Find Meaning in Work and Play

One of the smartest, funniest social media mavens I’ve met is Nicole Nicolay – aka nik_nik for those who Twitter. She toils away at reaching out to blogging Realtors via her “My Tech Opinion” blog as well as driving t Agent Reboot workshops. Did I mention she also started her own company, Agent Evolution and is mom to a rambunctious toddler?

As Nicole will tell you, she knows all too well how hard it is to juggle life/work commitments and find the time to blog meaningfully. I wanted to share one of her posts that will ring true for many of you.

“In the past I’ve suggested creating a content posting plan and shared several blog topic ideas. These tips can really kick start a new blog or create consistency with existing blogs. But what happens when the plan doesn’t match the voice?! Well, now that I’ve experienced this firsthand…I do have a few suggestions. So here’s my advice when you’re faced with a nasty case of “blogger’s block.”

1) Read, read, and read some more. Reading other blogs or a really good book will often inspire your own thoughts and ideas.

2) Go to an event, or just have a coffee (or better yet, wine) with a friend. Sometimes a good conversation is all you need to get your creative juices flowing. Plus you may have colleagues or friends that ask REALLY great questions…which make for great articles!

3) Make time to write…at the right time. Only you know the best time of day for your inner voice! So listen to it. But if you sit down…and all you can think about is “how do I get this over with”…walk away, go do something active or interesting. You can’t force the inner voice!

4) Your best bet, ALWAYS, is to write what you know or write about experiences you’ve had. Take that a step further by relating your expertise and experience to your target audience by giving them a little nugget of advice, a tip, strategy or an “ah-ha moment” that they can benefit from!

I know these suggestions may seem fairly obvious…but that’s because they work. And they are only suggestions until you put them into play! So go now…it’s time to play!”

I think that’s good advice – how about you? Do you find that when you seamlessly blend your work and play, life is so much more meaningful?


Will One More App Get You More Clients?

Time does seem to move faster these days, mostly due to the amazing speed by which we can connect with others. With so many social media tools at our disposal, it’s easy to get caught up in the excitement of using this new technology. But at the end of the day, is it really helping you and your business? Will one more app get you more clients?

Blogger Chris Brogan (I recommend subscribing to his RSS Feed) asserts that it is time to buckle down and get back to work:

“We have to wipe at least some of the foolish grin off our face and go back to making something happen. When the novelty wears off, ask yourself a few questions:

What am I doing with XYZ technology? Is it pushing my business forward?

How much time am I spending on XYZ social network? Is it getting me anywhere?

How much of this is pleasurable versus profitable? (And use “profit” loosely.)

What have I neglected while using these tools more and more?

In three years, what will my efforts of the last month have accomplished for me?

When the novelty wears off, the work becomes clearer…”

Your thoughts?

The Word

Does your company need to hire a social media specialist?

It’s a debate that has been popping up on various blogs and in publications recently, and there are a few varying outlooks on the topic.

First, there’s Peter Shankman, founder of the lifesaving website Help A Reporter Out (HARO). Shankman sums up his thoughts in a recent blog post: “If you call yourself a social media expert, don’t even bother sending me your résumé.”

He believes that social media, while a necessary element of marketing, should be a collective effort—“another facet of marketing and customer service.”

The Next Web, meanwhile, has a different take, asking, “Do startups need to hire social media experts?

Though their answer is not a resounding “yes,” it’s certainly not a definite “no.”

Francis Tan gives a solid road map for startups to determine whether a social media expert will help them reach their goals.

What’s your take? Has your company found success with a social media expert?

Courtesy of Kevin Allen via PR Daily

The Next(Gen) Big Thing in Social Media

What do you think the “next-gen” social media tool will look like?

SmartBrief’s Sean McMahon posed that very question to “Internet Warrior” author Mike “Zappy” Zapolin. Zappy’s prediction? Niche, niche, niche.

“If you’re in social network for a business or social media for a certain age group or a certain niche or geographic area, that I think could be the real breakout,” Zapolin explains, using the evolution of dating websites to support his idea. “The Match.coms of the world might dominate, but smaller sites that cater to specific dating desires (think JDate, eHarmony, etc.) have been able to succeed by fine-tuning the user experience.”

So how can you develop your own niche in the social media world? What would it look like? Who is your target audience? I’d love to hear some of your ideas!