Being Successful Without Social Media
We’ve all been in social media for decades, even if the phrase was not coined until recently. If you break it down, it means being social using the internet. If you use email, you are active in social media. Have you been texting on your phone? That’s another way. The only difference is that now we’re able to do it in real time and our reach of who we touch has been expanded by tools such as Twitter, Facebook, MySpace, Digg and Linkedin.
My main issue with social media is all the hype and marketing. Everyone and their brother is telling you how you must use social media or die. Businesses must be on the internet, or become irrelevant. Professional individuals must establish a brand and build a presence on every platform around. You know what? It’s all hogwash–well almost all.
How dare I say this? Because there are millions of people out there living perfectly normal and successful lives with no social media presence. If you are constantly seeing the hype from being on social media, it’s hard to remember that the world runs quite well without it. Yes, there are many people who have used social media to ramp themselves into major successes but there also many who failed in obscurity. Like anything else, social media is a business tool.
Think of it as the conventional wisdom that you must wear black because it is a power and classic color. Otherwise, you won’t be taken seriously. If you live in a building where everyone wears black, it’s hard to realize anything else exists. You can’t believe otherwise until you get out and visit a marketplace and see business being done by people wearing colors of every stripes on the rainbow.
I’ve attended a couple of business conferences this year. Met several hundred successful professionals and business owners. 95% of them are not on any social media platform. What are they on? Emailing or calling people in their personal network just like I do.
I have used the same artist for my personal and business needs for 25 years. I met him by chance on a visit to Disneyland. I enjoyed a chat with him during his break and kept his card. When a need came up, he handled it professionally, on time, and with class. From that first order, I raved about him to my entire network whenever there is a need that matched his skills.
Within the first week, he got multiple orders from my contacts. I had used his work as a going away present for an executive Vice President at one of the largest bank in the country. I chose to involve 50 people in purchasing the gift so it got wide exposure aside from the recipient and his display of the painting at his new company.
This man had been able to support his family, sent his children to college, and about to retire in a couple of years simply through word of mouth and being smart about where he spends his time developing business. And no, he’s not on any social media platform. I lost his number in my database through a few computer crashes and was able to get it by checking the white pages. I’ve already placed an order with him for a project on this site.
By the way, he had never marketed to me in any way (no emails, flyers). He earned my loyalty by being professional and by executing. Are there better artists than him out there? Absolutely, but I trust him to get the job done and not add stress into my life.
As a business or individual considering stepping into the “social media” arena, think about your needs first and what your goals are. Be clear about these because the success is what pays your bills, keep your people employed, and make your dreams come true. Once you identify what you want to accomplish, then research the various social media platform and see if it would be a better choice to spend your time than other traditional methods. Be strategic in your decisions because social media can waste the most important asset that you own, time, and never provide any financial results.
Don’t underestimate the power of basic courtesy, professionalism and getting the job done.
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