“When do you sleep?”
What they really mean is…”I don’t have enough time in the day to be present on all those social media sites, and do it justice. How do you do that?”
To be even more succinct, their concern is that: “I don’t have enough time in the day to be present on all those social media sites, and not feel guilty that I’m missing an opportunity, or some information, or a relationship that could benefit my VO business.”
Intrinsic in any and all of those statements, is that one NEEDS to be present on Social Media these days to:
a) keep up with trends
b) find work
c) maintain relationships
d) not miss something
For the record, yes, I believe you MUST be on Social Media these days to do all of the above, but the fair and balanced journalist in me knows there are plenty of voice actors who are NOT on Social Media (or just barely), and are quite successful in their freelance business (now).
When automobiles were first coming on the scene, plenty of farriers (horseshoe blacksmiths) kept busy for many years. ;-) But where are they today?
So maybe the better question for all of us is: “What should be the proper balance of existing and proven (legacy) marketing, & relationship-building vs. developing (progressive) methods?”
Like choosing a microphone, this is a very personal decision for all voice-actors.
I was speaking to a peer well-known to all voice-actors the other day about his perceived absence in Social Media lately. He acknowledged that he was, indeed, purposely scarce on the social networks of late, saying: “…I just decided to lay low, lurk around, and just focus … customer service…”
He’s not the only one who’s expressed that sentiment to me lately. Social Networking exploded on the scene several years ago. Some find (found) it fulfilling and productive, others come and go, ebbing and flowing according to their commitment & passion for it, and their perceived priorities.
Where do you fall on this issue?
Here’s a quick checklist for deciding whether you’re judiciously using your time on Social Networks:
1) Have you set some sort of parameters for spending time on social media per day? (much like you would schedule time for answering email, voicing projects, or being with your kids?)
2) Do you have goals, a vision, and/or a business plan for using Social Media?
3) Have you researched, studied, or rec’d coaching on best use of Social Media?
4) Did you decide whether time spent on Social Media is work or fun for you? (If work…persist because of it’s ROI. If fun,…don’t let it run away with your time).
5) Have you established methods for measuring the results of time and effort spent on Social Media? (admittedly, this is a new and developing field, but not without options).
This is by no means an exhaustive list, nor have I dealt with this topic in its full scope here. But begin with the above 5 points, and let me know how it goes.
Despite its seemingly nebulous nature, Social Media IS finding useful focus for businesses and freelancers. I believe there are many reasons to stick with it for the long haul…just make sure you get enough sleep.