Does Your Web Presence Help You or Paralyze You?

By Don Lafferty | Social Media

Being social and remaining effectively present in a social context is, like most skills, easier for some than for others. Maybe “easy” is the wrong word.

Jonathan Maberry I was having breakfast with Philly author Jonathan Maberry this past week when the simplest of examples dropped in my lap.

I’d seen a blog post earlier in the morning on which I thought he should comment. So he did. Immediately and thoughtfully. Then he sent an @tweet to a friend of his who was mentioned in the blog post just to make sure his buddy had seen it too.

Total elapsed time: about 5 minutes. Resulting mentions: 12. Resulting follow-up: One awesome blog panel discussion with four pretty well networked people which, in addition to being tremendously valuable and informative to his network, will generate a ton of exposure for his upcoming projects, and further reinforce his platform as an author, a teacher and a connector.

That’s a pretty good return on 5 minutes work. But is it really just 5 minutes work, or is it a systematic dedication to being present, and maintaining a well defined platform all the time, that enabled Maberry to tap into all that hard work with 5 thoughtful minutes and 3 clicks?

If you don’t have clear personal branding, and a simple, regular regimen for maintaining your social presence, it’s pretty hard to take advantage of those kinds of opportunities.

I have to admit, I was impressed with the speed with which Maberry moved on my suggestion. When I mentioned that he said “Most people I know would put something like that on their to-do list and then never get to it. Now I can forget about it.”

He’s right. Opportunities like this can paralyze us if we’re not prepared. Here’s an example of that thought process:

Confused Social Media Dweeb “Should I comment on this blog post? Oh, I really should comment. Do I have the authority to say that? Will I look stupid? Of course not, I know what I’m talking about on this subject. Oh damn, I haven’t blogged in 6 weeks. I can’t have people clicking back to see that. Okay, I’ll write a relevant blog post, then I’ll go back and leave a killer comment. Let me put that on my to-do list. Oh shit, let me put that third on my to-do list right after I take this phone call.”

Do yourself a solid for this new year and tighten up your Web presence so you can take advantage of the opportunities that are out there every day, right away.

Here’s a fast-track checklist to tightening up your Web presence:

  • Write a 300-500 word blog post about something that will help the people in your space.
  • Update all your profile pics, bios and “about me” sections to include the stuff that accurately represents your brand in these places:
      • Twitter
      • Facebook
      • LinkedIn
      • MySpace
      • Google
      • Indiebound
      • Goodreads
      • LibraryThing
      • Amazon
  • Make sure the links you provide lead back to your blog or website.

Since all your information is kinda the same in every community, this process shouldn’t take an inordinate amount of time, and should provide you with the confidence to answer the door the next time opportunity comes knocking.

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About the Author

I'm a father, a son, a grandfather, a brother, an ex-husband and a friend to many. I am born and raised in Northeast Philadelphia where I still live, work and play. My cup runneth over.