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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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.