Social Media, Generosity and the Hockey Stick
Today, I want to reflect on my own experiences working in Social Media and how the work I’ve been doing has led me to where I am now; working with great clients and exploring some extraordinary opportunities.
I talk a lot about issues in Social Media. I blog everyday, usually. I work really hard everyday to contribute something valuable to the world. Sometimes I’ll write posts specifically for people and organizations. Sometimes I do this because I know that they either can’t afford to pay me, can’t afford a full engagement with Devine + Powers or they are just good friends that I want to help.
I do this as a gift.
The hardest part of my job is charging people money. I love what I do so it’s difficult for me to assign a monetary value to my work. Even when I do, part of me wishes that I could just afford to do this all for free. Lucky for me, Devine + Powers knows how to charge for my services.
I just get such a good feeling helping people. I love knowing that something I said/wrote or a resource that I shared made a difference for someone. Being generous with my time, ideas and experience means as much–or more–to me than it does to those that benefit from it.
I do all of this with no expectation of reciprocity. I do this because I love it. I do this because I love to see good people succeed.
Lucky for me Karma is not a bitch but, in fact, very kind
Over the past 3 years or so I’ve been doing “the work.” I’ve been committed to building relationships with people and being helpful. In the past 6 months and particularly the last 2 months, I have seen the number of new business opportunities via referrals and Social Media skyrocket. It’s actually shocking how much has been coming my way lately.
You want results?
My graph of time and effort on Social Media plotted with the number of incoming new business referrals is truly the classic “hockey stick.” It may take some time to get momentum, but then something just happens.
I am honored and humbled that people trust and respect me enough to refer me to others.
My network of wonderful people
There are far too many people to call out by name, so rather than risk leaving someone out I just want to sincerely thank everyone who has referred me to others, that has promoted me to others, that has had the chutzpah to call me out when they disagree, and everyone that is helping me grow as a professional.
What’s the point?
There are so many things that you can measure but I bet it would be difficult to assign a numerical, measurable value how much I care about what I’m doing, or how that influences my daily social activity. It’s hard to measure how I reach out to people to help, because it’s not rigidly planned, it comes from caring about my work, my art.
I believe in measuring some things but my success is not the product of planning. In fact, I’m guilty of often flying by the seat of my pants, but I’ve always been guided by the desire to do the right thing for good people and be helpful. In our zeal to determine the ROI of doing all of this social media, we miss the opportunities that come from just doing it. When you engage with someone, there is no real way to measure that if you do it authentically.
What I do know is this, I wouldn’t be where I am professionally right now if I wasn’t being authentically generous.
No matter how much you plan or how much you measure, none of it will matter if you don’t care about the work you’re doing or the people you’re touching.
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Are you investing in the future of your business by being generous to your audience?
Jeff Gibbard is the President of True Voice Media. With keen insights on Social Business, Marketing, Relationship Building, Communications and Creative Problem Solving, Jeff has helped numerous business people see the value in embracing social tools and processes to drive business value.
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