Dear Social Media Maven,
So … you work in social media, you’re passionate about social media, you live and breathe social media, your life revolves around social media, helping your clients with social media, turning the world on to social media, etc. etc….
To keep this whole social media thing on the road, you find yourself spending 18 hours a day on the computer, working that online buzz, working those relationships, for both you and your clients — Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr. It’s never-ending. Relentless.
And guess what? There are thousands of others just like you, mining that social media mountain for any gold they can find.
Like everybody else in your space, you’re burnt out. You’re over-extended. You’re exhausted.
Some time ago I found out the hard way that keeping up with social media, keeping ahead of the curve, was impossible. You might as well try emptying the Atlantic Ocean with a bucket.
I found that the “helping clients with their social media” schtick wasn’t sustainable. It just takes too much time and there are too many other people doing it — most far younger and charging far less than me.
So what did I do?
I asked myself, OK, so what can I do that is unique? What can I do that nobody else is doing?
The answer, of course, is the cartoons.
There are a lot of cartoonists online, but nobody’s doing it the way I’m doing it. Cube Grenades: corporate and private commissions, my way. Like I said, unique.
So if you want Cube Grenades, fine, I can help you. If you just want the same social media stuff everybody else is offering, well, you’re frankly better off asking everybody else. That’s what I started telling people.
And it worked
I’m now buried in cartoon commissions. And it’s been that way for a while. It’s focused. And I’m happy.
Two points to conclude:
- If you’re going to do social media, you must find a totally new and unique angle. Cartoons were my thing, you have to find your thing. Otherwise you’re just going to end up underpaid and burned out. Web designers and social media experts and copywriters have become a commodity — unless you find your angle.
- It took me a couple of years to figure all this out, how to build the reputation and the business model so I could offer something truly unique. So if you haven’t quite figured it out yet, don’t worry. It takes time. But do it, regardless. Make it happen.
About the Author: Hugh MacLeod is a cartoonist and has a popular blog at gapingvoid.com. Check out his corporate commission work here. And if you want to find your own unique angle, you probably should read his books.
Note: The image used for this post is one of Hugh’s “Cube Grenades” created for his client, Rackspace. See them all here.