I know you’ve been busy.  Launching your new blog.  Building your brand. Exploring a new strategy.  Reading and researching the latest tool and platform. You blog, you tweet, you link and check in. You are diligent, consistent, and conscious, and yet … you still don’t feel as successful as you want to be.

In social media, success is not only attributed to what you do; it is dependent on who you are and why you do.  “Being’ and ‘doing’ are inseparable aspects of  your presence and influence. 

Who you are comes across more strongly than what you sell or say.  This means not only investing in social media, you must also to invest in yourself to grow and to be better.

You have the ability to teach, guide, influence, activate, catalyze, transform, elevate, and make deeper connections every time you enter this space, but only if you are willing to make your  TO BE list is as high of a priority as your TO DO List.

Here’s a start, as you consider the impact you want to make:

  1. Be Real.  Putting out a honest and accurate sense of who/what you are is more than a nicety; it is a necessity for your social media success.  You will not be trusted, admired or valued, if you are not real.  Even if you are representing a company or brand; the people on the receiving end of everything you put out need to know you are real.  This kind of authenticity takes commitment and dedication.  Take time to really get to know what matters to you, hone your story, and share passion in everything you do. Give people a reason to want to know more!
  2. Be Generous.  In social media(and in life) we are remembered for what we give and not what we get. So, if you’ve got it, share it and spread it around generously.  Hook your audience up with juicy articles, tips, and photos/videos that satisfy their needs.  What problems do your current and potential clients have to which you can offer solutions with no expectation of reciprocity?  There are a variety of ways that you can use social media to amplify your generosity and support your community in ways that exceed their expectations.
  3. Be Prepared. A common mistake that individuals and business make is to target the social media market without a plan. Create a calendar of offerings and intentions. Have a plan for sharing content,blogging,listening,responding and engaging in both formal and informal ways.
  4. Be a Master Learner.  Proficiency becomes our deficiency when we stop learning.  There are many people obsessed with achieving expertise in the market. The moment you proclaim yourself to be “expert”, “guru”, or “master of of your domain”, you lose. Make learning with and from others a priority. Use this knowledge and content to move you towards your objectives; and always remember to give thanks to your “teachers” in the process!
  5. Be Selective.  There are literally thousands of tools, platforms, and apps. Selectivity is a necessity. Not every new shiny toy will bring you more success than the ones you are using currently. Have a Core Toolbox and add  to it slowly and cautiously. It can be devastating financially and tactically to spend too much time looking for the next best thing.
  6. Be A Great Listener.  The key to your success is your ears not your mouth. Great learning and conversations stem from your ability to be a great listener.  Listening thoughtfully gives you a better sense of what people are saying and how they are feeling. In virtual spaces where there are no visual cues, good listening skills become a powerful asset. Listening also helps you map out your current social media footprint and measure your efforts over time.
  7. Be A Question Asker.  I have been teaching and writing about the importance of asking great questions for a long time.  Great questions are the best way to have a meaningful conversationthe best way to rope in a mentor  AND the best way to look like a star performer.  Make it a priority to listen to people asking great questions. Be in charge of the questions you ask and keep a list of the best questions you hear.  Use this to create a question toolbox you use and can apply to every conversation and interaction you have.
  8. Be Courageous.  For those unfamiliar with technology and new to social media, I understand jumping into the world of social media can be scary.  It’s a big step, especially if you’re accustomed to “old habits.” But now is not the time to be timid.  In today’s rapid fire economy, it is imperative that you be willing to accept, learn how to use, and implement social media and new technologies.  Your competitors certainly are.  Luckily you don’t have to take the jump in alone.  There are tons of ways to find individuals to learn from and be mentored by. As long as you  take the time to plan, practice, and then execute your TO BE list; success will follow.

Humanity’s misfortune is when we don’t realize the very gifts we have, or the impact we have the opportunity to make. We don’t serve the rest of the world or ourselves by playing small.

So what are you waiting for? Embrace the now and be willing to address what is holding you back.

To Be or Not To Be?  The choice is yours!

