Social Media Over 40: So... Can I Still Make It Into Social ? Featuring Jan Barbosa
So you want to get into social? ... Perfect then, I had the same feelings almost a year back, typical 40+ years old, family guy and working in a new economy with the knowledge I acquired to be successful in a fast becoming obsolete business environment.
This is my story, so let’s call it “How Jan Got Into Social” and as such, it's written from my point of view of how events happened, I am not a savant, not a writer and possibly not even a micro-influencer (yet) but maybe some of the information will be of great use as you start your own story line while entering the uncharted lands of social media.
For your ease I’m going to explain my experiences in steps from the beginning to where I’m now, so let’s start with:
Motivation: Maybe it’s because I was in a career deadlock, or simply my interest was a spark that took life when engaging with people from all over the world via Twitter maybe a reaction from watching new off college grads with less experience take the best jobs... Or simply... A sum of all parts... The reality is I felt compelled to not be on the benches watching “The Game”... I wanted to be IN the game.
Before Abs of Steel, You Need A Mind Of Steel: Once I made my decision to go full blast on social a barrage of friendly advice took place... Aren't you old enough? You know that takes time... Time YOU don't have or YOU will have to go back to college with all these young kids? Heck, you will look like their dad!
Beware, all this is from the people who “like” YOU... They don't mean wrong, but in the process to help you they are actually killing your dream... Steel your mind and think of Admiral David Glasgow Farragut words as he was warned his ship was entering waters that could hide explosive mines... “Damn the torpedoes, full speed ahead!!!”
How You Walk A Thousand Miles? You Start With One Step: Most of us know the basis of social, we have Facebook, Twitter, Linked In or Bebee, but how to apply this in a professional manner takes knowledge so I started my research into the subject, there is lots of content out there but my advice is to get a short course on the subject in a local college in order to grasp the basics and then go online... Lots of great content and inspiration can be found there.
A word to the wise (and lucky) if you can get a mentor... Grab the opportunity and don't let go... Finding a good mentor is sometimes very hard work, I reached out to local practitioners, agencies, and influencers but... Come on!!! , a GenX with little or no experience??? After some “cold shoulders” I simply got tired of looking for mentorship and decided on staying in my path SOLO...
As I continued my research I came up to the subject of social selling, and trust me, by now I was sick of sales, being doing it way too much for way too long, but social selling is a different beast altogether... While cold calling is making lots of calls under the banner of “ The most frogs you kiss the greatest chances of finding a prince” Social Selling is using social to display your knowledge, relevance and how you can help customers with a situation they have, and they will come to you... And while learning about this I met Timothy Hughes.
The Biggest Lie “If You Are Good At Something, Never Do It For Free”: By that time I was consuming data about social at rapid pace, there are lots of great blogs, YouTube channels, and books about the subject (By the way, my first book about social was Social Selling by TimothyHughes).
Eventually, I started learning and sharing in my platforms what I felt were the best articles about social media... Then the emotion of the firsts likes, RT's and most importantly engagement... And what a surprise that I finally got to communicate directly to the person whose articles have taught me a way around social, the man himself... Timothy Hughes...
By that time Tim was promoting his book “Social Selling Techniques to Influence Buyers and Changemakers” and I decided to give back in any way I could... So I started sharing his content and information about the book in my social platforms... It was a great time, learning, lots of fun and motivation, then an unexpected DM came... One that would change my vision of Social from local to global...
“Be Careful What You Wish For, It May Come True”... In A Good Way: One day a DM came asking me to join a Facebook marketing group called Marketing Minds, not only as a follower but as a writer, initially, I hesitated, was this legit? Doubt came over me but I was curious... I wrote back and Gary Farmer answered ... I was still not sure about writing but seems Gary was the proverbial guy who could sell a fridge to an Eskimo... I less than 20 minutes I agreed...
This great opportunity opened up previously unimaginable doors... At last, THIS was social selling, but instead of a product I was selling myself, I was selling my BRAND!!!... From there everything changed again for the better... Here in want to make a pause, because maybe, just maybe... If you can’t find a mentor... All you need is somebody who trusts you enough to erase your “imposter syndrome” in a 20-minute talk even if he is sitting at a keyboard some three thousand miles away from yours...Thanks always Gary Farmer.
Why Go, Solo? If You Can’t Find Local Allies, Go Global: About three weeks into writing Gary introduced me to Ollie Whitfield and later Ross Campbell and that's where our very own Social Squad started, each one supporting the works of the others pushing our brands further, and trust me a team effort works far better.
We communicated a lot across our 5 time zones and even toasted to our great fortunes via Facebook video... This was social and we were living the dream... Suddenly we were sitting with the big names, when you get known it’s easier to be open to, think of it, do you let everybody enter your home or a chosen few whom you trust won’t make a mess?
Also, don't fear to follow Twitter Chats... It’s a great way to meet like-minded professionals, one of my favorites is Jordan Barta #saleshackerchat, lots of knowledge, guests and advice every week.
By this time I was also engaging with "Beacons of Knowledge" like Awesome Sam Hurley Rebekah Radice & Mic Adam
“From Zero to Brand Ambassador in Less Than a Year” While opening doors and engaging in various platforms I met BEBEE CEO, Javier Camara Rica. Just so you know, Bebee is a social media platform already 11 million strong and its strong success is based on the fact that it uses a novel concept called “affinity networking” that allows users to connect and see content about what’s relevant to them. The whole system is based on “hives” Such as Marketing hives, Cooking hives, Astronomy Hives and so on... Also, they serve as a blogging platform thru their excellent Bebee Producer tool that's got nothing to envy from any other similar blogging site... Needless to say, the concept was fascinating, I opened an account and started writing.
The engagement in Bebee is outstanding, it’s a great community where knowledge is shared and the people are willing to help others thrive within the platform...
After some three months, I received an unexpected message, an offer to become a Bebee Ambassador, helping spread the knowledge about Bebee across the digital landscape... What an Honor that was... And Still Is...
Obscurity At Home Yet A Beacon Overseas: Eventually I started writing segments, making interviews or simply engaging directly with top influencers like Timothy Hughes, Sam Hurley, Wendy van Gilst, John White, MBA, Matt Sweetwood Javier beBee David B. Grinberg Stephan Metral Innovative Brand Ambassador , also with great companies such as Prowly and Brand24 (Thanks Edyta Kowal and Magda Urbaniak) needless to say, my initial Social Squad of 3 is now in the dozens... including amazing talented individuals like Katyan Roach Joe Rowbotham Jaz Greer Antonio Silva Johannes Ceh Rebecca Matias Mamen Delgado Lollie Moore Larry Boyer, Brand Ambassador Lisa Gallagher Liesbeth Leysen, MSc. Brand Ambassador Bebee, Inc. Fatima G. Williams Mike O'Connor Himani Kankaria Jaz Greer Milos Djukic and so many more !!!.
In the end, age and knowledge about a subject are not a limitation while the state of mind can be... And even while I still need to learn a lot and I’m still working on sales... Well... The satisfaction to overcome the barriers (real or not) and the hundreds of friendships built along the way is a prize big enough for the effort... Nevertheless, have to admit that becoming an Onalytica 2016 top 100 Augmented Reality Influencers... Was clearly very satisfactory!
So... In the end...Can a 40+ social media upstart make it into social? Well...Yes, YOU can!
Global Brand Ambassador at beBee, Inc. & 2016 Onalytica Top 100 Augmented Reality Influencer
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