I started a business. It made me want to drink copious quantities, smoke myself into oblivion and hit my head against a brick wall. Instead I wrote a blog.
Site Launch Day: 26
User Count: 39
Going right: Fixing loads of bugs, feel more in touch with the users of the site.
Going wrong: Not much really :)
Comment: Positive attitude could be to the fact everything is going really well, or indeed a nice influx of pregnancy hormones. Who can say?
There's a songwriter I know - well it's actually a songwriter my boyfriend knows - who has several major hits worldwide, platinum discs coming out of his ears and - what appears to be a ginormous....
It would be off-putting, only I can't quite decide whether his - ahem - cockiness, like James Bond, is really quite attractive.
(Bond caught in flagrante with a female Russian agent.)
Minister: "Bond, what do you think you're doing?"
Bond: "Keeping the British end up, Sir."
It also doesn't hurt that he reminds me of George Michael - the songwriter - not James Bond. His name is Leo Chantzaras. Plus - well - he's Greek, and that in itself warms the cockles of my heart (if you hadn't guessed, my Dad is Greek - kinda like Oedipus revisited). If you wanted a successful template of someone who is quite simply phenomenal at self-promotion through social media, then you need look no further than this guy.
He writes all his facebook statuses in BLOCK CAPITALS, has created a facebook group which is buzzing with songwriter activity called "YES I SAID IT: The realities of being a songwriter", writes a blog and has a MySpace presence. I am friends with over 800 people on facebook and this guy pops up on my page at least 3 times a day. One wonders when it is he gets any time to actually write songs. In fact his presence is so ubiquitous, that he has not only permeated my social media, but he is regularly a subject of discussion in our house.
"Leo's planning a song writing convention at the New Year."
"Part of Leo's 'authentic' songwriter voice is hating pedophilia."
"Did you see the link Leo sent of the guy playing a piano version of our song?"
Doubtless if it carries on, we will even name our unborn baby after him.
In an effort to take some useful learning out of all this time spent discussing him, I asked him to send me his top tips on self promotion. Here's what came back.
In fact FEAR of what people will think of me ranks highly in my reasoning of why I shouldn't do many of the things on that list. And it's a trait that I find highly unattractive. Both in others and myself. So no more!
Shout it out. Because in cyberspace there is no room for false modesty.
Isn't it time to accept that your 'real' friends know the 'real' you and those who are willing to accept a 2D persona on facebook as the 'real' you aren't 'really' your friends anyway? There's 'really' too much of the word 'really' in that sentence.
But really, you get the point.
Site Launch Day: 27
User Count: 40
Going right: My father - self professed facebook-hater - actually logged on to his wife's facebook account to congratulate me...in a post!
Going even more right: Editing an excellent blog on celebrity big brother
Comment: Getting a little nervous that so much is going right.
If you're a guy reading this blog, then I think you're really cool. Of course I like to think anyone reading this blog is cool, but especially men. Why? Because this blog is supposedly geared towards women. It talks about hormones and what my boyfriend said in a beautifully skewed pink logic.
In business school we are taught that our markets come in segments... the housewives, the young professionals, techies and middle income male earners. It seems that everywhere we look in business - and especially analytics where my background is - we separate users and regroup them in any number of ways to try and identify patterns in order to pitch the right message to the right group.
Right? Wrong. Or at least, not always right.
Segments are not 'normal' and they are not 'natural'. They are useful in as much as they MAY identify usage types and price benchmarking, but realistically no one person fits neatly in one category. There is a huge overlap in all of them. And many times they're just nonsensical. What about the young housewife who's also a techie and on sabbatical for 5 years to raise her kids?
I am a woman, a mother, a geek, an entrepreneur, an analyst, a business developer, a blogger, a management accountant, a sometime Eco-warrior, vicious mosquito hunter ...currently on a very low income! So where would you put me? If you've any sense, slap bang in the middle of the narrow-minded segment who believed until recently that no men would be interested in reading this blog.
Yesterday an ex-colleague-turned-client of mine, a C-level exec from a internationally renowned company called me up yesterday to tell me how much he enjoyed the blog.
"See" he said " I have a mushy side. But don't tell my wife."
Or indeed, another ex-colleague who said "As a tax professional I find your analysis of IR35 quite amusing. Very badly drafted piece of legislation though the Arctic Systems case was a victory for common sense." (How do you like them apples right in the middle of a pink blog!)
And they're not the first. Not even the second, third or fourth. You see, I've found out that I have a not-so-in-the-closet readership. Men.
In order to find out why men liked my blog despite its complaints about pregnancy and anecdotes about relationships I went directly to someone in my target market. Fortunately he's easily accessible and readily admits that he likes the blog. Although he also risks being killed if he says he doesn't :)
He said "Difficult to answer. I don't see why it would be more geared towards women than men. It's written in a humorous way. Men like humor. It describes the adventure of starting a business. Just as relevant for men. It's personal and give little anecdotes of your life, why would that be less interesting for men?"
"Because it doesn't really take business seriously? I thought you guys were more about corporate seriousness. Well not you specifically, cause I've never seen you in a suit. But business men in general."
"So men are serious while women like humor?"
Yes. He made me feel very small. Thus I hereby declare not to tar my readers with the same brush in future and to remember that just because I am fighting the corporate system to enable flexible family working, there are many individuals in it who want to change the world just as much as I do. Including men.
Lesson today. Segmentation. Take it with a pinch of salt. You're marketing to individuals, not segments.
"You are not your job. You are not the money in your bank account. You are not the car you drive. You are not how much money is in your wallet. You are not your fucking khakis." Tyler Durden, Fight Club.
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