Is it just me that thinks this or did the past year just fly by? So much has been going on in the Man Cave here at Manly Pinterest Tips, and most of it could not have been done without you, the loyal Manly Pinterest Tips audience. So…Thank you!
Before I pull up the rocking chair and start rambling about lessons learned this past year, let me give you a short re-cap of my story so far…
In 2013 I started an experiment on social branding. You may have heard me talk about it in the podcast before. I noticed the traffic I was getting on Pinterest, and I wrote a post on Google+ called “Manly Pinterest Tips #1 – Sharing A Secret Board With Your Daughter”. Because it did so well, I wrote a couple more posts in the series. Not long after that, I was talked into hosting a Live Google Hangout show with 4 other guys called “Manly Pinterest Tips.”
That show allowed me to talk with experts on Pinterest including Hollywood movie producers. That led to another show called “The Manly Show”. Then in 2015, I re-launched “Manly Pinterest Tips” as a new show with myself as the host. I also released the show as a podcast.
That little podcast led me to TONS of great opportunities which cumulated with me being able to work with the dream team at Social Media Examiner.
Let me break down how I think this happened, because I think you’ll find it really interesting.
When I launched the podcast, I wanted to do everything I could do to ensure success. I used to tell friends and family, “If I was going to fail, I was going to fail spectacularly!” So I invested a lot of time and money into making the podcast something I would like to listen to. Part of the initial investment was attending the first annual Podcast Movement 2014 conference. In that conference, I learned a great amount about the art of podcasting and made many great connections.
After I launched the podcast in 2015, I was finally able to attend an event that I wanted to attend for a long time… Social Media Marketing World! I was blown away by the speakers, the event, and all the connections I made there.
At the end of Social Media Marketing World there was an event called “Podcast San Diego” where the organizers of Podcast Movement had a one-day event with some keynote speakers. I stayed the extra day and attended. I’m so glad I did! This is where the ball really started to roll.
During that event, Jared Easley (one of the founders of podcast movement), pulled me up on stage right after a break and asked me questions about my podcast and Pinterest. He even had other people from the audience ask me questions! Lucky I was prepared and didn’t look like a complete fool.
I also met a great group of guys at Podcast San Diego who, later in April, would form a Podcasting Mastermind group. I am still a part of this mastermind group, and it continues to help me grow my business.
Being asked to come on stage was scary, but the way I was able to handle myself was what (I believe) led to me being asked to be a speaker at Podcast Movement 15. (More on that in a minute)
In June, one of the guys in my Mastermind group, Erik Fisher (who also has a great podcast called Beyond the To-Do List), recommended me to his boss, Michael Stelzner, to be a guest on his Social Media Marketing Podcast. A couple things happened that resulted in being on that podcast.
- I saw a huge jump in traffic on both my website and podcast subscriptions.
- I was asked to speak at Social Media Success Summit – The largest online social media marketing conference.
- I entered into a dialogue with Micheal Stelzner about running Social Media Examiner’s Pinterest account.
After the podcast with Mike, I was continually working on my upcoming presentation for Podcast movement. I was also thrilled to find out I was going to be working with Social Media Examiner by managing their Pinterest account starting in July. Things were moving really fast!
The “day of reckoning” had arrived. It was time for my presentation at Podcast Movement. The room was completely full, and what do you know…my new boss was sitting in the front row! I was able to get through the presentation, and it seemed to be well received. You can listen to the actual talk in this week’s podcast episode and the slideshare below.
That one event is what led to even more interview requests, speaking events, and consulting gigs. Now I am not only running Social Media Examiner’s Pinterest account but also the Instagram account, creating various video projects, and being a part of the social team. I was also being asked to speak at the same conference that I attended last year, Social Media Marketing World 16!
So what did I learn from all this?
