This week, I want to talk with you about your online web presence. Specifically, I want to share my experience as well as discuss where you should be focusing your attention online. Let’s get started.
When I graduated from college, the online platforms that exist today didn’t exist then. All I really had was Facebook (not including Fan Pages), LinkedIn, blogs and my own personal website that wasn’t responsive and was built using Flash. That was pretty much it. If I wanted to find inspiration for my designs, I would look to my peers, award shows, and spent hundreds of dollars subscribing to annual publications. If I wanted to promote myself, I relied heavily on my network, website, samples and email. I guess in some ways things were pretty predictable and became proven methods.
However, everything changed around the time I decided to open Greenline Creative. Foursquare popped up; Tumblr was becoming a hit; Facebook Fan Pages were something businesses were latching onto; and Twitter was on the cusp of defining the way I communicated online. Along with all of those great platforms, I became bombarded by niche platforms like Behance, Dribbble, and Flickr to name just a few. All of these platforms began shouting for my attention and pulling at my marketing emotions. It was a crazy time.
I began to feel like everybody who was anybody was on these platforms and I needed to be too. At the time I believe Greenline Creative and myself had a profile on pretty much anything that was relevant or would possibly generate some type of awareness for my brands. It was crazy! I had numerous blogs, social profiles and spent many hours trying to keep everything up to date on my “current status.” I would spend hours on this a week. I was not alone. Many people did and weird hacks began to surface that would claim to automate my posts using Google Alerts and some type of weird integration with Facebook and Twitter. At first I felt like I was free from the grip until I began getting feedback about posts that had zero relevancy to anything design. For months I was in this endless cycle of trying to keep everything up to date in order to “market myself online” effectively.
This early way of marketing myself online was all I did. I’d join a platform use it for awhile and if it became too much to handle, I’d then quit the platform. Nothing about this process was effective at all. I was constantly cleaning out my inbox of spam, thinking of new things to post and all of this would bleed into me actually getting work done efficiently. So when did it end?
I can’t really recall a moment when I quit focusing on trying to be everywhere online. But I’d like to think perhaps I just got way too busy to manage all the accounts and started to focus only on the accounts that were generating an immediate ROI. Or maybe just the ones that fit with my workflow? It was a long and hard lesson learned, but it turns out through trying it all I’ve come up with a pretty solid way to manage and focus on my online social media presence, not just for myself, but for Greenline and even Frettie. Like all processes you’ll need to adapt them to your goals, but below are some things to consider.
It can be scary to put yourself online. Every week when I click send on a new lesson there’s a slight delay in my finger. I’m never sure as to the reaction a new lesson will get. Will people like it? Will they not? I’m never sure, but I know I can’t hide from this new way of communicating. I just have to learn to embrace it, learn from it and most importantly tame it and control it.
I used to think a successful online strategy was to focus on all the platforms and be everywhere. I wanted my logo to show up all over the web. Boy was I wrong. Today I focus on just a small handful of places online. They are the few that either I can schedule or seamlessly fit into my workflow. Through trying and failing I’ve fallen on to a format that works and still allows me to get my work done.
The system is simple. At this time I focus primarily on these accounts; My website, blog, Twitter, Facebook (Fan Page), LinkedIn, Medium and Dribbble. I use Buffer and an RSS reader to gather content. I then distribute that content through scheduled posts on Buffer, and through email marketing which is managed through ConvertKit. I then just sit back and manage the engagement.
Sure this takes time. Everything worth doing takes time, but it’s still far simpler than what I used to do, and to be honest, it’s far more effective. The great thing about simplicity is it forces you to focus and leverage strengths. By me keeping my online web presence simple I have time to focus on creating great work and content to share with my audience and clients. I’m also able to create a system that allows me to post regularly, and regularity is the key to an effective online web presence.
Communication is important to me, so I’d love to continue the conversation with you all. What does your online social media presence look like?