Good at strategy? Great. Do the work. Be a practitioner.

Are you doing the work? Be a practitioner.

It’s great to be a strategist. Heck, it’s a higher paying job. But it’s dangerous to be too far away from tactics — especially since they change so often in tech. To be better at the work, you have to do the work.

A coder can’t understand overall strategy without an intimacy with the code he’s proficient in, or better yet, understanding trends in codebases. A mechanic would not be able to shape and evolve his business if he doesn’t understand how much time an oil change should take.

Most small businesses, freelancers, and entrepreneurs are also practitioners. It’s not degrading to your role to do the work. So why do I hear myself saying this so often?

Do the Work.

Jason Knill and I shape organic and paid advertising at Give along with my traditional content marketing goals like blog posts and email marketing. We look at trends, we talk about insights from in-person meetings, Meetups, Twitter, WordCamps, and other people’s news. We bring a “mental rigor and curiosity,” as he calls it, to our work with Give.

Lately, we’ve been having a conversation around craft. Why do so many people in our industry enjoy making craft beer? Why are people in tech turning to knitting, gardening, or even fishing?

It’s about short-term satisfaction and accomplishment.

So often our work has long term results. It’s no different with strategy. To craft a strategy and then wait for results takes faith — faith in the process, faith in the forecasting, faith in the tactics.

Waiting for results takes faith -- in the process, in the forecasting, in the tactics. Click To Tweet

So why do so many people shy away from tactics and stick with strategy?

The only reason I can come up with is job protection.

Protecting The Boundaries of Your Job Title

Being a Marketing Manager means thinking strategically. That’s a closely-guarded job title. I’ve had friends say they won’t do “x, y, or z” because it devalues their job title. I’ve also been told that I’m acting like a “Social Media Manager” as if it’s more degrading than a “Marketing Manager.”

Hey, I get it. In this world, regardless of how far we’ve come, a woman usually only gains salary increases by switching jobs. It’s sad from the point of diversity, feminism, and, I hate to say it, company culture.

I recently read this post called “6 Reasons Why You Are Losing Key Employees” on LinkedIn by Bärí A. Williams. She brings up a valid point about salary history:

“If two people with the same experience and education are hired as peers, are their titles and pay equal? Because people of color and women are often underpaid, even when moving companies or switching roles, they lose out of money based on salary history. Assuring that rank and pay are fair helps keep people of color and women from being under-leveled and underpaid.” Bärí A. Williams

Consequences of Status Protection

Before I digress too far away from my point of “doing the work,” there is something we should think about in this vein.

If “it’s not my job” prevails any company culture, what you’ll have is an employee who is looking to transition to any good offer that presents itself. This will happen either consciously or subconsciously.

What you’ve lost is bigger than the time you’ve invested in said employee.

You’ve lost loyalty.

A loss in loyalty affects the entire company culture. People watch how Employee X is treated. They will pick up on cognitive dissonance. They will come to the conclusion that if Employee X isn’t valued, maybe they’re not either.

But I digress. The point is that no matter the reason you think you should protect the boundaries of your job title, being too far away from tactics affects strategy.

What is the difference between strategy and tactics?

Strategy is tied to goals. Where do you want to be? What would you like to achieve in a certain timeframe.

Strategy is the plan — 30 days, 120 days, 1 year.

Think of it in terms we may be more familiar with: war. Strategy is about winning the war. Tactics are how you do it. The great generals of time understand the landscape, their enemy, their enemy’s tactics, and the strengths and weaknesses of their own army.

Don’t like war? How about sports? No football team goes against another team without spending time on the field in practice. The strategy of the game never changes: outscore the opposing team by running the ball in the end zone.

The tactics to achieve that strategy vary depending upon the team you’re playing. Coaches and leadership — maybe even the team — will spend hours watching tape of the opposing team — studying their every move. The strategy of studying the opposition helps you find their strengths and weaknesses. It helps shape the tactics used in order to accomplish the overall goals.

Coaches and generals apply strategy to achieve their goals, but in war and football, the tactics and tools don’t evolve as quickly as the digital world. This is why it’s important to do the work.

Tactics in social shift frequently. Do the work. Be a practitioner. Click To Tweet

Strategy and Tactics are not Mutually Exclusive

If you’ve ever listened to Gary Vaynerchuk, then you’ve heard him say, “be a practitioner.” He talks about having his head in the clouds and his feet in the dirt.

For him, clouds represent strategy and tactics the dirt.

