Humans are naturally social creatures. I talk a lot about how our minds are the reason we have succeeded as a species, and have come to rule over all other animals, even the ones that are bigger, stronger, faster, and fiercer. But a big part of that success stemmed from our deep social connection and our ability to work together.
How does this apply to today’s world? A great question. Regardless of how you use this information, whether you’re working on your own business, performing a task at your job, building relationships, or creating something, the power you get from getting other people on your team will always be greater than the power or force you provide yourself. As someone said, “two heads are better than one.”
So I want to talk about working together, about building relationships and breaking through walls with the help of other people, and specifically about the pitfalls and potential of social media. I use Twitter, and I see quite often people who refer to themselves as “marketing juggernauts” who have tens of thousands of followers…and I can’t help but think that they’re wasting their time. I know that I may be in the wrong here because I obviously don’t know who they are or exactly what they do. Some of them may actually be marketing experts. But I always wonder…how many of those people actually care about what you have to say?
I know on a few other projects I worked on, I believed that there was power in numbers, and the more followers and page views I got, the more successful I was becoming. This simply isn’t true. The fact of the matter is, if 10,000 people follow you and then mute you so your tweets don’t appear in their feed, or if they just don’t read what you have to say, then you really have gotten nowhere. Sure, someone may see that you have 10,000 followers, but that isn’t worth much.
The first step to take to fix this is to create meaningful and useful content. You’ll see this tip on every “how to blog” blog out there, but how many people really take it to heart? If you’re content is not worth reading, people won’t read it. Plain and simple. The second step is related to what I’m talking about here with working together: gain a small, worthwhile following. You want genuine users of your material or products, so get genuine users. You don’t so this by seeking out 10,000 people who will follow you because you followed them. Instead, you network. This is why the internet was created: to connect people. So connect with them! Send a personal message instead of just following them. Talk to people and tell them why you’re content is worth reading. Make it personal so they know you’re not spamming everyone in the world. Make worthwhile connections with people, and then those people will support you. I’d rather have one person who supports me and my work than 10,000 who don’t listen to what I have to say. The potentiality of social media lies in the ability to connect with people. So connect.
And as far as working together goes outside of the internet, connect with people in person as well. Tell your friends and family that you’re truly passionate about what you’re working on, and then ask for help. There’s nothing wrong with asking. Offer them something in return if you feel you need to, but get people on your side. The people you want on your side the most are the ones who love you and would support anything you do.
Be the social creature you are naturally. Work together with people, and don’t be afraid to ask for help. There’s nothing wrong with asking.