In a couple weeks, I’m presenting at the 2010 Career Summit. My session is all about taking control of what you’re doing online, unlearning bad habits and being smarter with your time. It’s something I’ve struggled with a lot as a Community Manager and I’m hoping that I can help people avoid some of the core mistakes that I’ve made.
Social media is great, but there are also a lot of things that social media is not good for. Here are are few that I have learned over the years:
Plenty of talented individuals have made a small fortune from blogging, but most of us aren’t them. Posts that talk about how easy it is to set up a blog (like this one) and make lots of passive income are stupid. You should ignore them. It’s not that easy.
Passive income is a joke. Ramit Sethi compares passive-income seekers to people with bad taste. They’re easy to pick out in a crowd. I think this is particularly true for bloggers seeking passive income. Their blogs remind me of used-car lots.
And WTF is passive income anyway? Selling eBooks? Advertising? Webinars? Most of the people who are doing this well (Chris Guillebeau is a great example) have made managing their online presence a big part of their life in order to make it work.
The better way to get value out of your blog is to focus on selling your offline skills because that’s where most of us have the best chance of making lots of money anyways. I never made a dime off of my blog, but I did start a company with two other brilliant people because of blogging.
Twitter worked well for Jamie because she came up with a creative way to showcase her talent. And Twitter is a great way to showcase your talent to a lot of strangers at once. The problem is that most people who use Twitter aren’t being creative like that..
Unless you’re tweeting for recreational reasons, tweeting seems worthless without something else compelling to share with people. Not to mention the fact that 71 percent of tweets are ignored anyway. Nobody gives a damn about what you have to say in 140 characters or less unless they know that you’re interesting beyond your tweets.
We’ve been programmed to believe that more equals better, but this is wrong. What I’m discovering is that the most talented people are being exclusive about who they network with. There are only a handful of people out there who can significantly help you out anyway. So this seems smart.
Being stingy about the amount of time that you spend online is a good thing because while you’re ogling down your Google reader for hours on end top performers are out there getting all of the real work done. A good rule of thumb is that top performers spend about 15 percent of their time online and 85 percent of their time doing behind-the-scenes stuff. I read this on Ryan Rancatore’s blog.
This makes a lot of sense to me because if I ever have a day where I just want to idly surf the web from the comfort of my own bed it doesn’t take long for me to get an email from my teammates in DC. It’s easy to identify who is doing real work versus who is just screwing around all day.