In this video he says,

I believe that engagement on Twitter makes sense. I also then do it.”

Do the Work.

Once you write your strategy and start implementing it, you may see results that surprise you — in any direction. Do you stop to ask yourself why?

Why are those ads converting? What is your time on site? What are the voids your brand can fill in your industry? Where can you show your value? How can  you increase loyalty? Why is your open rate so low? Is it just your company or is it the service?

Questions are important. Questions drive you to answers.

If you don't understand tactics, you won't ask the right questions. Click To Tweet

Doing the work gives you familiarity. Sure, Vayner Media has over 800 employees. But what’s amazing about Gary Vaynerchuk is that he always does the work. That’s why his agency has won in so many areas.

“Here’s the thing: if you’re not constantly working on your craft—if you get too romantic about doing things how they’ve “always been done”—you’re going to lose. You need to be a practitioner.” Gary Vaynerchuk

Tactical shifts — especially in media — can alter the effectiveness of your strategy. If you distance yourself too far from implementation, you will not be able to create or alter a strategy that creates results.

Do the work.

“Be a practitioner.”

 

 

 

 

#NPChat: LinkedIn for Nonprofits

For this week’s #NPChat, we'll talk about LinkedIn for nonprofits. See you on Twitter at 10:00 am Pacific on 4/26/17!

Does LinkedIn still matter? Do nonprofits need to be present there?

Last fall, I wrote a post on GiveWP.com called “LinkedIn 101 For Nonprofits – Leveraging Your Professional Network” as part of my Nonprofit 101 series.

The truth is LinkedIn the most stable and professional of the social networks. The culture of LinkedIn allows and encourages self-promotion (like listing your projects, degrees, and certificates).

Users are encouraged to follow companies, professionals should list their volunteer experience, and Company Pages can post updates to engage their audience.

All of this is a plus in the column for nonprofits to leverage LinkedIn. So, let’s talk about it in #NPChat this week.

Why Join a Twitter Chat?

Twitter chats are a great way to connect with like-minded professionals who are engaged users on Twitter. This elevates your brand, gives you visibility, and positions yourself as an expert on the topic and in the field.

Who doesn’t want to connect with your community? Who doesn’t need help every once in a while?

Joining our weekly Twitter Chat may just be the right thing for you. And, who knows, you may even have a few tweets featured in our recap!

#NPChat takes place every Wednesday morning at 10:00 a.m. Pacific Time.

How to Join a Twitter Chat

  1. Follow the hashtag on Twitter (but don’t forget to add #NPChat manually after your tweet or we won’t see your tweet, especially in a comment retweet).
  2. Use Hootsuite or TweetDeck and make a column for #NPChat (but don’t forget to put #NPChat manually after your tweet).
  3. Go to the Twubs page for #NPChat.
  4. My preferred method is using TweetChat. Just go here and login with your Twitter account. You can even highlight the moderator so you don’t miss questions.

LinkedIn for Nonprofits: The Questions

This week’s chat topic is about LinkedIn. Worth mentioning also is LinkedIn’s nonprofit resource landing page here. That’s something you’ll want to read in addition to what will be offered during the chat.

Q1. How are you currently involved with a nonprofit?

Q2. Do you have a LinkedIn profile?

Q3. As a user, how do you interact with Company Pages?

Q4. Do you follow any nonprofits on LinkedIn?

Q5. Does your nonprofit have a Company Page?

Q6. What do you post on your Company Page?

Q7. What are your LinkedIn tips and tricks?

See you Wednesday, April 26, 2017, at 10:00 am Pacific Time on Twitter. Invite your friends.

I'm joining @GiveWP for #NPChat 4/26 at 10a Pacific. You should, too. Click To Tweet

The Best SEO Advice for Nonprofits — #NPChat Recap 4/19/17

For #NPChat this week, we'll talk about SEO for nonprofits. See you on Twitter at 10:00 am Pacific on 4/19/17!

What’s the best SEO advice for nonprofits? Do nonprofits even need SEO?

Yes. Nonprofits should care about SEO. Essentially online donations are e-commerce, so best practices apply to nonprofits.

Why should Nonprofits Care about SEO?

Donation sites are e-commerce. They need to be treated in the same way. You wouldn’t put an online store up and then not optimize i? Would you?

SEO isn’t black magic or wizardry. It’s really just intentional writing for your audience. It means being found. It means writing quality content that solves problems for your customers.

