Feel the Slow Burn: #WCDayton Day One


We just finished Day 1 of Wordcamp Dayton. 

If you’re not familiar with Wordcamp, think of it as the TEDx of WordPress. They’re independently organized events featuring talks on all things WordPress, the platform used to build many websites, including mine.

And, no, these are not just for “IT people.” There is a lot of great material for bloggers, small business owners, and artists.

In particular, I learned a great lesson today on the nature of social media.

Social media is a slow burn

Cyrissa Carlson of Immerse Photography had a great line about using social media:

It’s a slow burn.

You have to be okay with getting two likes on an awesome post. Keep posting valuable, regular content with a targeted message and your little flame will grow.

Frustrating. But the slow burn has advantages.

Fireside chats

The “slow burn” analogy reminded me of FDR’s famous fireside chats. These were conversational broadcasts delivered via radio, a much more personal media than print. It felt like hearing from the president over an intimate campfire.

The long burn of social media is the ultimate fireside chat. Even better than radio, you can build two-way conversations with customers. The best bloggers are incredibly giving of their time — I still can’t believe James Altucher replies to texts, and Seth Godin returns emails.

Burn first, pay later

At another session we covered how providers and customers ought to collaborate. The slow burn of social media is an advantage here, too.

Because it’s a two-way conversation, customers become more like collaborators. You share ideas. Customers ask and you give freely. The value proposition is established. Once this trust is established and you offer premium products, price becomes a secondary factor. 

Get the writer’s runs

At another session, we covered ideas on tackling writer’s block.

For me at least, the slow burn of social media has given me the opposite of writer’s block. I call it the writer’s runs.

Knowing the importance of posting regularly (SEO 101 — another topic today), I come up with more post ideas than I can cover. I stay within a theme (insights useful to analysts just starting out), and it’s self-directed writing, but writer’s block really has not been an issue.

Knowing that social media is often not an overnight success story, I’ve committed to write something every day. I don’t post something every day, but I will at least think of topics or write outlines.

I suggest James Altucher’s technique of writing ten ideas every day about something. This exercises the “idea muscle” and provides more content than I know what to do with.

Day Two and Beyond

I’m still building traffic and finding my voice. Low engagement can be a downer. Today, Wordcamp taught me through various channels the importance of keeping at it.  

Slow burn on! More insights to come tomorrow.

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