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Opinion: No better time for passion to produce cash

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Let’s say, you have the opportunity to establish yourself as the expert on solar energy or children’s development or fashionable accessories or whatever it is that totally blows your skirt up. There is room in your industry for a voice to lead the charge, to cut through the clutter of information. That could be you!

The way to do this is through social media. The essence of social media is making interactive dialogue out of Web-based and mobile technologies. Of course, the essential social media outlets are:
  • Wordpress, a do-it-yourself blog program.
  • Facebook. However, Google+ is plotting an overthrow of Facebook. Will it succeed? Stay tuned.
  • Twitter, the No. 1 “news” source during recent natural disasters and government coups.
  • YouTube. Hundreds of millions of videos are watched every day on this Internet channel. Every minute 24 hours of video is uploaded.
This list is subject to change by the time this column hits sbj.net or your mailbox. Social media is an emerging market, too, and it is morphing all the time. Sure, you can waste a lot of time looking at YouTube videos of cats and people falling off docks. However, you can meet people and make friends online. You can find customers because people buy from people they like. This is marketing in the year 2011, amigos, and it’s time for you to jump in and lay claim to your empire.

Like any marketing, your online marketing should pass the, “So what? Who cares?” test. What is it that you do and why? And why should anyone else need to know about it?

Here are some tips to help you answer. Trust that if you are passionate about what you do, someone else may be, too. Clarify your message and marketing position. Then, start with a blog. Load two-minute videos from your smart phone that are fun and helpful about your area of expertise. Record on-the-job moments, and invite your customers to join in on the game. Let them share what they learned or how they benefited. Keep it authentic and loose. The blog can serve as your search-engine-attractive Web site. You can add buttons for sharing on Facebook and Twitter. And you can connect the dots so that when you update the blog, your Facebook and Twitter statuses are updated, too.  

Need help? Find someone under the age of 25 and have them help you put all this together. You might also study how Gary Vaynerchuk turned the wine industry upside down. Check out his Facebook page at www.facebook.com/dailygrape and his Web site, which is a Wordpress blog, at www.dailygrape.com.

Gary loves wine. He also thinks that a lot of wine reviews (and reviewers) are pretentious and stuffy. He started posting short video blog wine reviews. Gary knows his stuff, and he delivers it in an irreverent, funny and hyper-energetic way. His fans have taken to calling themselves Vayniacs. You know you’re making an impact when your fans have a collective nickname!

Maybe you could become The Solar Guy or The Child Whisperer. Maybe your fans could be known as Solarians or Whisperees?

Gary shares his social media tips in his best-selling book, “Crush It! Why NOW is the Time to Cash in on your Passion.”

He’s right. It is.

Ellen Rohr is an author and business consultant who offers systems for getting focused and organized, making money and having fun in business. Her latest book is “The Bare Bones Biz Plan.” She can be reached at ellen@barebonesbiz.com.[[In-content Ad]]

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