Your Stories Never Go Popular Because Your Personal Marketing Plan Sucks

Yesterday Rae mentioned You’re Damn Right It’s a Popularity Contest as response to all the whinny posts about Sphinn being a popularity contest, if you haven’t read it go check it out. I’d also like to add the reason nobody votes for your stories and they never go popular is because your personal marketing plan sucks!

Are You An Expert? You may like to think you’re an expert. You really want your clients to think you are an expert. But in this ecosystem are you really the expert you profess to be? Are you at the top of your game? Are you the SEO equivalent of Michael Jordan? If you aren’t an expert don’t write for your peers as though you are, people will see right through you. It’s Ok to have an opinion or think openly about something, just don’t profess to speak from a position of authority when you really don’t have one.

Are You A Copycat? How unique or original is your work? Did you come up with the idea on your own or did you take someone elses idea and rehash it. For example Lethal Weapon with Mel Gibson and Danny Glover, great movie unique concept, great execution, funny and entertaining. Lethal Weapon 2 … Lethal Weapon 3 … Lethal Weapon 4 … less original, less unique, less funny and less entertaining. Sure it’s easy taking a proven concept and running with it, but nobody ever became great copying the ideas of someone else. If you aren’t creating Lethal Weapon 1 don’t bother creating the sequel.

Why Won’t Anyone Vote for Me? So who did you tell about your great work? Did you contact some other SEO bloggers? Did you show it to your friends? In the real world people use publicists who pull out a rolodex and call up people they think would be interested in your project. In social media email and IM are your virtual rolodex and you need to work them just as hard.

How Come I’m not a Celebrity? You think it’s easy being a celebrity? All fun and games, great parties, and afternoons spent napping by the pool? I’ll let you in on a secret lots of SEO celebrities work their asses off and they work longer and harder than you do. I have lots of “celebrity” status people on IM and I can tell you they keep crazy hours. Up at the keyboard before 6 am or working till 2AM in the morning. The never go AFK for more than a few hours at a time and when they do it’s blackberry, smartphone or PDA in hand. They work long days, long nights, weekends and have insane travel schedules. Oh and just because you’re sitting in front of a monitor twittering or playing games it doesn’t count as working.

Why Don’t Things Fall Into Place for Me? Have you ever noticed how things happen in a coordinated way for some people, almost like they were orchestrated in advance? Here’s a secret sometimes they are. Sitting down and developing a plan is a good thing. By having a plan I don’t mean “I need to make three blog posts this week”. By plan I mean “I know iPhone is coming out in 2 weeks what can I do to have some articles about it when does”. I mean “Jim Smith is expert on IPhones maybe he’ll do an interview with me”. I mean “what can I do to cover the IPhone story that is unique and interesting and no one else can copy”. Identify your target, craft a plan, put it into action, adapt, adjust, and overcome.

I’m nice why doesn’t everyone like me? Here’s the thing nice people … are … boring. Nobody cares what “nice” people say they just aren’t entertaining. Stop worrying about who you might offend and being politically correct all the time. Stand up, stand out and speak what’s on your mind. Don’t afraid to ruffle a few feathers now and again. Have an opinion, share it, take some chances. So what if you’re wrong or make a mistake, as long as you aren’t a complete ass people will forgive you if you apologize and admit you were wrong. Don’t be afraid to take risks and leave the safety of the middle ground.

It’s not Fair No one Votes for me! I know your kindergarten teacher told you everything was fair, but it was a lie … really. Noting in life is fair. Some people are better looking, some people are smarter, some people can eat all they want and not gain a pound. Life isn’t fair, it never was and it never will be. Stop sitting around complaining about it and get off your ass and do something you are better at. Really if you spent as much time working as you did whining about the injustice of it all, we’d both be better off.

OK so how do you fix your personal marketing plan problem?

  • Speak to your level of expertise, if you don’t have one speak to your observations ask questions and learn. Digg up some of my old questions on WMW for a good chuckle … on second thought maybe you shouldn’t.
  • You don’t want to be the “next” Britney Spears, you want to be the first you. Stand on the shoulders of people who went before you and reach higher, don’t copy what they did and not go anywhere.
  • Network and promote yourself. Build a network of contacts, go to trade shows, chat in IM build a list of people who are good, and dependable. Help each other grow and become better.
  • Don’t set out with the goal of becoming famous. Set out with the goal working hard and doing good work. Good work + network and self promotion leads to accolades and fame.
  • Get a plan. It may look like more experienced people are just winging it but trust me they have seen it before and are relying on experience. Get a plan, put it into action, analyze what worked or didn’t work. Lather, rinse, repeat.
  • Don’t be a yes man. Don’t be afraid to buck the system now and again. Stand up and do something noteworthy and get noticed.
  • Don’t sit around waiting for opportunity to come to you, good hunt it down yourself. Sure every so often we get luck and an opportunity presets itself, but more often that not you’ll have to hunt it down. If you don’t some else will
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