Cafe Witness

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Everyone's a Small Business

One of the sexy, mindblowing things about social media is that everyone's a channel. What you say / do / make / like can now be piped into the heads of millions in a real-time basis. Every human being on the planet is a few keystrokes away from becoming the next superstar.

Or so it seems.

What we forget is that, for every accidental "overnight success," there are 99 people who work their tails off for a piece of the pie. And THAT kind of success doesn't happen overnight, or by accident -- it happens because of old-fashioned values:

- Dedication
- Quality
- Communication
- Value
- Community

What it means is that, if you drop one video in the YouTube stream and it DOESN'T happen to get swept up in the tide and turn you into a household name overnight, you'll find yourself in the exact same boat as everyone else in the world who's trying to be heard / seen / loved.

And what separates them from you?

- Dedication
- Quality
- Communication
- Value
- Community

We might all be channels, but no one interacts with those channels if they don't know they exist. And even successful channels can still fall silent if they're not carefully managed.

- Time management
- Resource management
- Workflow
- Personnel
- Cash flow

Welcome to social media, where everyone's a channel AND a small business -- and you'd better be at least competent at each or else you'll never be heard.

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  • I'm used to being a small business; it has been a while since I could easily separate my work life from my personal life. I'm less used to being a channel, since most of my work involves helping other people to communicate their message. I was reluctant at first to start blogging on my site, but I am enjoying the communication, and even the attention.

    Earlier today, I met with a client who was in that BootCamp session on WordPress pictured above, to discuss his needs for a website. He is considering including a blog on his new site, and wanted to know if my own blog has gained me any clients.

    At first, his question threw me, because I never asked it myself. I have gained clients through new media events, and expanded my skillset for existing clients since starting my first podcast, but I don't know if my blog itself has helped me to get work.

    I blog to stay connected and relevant to my new media friends. I blog to promote new work in my design portfolio, but without any specific goals. I blog because being a channel has become an obvious part of being a small business--what I need to remember is that this is not yet obvious to everyone.

    How do we make it obvious, or do we just wait?

    By Blogger John R. Carman, at 3:29 PM  

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