Really, really like Seth Godin’s blog post titled, “Where does this blog come from?”
It’s short and to the point, offering clarity about where he is online and why, and more to the point of the blog post, who holds the pen. In his case, Seth does: “I write every word of this blog (more than 2,000,000 words so far). If you see a book or an email that’s from me, I wrote it.”
Rather than be all things to all people in all possible online spaces — a daunting task for mortals working alone – he chooses focus. He picks the tools that make the most sense for his personal involvement and pays close attention to them, but doesn’t impede the ones that are able to live without his direct involvement, like his Facebook Page.
This position, though, requires a couple of important prerequisites that essentially boil down to confidence — in your personal brand, in understanding the available communication tools, and a willingness to take a risk that you miss an opportunity.
Godin’s blog of mostly short opinion pieces and real world musings helps build his online following while creating content for his books that are ultimately purchased by that online community and the people they know. His personal interaction fuels that engine in a way that a blogger-double can’t do authentically.
That works for Godin. What does that mean for you?
Look in the mirror. What’s your personal brand, who needs to engage with you? Then take stock of your own online confidence — do you know how to translate the first questions into where you should focus your online efforts? Take control of your pen but don’t be afraid to reach out for help to bolster your skills for how to use it.
Here’s a useful exercise: Try rewriting Seth Godin’s blog except make your own by inserting your use of the online tools: Do you hold your online pen or just approve what others ghost right for you? What’s up with your Twitter use. How are you using Facebook? Where else are you spending time online?
If you can’t get past the what to the why, start thinking harder. Being “where you need to be” requires that you know why – at least admit when you don’t.