Powering Down to Empower

Even I can tear myself away from media long enough to, ironically, end up creating more worthy content for social media. 3:30 a.m. and I’m wide awake in a cabin in Blanco, Texas. No WiFi so I’m left to the primitive device of a pen to paper in this primitive landscape.

When I don’t have a laptop or connection to Instagram and my mind is solely focused on the campfire, bourbon, apples, crackers and honey, my circadian rhythm puts me to bed around 8:30 p.m. I sleep soundly and the wind doesn’t draft through the wooden walls of this cabin, but it does knock on the tin roof and it clicks on the windows. Part of me says being in the wilderness of Texas in a cabin alone are the makings of a horror plot, but most of me has completely surrendered to perfectness and the quietness of this place.

10 feet from my cabin is a stream with a small waterfall. I can see why writers go to cabins and drink a lot of bourbon. Seems like a picturesque thought, doesn’t it? Let me tell you. It is perfect.

I feel quiet and my mind is normally occupied. The host of the cabin came to check on my arrangement. Before I settled in for the night, I had been lounging at the Garrison Brothers Distillery with a reuben from Hye Market. I paid for the bourbon tasting and tour, but I told them I really just wanted to throw some darts and hang out. They obliged me and as they closed down shop for the day, all the Garrisons came out to sit together for a company meeting and invited me to take my time. So I rested there and the sun set and I washed down my reuben with beer from my growler. These personal experiences keep me raving about the comfort of this place.

It doesn’t always pay to show up late, but I’ve always been a person who arrives on my own time. I got there late by the standards of the tasting and the touring, but it was perfect for what I actually wanted, which was quieter, slower time at a fantastic bourbon distillery.

Better content comes from being content. I’m content in Texas and content with my brand and the recent meetings and developments. I’m content with what’s on the table and I hope my content reflects such.

Social media marketing. Social. Media. Marketing. Those 3 words separately are full of messages put together telling a story. Picture messages, marketing messages, angles, characters, colors, consistency, credibility, calls to action, investment, scientifically trying to prove what is really a lot of trying and trying over and again.

Social. Understanding consumer behavior and the behavior of your company. Finding out how people come to you and what are they saying when they use your service.

Media. What medium do you choose to work with and why? How much does it cost and how often do you use it or is it updated?

Marketing. Selling the sizzle, not just the steak. Are you exasperated and desperate or are you like the hot chick at the bar confident that what you have to sell is what people need and you are the right person to sell it.

20 and 30-somethings are a lot more like their grandparents than their parents. Crowd-sourcing is the new “barn raising” of olden days. These two generations want to collaborate a lot more than the generation of my parents. This is where the magic happens. The generation older than mine sees social media for business as a waste of time, are intimidated by it, or have just neglected to learn how to utilize it to make money, but use it nonetheless to share small amounts of info. The funniest part of managers who criticize social media marketing is how much they suffer when it’s taken away and how they wish they could understand it.

The bridge between my parent’s generation and my generation can be built through social media. I can reach up the aisle to more seasoned professionals and help them tell their company’s story and tell them how their consumers are using and viewing their company and they can show me the story. They can show me the work. The aisle can reach back and forth and receive both ways

Leaders need to be accessible. Your version of accessible can have your own parameters and boundaries. Choose a medium that works for your voice. If you’re not accessible, then you’re a manager and most managers are only as good as their staff. Leaders don’t lose staff. They don’t have to hire and hope for the best. Good leaders attract talent and keep them in some sort of loyal CLV (customer lifetime value) capacity.

I read a lot of books and watch a lot of workshops of leaders who find their voice and lead me without having to pay me. As a consumer, I work for them. Social media marketing is done well by Gary Vaynerchuck, Andy Frisella, and Howard Schultz. Gary Vaynerchuck went as far as to reach out to me in a direct message on Instagram because of how I share his content, consume it and interject my own use of his content. He recommended a rosè to me last summer by understanding my consumer behavior and he knew he was selling something I would buy. I was through the roof that he acknowledged me and reached out to me. Just like my mamaw writes her handwritten “Thank you” notes, a direct message from an Influencer can send a vigilant consumer to the next level of commitment to your brand.

Social media is the perfect way to be a mentor. My brand is developing with the customers that find me and are able to use me the best. My business lives on social media. You may think your brand or best offering is one thing, but your customers may tell you something else that your product or service becomes. Customers have so many choices.

It’s like me paying for a distillery tour and tasting and showing up when I wanted and throwing darts, eating my dinner and watching the sun set instead. Your brand is what you’re selling more than anything. Just like showing up to a primitive setting to power down and actually powering up.

Conversations = conversions.