The Secret to Success No One Talks About
This past week was a tough one. I have to admit that I did not check off many of my rituals due to falling in a slump these past couple of days. I know we all have that moment when we bust our butts to make things happen and once the hustle runs dry and you have a second to think--you compare the reality of your life versus the seeds you've planted and feel utterly frustrated. I cannot count the many times "I've done too much to be in the position I'm in.." has left my lips but I am back on the path to moving forward and I hope if you're in the same boat, this week's blog will lift you spirits and give you the needed boost to clock in and get back to work.
Today we talk about the secret to success that no one talks about. This is an example of the 80% of 8IGHTY/2WNTY that I stress on constantly when establishing your empire, creative or not.
More specifically, you and your "product’s" ability to participate and interact in your respective communities.
Have you ever had an idea? You develop the plan of action as to how to create or produce it. You invest the money and the time, both which you cannot afford to waste and research how to get your idea off the ground and get started. You pour hours upon hours into this idea; blood, sweat and tears. After your energy and bank accounts are depleted, you find assurance in the fact that this it IT; the one thing that will put you on the map. You set up your social channels, mailing lists, flyers, photoshoots and then you release your idea into the world. It hops out of the nest......and nothing; it falls and crashes onto the ground. Immediately you go through your checklists and make sure everything was completed and in the right order. Then you go to the web and check other creators or companies that are doing what you're trying to pull off. In an attempt to restructure your idea and 'steal like an artist', copying their methods, you fall into an envious gaze. Thoughts like "my work is so much better than theirs" or "we're both doing the exact same thing, how are they getting noticed and I'm not?" plague your mind until the very idea you fought so hard to create loses its luster and gets pushed under the bed with your other dreams and products. I've been there and its not an easy pill to swallow. Dust off those ideas and let's figure out how to get them the attention that they deserve with Chase Jarvis' latest podcast.
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Okay, get your pencils and notepads ready, time to clock in.
His 2 Cents...
(Click anywhere on the bar to rewind/fast-forward. You're welcome.)
My Take Away..
- Creating and promoting is only 50% of the work--the other 50% (the community) makes the difference to ongoing and repeated success.
- -Reciprocity: Basically do for other’s what you’d want them to do for you.
- Consistency gets noticed
Making something great and promoting it is only 50% of the work. The other 50% (the community) is the part that makes the difference to ongoing and repeated success. Think about it like this; for us millennials who grew up in an ever-popular digital era, we have the social promoting part on lock. Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, etc. have allowed us the ability to share and connect around the world instantly.
What about the other generations who aren't so hip to our emoji culture and don't live life one meme at a time? We now have to learn to put down the screen and focus on going out and actively meeting our community and sharing who we are and what we represent in the flesh. We can break down these two types of involvement as physical and digital.
How to get involved in your Physical community:
- Find the communities of other humans who are doing or are passionate about the same things you are and get involved and collaborate.
- Aim to differentiate or stand out when out and about in your community
- Get the inside scoop by meeting organizers, guests and VIP's. Get out there and volunteer.
If you wish you had more comments and likes on your social channels, how can you comment and like on the work of others on those desired channels you follow?
If you want people to go to your events, go to other people's events. Who could you meet and create long lasting relationships with who will aid in the process of building your ideas or creations?
This is the art of Reciprocity. Doing for other's what you want done to you. Society has an innate desire to obtain balance. For example, next time you go to lunch with a friend, pay for their meal. If you never mention it and it is a genuine gesture, they will soon want to pay for your meal on your next lunch. This is not out of conscience thought but the need to "settle the score". Reciprocity can be used to your advantage when partnered with the right energy and provide opportunities or doors to be opened simply by your willingness to step outside of your needs and help someone else accomplish theirs.
It’s your job to find physical communities and make the effort to attend and meet people.
