If you haven’t seen a 2010 prediction post in the last two weeks, welcome back from your coma. If you don’t see a wad of New Year’s resolution posts this week, we hope you come out of yours soon. Nothing against those who have produced such entries. There’s some search and link value to those types of posts this time of year. I guess I just prefer to think of the topics everyone will be writing about, then write about something else.

I’ll stray from my chosen path a bit today and share with you some of my goals for 2010, But these aren’t resolutions for the New Year. Rather, they are focal points for my professional and personal success in the year to come. As social media thinkers and tinkerers yourselves, I encourage you to consider the following as what we should all do in 2010.

Don’t Follow The Crowd

To do list by Adrian Hughes on Shutterstock.com

Photo by Adrian Hughes on Shutterstock.com. Used with permission.

The “me too” syndrome is almost an epidemic in social media these days. Few people have the wherewithal to push the thinking. Maybe we’re afraid we’ll piss someone off. Maybe we just want to do what everyone else is doing so we don’t get in trouble. Blog comments are full of, “Well said! I agree!” echoes and companies are demanding Facebook pages without having a single clue as to what to do with them. For some, it’s natural to follow the path of least resistance. I prefer to take a machete to the kudzu and see what’s ahead. It wins you more respect than it does friends, but that’s not always bad.

Look at your strategies and tactics for your company or clients. Are you just playing it safe and following the best practices or are you really thinking about your audience and how you blow them away with awesomeness? Remember, we don’t all have to be sheep. (Reference to my favorite The Far Side cartoon by Gary Larson. See it at the bottom of the linked post.)

Have Laser Focus

I’ve been scurrying to build my own business for the last three or four months. In that frantic race to meet payroll (namely make my wife stop being nervous), I lost focus on a couple of projects, one for a client and one for myself. That won’t happen in 2010. I’m going to be laser focused on my clients and their success and on building a more long-term revenue stream for Social Media Explorer. If I fail, I have only one person to blame.

Think about your social media strategies for 2010. Write them down on a note card or the back of a business card and carry it in your wallet or pocket. If it frays, make another one. Or perhaps laminate it. Pull it out every day and remind yourself what you should be focused on. Dismiss the rest. No excuses.

Move The Needle

I’m going to take each of my client’s primary goals for my work and put it on my white board. I’m going to benchmark, then measure the indicators that supply that needle’s direction. If I don’t move it in the right direction in a reasonable amount of time, I’m going to advise them to find someone better suited to do so. Hell, I might even refund some of their fee. (No promises. Man’s gotta eat, ya know.)

You should too.

Flee The Bubble

I’ve argued before that people in the social media space are a bad measuring stick for the rest of the world. Sure, the mainstream is consuming blogs and sharing information on social networks, but they don’t know or give a shit who Chris Brogan is, they don’t want 50,000 Twitter followers and traditional marketing doesn’t make them run and hide. If it makes sense to develop a client initiative that makes mommy bloggers happy, then I will. If it makes sense to focus on all moms, then I’ll filter my work differently.

If you think relying on your Twitter followers to drive engagement on your company’s project is all you need, then expect low returns. Focus on integrating your social efforts with traditional marketing strategies so you serve all of your target audience, not just the ones who don’t think RSS is the radio station with the dorky morning show.

Remember Why You Do It

Professionally, I do what I do to help my clients achieve their goals. Getting sucked into doing something cool on Twitter or poking around with my hobby side projects is easy to do. But without happy clients, I can’t afford the hobby side projects. Personally, I do what I do to provide for Nancy, Grant and Katie – by far the more important reasons I was put here. It’s easy to get caught up in the day-to-day and lose site of why. I plan on reminding myself daily.

Perhaps you too get caught up in the daily routines of meetings and paperwork and fiddling around with Facebook or Twitter. But just like the advice in the Have Laser Focus section, remind yourself everyday why you do what you do. Your clients, your company, your cause … do the tasks but stay focused on the goals and you’ll be successful. And don’t forget why you do it personally, too. We take far too much time away from our loved ones in our business world today. We should start taking a bit of that back.

Final Thoughts

My 2009 was spectacular. I imagine my 2010 being even better. I learned in 2009 that it only happens if you make it happen. Nobody is going to give it to you. Five years ago, I was a nobody PR guy working in a dead-end position in an industry with the most asinine business model known to man. I was making $30,000 a year. Today, I own my own business, am financially successful (knock on wood it stays that way) and know the future is what I make of it.

