It’s been a weird few years for me when it comes to social media.
For a long while, I was on the forefront of the stuff happening in this industry. I was hitting all the “lists”, follower and traffic numbers were growing exponentially, I was getting tapped for speaking engagements all the time and given all the labels that everyone loves to hate – expert, guru, rockstar.
Then it all kind of got to me.
And if you paid any attention, after a while, it showed.
While my peers increased their audience and visibility, mine stagnated.
If we’re talking pure numbers, my follower counts flatlined (I’ve hovered around the same number on Twitter for probably about a year now). My blog traffic took a nose-dive as I posted less and less frequently and found myself dissatisfied with writing the same old social media how-to posts. I haven’t looked at my analytics in a long time, but I’m guessing they’re nothing to write home about, not as compared to my social media peers or even what I had to show in the past.
I never really focused on building an dedicated email list, so that has always been a smallish group of people.
At one point, I had a solid five-figure subscriber base here at Brass Tack Thinking. Now it’s a few thousand. (Which happens when you slow down, then shutter the blog entirely, then come back a year later and start posting again.)
I plowed all of my available energy into starting and establishing a business, serving clients, and doing work in the trenches. So my own platform took a backseat to building SideraWorks’ presence, leadership and reputation (which has been remarkably successful and a worthwhile effort).
I didn’t really think much of it until I started putting the pieces in place for my new book project, Relearn, which is a departure from most of my core professional endeavors.
When you start to assess your almighty “platform”, it can be really humbling when you realize that you took your foot off the accelerator, and everything slowed way the hell down.
Yikes. I mean, did I screw everything up?
Not so much.
After the initial self-admonishment, I was like “Hey, wait a minute.”
The people that are STILL here, after all the nuttiness and the ups and downs of my last few years?
They are the people that I want to know the most. The ones who found something worth paying attention to all the way through, with all the facets of me as a person and a professional, whether I was posting every day or not so much at all. That’s you guys. Those of you reading, right here, now, today. Still clicking and telling your friends to come over and read. Thank you for that.
For a very long time, I’ve always said that I’d rather have 100 true, amazing, engaged community members than ten thousand that couldn’t have cared less.
I still believe that, absolutely.
And if I could build a tribe then, there’s no reason I can’t continue to build one now. There’s no reason I can’t Relearn how to cultivate and engage people around a movement for something that matters to me and that I hope matters to them, too, no matter what the stats and analytics say.
I believe that if you create something worth paying attention to, people will find it, share it, become part of it.
I think I can do it again like I did all those years ago. Even if it’s noisier, and more crowded out there, and there’s all sorts of misplaced hype still swirling around shallow figureheads and mediocre content.
With you guys by my side, in fact, I think I can do it even better.
We’ll build something cool together, and the way we change ourselves and the world will be more valuable than a handful of clicks will ever be.
I’m still here. I’m excited to embark on this new project. I still have plenty of stuff to say, jammed up in this head of mine.
And the only numbers that really matter to me are how many people in this community say “YES, this is valuable”, and want to be part of creating something really incredible together.
What do you say, are you with me? I kept your seat warm. And I’m really glad to have you here.