Step One: Get In The Game

Over the past few weeks I’ve been asked by various friends, family members and co-workers how to get started in a business or branding mode with social media.

In a nutshell, get in the game.

If you’re not involved, get involved. And if you think you’re already involved, ramp it up and get more involved. If you were already involved enough, you wouldn’t have to ask. The fact someone is asking says he or she just isn’t working the medium yet.

And that’s not a bad thing. I ask questions of the smart people who are obviously ahead of me on the path I’m choosing. For anyone looking here, I hope it’s because they see that any mistakes and successes I’ve had might shed some light on that path for them as well.

So, get in the game. This will be different for everyone. If you already have a blog, do that more – write meaningful pieces, showing your passion and knowledge in your field. Find other bloggers, comment on their pieces, and post links from your wheelhouse to theirs. Anything you can do to show your heart and to connect and engage with others in the same area, that’ll make the real difference as you start making something more of all this.

If you’re into Twitter, I’d bet you’re already following folks in the same frame of mind as you. Engage them. Retweet and @reply when they post links, thoughts, URLs. Most folks like the attention, and for the most part egos are left out of their Twitter feeds. They want to help you and learn from you, too.

Facebook is a bit different. If you start marketing there to connections who are mostly friends and family, you’re going to be a turnoff. You know the pals who’ve started AmWay or insurance sales with their friends to build personal income – that’s not a huge plus on social media channels. But here’s where smart posting comes into play. Maybe start a blog, feed it to Facebook and to Twitter, and then folks can choose to click through or not. When they’ve come to your site, you can be as persuasive and knowledgeable and passionate as you want – they’re chosen to come, you haven’t forced anything on anyone, and it’s a win-win for all involved.

That’s just thoughts on three platforms: blogging, Twitter, Facebook. There’s YouTube – same thing, post and comment and link. And there’s LinkedIn – add your resume, connect to co-workers and friends, and start filling in blanks about who you are, what talents you have, and what you’re going to be doing with all of the above. And the same goes for any other social media outlets, just up your involvement, find like-minded people, start listening and talking and dreaming a bit.

Just get in the game. Stop watching, stop sitting on the sideline, stop reading the scroll at the bottom of the CNN screen. Be in there, engaging folks in your field of passion and bringing your own value to those conversations.