I suspect you already know this. I believe content marketing (AKA Storytelling) and social media can transform you and your business. The only thing you have to do is decide to be the best, not average, not good-enough, but the best.
There’s a widening influence gap in the social media space. The people with the influence are quickly attracting a dominant share of their market. Everyone else is scrambling for the influential crumbs that are left behind.
The only way to compete is to invest the time to be the best. The top tier thinkers, executers, writers, poets are the only ones that can compete.
You might think this is unfair. It may be. But for now, it’s how your readers and prospects allocate their limited attention. The experts get the attention, the followers, the readers, the book deals, the speaking engagements, and the sales.
The interesting part is that when you look closely you often find that “the best” actually worked their butts off to get to their expert status. They fought through the barriers. They ignored the doubters. They dealt with the set-backs, mistakes, and fear. They earned their stripes.
Seth Godin calls this period of relentless work “The Dip”.
The Dip is the emotional, spiritual, intellectual, and sometimes physical wilderness where a person is tested. During this time they transition from being merely good at what they do to being masterful at their craft. The Dip is devilishly proficient at weeding out the uncommitted.
Godin says there are three ways to negotiate the Dip: Cross it, Get Stuck in it, or Quit it.
Godin also says that for many, the smart move is to quit, reallocate resources and try again in another space. We’ll leave that debate for another time.
Others are perpetually stuck in the Dip believing that “good things will come there way.” They won’t objectively examine their skills, resources, and market choosing to just ride out the dip. But, in the end, they drift in circles like a stranded mariner floating in the Pacific.
Of course, you’re curious about the person who crosses the dip. Specifically, how do you cross the Social Media Dip?
Is There A Social Media Dip?
Absolutely, in fact social media has one of the most brutal and deepest dips. A person starting a blog today has to compete with hundreds of millions of posts. To compete a person has to think longer, dig deeper, write more, and push their skills to the breaking point. Since social media is built on technology, the Dip traveler will also need to immerse themselves in the language of bits and bytes. It’s daunting.
That is actually good news.
As a business, professional blogger, or entrepreneur, you want The Dip to be as brutal as possible for your competitors. You want to cross and benefit from the attention your readers and customers bestow on the winners.
So don’t spend time fretting over The Dip, pull out a map and decide how you are going to cross it as soon as possible.
Crossing the Social Media Dip
Although the requirements for earning your bones is specific to your space. There are some tools that will be useful during your fight. Here are several pointers:
Know the Requirements
Study your space and become intimately familiar with the requirements for success. Every niche has its own special rules for and criteria for expert status. For example, it would be next to impossible for me to be considered a bathroom remodeling expert. I hate working with my hands and can only measure something if it’s dimensions are in pixels.
In Social Media, one requirement is to be a prolific creator of relevant and entertaining content. You can’t get around this requirement. Once you know the requirement you can start mastering it.
Understand Your Strengths and Weaknesses
If you hate writing then it will be difficult to create a traditional blog. Knowing your weakness will force you to innovate along another path. For example, I suspect that Gary Vaynerchuk dislikes writing. That’s why he started a video blog that substituted high-octane video clips for “epic posts”.
Look for the pitfalls that trap other people negotiating The Dip.
Learn from their mistakes and correct your course when needed. Social Media offers a steady supply of cautionary tales from companies and individuals that have stumbled in public. Save yourself the painful lesson.
Look for people who will come alongside you and help you when you fall. Running the race to be the best is hard but it doesn’t have to be lonely. Find people who encourage and push you. Ignore the doubters and the whiners. The Dip is brutal but it does allow teams to succeed.
Talk is Cheap
Derek Sivers delivered a fascinating TED talk viewed by over 1.2 million people called “Keep Your Goals To Yourself.”
His premise was based on research that shows that talking about a goal gave people the same satisfaction as achieving it. However people who tended to keep their goal to themselves were more likely to do the real work needed to achieve them!
I can see the truth in this. In fact, we have immortalized the wisdom in a simple phrase ‘Talk is Cheap’. Talking about your goals is not the same as achieving them.
Are You Ready?
If you are fighting your way through the “blogging dip” then register for my Blogging Success Secrets webinar. I’ll give you 10 secrets for building, growing, and promoting your blog. Click here for the details.
In the meantime, tell me about your journey through The Dip. What do you want to be “the Best” at?