For nonprofits, SEO means answering the “why” to your current and potential donor base. What is your mission? Who are you serving? Why are you working so hard for your cause? Why should I donate? Who is my audience? What does my donor base care about?

SEO Tips from John Locke

Our friend John Locke of Lockedown Design, and co-host of WP-Tonic Podcast has a real-world SEO series on his site. I specifically reached out to him for some of his insight for nonprofits as he often develops sites for nonprofits and specializes in e-commerce and SEO.

Here is some of what he tweeted:

I lean heavily on Google sheets. I’ve been using these to grade content after audit exported from Google Search console & analytics. Also, test your keywords before you commit to writing. Make sure people are actually searching for what you want to write about. Tighten up your URLs. Tighten up your page titles. Excessive words don’t necessarily help those.

If you can get the page in question to page one in Google, the featured snippet can be anything off that first page. If you have bulleted numbered lists, those seem to show up more often as featured snippets at the top of page one of Google.

Most sites, 20% the content gets the bulk of the traffic. The other pages can be combined, improved, or deleted. If a page doesn’t bring traffic, like one or two visits in six months, it’s not doing much good anyway. Combine or improve. Anything that could be potentially back linked, shared, doesn’t necessarily need to be about your core offering, is valuable.

This is something I’m really beginning to implement in all content now. Break things up. Make it beyond easy to scan. Ideally, every sentence on the page can be tweeted — 140 characters or less. Web attention span is less than reading a book. The Yoast blog is on fire lately. So much great SEO knowledge is coming out of there.

If you look at blogs like Neil Patel or Brian Dean, notice how they do short sentences as paragraphs. This is the bucket brigade. Easily scanned. Draw people in at the beginning of the article. Don’t put huge paragraphs on the page.

The more you can publish, the better. But going in depth, and having a definitive article, the most thorough, is best. The advice a few years ago was to publish all the time, but it just led to a bunch of disposable 300 word articles. Without a doubt, the stuff that gets the most traffic is the most thorough on a subject.

Publishing is only the beginning of the battle. Promoting content and getting it seen is most of the work. Momentum starts somewhere. If you have a piece of content that you really want to promote, spend a little on Facebook boosting, Twitter promoted posts. Google reads traffic. The more traffic and engagement (comments, shares, dwell time) a page gets, the higher they will push it up.

Recap of #NPChat: The Best SEO Advice for Nonprofits

We had a great chat today with some engaged SEO pros and people involved in nonprofit marketing, volunteerism, and website development.

I hope you enjoy the recap.

Q1. How are you currently involved with a nonprofit?

Q2. How do you define SEO?

Q3. How do you determine your keywords?

Q4. What tools do you use to optimize your content?

Q5. What are your strategies to reach your audience?

Q6. How often do you publish?

Q7. What are your favorite SEO tips and tricks?

And that’s a wrap!

We’d love to have you join us every week on Wednesday at 10:00 am Pacific Time.

On April 26 2017, we will be talking about LinkedIn for nonprofits.

See you there.

#NPChat: SEO for Nonprofits

For #NPChat this week, we'll talk about SEO for nonprofits. See you on Twitter at 10:00 am Pacific on 4/19/17!

Do nonprofits need to bother with SEO? Why does it even matter? They’re just collecting donations, right? Or are they?

SEO isn’t black magic or wizardry. It’s really just intentional writing for your audience. It means being found. It means writing quality content that solves problems for your customers.

For nonprofits, SEO means answering the “why” to your current and potential donor base. What is your mission? Who are you serving? Why are you working so hard for your cause? Why should I donate?

Last fall, I wrote a post on GiveWP.com called “Why should your nonprofit care about SEO?” as part of my Nonprofit 101 series. Check it out.

And let’s talk about it at this week’s #NPChat on Wednesday, April 19, 2017, at 10:00 am Pacific Time over on Twitter.

Why Join a Twitter Chat?

Twitter chats are a great way to connect with like-minded professionals who are engaged users on Twitter. This elevates your brand, gives you visibility, and positions yourself as an expert on the topic and in the field.

Who doesn’t want to connect with your community? Who doesn’t need help every once in a while?

Joining our weekly Twitter Chat may just be the right thing for you. And, who knows, you may even have a few tweets featured in our recap!

#NPChat takes place every Wednesday morning at 10:00 a.m. Pacific Time.