Those ideas above are what will help me make the most of it. The other point in that thought is that if I can do it, you can too.

Let me know how I can help. And thank you for helping make Social Media Explorer successful and fun.

Did you enjoy this blog post? If so, then why not:Leave Comment Below | Subscribe To This Blog | Sign Up For Our Newsletter |

About Jason Falls

Jason Falls

Jason Falls is the founder and chief instigator for Social Media Explorer's blog. He is a leading thinker, speaker and strategist in the world of digital marketing and is co-author of two books, No Bullshit Social Media: The All-Business, No-Hype Guide To Social Media Marketing and The Rebel's Guide To Email Marketing. By day, he leads digital strategy for CafePress, one of the world's largest online retailers. His opinions are his, not necessarily theirs. Follow him on Twitter (@JasonFalls).

Other posts by

Comments & Reactions

Comments Policy

Comments on Social Media Explorer are open to anyone. However, I will remove any comment that is disrespectful and not in the spirit of intelligent discourse. You are welcome to leave links to content relevant to the conversation, but I reserve the right to remove it if I don't see the relevancy. Be nice, have fun. Fair?

  • stanphelps

    Great post Jason. In the words of AliG . . . Respect.
    Here's to a prosperous 2010.
    Best,
    Stan
    #purplegoldfishproject

    • http://socialmediaexplorer.com JasonFalls

      I'll second that Stan. Happy New Year!

  • http://broadcasting-brain.com Mark Dykeman

    Best of everything in 2010, Jason! I like your resolutions!

    • http://socialmediaexplorer.com JasonFalls

      Thanks Mark. All the best for you this year, too, my friend.

  • http://www.veritasnewmedia.com/ Dan Vonderheide

    Well said! I agree! ;-)

    • http://socialmediaexplorer.com JasonFalls

      Thanks Dan. Happy New Year.

  • UrbaneWay

    Hey Jason, Happy New Year,
    You touched on a topic that I think many small business owners glaze over, The Fear of Running Out of Money, I can tell you from personal experience that I have worried far to many nights about making payroll. The amount of capital required to operate a business is staggering. That fear sometimes lead to taking some wrong projects, which sometimes further erode cash reserves. Maybe that isn't everyone's experience or history, but I have allowed it to happen more than I should.

    I just think sometimes the things that actually do keep us awake at night we don't talk about all that much, when that could have the most gain, albeit they may not be groundbreaking or sexy topics.

    Best of Luck to You and Social Media Explorer in 2010, and may you always have the courage to push back the fears that sometimes get in the way of great projects!

    • http://socialmediaexplorer.com JasonFalls

      Many thanks Eric. 2009 was the first time I'd ever run my own
      business. There are a lot of fears, stresses and challenges you just
      don't see until they smack you in the face. But I've learned that hard
      work pays off and everything has a way of working out if you want it
      to. I'm sure these are lessons you learned long ago, but you're
      right … We don't talk about the unsexy stuff much.

      Thanks for sharing some of those stresses with me and us. And here's
      to 2010 being successful enough that the stresses are minimal!

  • http://zen-marketing.blogspot.com Brian McDonald

    Happy New Year Jason,
    Laser focus is so important. Right now I'm bootstrapping three brands in my current job. I feel like I'm scatterbrained and find it hard to focus because marketing is not a priority. Having a strategy and plan that you can follow and measure against is vital.

    I'm looking forward to 2010 and pondering doing some new ventures. Glad I had to chance to meet you at SMBF and let us know when you head over to North Carolina again!

    • http://socialmediaexplorer.com JasonFalls

      Thanks Brian. Great to meet you in 2009. Here's to a great 2010.

  • claricemacgarvey

    Jason, you have moved my “mental needle” and blown a few cobwebs from my brain. Thanks for the head-clearing words.

    • http://socialmediaexplorer.com JasonFalls

      Awesome, Clarice. Thanks for the comment. Good to know I'm useful from
      time to time. Happy New Year!

  • Pingback: Five Things We Should All Do In 2010 | Social Media Explorer | Seo Curacao

  • ShaneRQR

    Interesting article!
    Focus is also one of my main sticking points that I need to work on.

    As for the needle thing: Tracking is priceless for me. I track everything I can and seeing in which direction the needle is moving is very useful.

    well-said-i-agree: Hmm… is the example of a positive comment on a blog related to clueless companies on facebook or finding new marketing strategies? I don't quite see the connection, there.

    Cheers,
    Shane

    • http://socialmediaexplorer.com JasonFalls

      Not related, but similar concepts. Thanks for the push back. heh.

