For those of you who have been reading pre-April 2016, you know how much attention I paid to maintaining this site and publicizing it – exactly ZERO fucks were given. This page looked like crap, sometimes triggered malware warnings, and was all sorts of broken like a bike that you left in the shed six years ago and forgot about. I had zero social media pages associated with it, and the only thing I would do is occasionally post a link to it in my fairly inactive twitter account that has less than 300 followers because I realized that’s how *I* found blogs but that’s it.
Time to metaphorically bridge the gap between being a complete social media dunce and maybe figuring out how to find my people.
During #projectspring, I actually spruced the place up to take it into the ’10’s, it looks nice on mobile phones for the most part, and I updated the content of the static pages. So, I have this nifty new page that has about 100-200 hits per post and got a comment every so often. I was pretty fine with that until I decided I wanted to teach myself how to use social media to market things. Right now, I don’t really have a product to sell, but I do have a lil ol’ space where I talk about triathlon and food and life and post selfies and it might be fun if I had 2 or 3 comments instead of 1.
I never intend to make this particular space about selling anything, but I’d like to know how to market myself elsewhere in the future. Since this year is about learning new things and diversifying myself, along with learning how to be a personal trainer, sports nutrition specialist, and a triathlon coach, I also would like to figure out how I’d let people know about all that and maybe someday take their green paper for some service that I would provide. I have utter confidence in my ability to provide a quality service. My biggest fear, however, is that someday I’ll decide to make the leap, and no one will dance at my party. I’ll build it, and no one will come.
So, I’m going to see who shows up to the dance floor when there’s no pressure of me making a livelihood on it. This will either prove that with proper activity and marketing I’ll get the audience I need, or prove that it’s just as effing mystifying as I think it is right now, and my panic is justified, and I need to figure out how to sell out a stadium before I go through all the trouble of building it (how many different metaphors can I mix today?).
Biggest fear: my party will look like bike check in at 10am. Empty, empty, empty.
My first step was creating all the social media pages and giving them a unifying theme, along with my blog. I’ve enjoyed the rotating header pictures, but I also really like having a solid LOOK that screams Adjusted Reality whenever you go to an AR related page. For now, the cover photo is the Colorado National Monument we climbed on two wheels, and my profile is one of my favorite pre-ride selfies… one of the only ones without sunglasses since it was a grey day. I look happy, and while I have no makeup or anything on, I don’t exude grungy athlete.
I imagine those things may change as I go on other adventures and take a billion selfies on Instagram, but I’ll make sure they all change at the same time. I originally wanted to do a “collage” type thing, but Zliten partway talked me out of it, and also the size difference between headers on this blog, Facebook, Twitter, and Google Plus meant a lot of work and tweaking and frustration. So, I just went with the mountain look for now. I’m pretty sure once I return from Florida, there will be a winter ocean theme.
I’m in the middle of step two right now – populate the pages. The last thing I want to do is create a bunch of pages, put up a “hello world” post on each, and then start asking people to like them all naked and content-less. So, I’m giving myself a month to post regular content to all these sites:
I’ve never created a Facebook or G+ Adjusted Reality account before because I didn’t know what to do with it besides link my blog posts. For now, I’m trying to post on each about once a day on the weekdays. Content is/will be… a mix of links to my own blogs as I write them, the better pictures from Instagram, links to other stuff that interests me, sharing links to races I’m doing, or cool shit going on in Austin, and occasionally just some random thoughts.
Probably stuff like this for Facebook and G+. Probably not the blurry picture of my garmin on the way back from the pool or yet another bowl of Fage 0% and cereal.
Twitter and Instagram… I’ve already been at for a while. Twitter, I started as my personal account but it’s more tied to this blog than my real identity, so I’m keeping it. This is where you’ll see all sorts of shit, including random deep thoughts like “butterflies are the cheerleaders of the insect world”. Insta… I’ve actually found I’m decent at it. I love taking random photos and I’ve gotten better at the hashtags and when I do the right things I’m getting ~75 impressions and ~25 interactions. Of course, insta is the HARDEST one to actually link back to the blog. That is a thing I need to get better at.
I avoided Pintrest for so long, but I actually am kind of loving it. I have yet to actually go down the rabbit hole of surfing others stuff, but I created four boards in Pintrest that kind of categorize my life: triathlon, food, adventures, and scuba. Every so often, I’ll go through my blog/insta and pin stuff that’s relevant if it’s a decent quality picture.
I’ve been at this for about a few weeks. I want to give it about a month or so, and then I feel like I’ll have enough content. If I bring someone there, and they’re interested in my particular brand of crazy, they have enough to scroll down and see what I’m really about.
If you’re here already, I would love if you would clicky clicky on the links above on the social medias that you frequent. If you dig, follow/like/etc me and I’ll follow you back if you’re not a bot. If you have any feedback on things you would like to see, or things that you like to do on your social media accounts that are awesome and you’d like to see more people do, I’d definitely be into hearing about it. Help a n00bie out!
Next steps, follow and interact with other people on social media without feeling like a creeper. Obviously, as you can see above, this may be a challenge.
Step three – follow all sorts of people that look interesting and interact! I’m really bad right now about seeking out cool people to follow. I’ll follow people who follow me and don’t look like they’re overtly selling something I’m not buying (or are obviously bots), or people I know or “know” (either IRL or through blog reading).
And then… interact with said people more on social medias. I consume content all the time, but I don’t always react to it. For some reason, I feel like a bit of a creeper being like “hey, you have no idea who I am on the twitters, but here’s a comment about the thing you posted”. I’m getting better at liking and hearting, but I know I think comments are so much more awesome when you have something to say.
I know in my rational brain it’s not creepy, and I enjoy getting comments from people I don’t know, but for some reason, I feel like a creeper. It’s not like I’m saying creepy things like “nice bike kit pic, I want to wear your skin like a suit”, or something equally Silence of the Lambs, it just feels weird to even say “nice bike kit pic” to a complete stranger. Getting over that and talking to people I don’t know online is part of step three.
Step four – advertise. A little. After I’m pretty sure I’ve done all I can on my own, and have established a pretty good routine and have extended my circle and comfort zone a bit, I’m going to enact the final stages of the plan – play with the lowest level of paid ads on the mediums that make sense. I felt SUPER cheesy about even considering this before, but it’s no longer narcissism (here, let me pay money to get people to read my blog I make nothing from just to make me feel good). If it was my living wage on the line, I need to know how ads work and what sort of views I can get with the lowest level of spend.
I have some other future ideas – I’d like to branch out to doing video content (YouTube), streaming (Facebook Live, Twitch), and maybe even start selling some bite size stuff on Fiver, but that’s definitely Social Media 201 for me.
Is talking about this shit taboo? It’s definitely “how the sausage is made” stuff, but I’m quite fascinated by it, as an interested beginner sticking toes into the social media waters. Making the pages felt great, watching my views/interactions increase with my #hashtageusage on Instagram is cool, and it’s been fun trying to thing about… “hmmm, what should I share with (a few people in) the world today?”.
Come to Adjusted Reality for the sweaty selfies, stay for the random pictures of mannequin heads in cars.
What’s the one thing you’d want to tell a newbie that’s looking to move beyond a soapbox to stand on, towards creating a brand? I know some of y’all out there are super smart about this stuff. The “contact me” link and comments section below are arms wide open, welcoming suggestions, tips, feedback, and all that jazz.