How to Join a Twitter Chat

  1. Follow the hashtag on Twitter (but don’t forget to add #NPChat manually after your tweet or we won’t see your tweet, especially in a comment retweet).
  2. Use Hootsuite or TweetDeck and make a column for #NPChat (but don’t forget to put #NPChat manually after your tweet).
  3. Go to the Twubs page for #NPChat.
  4. My preferred method is using TweetChat. Just go here and login with your Twitter account. You can even highlight the moderator so you don’t miss questions.

SEO for Nonprofits: The Questions

Q1. How are you currently involved with a nonprofit?

Q2. How do you define SEO?

Q3. How do you determine your keywords?

Q4. What tools do you use to optimize your content?

Q5. What are your strategies to reach your audience?

Q6. How often do you publish?

Q7. What are your favorite SEO tips and tricks?

 

See you Wednesday, April 19, 2017, at 10:00 am Pacific Time on Twitter!

Why should you attend a WordPress Meetup?

You’re busy. I get it. You don’t think you have time to attend a WordPress Meetup. Or maybe there isn’t one close to you.

Whatever the reason, this blog post is meant to encourage you to go anyway.

And I walk the talk. It takes me anywhere from 30 minutes to an hour and a half to go to my local Meetups because — traffic. But I go anyway.

WordPress Community

I talked about how important the WordPress Community has been to my career and personal life in detail in my WordCamp Cincinnati talk that you can watch here.

Let’s table the WordPress Community for a minute and talk about community in general.

Community

I was recently watching Stephen Fry’s America on Netflix. In Episode 3 about the Mississippi, he discussed something that surprised me — the Hmong Community in Minnesota. After the U.S. withdrew from Vietnam, the Hmong immigrants were settled there (among other places).

Because of the extreme weather in Minnesota, people don’t walk on the streets outside in the winter. Instead, they walk from building to building in closed pedestrian walkways called skyways. Without people walking outside, there was a lack of community interaction.

Not unlike most groups of people, the Hmong came from a village life. A village life bustles with community. Community interaction starts with the little things you say when you’re passing by and engaging in chit chat. You know, small talk. Because of the weather, there was a real effect on the men of the Hmong community. They were prematurely dying in their sleep.

They proactively built up their community with Hmong grocery stores, law offices, and the like to facilitate community bonding. Now, with over 40,000 people, it’s one of the largest Hmong settlements outside of southeast asia.

The moral to the story is that isolation is dangerous — not just to mental health — but to physical health, too.

Community and Remote Workers.

So, back to our demographic: WordPress enthusiasts.

Many of us, because of the independence that we’re afforded by the power of the silicon chip and Internet, work remotely.

In other words, we work alone.

So, we’re not getting all of that chit chat.

I know what you’re saying. Your team does Zoom hangouts and you have a Slack channel. But if you look into your heart of hearts, can you really say that it’s the same?

Sure, you’re productive when you are zoned out listening to house music and working on your code. But are you okay?

Isolation and Silence

Prisons have tried isolation and silence as methods of both punishment and reform. The famous, now abolished, Auburn system believed silence was necessary part of that reform.

“Silence was the biggest factor in the line of rules the prisoners had to follow. John D. Cray, a deputy warden at the Auburn Prison, demanded that the prisoners be completely silent to take away the prisoners’ ‘sense of self’. When the ‘sense of self’ was taken away, many convicts became compliant and obedient to the warden’s wishes.” Wikipedia

The fact that your sense of self is taken away because of complete silence should alert us — as remote workers. We aren’t meant to live in silence.  By no means should online conversations over Slack, Twitter, et al replace in-person community.

We’re not prisoners. We’re remote workers.

We are wired for connection, conversation, and community.

This is one of the main reasons why being an active member of your local WordPress community is so important.

If the loneliness feels safer than being vulnerable, it's a problem.

Don’t Self-Isolate

“Friendship is unnecessary, like philosophy, like art…. It has no survival value; rather it is one of those things which give value to survival.” CS Lewis

Maybe friendship isn’t as necessary as food or water, but it’s right up there with Maslow’s hierarchy of needs: love and belonging.

“According to Maslow, humans need to feel a sense of belonging and acceptance among their social groups, regardless whether these groups are large or small. …Many people become susceptible to loneliness, social anxiety, and clinical depression in the absence of this love or belonging element. This need for belonging may overcome the physiological and security needs, depending on the strength of the peer pressure.” Wikipedia

We need friendship. Don’t self-isolate. Our world is already isolating enough.

