If there is one thing that’s never in short supply in internet marketing circles; it’s advice and opinions. You can find advice and opinions from the novice to the guru on everything from how to use Twitter, to what ‘system’ you should use to get the most followers, to how to make the most money online using Twitter (or Facebook or ‘insert your favorite social network here’).
If you are new to internet marketing, the whole thing is very confusing, when you get what appears to be opposing advice and opinions – it can drive you nuts!
So I’m here to give you some sage advice: they’re all right. Yep, every one of those ‘gurus’ could very well be right – of course, they could also all be full of bunk and wrong. So how do you know whose advice to follow? As my mentor Lynn Terry would say, first you follow the business model and plan you have for your business, and then after that is where common sense and gut instinct comes in.
It Starts With A Plan: Stick with the Plan
Yes folks, internet marketing is a business – just like any other business. So you need a business plan. Sit down, determine how it is that you intend to run your business, how you intend to bring in money – what methods will you use, how you intend to implement those methods, what are your goals and how to intend to get there. Ya know – a business plan.
Then before you do anything, buy any ‘system’, ‘program’ or whatever – first see if what you are considering to do, or buy, will take you closer to your goal within your business plan, or take you further away from it or sidetrack you. If it’s not taking you toward your goal – then pass on that and do not get sidetracked! Stay focused on your objective! Your objective is found within your business plan. Stick with the plan.
Your Social Marketing Plan Will Change
So I’ve said that you need to stick with your overall business plan, but one thing that will definitely change is your social media marketing plan – more specifically how you use social media.
When you first join Twitter or Facebook, you’re just trying to figure things out. You’re learning the ropes, gaining new followers/friends and that’s all good. However, as your base of followers grows, and those you are following/friending grows – how you manage your social media networks, compared to when you first started will change. Trust me – it will.
When I first joined Twitter, I had a 3 Point Check system that I implemented before I followed anyone. It was, and still is, a good system to ensure that one doesn’t follow a spammer and to get to know who you’re following before you decide who to follow someone in return.
However, once your followers base starts growing, and you’re getting a couple hundred or more new followers daily, keeping up with checking that many bios every day is a daunting task.
For me personally, I ultimately made the choice to disable all email notifications of when I get a new follower. It became a time issue for me, as I couldn’t keep up. So now I only follow people as I find them on Twitter, or other networking sites, and I decide to follow them. Periodically I’ll click my followers list and see new folks who have followed me and will return follow some of those folks. I have not gone to auto-following. Never have. Never will.
I know many ‘gurus’ or those on Twitter with a large followers list, or following list, use tools to help them manage that many people. Now before you start screaming foul! You need to understand that yes, social media networking is first and foremost about people and interacting and networking with those people – but there is nothing that says you can’t use a tool (yes, I’m talking about an automated tool) in some capacity to help you manage your Twitter social network. Believe me, you will either be hiring someone to do this for you, or using a tool (or both) as some point if your followers/following numbers grow – either that, or you will be spending a lot of time on Twitter managing it all; or worse, you won’t be managing it.
So I imagine that everybody and their uncle’s brother’s cousin’s neighbor’s dog will be writing a tutorial and ebook on how to use Twitter. That’s the beauty of the internet – they’re free to do so; just realize that your mileage may vary. Your usage of Twitter will most likely vary too, over time. Mine certainly did. Knowing that tends to make one a lot less judgmental of how others use and view Twitter.
Do You Do as a Guru Do?
There was some buzz this week on Twitter between Lynn Terry and John Reese. Lynn asked John a valid question about his apparent change in position on his views on Twitter. Lynn also brought up the subject on the Internet Marketing This Week podcast (episode #20) where her and Paul Colligan discussed the apparent inconsistency in what John had said in an email sent to his list several months ago, and in a tweet he sent earlier this week. It was confusing to at least Lynn, as it seemed John had possibly changed his views or opinions on the use of Twitter.
Whether John Reese has or has not changed his views on Twitter is really not the point; John is free to use Twitter however he wants. But Lynn’s point was that for those who are on John’s email list, and perhaps looking to John for business related guidance, his comments bear further explanation – which is why she called him on it.
All this goes back to the point I made earlier: do you find yourself doing as the gurus do? Or do you take what they say with a ‘grain of salt’, but follow your own business plan, moving toward the goal you have set for your business and using your own gut instinct and common sense?
Internet marketing is not a game of ‘follow the leader’. We’re not playing games here people. This is a real business. There’s no need to be confused when one ‘guru’ or expert gives their opinion or advice and another gives theirs and it’s polar opposite. Take away from each what will work for you, and leave the rest.
The reason you are getting confused is because you are not thinking for yourself. You are looking for out-of-the-box solutions that will solve all your problems and get you rich over night while you sit at your kitchen table in your bathrobe. Hate to break it to you: but there is no goose that lays a golden egg. That’s a fairy tale.
YOU Run YOUR Business
To sum all this up. Stick to your business plan and do only those activities that will take you toward the goal of your business. Do not blindly follow the advice of others, getting caught up in the frenzy of the latest launch. You run your business – not the gurus. They are running their own business.
Understand that as your business and social media networks grow, so will how you use and handle your social media networks. It’s ok to change how you handle things. You may need to outsource, let some things go, use tools streamline or set a timer – but believe me, changes will need to be made in your social media marketing plan and specifically how that it implemented on a day-to-day basis. It’s all part of doing business.
Do you use Twitter or Facebook differently today, then when you first started using it? If yes, how?
Do you have a business plan, or at least goals written down for your business, to keep you on track?