Lead your own tribe. Build your own community. Form relationships. Create great content. Build a list.
Recently, I was looking (and laughing) at photos of myself and my friends back when we were teenagers. Wearing wide ties. Bell bottom pants. And white shoes and white belts!
Oh, and polyester leisure suits! We can’t forget those stylish outfits.
Boy, did we look ridiculous. We had no idea how stupid we really looked.
Decades from now how might we view social media and all the other online relationship stuff? I have some opinions (you knew I would).
Those old photographs coupled with being unfollowed by a guy who has graced our presence here at Bula Network prompted today’s video episode. Yes, I returned the favor by unfollowing him. And if you think I’ll ever promote him or his work again, you are sorely mistaken. 😀
Providing value. Being memorable. Serving. Those are the things that trump a Twitter following, Facebook friends or Google + circles. Why? Because it’s people impacting other people in meaningful ways. Whether it’s a business that serves customers, or a health professional that serves patients…those moments – “relationships” – are moments in time that can have a lasting impact. That doesn’t mean we’re now friends – in the traditional sense – with the dental hygienist who cleans our teeth. She’s performed a great value to us though. Our relationship with her is bound by our need and her ability to serve that need.
Such relationships are far more honest than many online relationships that we currently think are important. When my “friend” unfollowed me on Twitter was he kicking me to the curb? No, not really. The fact is, he needed to promote his work. He reached out to me to help him do that. I obliged. We chatted a few times on the phone and Skype, but promoting him and his work was always the focus of the conversation. He never expressed interest in my work. I never pursued him about my life, or my work. It was, however, a two-way relationship because I happily helped promote him. It’s reasonable that, when he was finished with me, our time together was over. But, because of the current “white belt” way of thinking, it can seem harsh and unfriendly. Frankly, it’s practical and more genuine.
He unfollowed me. I unfollowed him back. We’re done, for now. Will he ever enter my life again? I don’t know. But I have the memory of having helped him, if only in some small ways. He has the memory of spending time with me, having me help promote him. That’s enough. It’s okay. It’s how the real world works and I don’t resent it.
The current fashion is to chase numbers and amass a following, a tribe. Years from now we’ll look back and see a bunch of white belts and wonder, “What were we thinking?”