No matter whether you have an established presence online or not, finding your place is a personal journey only you can take in your quest to create compelling content that connects.
It’s easy to be persuaded to join the league of marketers promising something for what seems like little effort or perhaps signing over your rights to collective social media sites that want to harness your content and contacts.
Not that there’s anything wrong with that. It just depends where you’re at in your journey. And sure it is a harder road to navigate alone, but the payoff should things take off could prove to be the start of even greater things to come.
Too many brands treat social media as a one-way broadcast channel rather than a two-way dialogue through which emotional storytelling can be transferred. – Simon Mainwaring
My journey began with the idea of blogging my way through the United States and Central America to bring stories that count, unfettered by payment, not compromised by anyone’s opinion but my own. I also didn’t want to blur the line between my unpaid blog and my unpaid day job developing a website, app and e-book.
But it’s inevitable they’d collide. Two separate journeys unfolding simultaneously all with the end game of creating compelling content, one across multiple platforms. I would never have believed 12 months ago that within a couple of months I’d be researching the ins and outs of SEO, building a website while working on an app, writing an e-book while teaching English as a second language. Nor would I have entertained the idea of creating marketing content for Twitter, Facebook, Flickr, Pinterest and Instagram and becoming addicted to the press express buttons they represent!
As a paid journalist I’ve edited content and designed pages in print and online but I’d never built a website from scratch or worked with an overseas company to develop an app. Opting out of the workforce to do something creative sounds so romantic. Friends believe what you’re doing is pure fun, and at times it is though working on a project which began in one country and led to another has been equally gruelling as juggling the ins and outs of my previous job.
FUMBLE OR FOLD
Nevertheless this project has been more rewarding simply because it involved so much sweat, funds and frustration, which is almost forgotten given the website is up, the e-book is written and ready to be released and the app is before iTunes for review.
Then just at the time the app was being submitted for approval, Apple’s developer site fell under “hacker” siege, delaying the project by weeks. The plan was to have the app out by August 1 to allow my co-founder and I to hit the ground running to get word out through all the mediums we’d painstakingly researched. We wanted a three-month lead time to really establish marketing for our product ahead of the annual event it targeted.
So what happened next? Nothing and everything. This forced break allowed us to regroup and rethink our strategy. It made us sit down and question what we wanted to happen. Instead of jumping head-first into our simultaneous assault on social media we were given a much-needed breather to tackle new ways to get our message out.
And that’s where the fun has begun: word of mouth. Being able to tell others what you’ve been working on. Building on the excitement to launch whether out at the bank, grocery store or when relatives drop by or kids come knocking at the door to elicit odd jobs around the house, one is ready to relay that “elevator conversation” with ease.
There’s merit in the one-man marketing band and so far the best response has been “who does that [create an app]?” … well, ordinary folk like you and me.
It started with an idea that didn’t get filed into the too hard basket. It took perseverance and a willingness never to give up. It required sheer hard work to overcome lack of technical expertise, build knowledge and skills and trust in one’s creativity to create compelling content for a website that others will want to read, follow, friend and share.
Finally, it has taken unshakeable belief that your creation will be compelling enough for people to want to pay for it. Of course that will only be confirmed when it is out in the world-wide marketplace, stripped bare of the angst it has gone through to shape, its arrival celebrated by the consumption of the masses.
Judy Wilkinson is a freelance writer who is excited to be part of a simple idea that evolved to include an integrated social media approach aimed at keeping families connected at Halloween.