Seriously, what would you do? Wendi and I often toss this around. You have to admit, this is a pretty big “what if”. So many of us are reliant on Facebook to stay in touch with our friends, clients and audience. Up until a few years ago, site communities were grown on the site itself in the comments section. It wasn’t unusual to get 100+ comments in a day.
And before that? There’s a little something called face to face conversation that used to happen. Yes, it’s true, people had to go outside, get in their cars and go meet people. They would visit shops, offices, and even go to one another’s houses.
What prompted me to write about this today was an article by the National Reporter. I almost got roped in, it looked legit. My first thought was Facebook to start charging a monthly fee? What? Is the Apocalypse upon us?
My second thought was, thank God Wendi and I made one of our biz goals for this year to be more real world active and look for other means of connecting and growing our client and fan base.
Take a moment to read it. Did it fill you with dread that your beloved social network might not be as accessible as it was? Did you start thinking how you could afford a subscription to keep your habit going or did you get angry that you might not have it anymore?
Life Beyond the Monitor
Going out and connecting with the world isn’t easy for creatives. Honestly, I’m beginning to think that’s just an excuse. I’ve seen so much talk about “being an introvert” it’s become another catch-phrase, another dysfunction some people wear like a badge.
I used to believe I was an introvert. I used to believe that I would be happiest living in a cave in the Alaskan wilderness. Just me and the wolves. This past year though, I discovered I am quite the opposite. I like meeting people. I like talking to them and learning about them. I love discovering how I can help them.
Sitting down each Sunday morning with my Paranormal writers is something I look forward to. Going to a Romance Writers’ meeting is fun too. So are conferences and conventions.
At first it feels like a big risk, but the rewards when you step out are amazing. The more I go out and do things, the more I feel the dependency on Facebook diminish.
Lose Your Facebook Habit
I’ll say it again, one of these days we’re going to wake up and Facebook won’t be there anymore. The Big Z could decide to pull the plug, or start charging subscriptions, or any number of horrors. You have to have a backup plan. Waiting for it to happen and fooling yourself by saying it’ll never happen isn’t good enough. Because by the time it does, it’s too late to get out there and start making your connections.
“But Deb,” I hear you shout, “what can I do? I’m just a shy artist/writer/creative. I can’t do what you do! I’m afraid!”
Well, there you go, the first step to recovering is admitting you have a problem, isn’t it? And what does it all come down to?
Fear of failure, fear of rejection, fear of looking foolish, fear of being judged…the list goes on. Go ahead, pick a fear, any fear. You’ll get over them the same way—by asking yourself why, where did this belief come from?
So, let’s break this down. I didn’t do this overnight and I don’t expect you to, either. Baby steps are the key. Facebook has become a crutch and it’s time to lose it and walk on your own.
- Drive Traffic Back to Your Site. Do you blog on your site? One of the easiest things you can do to start with is bring the traffic home. Don’t just post up a link on your Facebook page, write your own post and put your spin on it. Link to the inspirational source in your blog post. Make people come to you first before going off to read someone else. Encourage your friends and followers to leave their comments on the blog. Join blogging groups where people post, read and comment on one another’s blogs. Better still, find blogging groups local to you.
- Talk to People. No matter where I am, what I’m doing, I’m always looking for an opportunity to tell people about Blue Sun or The Saga. I keep my ears and eyes open. This takes some practice. You can’t just burst out with, “BUY MY STUFF!” You have to form a bit of a relationship. You have to listen first. You have to see if this person is open to what you’ve got. Is it relevant to the conversation? If not, then keep that urge in check and let it go. If it is, then by all means, share!
- Find a Meetup Group. As much as I love going to conventions and conferences, they’re not always possible. After having come back from one of our annual coaching conferences I wanted to recreate that feeling of connection on a smaller, local scale. I wanted to find my Pack, my Tribe right here in my town. I discovered several writers’ groups and went to some of their meetings. When I discovered I wanted more than that, I created my own group and in the process made some really cool friends.
- Fill a Need. Are you an author? A designer? A coach? Take a trip down to your local library. Libraries offer all kinds of programs for the community. Granted, these programs a lot of the time have to be free to the public, but running a workshop or seminar to get yourself known isn’t such a bad idea. Share what you know and gain an audience. The trick is though not to give the whole cow away. Give just enough that people walk away with a good amount of value. Once they see what you have to offer, they’ll want more. Before you know it, you’ll have more additions to your client or fan base.
- Teach a Class. This is the above concept taken to the next level. Approach the community and continuing education colleges in your area. Come up with a pitch for a workshop and see if you can teach it at their facility. You don’t want to do free forever. Get paid for your knowledge.
I know these steps sound scary, but you can do it. In fact, if you want help overcoming these fears, we have an excellent group coaching program. I’m not just a teacher there, I’m a member too. I’ve been in the Journey for the past year both contributing my insights and walking the path right alongside each and every one of our members. I understand what you’re going through, you’re not the only creative with these connection fears.
Sound like something for you? Click on the link and check out the Journey. Take back your power and show Facebook they’re not the be all, end all.
Oh, and that story about Facebook charging for subscriptions? Total hoax. Snopes says so. And we all know that if you read it on the web it must be true. *wink*