Hashtags, Harleys and Help Wanted

I had an interesting exchange with one of my favorite agents in my company via email. He had just attended one of my workshops in his office and was trying to execute on several of the ideas we discussed. One of the actions that was causing him some stress was better utilizing social networking sites such as Twitter and Facebook.

Anyone who has either taught social networking or tried to learn it can easily admit that there is a lot to grasp. Which sites are best? How do you get started? What the heck is a hashtag? Does everyone speak the same language between sites?

There are questions about the platforms, the audiences and the purposes of all the sites. I don’t think anyone can every truly call themselves an “expert” or “guru” because there is always something new to learn or perfect.

I just do not get it all. I load Facebook daily and sit there and stare thinking, what do I have to contribute that is interesting, let alone Twitter or LinkedIn.

I think everyone, regardless of their skill level has had that thought at one point or another. As the old cliché goes, If I only had a dollar for every time I’ve heard that.

He went on to say,

I know this needs to be an integral part of my business plan for next year. This is a large part of real estate marketing for the future. Sean, I am good at selling real estate. I am not good at the social media aspect.

When the Student is Ready, the Teacher Will Appear

We all “get” social networking on some level. Not everyone uses it but most people understand that it is a way to connect with others through the computer or mobile devices. Friends and followers might be real life connections or virtual relationships. There are way more listeners out there than there are talkers (and even a few talkers who should start learning to talk less).

I know of many people who prefer to enjoy social media from the “opposite side of the glass” the way one might enjoy visiting the zoo. “I don’t need to get in the cage with the animals to enjoy them” might be the train of thought there. It can be overwhelming and that’s why I sometimes feel that in order to find your footing you should do L.E.S.S.

The thing is, my friend is right about one thing.  He is good at selling real estate. I’ll even argue that he’s greatat his job. His clients love him and he is the epitome of someone who delivers “truly remarkable service.” What he needs to realize is that “the social media aspect” is just one of the ways to build, grow and maintain your business. It’s not, nor will it ever be, the only place to do it.

He is really good at building relationships, solving problems and having fun. He just chooses to do it in his local community, with his family and when he gets out on his motorcycle and rides with friends. He’s good at the “old-fashioned” social networking that you hear about from your parents and all those other “old people.” (I jest because I am one myself).

Putting Myself in His Shoes

Here’s how I responded to my friend,

Your concerns are not rare and not everyone “gets” social media. That’s okay because as you know, not every “gets” what it’s like to ride on a motorcycle through the Southeastern Indiana countryside on a brisk Saturday morning. 

There are places that can manage your social media presence for you but that would be like hiring someone to ride your motorcycle for you. I think it’s fake and doesn’t allow for the relationships to be built to work outside of the social network structure.

Does that make sense to you?

Just like if I was learning to ride a motorcycle, I would need to become familiar with the equipment. Then I would take it around the block. Then my next ride might be around my city. I’d see what riding in the morning was like compared to late afternoon. Does riding on the freeway feel as enjoyable as cruising down a desolate country road? I am probably not ready for a road trip to Sturgis, SD yet but that’s okay. My friend probably isn’t ready to start writing a blog either.

Whatever you need to do this week, put on your helmet and start driving. You’ll become more comfortable with every ride.

photos by: aturkus & jimbrickett

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