consultant | speaker | brand manager

Are You Out of Date – I Might Be

Considering my last blog was apparently two years ago, I was not practicing what I preach. What happened? Well life.

As some of you readers might know, I’m a single mom of three, and I do my best to be as active and as involved as I can be. I’ve also had a lot of work and just jumped into my day to day routine
and let my own social presence slide away. If this were one of my clients I’d be frantically waving my arms around asking them what they thought they were doing!  Shame on me I suppose, but here I am. Two years later. Yikes.  I’m not going to make any promises that I’ll be here a week or month later, because I think I’ve done that before.

So here we go. Why do I have the time now? Well, a couple clients have slid away, and now that all three of my monsters go to school, I have more time. It happens and there will be more. But that means I really need to look at and reassess myself. Why is this a blog? I mean it’s kind of an embarrassing admission – but I think that it’s one many of us know. Especially if you’re self employed. There comes a time when you run your own business where things plateau and it’s easy not to move forward and keep expanding. Things in life get comfortable. And then something changes and you have to take a closer look at what you’re doing.

Like most of you – I’m not a one trick pony. However, after we get stuck in our cycle, it feels like it. I can’t count how many hours I’ve read about how Facebook algorithms have changed.  How right now, if you want better exposure it’s all about getting people to comment. Sometimes, with the right audience, this is an easy thing. Sometimes, no matter what you seem to do, nothing changes unless you shove some money into advertising. This is why one client of mine, after we had a big discussion about not getting a return on her investment, mutually decided that we needed to take a breath.  Here’s some of the things I’ve gleaned from the last week or so while considering our potential plan of action for her case – and also my own, because let’s face it. My own presence has sucked in the past two years.

Questions to ask yourself:

When is the last time you’ve updated your skill set?  Are you still working off of the same skills you’ve learned 5 or more years ago? If you’re in an industry like social media or SEO work, that’s not an option! I’ve kept learning and evolving, but for myself I can honestly say there’s room for improvement. A good friend of mine Carla Birnberg recently mentioned Periscope to me…which I looked at, probably in March, but really haven’t thought about again. At the time it didn’t look like anything that would be beneficial in the moment. However, I’m not sure why I had that reaction when I decided to keep an eye on SnapChat which probably (at the time) seemed like a less likely candidate to be something brands would be interested in.  Now look at it, even Jimmy Fallon utilizes it as well as names like NPR.

If you haven’t updated your skills in awhile – go online, find a mentor, take a class. Whatever it is, update your skills! There’s nothing worse than realizing that your skills are stagnant and behind the times. While in my own recent experience, that wasn’t exactly what was wrong, I had a moment where I realized – I needed to step up or maybe find something else to do.

When is the last time you’ve looked at your LinkedIn/Blog through the eyes of a customer? Yeah. This one was me. I’ve pulled up my blog probably three times a month with every intention of jumping in for the last year but got busy doing who knows what. The past two days I looked at it after consulting with a friend/mentor of mine and kind of cringed. So hopefully I’ll be making some changes in the next few days. As well as updating my LinkedIn account (which I’ve been better at than my blog) and my own Facebook page.  Also, think about WHY something might be neglected. For me – as much as I love social media, how it’s always changing, I felt like my blog was just a repeat of other bloggers – maybe better bloggers. I never really asked what was missing. In this case, I need it to be more personal if it’s going to work. I need to open the doors a little bit and show a glimpse of me AND write about things other than *just* social media.

How do you market yourself? Yeeeeah – here’s where I suffer the most. I really hate waving my arms in the air and saying “pick me! pick me!” Think about how and where you market yourself. Is it worthwhile? Is it getting your own return on investment – even if that investment is only time? Do you channel yourself into the one trick pony thing (Facebook/Twitter expert, calling yourself a guru, etc) – or do you keep your doors open. For instance, sure I specialize in social media marketing, but I’m also a freelance writer, I dabble in SEO and have done a small dance with PR (though I now work with an amazing PR team so I don’t have to do that dance anymore)….and that’s another thought on marketing yourself. If you work for yourself – who can you partner up with in a beneficial way? These days most people can’t barter, but I’m always happy to pass on names when someone asks about an illustrator, PR, or whatever it is my friends do.

Let’s face it, this world moves fast.

Things in all fields are evolving and changing. No one can just sit back and hope that the same skills that got them into a position are going to be good enough to move you up in life. You’ve got to breathe in, get off your butt, and make a change. Learn something new, meet new people, and network yourself! Otherwise you’re going to wake up one day and realize a little too late that things need to change. No one wants to work in panic mode. Especially when you’ve got a family to support.  Most of all – be true to yourself and your passions. I didn’t blog because it got stale for me. If I want to keep it up, I need to redefine what it should be. I need to intertwine it with my passions (don’t worry – I won’t be blogging about video games or every park adventure I go on).

We live in a world where people feel like they know you from your social media status instead of pickup up the phone to hear a voice. If your passion isn’t showing up in your work, you’re going to end up falling behind.

 

Any thoughts? I’d love to hear them. Until next time – whenever that might be.

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