Invest In Yourself
One of the biggest turnarounds in my business is when I started to treat myself as a client. I set aside time to promote myself and more importantly promote the content that I was creating. I spent money on creating unique graphics for each of my podcast episodes. I invested money in a great unique “opener” for my podcast that still gets comments on a weekly basis. I invested time with two different mastermind groups that pushed me every week to be a better businessman and person. Learn skills to help you re-purpose your content. Are you a good writer? Try repurposing your blog article into some sort of video. Practice and get better in from of the camera. Buy high quality images for your site. Hire a photographer to create totally original images for your brand. Don’t short-change your own business by trying to find the free or cheapest images out there. Would you do that for a client? I don’t think so. Investing in myself was one of the hardest things to do, but the return on investment has been enormous this past year.
Learn skills to help you re-purpose your content. Are you a good writer? Try repurposing your blog article into some sort of video. Practice and get better in from of the camera. Buy high-quality images for your site. Hire a photographer to create totally original images for your brand. Don’t short-change your own business by trying to find the free or cheapest images out there. Would you do that for a client? I don’t think so. Investing in myself was one of the hardest things to do, but the return on investment has been enormous this past year.
One of my favorite quotes is by Woody Allen
“Eighty percent of success is showing up.”
It’s hard to be consistent. Especially when you first start out and feel like no one is listening.
It’s hard to consistently put out a niche podcast every week. But I’ve learned that it’s key in building your audience and authority. One of the stats mentioned when I attended the first Podcast Movement conference was, “Most podcasts don’t make it past the seventh episode.” I was determined not to let that happen. Other than a short little sabbatical I took in November, I’ve taken pride in the fact that I’ve pushed the podcast forward.
Being consistent on social platforms was a key factor as well. It wasn’t easy to continue scouring the internet for quality content to share with my audience. But I’m convinced that showing up day after day was key to growing that audience. Surround yourself with colleagues and associates that will hold you accountable. Find and join a mastermind group. That was one of the best decisions I made in the past year.
Always Be Prepared To Speak
As I mentioned in my story earlier, I really feel like I can trace the start of the rolling snowball of opportunities is when Jared got me up on stage at Podcast San Diego. Luckily I had an elevator speech that I had practiced a couple of times before the conference. I had kept up to date on breaking news so I could answer questions intelligently when they were asked. The job of learning is never done. If you think you can just memorize some talking points one time, think again. Thinking ahead of questions you may be asked and trying to have another angle that others haven’t thought of before will pay off.
Be Where The Thought Leaders Are
I can’t believe I waited so long for this one. Conferences and live events surrounded by your peers is so very important. So many connections were made, and opportunities unfolded because I attended conferences last year. Yes, some of them can be expensive, but this goes right back to investing in yourself. Go to a conference and network. If you’re an introvert, force yourself to meet new people. So many opportunities happen because of building relationships which is my next point…
Relationships Are Key
Nothing beats meeting someone face to face. New relationships are formed and online relationships are deepened when you meet in real life. The relationships that I made at Social Media Marketing World and Podcast Movement turned into business opportunities and Mastermind groups that are still going on to this day. Don’t miss out on attending a live conference! Many people I talked with had the exact same experience as I did.
So what was my biggest takeaway from 2015?
Buck up and greet the opportunities – even if they seem to be happening all at once. Don’t get me wrong. Many times during 2015 I was scared to death. I didn’t know how I was going to get everything I needed done. Many times I wanted to give up, not answer that email, feign being sick for a podcast interview, not accept that speaking engagement, or record that video. But I forced myself. I sought advice from mentors that I had around me, relied on friends and family for encouragement, and pushed through. I truly believe we don’t achieve what we want by staying comfortable. Anything of value is a result of much effort and pushing through fear.
Will 2016 cause me to struggle even more? I hope not. But, I need it too.
Thanks For Watching And Listening!
I really appreciate you joining me for this week’s episode. Have questions or comments? Leave a message in the comment section below!
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Thanks so much for being such a great audience this past year. See you for the next episode where we’ll be adding testosterone, one pin at a time!