Someone I deeply respect and admire (and quite possibly just as importantly, understands my english dry sense of humor) caused me to experience a paradigm shift today.
He brought to my attention a blog post he wrote earlier this year about Streams. No not the gently flowing kind you find outdoors, but the streams that we all take part in online – streams that at one time were considered simple spokes to the almighty hub.
The problem with the almighty hub scenario is this:
Envision an apple that had just a core. Or, better yet, a house with a single room and no other rooms to make it a home. Where’s the substance in that?
There are dozens, if not hundreds, of opportunities to procure relationships and leads through the streams – and it is through those streams that make up the true hub of your online presence. To treat these streams as just a means to the core is truly the wrong approach.
Matthew Shadbolt, Director of Interactive Product & Marketing with The Corcoran Group, is a shining example of exactly how your streams should be nurtured. I encourage you to not only follow Matthew but see how he has grown each of his streams into full fledged flowing rivers, each producing their own source of real relationships and, ultimately, real business.
In fact, Matthew has done his job so well with all of his streams, that I do not even know the name of his “hub” or if he even has one.
That’s because his streams ARE his hub.
I am, therefore, inviting you to join me in taking a real hard look at your online presence today. Ask yourself:
“Am I treating my streams like spokes are are each of them an equally important part of my overall hub“?
“Am I taking the time to nurture each of my streams or are they running dry“?
“Am I relying solely on my “hub” to build relationships or am I building out my online presence with each of my streams“?
The way in which we conduct our business(es) today is different than yesterday, just as it will be different tomorrow. Today we need to nurture our streams – Twitter, Facebook profiles, pages, groups, LinkedIN, Youtube, Pinterest, etc., – and not just use them as a means to an end. They are SO much more than that. They are the vines bearing the fruit!*
So how exactly do you nurture streams?
1. Don’t treat them as just a course of action.
2. Be deliberate in all that you do.
3. Make yourself known just as much on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIN, Google+, Pinterest, as you do in your blog.
4. Avoid the “auto-post” wherever possible (if you tweet something on Twitter, don’t use hashtags if you’re going to auto-post to LinkedIN, for example – that’s a HUGE turn off!)
5. Be consistent
6. Be real
This is yet another reason why you should not only follow, but fully and intentionally examine what Matthew Shadbolt, says and does on a daily basis.
Thank you, Matthew, for making me (and hopefully others) look at the entire apple and not just it’s core.
* John 15:5