“If you just open yourself up [to the WordPress Community]... you can have so much goodness come back to you.” Shayda Torabi

The WordPress Community

The WordPress Community is not just an ethereal thing. It’s just not the atmosphere that holds in oxygen. It’s people.

You will find that being part of a WordPress Meetup is much more than just discussing the latest release candidate, the best events plugin, or what IDE is the best.

Recently at SMMOC, another Meetup I attend, the organizer asked the following question:

“How do you rate the information we shared today from 1-10?”

Of course, I replied:

“It’s not about the information. It’s about the relationships we build while discussing the information.”

There was kind of a moment there, where we all realized this is true. If we focus on the quality of information, then if you “already know” the subject, maybe it’s “too boring” for you.

But community meetings are not meant to be informational only. It’s about building relationships from friendships to business partnerships.

It’s never something you regret attending. It’s something you regret not attending.

Walking the Talk

This should be called driving the talk. I live in Dana Point. The WordPress Meetups near me are 26 miles and 32 miles away. I have to drive everywhere.

Not only am I a co-organizer of Women Who WP, but I have made the commitment to attend the OC General Meetup every month. I’ve also been going to the Developer Day Meetup every so often, too. So, with the social media Meetup on Saturdays, I could potentially go to four Meetups a month but always attend a minimum of two.

Because of traffic, to go to my WordPress Meetups, I leave at 5:30 p.m. and I get home after 10:00 p.m.

So, for me — and I’m sure it’s the same for many of you — attending a Meetup can be a commitment as long at five hours. And I hire my dog sitter.

Is it worth it?

You bet your bottom dollar it is.

You are not alone.

Seriously. You have friends waiting for you — at the  Meetup. We’ve been through the same things you have. We want to connect. We want to learn with you. We believe in community. We believe in you.

Participate in The WordPress Community by Attending Meetups

But [Insert Your Excuse Here]

I’ve heard a lot of reasons why people don’t attend Meetups. In the last 13 months, I’ve made it a priority. There is absolutely no way I would have mentally survived living alone and working alone without it.

I’d like to challenge you to attend at least three consecutive meetings. Every Meetup is different. Some cities break it down by design and dev or beginner and advanced. Even if it’s too advanced, go anyway.

If there’s a WordCamp within driving distance, go to that, too. I promise you will not be disappointed.

If there’s no Meetup, think about staring one. WordPress Foundation has tons of info on their Meetup Program on their Community Page.

Your Action Items:

  • Find a WordPress Meetup
  • Join the Meetup.com page.
  • Fill out your Meetup profile and use a current Profile Picture.
  • Write a comment on Meetup that you’re going and it’s your first time. People will greet you.
  • RSVP.
  • Put it in your calendar.
  • Treat it as important as a client meeting.
  • Seriously.
  • Yes, put it in your workflow.
  • Bring a smile.
  • Introduce yourself.
  • Bring a WordPress Question.
  • Be open to sharing your latest challenge or victory.
  • Bonus points for going out afterward if they all go.
  • Ask people about themselves.
  • Did I say smile?
  • Make friends.
  • Take selfies.
  • Go again next month.
  • Go to the local WordCamp!

Automation Removes Intimacy

Automation Removes Intimacy by Bridget Willard

In Cincinnati, in a hotel elevator, I recognized someone I’d been following on Twitter.

Jason said, “Wow, Bridget. You know everyone.”

Right. It’s my job.

The Siren Song of Automation

Hardly a week goes by where I’m not pitched the newest, shiniest version of a social media tool or automation service. And I’ve not been shy about my feelings for the subject. The poor dead horse is being abused at this point.

That said, there are dangers of automation. Removing yourself from understanding your customers and even knowing who they are can remove that feeling of intimacy.

Intimacy just means hands-on or being close. There’s a revival in the crafts movement — people want to create with their hands. They are making their own bread, beer, and beading their own jewelry.

Even in the business world, there’s a movement to go back to working in your business instead of on it. Yes, in your business — in the craft. Being hands on.

So, why would you want to automate the most important part of your business — customer relations?

The Power of A Name

When I applied to be a Happiness Hero at Buffer, one of the prerequisites was to read the book “How to Win Friends and Influence People” by Dale Carnegie. No doubt you’ve heard of it or read excerpts if not the whole thing.

What stands out most is the power of using someone’s name. I’ve been practicing this a lot lately. In fact, I think it was misunderstood last night with our waiter as flirtation, but there is a risk in everything.

