 tweets a day, and they are all links to your latest post, people will probably tune out.

I think a good thing to do is as you are reading blog posts, just mark the ones you like, or RT ones you like on Twitter. Before you know it, you could easily be sharing 5-10 links a day. Then tweeting a link to your new post a couple of times seems a lot more reasonable.

Mike D. Merrill May 25, 2010 at 11:03 am

Mack, I’ve read your blog for some time and had the pleasure of seeing you speak at the Optimization Summit earlier this year. I’ve always enjoyed your content, attitude and commitment to blogging and social media.

This post reminded me I need to get better at calling on my network to help spread the word of the services I provide and to update my website to that effect as well.

Keep up the good work. By the way, I’m speaking at Optimization Summit in the fall as well. See you then.

@mikedmerrill
.-= Mike D. Merrill´s last blog ..Paciugo Launches 4 New Gelato Flavors including one with Bacon =-.

Mack Collier May 25, 2010 at 3:15 pm

Hey Mike! Was good to hang out with you a bit at #optsum, looking forward to seeing you again soon!

Ari Herzog May 25, 2010 at 12:26 pm

Some people don’t want to lead. Some prefer to follow. So while your takeaways are great — starting a blog, starting a chat, etc. — they are turnoffs to many. I’d argue contributing a guest post to your blog or volunteering to lead a #blogchat session are just as noteworthy.
.-= Ari Herzog´s last blog ..If You Like Me… =-.

Sharon Mostyn May 25, 2010 at 4:09 pm

Mack, as always, you hit this one out of the park. I’m happy to help by passing it along. We met at MPDM and I’ve followed you ever since and never regretted it for a minute – you’re an inspiration!

Sounds like I missed an amazing #blogchat – I’ll have to check out the transcript for sure!

Sharon
@sharonmostyn
.-= Sharon Mostyn´s last blog ..Testing, Testing, One, Two, Three… #SMchat Topic for 05/12/10 =-.

Barbara de la Riva May 25, 2010 at 9:07 pm

Mack,

As someone who had the pleasure of working with you I happily will take any opportunity I get to recommend you. You helped our company step into the social media scene. It was a scary first step, we had ZERO idea and your knowledge and enthusiasum stepped us through what to do. We still have a long road to go before we can say we are”great” at it. But thanks to you, we are out there learning every day. Thank you!

Mack Collier May 27, 2010 at 10:09 am

Thank you Barbara! You and your team have done very well using social media to connect with your customers, as I knew you would! Thanks for stopping by and I hope Houston isn’t too hot this Memorial Day Weekend!

Kim Kolb May 27, 2010 at 10:19 am

Hey Mack,
Thanks for letting us know that we can in fact promote ourselves. Often wondered how that would all work out, but if you think about the social aspect of meeting someone, you always exchange what you do for a living. I try not to self promote too much, but when I write a blog or have a good tweet, I share it but only once. Maybe I should do it a little more often. I know I don’t know more than a lot of people but I do have my own spin on things.
Thanks for the post, it was very appreciated!

Mack Collier May 29, 2010 at 9:40 pm

Hi Kim! From my experience promoting links on Twitter, there’s nothing at all wrong with tweeting a link at least twice; once in the morning, once at night. This way audiences on both sides of the world are exposed to it.

As for how often you can promote yourself, again, how often you promote OTHER people will play a great role in this. If you tweet 30 times a day and 25 of those tweets are promoting OTHER people, then even 5 tweets promoting YOU will seem ok to most people. But if you tweet 8 times a day and 4 are self-promotional, then yeah, it will probably honk some people off.

Kim Kolb May 30, 2010 at 11:53 am

Thanks Mack…I like promoting others as well.. because I believe in what comes around goes around…:)

Karen Swim May 29, 2010 at 8:03 pm

Mack, you continue to inspire me in ways you’ll never know and this post is no exception. This week everywhere I turn it seems that God truly intends for me to get this message. I love what Amanda said and your words…well thank you Mack from the bottom of my heart thank you.
.-= Karen Swim´s last blog ..Will Your Story Be Written? =-.

Mack Collier May 29, 2010 at 9:41 pm

Thank you so much Karen, that might be the nicest comment I’ve ever gotten ;)

Jack May 30, 2010 at 6:20 pm

The fear of self-promotion.

The ultimate question to me is are you providing real value. If you have something significant to offer than self promotion makes sense. One of the challenges is that there are so many people out there tooting their own horns it is hard to distinguish yourself.

That is why think it is very important to ask yourself if you are providing value. Be honest about it and you’ll find that good things come of it.

I wrote two posts this past week in which I took a swipe at a set of bloggers and one at Twitter. I did it because I am tired of being assaulted by silly complaints from bloggers and tweeps who don’t think that they receive enough respect.

Don’t misunderstand, I am not saying that I am better than anyone else. But I am honest about what I offer and what I don’t. That is a useful tool for people, at least I think so.

Anyway, thanks for putting up with a long comment.
.-= Jack´s last blog ..Festival of Fathers- A Blog Experience #13 =-.

{ 1 trackback }

Previous post:

Next post: