I am super fired up!
More than usual you may say? <smile>
I am just getting back from San Francisco after spending the last couple of days with the team at creativeLIVE. I was asked to do 6 hours of social media training as part of their 3-day Social Media Bootcamp. In 4, 90-minute classes I covered the basics of social media strategy development, Facebook, Twitter, Google+, LinkedIn, Pinterest and Instagram. There was hair and make-up and a professional set and multiple cameras in front of a live audience and streaming live to thousands of participants around the globe. They treated me like royalty and I found the whole experience to be quite amazing!
That is NOT why I am fired up.
During my time there I had not just one, but THREE epiphanies! I do not get these every day. I am talking about the types of realizations that slap you upside the head like a cold water balloon. I can't wait to share these with you!
Epiphany #1 – Creativity Matters!
In fact, I will take that a step further. Creativity is the game-changing, secret sauce that drives most successful companies AND successful social media efforts. When you get a second, check out the creativeLIVE website to get a feel for what this company is and what they do. Every week they have free live online courses taught by leading experts in the fields of photography, software, design, business, video and film.
This is an entire community of some of the most amazingly creative people I have ever seen. I am not just talking about the instructors, but the staff at creativeLIVE, the people in the audience and those online also. It is a virtual creative think tank. Some of the ideas I was presented with, questions I was asked and entirely different ways of looking at things, that just blew me away.
I hate to waste a good epiphany by not taking action after, so I am going to do several things. First, I am going to seriously up the time I spend just being creative. Also, creativity just moved to the top of the list for key skills I will be looking for as I continue growing the team here at Boom! Social. Finally, I am going to make sure to encourage and support creativity at Boom! Social every chance I get.
Epiphany #2 – Learning from True Experts is Worth the Extra Investment
My entire life is centered around social media and I work my tail off to stay on top of everything to make sure I can “walk the talk”. That being said, I still have a hard time considering myself an “expert” or acting like I know everything there is to know about social media. It changes so fast and is growing in so many different directions.
What I do know, l love sharing with other business owners and I absolutely love helping other people learn. All that being said, WOW are there a lot of social media “experts” out there taking people’s money, providing bogus information and just providing the “how’s” and not the “why’s” that go with not just learning, but truly understanding something. I heard story after story from people who had spent considerable time and money supposedly learning social media from “gurus” only to find out that their educational experience was a farce.
I also got to see first-hand how creativeLIVE goes to tremendous lengths to screen, qualify and otherwise make sure that the people they select to teach their courses are the world's best. The result of consistently bringing world-class talent together is a crazily successful company with a large, devoted community that expects and receives the best education possible on the subjects and fields covered.
I am not trying to toot my own horn here. Forget social media for a second. The point is bigger than that. Before you spend your hard-earned time and money investing in a mentor or a training program, give the proper due diligence to making sure who and what you are learning is the real deal. Trust me, it is worth the time and effort and can make the difference in actually getting REAL results for your business or NOT!
Epiphany #3 – You Can't Do It All
My team and I probably spent 100+ hours preparing the outline, slides and other support materials for the 6 hours of training I taught the CreativeLive attendees. One of the hardest parts was figuring out what to include and what to leave out. My job was to cover the basics of social media, ALL social media. Facebook? Have to have that in there. Facebook in 90 minutes? Yikes, that was tough! Twitter? For sure! What about Google+? How do you leave out one of the largest and fastest growing social media sites? Then I added Pinterest and Instagram and LinkedIn.
Could I share enough to make a difference in their businesses in six short hours? I was going to darn well die trying :-)!
The reality is that there is NO WAY you are going to learn everything there is to know about social media in 6 hours! It is a physical impossibility. I focused, in the beginning of the training, on setting social media goals, developing strategies to meet those goals and ways to measure to make sure that you did in fact meet those goal sets. My next objective was to pick actionable info for each social platform that the attendees could take home and get real results with as quickly as possible.
While there is no way to learn it all in six hours, there is also no way that you can do it all, out the gate, on social media. Pick one or two platforms and get proficient there before you move on to others!
Did I strike a chord with you on any of my three epiphanies? I would certainly enjoy hearing your thoughts.