Twitter Lists

So, one of the most important part of my social media strategies — especially on Twitter — is listing. So, you can write a script that will add people to a list depending on the keywords they use in their bio or hashtags that they tweet. You can sign up for the brand new service that promises you’ll never have to lift a finger to tweet. But you may miss out on a lot.

One of my rituals is reading bios and adding people to lists. When I’m notified that I get a new follower, I check out their profile, follow or not, and put them on a list. This is the first level of intimacy.

Oh. Okay. John Doe just followed me. He lives in Orange County and is a social media marketer. I’ll put him on my Social Media list and my Orange County list.

Whispering In Your Ear

Back in the day, I worked at a church. The pastor could never remember anyone’s name. So, I’d stand next to him and when someone approached, he’d ask me their name and I’d whisper it in his ear.

So that worked for a congregation with about 150-200 people which fits right in the Dunbar number if you believe that’s our social limitation.

But will the new fancy tool do that in person? Sure, they promise the world online, but what about when you meet said follower at a conference?

WordPress and WordCamps

For our industry, WordCamps are our trade shows. There is at least one almost every single weekend. As a marketing manager for a WordPress Plugin Development Shop, attending these conferences and knowing our customers is important.

Knowing your customers by name is important for a few reasons. Let’s start with common decency and manners. That should be enough.

Let’s not forget the power of someone’s name. Is it better to greet someone as “Hey there bro” or “Hey, friend?”

Or is it better to say,

“Hi, Paul. How was your trip on the train?”

It shows that you care. It increases loyalty. It is the beginning of a relationship. If you truly care about people and building up a culture of community, this is tantamount — required as a baseline.

Knowing your customers has never been a bad thing.

Automation Removes Intimacy

Back to the title, “Automation Removes Intimacy.” The intimacy you have with your customers on social media is important for in-person meetings. It’s important for keeping that relationship going online.

Social media is about connecting, as humans, to other people. Whether it’s for friendship or to increase the lifetime value of a customer, being social can never be automated.

Well, if Science Fiction catches up to us, perhaps you can get a protocol droid like C3PO.

Until then, be cautious when automating. You should want to spend the time getting to know your customers.

Why even spend time online? Human ROI

I've been criticized ever since my online journey began back in the days of dial-up and AOL. Why do you spend so much time online?I've been criticized ever since my online journey began back in the days of dial-up and AOL. Why do you spend so much time online?

I’ve been criticized ever since my online journey began back in the days of dial-up and AOL. (True story: I attended my first Bible study online in an AOL chat room.) Why do you spend so much time online?

It’s become such a common occurrence that I try to never use my phone in person, save a couple of selfies.

Case in point: A Birthday Party Tonight

@carinarrigo Thank you for being such an amazing friend. 💛

A post shared by Bridget Willard (@bridgetmwillard) on

 

I could not have survived the last five months without @jenblogs4u #TrueStory

A post shared by Bridget Willard (@bridgetmwillard) on

 

And, you know me, I have to grab a sunset.

Great sunset. #ProHDRx #sunset

A post shared by Bridget Willard (@bridgetmwillard) on

The point is this:

All of the time I have spent building relationships online has always come back as a return — in humanity.

Human ROI

Relationships matter because people matter. The more you invest in people the more they will invest in you. This has never failed me.

Tonight, I was invited to a surprise birthday party for SMMOC co-founder (with his wife) Bob Watson. This group has been instrumental in my career change and path.

Last week, I told Bob as much and he recorded a small video on his Instagram account.

Of course, I wanted to join in the fun, see old friends, and wish Bob a very happy birthday!

Hugs Galore!

Though I knew I would be surrounded by my social media friends,  I became nervous (would anyone greet me? etc). So, my very good friend Jen Miller said she would be my plus one and it would be fun.

You know what? It was fun.

I had great conversations with people I haven’t seen (in person) in months or even  years. Yet we’ve been able to stay connected, and dare I say not superficially, online.

I engaged in personal conversations, was part of a running birthday joke, ate dinner, drank Diet Coke, cracked jokes. I felt like me.

You know why?

Because I was surrounded by friends. And they weren’t fake.

I was hugged by everyone. Because they’re real people. Real relationships. Real friends.

Why do I spend so much time online?

I spend time online because my friends are there. It’s not a chore. It’s not something I need to be unplugged from. It’s something that helps me feel connected to this world. Maybe I’m weird. But I think people value that time.

Spend time on social media creating, maintaining, and deepening relationships and you’ll always get back Human ROI.

Promise.

😉