Online Marketing by an Undergraduate

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Stop Adding to the Noise and Start Adding to the Conversation

This past Monday, Andrew Davis of Tippingpoint Labs explains in a fabulous post why Twitter will struggle to monetize their site. While Andrew identifies the increase in talking and decrease in listening, Chris Donaldson of pimpyourmarketing.com shows us the benefits of approaching other bloggers in our space as complements, not competitors. I will drive the analysis home by suggesting three ways to stop talking and to bring the noise down and the value up.

Andrew humorously exposes the changing community dynamic from one of listening to one of talking. He can’t take the noise, and with a heavy heart, he breaks up with Twitter. Let’s put the noise Andrew is talking about into context:

Twitter daily visitors last 12 months

From January 2009 to May 2009, daily traffic at twitter.com went from less than one and a half million daily unique visitors to almost three million.

The flood of Twitterers makes attention more difficult to come by. People talk to get noticed rather than listen to add value. No wonder Andrew is disillusioned.

But what if we do more  listening than talking? What if, like Chris suggests, instead of looking at bloggers as competitors, we look at them as complements? The benefits: we open our mind to new ideas, we foster a sub community within our larger field, and in so doing increase our sophistication as writers and idea people and produce a much richer dialog among our peers. We stop trying to be the voice and we allow ourselves to find our voice.

If you have lost your way, it’s ok. You can follow these three steps to stop adding to the noise and to start adding value.

  1. Step back from the struggle to be heard and lay the foundation for your long term growth. Connect with bloggers more deeply. Post thoughtful comments on their blogs and highlight the superior value they are contributing when possible. Your openness will reward you with greater intellectual and social satisfaction.
  2. Do your best to understand your audience at a granular level. Tippingpoint Labs is an excellent model – they help their clients build digital personas of their audience to identify the content most relevant to them.
  3. Appreciate yourself, deeply. Go beyond just understanding your place in the blogging community, and take time to think about why you are different, special, and unique. You are a wonderful person, and when you figure out why, pore that individuality into your writing. Make people stop in their tracks with your humanity.

How well do you understand you?

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