You don’t have to be everywhere in social media to make your mark.
When I was working in a fancy social media agency, we had clients who could afford a team to manage all their social platforms. We built content strategies, staged photo shoots, launched shiny campaigns that got covered in the trades, mapped out content calendars, and analyzed the performance of said content in excruciating detail. These were the kind of companies that were shelling out $10K/month minimum to be in the game.
But who’s rolling around with that kind of coin? Who has a team doing their bidding?
I can’t even get my cat to pose for pictures on Instagram. He pulls a Greta Garbo and shields his eyes with his paws as soon as I whip out my phone. Really, Felix? Really?
Even when my clients had big budgets I’d tell them that they didn’t need to be on every single platform in order to be successful. Rather, they needed to be playing where their customers played. And they needed to be present and serving at a level that makes their customers pause mid-swipe. My clients had to be surgical about understanding their customer in order to connect with them in a way that didn’t feel forced or phony. Don’t publish content for the sake of having something online, I’d say, which is the equivalent of opening your window every morning and screaming out into the street.
Everyone will think you’re fucking crazy, and if you live in New York people will simply shrug, pass you by, and eventually, tune you out.
Don’t listen to the Gary V minions. You don’t have to be the embodiment of spam to make your mark. You just have to pick one or two platforms and get good on them.
All the kids are chirping you have to go LIVE! In unison they shout, you have to have a Facebook group, a podcast, a newsletter, an Instagram pod, a retreat, a weekly Live, blah, blah, blah. YOU MUST DO ALL THE THINGS TO GET ALL THE MONIES.
I’m here to tell you that’s a pack of lies.
You don’t need to do all of the things, just some of the things.
First, start by assessing your brand and business. Are you selling physical products where images need to be at the fore? Or are you a novelist who wants to be read? Marry your product with you’re the behavior and habits of your intended audience. Then, evaluate what you’re best at and prioritize, based on your resources, time, and life, what platforms will make your work shine.
People who don’t know me have a perception that I’m extroverted, bombastic, and a worker of the room in real life when nothing could be further from the truth. I love writing. I love the barrier between self and others, which emboldens me in a way that connecting face-to-face can be sometimes challenging.
Writing is home to me and it’s been the way that I’ve sold myself for as long as I could remember. I compel people with words before they even meet me. Or I try to.
Facebook groups, retreats, Lives, and anything involving large groups of people give me anxiety on the level of vertigo, and I truly believe that if you suck at something, you’ll only shine a bright, glaring light on your suckage if you pursue that which puts your gifts in the dimmest light.
If video makes you want to hide under the covers, but you have physical products to sell, consider marrying your images with text that cultivates a relationship between you and your customer. It is possible to crawl before you leap.
I made a conscious decision for my business to let my writing lead the way. I can’t create beautiful Instagram stories or potent Pinterest boards, but I can tell you stories that carry a level of intimacy by way of your inbox. I can write medium essays that will inspire you to burn so bright you blast all the bulbs. And in true introvert fashion, I can start a podcast and a blog that puts my words out into the world in a way that’s thoughtful and deliberate.
Don’t put out anything less than extraordinary. Don’t put out anything that doesn’t move you. Don’t speak simply to make sounds. That’s how you’ll cut through the garbage and the noise because you’re being honest, compelling, and true.
This post originally appeared in my weekly newsletter. Each week, I send storytelling, marketing, and brand building advice, tips, and tutorials. Sign up here to get on my list.
What I’m feeling this week:
- Regina Anaejionu is the real deal. She’s not like every course-peddling kid on the block and hers are one of the few emails I get excited to see in my inbox. She’s offering a free masterclass, which I’m taking right after I send you this note, on making $ off live bootcamp classes instead of spending $ on building courses.
- “I Can’t Shake the Guru Bhagwan”—if cults are your thing, this story of a daughter losing her mother to a cult is heartbreaking.
- “Watching Soap Operas With the Men Who Kidnapped Me” (I wrote this)
- Japan’s “Rent a Family” industry is a real thing and business is booming.
- “Why Instagram Makes You, Me, and Selena Gomez Feel Bad”
- “Make Room for Working Class Writers”
- If an opportunity is not a fuck yes, run. (Related: the difference betweenspeed and velocity in your work and why saying no makes an impact)