  • http://www.24hourapartments.com/ 24hourapartments

    Good advice.

    –www.24hourapartments.com

  • mischasmuse

    Perfect. Refreshing. Nice to hear someone say it like it is and succeed. Kudos!

    • http://socialmediaexplorer.com JasonFalls

      Honored. Thank you!

  • http://www.uberfuzz.com UBERFUZZ

    good article, you make some good points.

  • http://memphisrealestatebuzz.com joespake

    Thanks, Jason, for the best New Year's post I have read. You have not only given me a lot to think about, but a framework to implement some of the ideas I have been kicking around, but not taking action on.

    • http://socialmediaexplorer.com JasonFalls

      Thanks for saying so, Joe. Good luck to you! Hope you take action and
      kick ass in 2010.

  • http://www.michaelbertoldi.net Michael Bertoldi

    Jason,

    Thanks for this post man. I'm printing this post as a reminder of what I've got to do this year. My favorite part was the “Final Thoughts” section. Thanks for giving us a little insight into your past – knowing you didn't roll out of bed a success helps those trying to get there. Not to get too sentimental on ya, but I kind of feel like you 5 years ago. I was recently a nobody copywriter making less than your $30k at an agency that wasn't so creative or ideal. Got married in June, laid off in September, and brought in the New Year by finding out we've got one on the way! I'm now working part-time, have a potential full-time lead, but with the recent news, I've got to make something happen and no one is going to do it for me.

    Thanks for the inspiring words. Of all the New Year posts out there, this is that “light a fire” type.

    • http://socialmediaexplorer.com JasonFalls

      Good things happen to good people. You're good people, Michael. Keep
      at it, my friend. Best to you (and congrats) in 2010!

  • http://twitter.com/chavahkinloch Chavah Kinloch

    “I do what I do to provide for Nancy, Grant and Katie – by far the more important reasons I was put here” – I just wanted to say this is a great reminder for myself as well. Great inspiring words for all of us that are working toward goals.

    • http://socialmediaexplorer.com JasonFalls

      Thank you for saying so, Chavah. Glad it was useful.

  • http://ubermarketing.wordpress.com Akash Sharma

    Thanks for sharing the insight Jason, The best thought in this post would be to forget about the “me too” strategy, the reason being it just means you are there but doing nothing practically.
    Best of luck for the new Year,I look forward to learning more good stuff from your posts.

    • http://socialmediaexplorer.com JasonFalls

      Thanks Akash. Much appreciated.

  • andrew keene

    if ure bizz doesnt work, maybe u should try motivational speaking!?!?…hehe

    • http://socialmediaexplorer.com JasonFalls

      Good one. Heh.

  • http://www.thekmiecs.com adamkmiec

    Jason, I genuinely hope you follow this advice. I think you're one of the good the people in this industry. But, every once in a while I see you creep toward that line of circle jerking and back scratching. It would be nice to see you speak out on some of the bull shit out there instead of sitting back and letting it happen.

    • http://socialmediaexplorer.com JasonFalls

      Thanks Adam. I think. Give me some more specifics if you can or care
      to. I call BS when I see it, but also know the line you have to walk
      between calling BS and calling people out unnecessarily. It's never an
      easy call but I think I do it more than most. Any specific instances
      of circle jerking by me you can point to, even privately, would help.
      I don't like being a “me too” but also know when other people are
      right, they're right. Make sense?

      • http://www.thekmiecs.com adamkmiec

        Jason, makes perfect sense. Will contact you offline.

  • markwilliamschaefer

    Really like this post. Know that doesn't add to the conversation but I just really like this post : ) Thanks!

    • http://socialmediaexplorer.com JasonFalls

      Thanks Mark.

  • http://twitter.com/dmilliez dominique milliez

    Thanks for this post man

    • http://socialmediaexplorer.com JasonFalls

      You're welcome. Thanks for commenting.

  • davekerpen

    Nice post, Jason. Happy New Year and here's to a great 2010 for you! FYI FB Connect didn't work for me here.

    • http://socialmediaexplorer.com JasonFalls

      Thanks Dave. Not sure why FB connect wouldn't work. It is probably a
      Disqus hang up if you want to reach out to them. Thanks and let me
      know if I can help further.

  • http://upon-request.blogspot.com/ Angela_UponRequest

    Do the tasks…have focus…remind yourself everyday why you do what you do… I'm writing those three down and putting it in my wallet. Nice post Jason!