So when I talk about "meeting people" there’s usually two groups of people whose ears perk up:
EXTROVERTS who are like “hell yeah, that sounds fun.💪🏽🍷”
There’s not much I can say to you but to get up and get out there. You obviously have no issue interacting with others. The more you people you meet and places you go, the more community power you create for yourself.
Now, the other group is the...
INTROVERTS who are like “me...talking to people...kill me now. 😱😵”
If this is you, I’ve added a great video with some tips for those individuals whose people skills aren’t the sharpest and guess what--we can promote our work just like the best of them.
I talk about the word differentiation a lot with my clients and students. When going to these events, meetings, trade shows, conferences, galleries, showcases, aim to be different from the status quo. You'll find yourself jumping to the priority line of interaction simply because you aren't on the typical actor, dancer, musician or business professional's "radar".
Here in LA, we have an event called Choreographer's Carnival. It's a monthly showcase for dancers and dance professionals and is a great place to break bread with industry standard names. I always get questions about how to connect with people of interest in my field. For dancers, this is it. Instead of planning to freestyle all night in the circles seeking validation or props from someone you intend on working with-- invest in buying a drink for those you plan on speaking to and go the route of establishing a genuine connection or friendship, not a job opportunity.
In passing, share your interest in meeting up with them and picking their brain, contributing to their work or just connecting for a non-work related chat. If you're at a fun, low key or relaxed type of event, keep business brief, to the point, exchange info and move on to the next. Allow the genuine connection to be the lasting memory, not the business talk. Once the event is over, follow up with those you exchanged info with and remind them of the friendly interaction and boom--you made a new friend and possible industry connection in your community.
When it comes to getting in good with your community, there's no better way than to volunteer for events or organizations that fit in your interests. To my introverts especially, if there’s a physical group near you that you can join--do it. This will help challenge you to meet others within a level of comfortable structure instead of being thrown out to the wolves. You get to dip your toes in before trying that cannonball, score a chance to work with organizers who usually are the most well connected individuals in communities and rub elbows with speakers, guests, VIP’s etc. all at the same time. You're welcome.
How to get involved in your Digital community:
- Engage with the top names in your field
- Interact with like-minded creators or brands and drive conversations
- Aim to connect your peers, top professionals or brands and tastemakers to your social channels
Are you following the tops names of the people in your field?
Are you following your peers?
Are you tracking those who are up and coming or are on your level and you admire their work?
Are you jumping in, joining those conversations and making waves?
These are the questions you need to ask yourself. They are the best ways to strengthen your digital footprint in your community and solidify a lasting impression that will assist in meeting and exceeding your goals for promoting your future ideas and creations.
Gary Vaynerchuk has a great social hack called the $1.80 Instagram Strategy. It translates to leaving your personal .02 cents on the top 9 trending Instagram posts for 10 different hashtags that are relevant to your brand or business every single day.
By the end, you haven’t just left your .02, but a full $1.80 of thoughts online in the specific category, niche or industry you want to become a part of. This is money in the bank, no pun intended.
When using this strategy, make your interactions:
-Consistent (this doesn’t mean you have to every day, it means on an on-going basis)
-Thoughtful (let’s try to provoke some thought, stand out from the masses and create dialog that people want to be apart of)
-Conversational (don’t be a robot….people hate robots. Comment the same way you’d speak to that person or brand)
-A genuine contribution to the content (no random “litty” or “🔥🔥🔥” allowed)
Remember, The number of Instagram followers you have mean NOTHING if you can’t build a community of like-minded people who actually care and engage. The only real way to do this is to become part of the conversation.
It’s never been easier to connect with other people than it is today, this stuff works! Use this hack for a few months and see an upwards in all your social channels. You will slowly begin to build a dedicated, personal, digital army that will fight to promote your creations or ideas days, months or even years from now.
Making something great is awesome. Promoting and social channels are awesome too, but you cannot have one without the other--if you want to achieve success. Creation is only 50% of the work. The other 50% (the community) is the sustained support that helps ideas and brands win and live. If you're out in Los Angeles, hope to see you at an event soon!