During the Spring of ’08, I became aware of Facebook in a big way. Several of my on-line mentors and coaches were indicating that they had a Facebook account in their regular email updates and I thought it was something worth investigating.
I immersed myself in Facebook and started searching for friends. Before long I had a hundred friends and thought I was pretty hot stuff. Within 4 months I have over 1100 friends. I’m not telling you that to brag but to show you how viral this medium is. What do 1100 friends do for me?
1100 friends add to my “reach” across the internet. In a way that my website or my blog alone never could. I spend roughly a half hour every day maintaining my presence on Facebook, checking in with contacts I made early on as well as introducing myself and asking relationship-building questions of new friends.. I don’t actually “touch” all 1100 friends each day, but with the system I’ve implemented I make a practice of checking in to build my relationships. By the way, once you’re on Facebook there are a number of amazing people and groups who are experts at using Facebook to build your business and I won’t rehash their thoughts here.
Facebook led me to investigate a place called Twitter that so many people on Facebook seemed to be using to update their status. Twitter is a great little place (and I’m not technical so I don’t know how they make it work) to send updates, check in and build conversations with a whole universe of amazing people from farmers to photographers to Presidential candidates.
Of course it’s a great place to learn as most of the tech & blog-celebrities are there and are happy to have you follow them. Following and emulating them is how I learn. Twitter allows you the opportunity to post links (to your website, your blog or articles or pictures you find interesting). It’s a forum to have short conversations (140 characters only) with many people at once. The real juicy part is how people respond. And the conversations grow. This is a mini-version of comments on your blog and can help you build a relationship in a way that email never allowed. The information comes in fast and furious (I use a service called Twhirl that I have on all day so I can pop in and out twitter-conversations as I see fit). And these are conversations – with multiple people joining in at times and that’s the cool part! I joined Twitter in early June and started posting tidbits about what was happening in my life and have created some amazing now-offline-friendships along the way.
Suddenly lots of my Twitter friends were talking about Plurking. (Sounds like a completely inane language I’m speaking here, eh?) I figured, why not? This social media experiment was turning out to be fun. I joined Plurk in the middle of June and it took me a little bit to get used to HOW it worked (still limited number of characters but the time line moves from left to right and you can see all replies related to a specific message/plurk in one place).
How I made $1000 in 30 days using social networking.
While I was checking in with Facebook one day I came across a Facebook Group called Face Readings on Facebook by Lynn Scheurell and popped in for a look. What I found really inspired me. Lynn was using her craft and skill as a face reader to help entrepreneurs and business owners get clearer on how to step it up a notch in their business while highlighting their natural gifts as she translated them in the reading. I was inspired to do the same thing – take the woo-woo out of hand analysis and demystify it by performing readings on video and posting them to a Facebook Group.
Because I like to work fast and help people quickly (if I could stand the sight of blood I would be a good triage expert or paramedic) I wanted a way to help people who didn’t necessarily have $170 to invest in a private reading so I came up with the idea of a one-week only offer to Pay What You Can to have your hands read. The offer runs through the end of July only and is more in depth than a 5 minute mini-reading reading. Participants receive ink kits and instructions and when I receive them back at the office I conduct a reading, unveiling life purpose and life challenge along with all gifts and possible niches in a recorded Audio Acrobat reading.
I posted this information in my e-zine, on my blog and on Plurk and Twitter. (My blog and my Twitter updates are posted on my Facebook profile using another tool, called FriendFeed so this information reached all my friends (1100!) if they chose to read it.
One of my goals with pay-what-you-can was to see how far the reach of social media could expand and if I could really monetize what I do on Plurk, FriendFeed, Twitter, Facebook and more. The outcome? I piqued the interest of a number of people who were able to ask quick questions as they saw the posting and I could answer (within Twitter and Plurk). Several of them decided to take a leap and signed up. With one more day to go with this experiment I have earned $400.00.
I’m not an expert on Social media, but I love what it can do. I love the conversations; I love the friendships and really getting to know other people all over the world. I’m happy when an online friend has a big success – like launching a new product and I’m sad when I hear of an online friend dealing with illness or problems at home. As a friend, I do what I can to reach out and that’s the brilliance of these places. You can reach out and be a friend. And yes, it absolutely can contribute to your bottom line.