    • http://socialmediaexplorer.com JasonFalls

      Glad to help Angela. Thanks!

  • http://twitter.com/christinelexa Christine Sierra

    Great post Jason. Flee the Bubble hits home – it's a great way to remind us that the new and old tools need to be utilized together for success. Potential client pinged us about extracting information from txt and doc files the other day. Struck a chord that not everyone is analyzing and worried solely on what is being said out in the blogosphere and on Twitter or FB. Social media is only as good as the revenue it helps to generate for your business, and often doesn't seem to be able to do it on it's own.
    Happy New Year!
    Christine

    • http://socialmediaexplorer.com JasonFalls

      Thanks Christine. You should check out Lexalytics. They either have or
      are soon releasing a sentiment analysis software package that can mine
      documents like .txt and .doc files. I've seen a beta test of it. Seems
      like it could turn out to be useful and cost effective for us PR
      folks. Thanks for the comment.

  • highimpactmom

    This post particularly hit home for me today. I've started some new projects and would like to explore some new opportunities this year so focus is of the utmost importance to my success. I, like you, made a list of goals for my business and personal life…though I'm keeping mine in my writers notebook(I'll still see it every day). This will be a great reference in 6 months when I need a refresher and some inspiration.
    Thanks for this Jason.

    • http://socialmediaexplorer.com JasonFalls

      Thank you for the comment! Hopefully we can all keep focused and
      accomplish what we want to in 2010! Thanks for stopping by.

  • allen
  • http://twitter.com/NathanRKing Nathan King

    I also really enjoyed Flee the Bubble – do what makes sense for your goals. I believe many clients understand the daring acrobatics involved to make their strategy work, but are so afraid of the fall if it doesn't go as planned. What they also need to comprehend is there is a safety net at the bottom and they can try again (unless of course you bought a really bad net).

    • http://socialmediaexplorer.com JasonFalls

      Amen to that, Nathan. If I'd never failed at this, I wouldn't be
      1/10th as wise. You have to try, screw up and then try again to get
      good at it. Thanks for the comment.

  • http://www.inspiralic.com/ Chris

    Thanks for your post, expecially for the ” don't follow the crowd”. People: don't follow the crowd! It is too simple to put the autopilot without knowing how to pilot ####
    Task for everyone in 2010: Learn, learn, learn a lot! (and of course do any extra cash for the expenses :) )
    @inspiralic

    • http://socialmediaexplorer.com JasonFalls

      Thanks Chris!

  • Pingback: The Big List: 2010 Marketing Predictions & Resolutions

  • Pingback: Search Engine Optimisation & Marketing in 2010, Predictions, Theories & Practices | Creative SEO UK

  • Pingback: tourism 2010: three web trends for destination management organizations | web cubed – the next web

  • Pingback: The Perfect Time of the Year « Discovering the Social Web

  • Pingback: Dean Holmes , Commitment

  • ismitt

    Remember why you do it. Of course. Sometimes I get too mired up in the things I have to do that I forget just what–or who–I'm doing it for. Remembering the people for whom we work so hard kind of lightens the burden for me. It makes me feel less tired, somehow, because I know that all my hard work will somehow translate to a better life for me and my family.

    This article about spiritual practice http://budurl.com/fkm8 also kind of brought me back to what is important. Being in the rat race can be so tiring that it's important to get in touch with our spiritual side too.

    • http://socialmediaexplorer.com JasonFalls

      Appreciate the perspective. Interesting article, too.

  • Pingback: Social Media Commitment Corporate Blogging | Dean Holmes

  • http://arabic.halalpress.com amirafimisr

    I like it when saying …remember why you do it …..rocking criteria in life ……fitting in all years , at least for me!

  • http://www.mbt-outlet-store.com mbt shoes

    Hhe article's content rich variety which make us move for our mood after reading this article. surprise, here you will find what you want! Recently, I found some wedsites which commodity is colorful of fashion. Such as mbt outlet store that worth you to see. Believe me these websites won’t let you down.

  • http://startups.com/ M_Dilli

    I couldn't agree more!!! And to be honest I love these tips, even when they can seem to be obvious I think we all need to be reminded of the importance of implementing this kind for principles in order to achieve what we want. thanks for sharing. :)

  • http://startups.com/ M_Dilli

    I couldn't agree more!!! And to be honest I love these tips, even when they can seem to be obvious I think we all need to be reminded of the importance of implementing this kind for principles in order to achieve what we want. thanks for sharing. :)

  • Pingback: garnicia cambogia