Saturday, November 19, 2011

Liveblogging IndieConf: Building Your Name via the Social Web

Presenter: Patrick O'Keefe (@ifroggy)

Today's topic is to address how one can share ones knowledge online.

Your Name Is...

  • Your experience (how well is it documented on your blog, social network, etc.)
  • Quality of your work and how many people know of it. (Will people recommend you?)
  • Personality (how much people like you)
  • The people you have delivered value to (good or bad people are still talking about it)
What value can you offer people?
Some people say they don't know what to write or talk about. Patrick says to talk about things that you're passionate about. It's all about sharing your knowledge and passion. This is your expertise. 

Some ask, why would I write a blog, tweet, or time in a network. Companies and people pay money for marketing. This is how you get in front of people. It's not about how much money you have. 

There is a difference between ideas, implementation, and results. Ideas come a dime a dozen. Generally speaking, when people pay a designer or programmer, they seek a solution. When people are ready to implement results, they will think of YOU.

Being atop of people's mind is the goal. If you truly helped them, then they will come to you for guidance. You may forever linked to a topic in other people's mind.

Building a Homebase
It is important to build a homebase. Some people are not the best writers. Some like recording audio or even video. However comfortable you are with delivering knowledge, do it. Use something that is easy to do. For Patrick, he writes on Monday and Thursday. This is a schedule he can maintain. If you're not able to keep the schedule, do something you can do. People like consistency.

Make writing, for example, a part of your routine. 

Give people knowledge that they can use. Search for basic questions. So, when people start searching for those questions, you may show up. Start blog posts with a question in mind. Keep it simple.

Make it easy to subscribe. Whether it's RSS feeds, liking on Facebook or following on Twitter. Make it easy.

Sharing your knowledge on the Social Web
The social web is much more than just Facebook and Twitter. Both are really a small part of the social web. There are a lot of niche communities and platforms. 

For photographers there is Flickr. For martial arts, there are forum communities. The list goes on and on. However, do understand people don't go to Facebook for martial arts communities. 

Tip: Observe the social norms before you dive in. Social norms in one place may be different than another.

Remember to read the community guidelines. A good community will have one.

No matter what space you're in, the profile is a great place to brand yourself. With Twitter, people can follow you; however, online communities show EVERYTHING. Be careful about over sharing yourself.

It's not always about YOU. Share good information often. It is about providing your followers with valuable information.

As it pertains to spam, always err on the side of caution. Take the time to read the guidelines. Also, take advantage of the Administrators who are often there in the community.

Where Should I Share?
To figure out where people are talking about your topic. Go to Google, type in your industry+community, and see what results you find.

If there is a business question, people are talking about it. No matter the topic, someone is asking questions somewhere. Find it!

By getting engaged in these communities, you can be seen as an expert. Don't forget, not all communities are BIG. Take time to get involved in small communities as well. This provides an opportunity to share your knowledge and experiences.You can shine more in small communities than large communities.

It's ok to share on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, and the like. It's great to have a presence in these spaces.

Using Twitter, you can search questions. This also gives you an opportunity to find out what people are asking.

Remember to answer questions that you can confidently answer.

All of these spaces, consider them as "Outposts." He references Chris Brogan as using this term. The idea is that owning your own space, subscribers, etc. you have total control.

How I Built My Name
Patrick has been building communities for over 13 years. He can pull from this experience.

He likes to believe that his communities are his "social proof." They are real things that you can talk about.

As it pertains to you, share YOUR experiences. What have you done? Talk from that place.

Writing a book has a way to legitimize ones expertise.

People learn from your experiences. Talk about what's going on in your space.

Build your community one person at a time. People ask questions. Answer it one by one.

He shares knowledge through podcasts and speaking engagements.


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Damond L. Nollan, M.B.A.

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