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About Angela Maiers

Angela Maiers

Angela is an active blogger, social media evangelist , and passionate advocate for bridging the gap between business and education. She is a recognized educational leader, trainer, and author. She is the owner and Chief Learning Officer at Maiers Educational Services, a company emphasizing the creative use of technology and social media to advance learning; in and out of the classroom.

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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?

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  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=10618874 Chase Sherman

    What a great point: “In social media, success is not only attributed to what you do; it is dependent on who you are and why you do.”

    I think it was Chris Brogan who said something along the lines of: Engaging in social media without truly understanding the significance is like a 16 year old just getting his license and being able to drive a Ferrari.  He doesn’t know what kind of power he’s playing with…

    • http://twitter.com/AngelaMaiers Angela Maiers

      Thank you Chase! Folks like Jason Falls and Chris Brogan have taught me so much as they emulate the TO BO list. Driving is a powerful analogy- we are expecting people to navigate these digital roads with no drivers ed! 

  • http://www.online-business-virtual-assistant.com/ Virtual Business Assistant

    It’s putting in that extra social media hour at the end of the day. It’s
    taking the time to do those two or three additional retweets. It’s
    making a positive comment on a blog acknowledging someone when there’s
    nothing in it for you.

    • http://twitter.com/AngelaMaiers Angela Maiers

      That is a great practice. Even if it is 15 minutes each day; the key to success is discipline and practice. Little by little progress happens- even one tweet at time! Great example and strategy; appreciate you sharing it with us!

  • Ttrevor

    I enjoyed this blog, Angela.  Social media can be overwhelming, but you’re right; it’s happening whether we jump in or not! I’m jumping in a little more every day.

    • http://twitter.com/AngelaMaiers Angela Maiers

      Thanks Ttrevor! I find simple always makes me feel less overwhelmed. Hopefully this can provide a simple and easy structure to position our goals and objectives around. Just keep jumping in! 

  • http://twitter.com/RyoatCision Ryo Yamaguchi

    Great tips Angela, and I love your emphasis on what you do and who you are. I think through these kinds of practices, much like practicing a sport or music, we become this better person, or at least a better manager of social media presence! I especially take to your points of being a learner and listener, which has frankly been a surprising characteristic of many people I see in this community–everyone is hungry to learn. And that’s really necessary, since we are talking about an industry that is extremely dynamic with a lot of capital and talent driving its innovations. I really hope this hard fact about social media and digital publishing at large keeps its users in this frame of mind, hungry to learn, to expand. 

    • http://twitter.com/AngelaMaiers Angela Maiers

      Thanks Ryo! That is exactly how I see the work- just like being disciplined with sports or music. I too have met so many hungry and excited learners; it is what makes the industry and the conversations so exciting! I so appreciate your input on this; thank you for sharing!

  • http://www.socialmarketingdynamics.com/ Sydney @ Social Dynamics

    Sometimes it does feel everything I do is all for naught, but you’re right. Certain things, just like social media needs perspective and a time to ponder on how to go about it the right way. As you can’t keep butting your head against a rock, it’s wiser to form a strategy and technique.

    • http://twitter.com/AngelaMaiers Angela Maiers

      Sydney-
      I think everyone feels like this; if they say different I suspect they are fibbing! Stepping back often and reflecting on this simple premise is important for our strategy and our sanity! Thanks for your comment and have an awesome weekend!

  • http://www.thesaleslion.com/ Marcus Sheridan,The Sales Lion

    Angela, it’s funny, because I’ve read so many personal development books in the past but have never run across the ‘work as hard on your To Be as you do on you To Do’. Wow. Loved that, and will be taking that one with me. :)

    Great read, have a wonderful weekend…

    Marcus

    • http://twitter.com/AngelaMaiers Angela Maiers

      Marcus that is awesome! Sometimes it is in the simple that we see and understand the complex! Have a wonderful weekend of “being.”  

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  • JT

    I’m a dating coach, and deal with this subject on a daily basis.

  • http://www.mactonweb.com/ Web design London

    Great tips Angela, and I love your emphasis on what you do and who you are. I think through these kinds of practices, much like practicing a sport or music, we become this better person, or at least a better manager of social media presence! 

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