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Patience Builds Better Social Media Results and More

March 14 2011

social media flower worldI may not always follow my own advice, or in this case – my own advice might come after I made a realization. Patience is essential in succeeding, no matter what you are trying to do. I was often reminded I needed to be patient in the last six months by a friend, I would like to think I am extremely patient. In many ways I am, in some ways I was not.

I often write about how I love to observe things, people and situations. What I find most interesting is to reflect on how I see things develop and unfold. The interactions, the nuances, the tiny hidden messages and smiles between people – I notice those things, it is life a gigantic puzzle for me to piece together. Something in my nature just enjoys studying human beings.



In these studies and observations sometimes I have the advantage of figuring out how things work, whether an interaction, a process or the way to build a better mouse-trap. When I figure out the mouse-trap it is really fun to then take that to a social media client and help them build their mouse-trap bigger. That takes patience. In social media there are no short-cuts (unless you have lots of money or a big company backing you, then you can fast-track things from a 3 year plan to a 1 year plan, I have seen that done). The steps it takes to build a presence, establish a community, expand your network and build relationships is not something that happens over night.

Planning and patience with a dash of perseverance is what will get you there. I take those things into consideration when I present a social media strategy to a client, stepping them through the process and explaining the reasons why – slow and steady wins the race. The price of social media isn’t low, but the price you pay certainly is directly proportional to the experience you are offered. People don’t want to pay the price, so they rush forward and pursue the brass ring thinking it is solid gold. The end result isn’t often very positive.

Rush if you must, but when you lose focus and dream too big, or grow too fast, you risk losing even the little progress you have made. Recently I was talking to a potential client about a project; they kept changing what they wanted to be, so I said “What do you want to be when you grow up?” The question was valid, don’t keep reinventing your product, or yourself, start with something simple (relative to the product) and master that, then find out how you can grow from there.

An example is The Hip Roof, as I developed the forum structure I ended up with far more places than necessary, and I was reminded by numerous people that I might want to scale it back. So I did, and I still am – that’s the nice part about a site like that – it is dynamic and I can restructure and move things easiler, but it doesn’t redefine what The Hip Roof is, it only refines and better serves our members. If I were to build an application or develop a product I would want to focus on just one thing, do that well and own that market, then leverage that strength to evolve further.

I learned the value of patience. I just wish that my clients would too.

How patient are you?

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