Service Minded

Debra Helwig on Marketing & Leadership in Professional Services

You Are Not a Loser if You Hate to Blog (or Tweet, or Facebook, or…)

Posted by debrahelwig on June 29, 2010

Wherever you go these days, there are people talking about how we have to get into social media. Blog now! Start a Facebook page! WHAT? You don’t have a LinkedIn profile??? The mantra, “You have to be ‘out there’ to be successful today” resounds from every corner of the business world.

But if you’ve given it a try, and every time you type a tweet your innards scream “I don’t WANNA!” Or if every time you sit down to write a Facebook status or blog post your guts cramp up, I have a wonderful, liberating piece of news for you.

You don’t have to.

Yes, social media is real and is here to stay. The blog, the Twitter account, the Facebook page – all that stuff will change the way some businesses work. But these things are TOOLS to help you do your business, which is accounting or law or whatever other great service it is that you provide. Contrary to what many, many consultants will tell you, it is permissible to read other people’s blogs and learn from them without having your own. You are not a gutter-trawling loser for limiting Facebook to just your friends and family.

Doing anything – social media or otherwise – because you’re afraid (of looking dumb? of being left out? of losing business or friends?) is a really bad idea. Fear is an incredible spur to action, but a terrible way to stay motivated and productive.  So don’t give in to fear.

If you have other offline ways you’re more comfortable working with people – you’re fabulous face-to-face or on the phone, but you’d rather eat uncooked tripe for lunch than write – then for goodness sake do what you do best. Work your magic your way and to hell with what anyone else thinks. Just realize that your clients may be looking for you in these social media spaces, and if you don’t want to be there, you’ll have to find other ways to keep them engaged. Or find clients who don’t care whether you have a social media presence or not. Both things can be done. You can do things your way and be successful.

This is not permission to quit with social media before you start. This is permission to say “No thanks, I really, truly tried that, and it doesn’t work for me.” That’s honest. And the people who work with you will know the difference.

Photo by jeannahmc (license).


4 Responses to “You Are Not a Loser if You Hate to Blog (or Tweet, or Facebook, or…)”

  1. Debra,

    Fast Company has a great article this month about Apple that talks about why the company is so successful. One reason is because they don’t listen to the nay-sayers, the advice givers, the techno-weenies, their fans, or the marketplace.

    Instead, they focus on making really great products that aren’t just “another fast horse” to quote the article.

    I came back from vacation today, and realized that not having all the “noise” from social media in my head was quite liberating. It gave me room to think.

    Excellent post!

    • For years, research has shown that we have our best ideas when we’re DISconnected (in the shower, driving, doing tasks that occupy the hands but not the mind), so finding ways to do things that doesn’t incorporate being chained to an iPhone or Twitter account has to be good for creativity, if not for the soul. Don’t get me wrong, social media definitely has its place, and I enjoy it – but by KEEPING it in its place I can use it a whole lot more effectively. There are some things I choose not to do at all – for example, my Facebook is for friends, not for business – and it works for me. That’s really the whole key here – do what works for you and damn the torpedoes. You’ll be a lot happier and I bet a lot more productive too. Thanks for telling me about the Apple article – I’ll definitely check it out!

  2. Debra –

    Bless your pea-pickin’ heart for writing this.


  3. I could not agree more. Social media is great, but it’s definitely not for everyone. And if an organization’s members don’t use it, there’s no need to go all out creating a Facebook, Twitter, etc for the organization. Not everyone is good at the same things, or enjoys the same things, and social media is no different.

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