Tag Archives: relevant

Google, We Have A Problem

There seems to be a tragic misunderstanding of what makes a person or entity relevant on the internet. If you are an artist, a business owner, a musician or a magazine publisher there’s the expectation that you should be found one specific place on the internet so that you can be booked, called or contacted. That place is not Twitter or Facebook. It’s so simple, even a two-year old could do it. It’s called Google. Yes, Google. Twitter and Facebook require that a person sign up and create an account to obtain your information. Everyone doesn’t want to become a follower or a friend in order for them to locate your store, buy your album, magazine or services. Do you realize how much you are limiting yourself, simply by NOT having a website? If you aren’t sure, think about the last time you got a call from someone who said “I saw you on Twitter today, and I wanted to know if I can buy ___.” If that’s happening to you regularly just from your tweets, then by all means, carry on. But if you’re not getting that call, you’re not as relevant as you think you are, even if you’ve hit record numbers of followers.

It doesn’t matter how many fans you have. Some of your fans aren’t as active on Twitter or Facebook as you think they are. They may actually only view your timeline or news feed once a month because that’s how often they sign on to look at their own Twitter and Facebook accounts {Side note: some of your fans are also stalkers or looky-lous and they won’t result in any profits}. Even with the increased use in smart phones, social networking is still limiting the way in which people can locate you. A fan is one thing, a consumer is something completely different. When you’re in business, which one is more important to you? A fan who becomes a consumer will buy more than your mp3 from iTunes. 

I recently pulled out some business cards people gave me and Googled all of the companies. I was utterly amazed at how many business entities, artists, singers and creatives I couldn’t find on the internet outside of Facebook and Twitter. Do all these companies and individuals want to be a secret? Do they want to make money? Do they want people to know their tour dates, office hours, and any other important information that consumers look for? You can’t even find a phone number for them to call and ask them “What is your website?” I’m going to share a business secret with you now. Smart consumers like to do a little research before they get into their cars and drive somewhere. If you operate a business, consumers may actually look for your business address online before venturing out to buy your products. However, if you don’t have a website, you prevent that from happening. And every business doesn’t have a store or static business location. Therefore, if your business is done in a nontraditional office or storefront location, being accessible online becomes even more crucial to your success.

Recently someone on Twitter sent me a link saying “how to become #1 on Google“. I replied and told them (not bragging) that I’m already #1 on Google. How do I know? I learned how to accomplish that a couple of years ago at a technology conference I attended. Unfortunately, I was one of five people of color in attendance at the conference and we were all women. I periodically Google myself [typing s u p e r w o m a n p r o d u c t i o n s]. I type it different ways and even misspell it intentionally sometimes, just to see what others might find if they do the same. My website is the first result, is listed on the first seven pages of Google results consistently and then I remain in the results up until around page thirteen. Don’t believe me? I challenge you to prove me wrong. I’ve even been re-blogged and reposted in other languages. I’m in business directories that I didn’t even know I was in. I had to tell the editor of one business directory to change their listing because they incorrectly listed my business at an address in Troy, Michigan instead of Detroit.  

I don’t know how people do it. By it I mean not exist on the internet outside of social networking sites. It’s a lot easier to co-exist within the confines of social networking than it is to be completely reliant upon it. Does anyone remember MySpace? One minute it was the hottest thing in existence. Now anyone who’s still using it exclusively needs to be put into a time machine and brought into 2012 at the speed of light. The changes that Facebook is constantly making are an attempt to remain on top of the social networking pyramid because it’s hard to be king. They are not making the changes for you. Twitter is… well, #trending, for lack of a better word. It’s fun, but you’re still limited to providing information in 140 or less characters. It can be argued that smart people can say a lot in 140 characters, but it can also be said that not being able to spell out words makes even the smartest person look stupid on Twitter.

So as an entrepreneur, I encourage anyone who calls themselves the same or sells a product or service to increase your audience outside of the constraints of social networking sites and establish a website for yourself, your products and business. If you feel like the financial investment isn’t truly worth the costs associated with establishing a real web presence, you are not serious about being in business. All serious business owners know that it takes money (time, energy and committment) to make money. And if you need help, I have a great website designer that I can refer you to. He helps keep me #1 on Google.

This Media Thing Is Not A Game

I’m often proud of others that I see reaching and striving in media to improve upon the content that we have available to us. Then there are times when I have to ask myself “Where do they do that at?” Being an entrepreneur is hard work. It’s often challenging and the rewards don’t come as fast as you might like, and they are definitely not the rewards you may set out to achieve. Being a media entrepreneur is even more difficult. You have greater challenges because media is already heavily controlled by major networks and radio giants that have been around for years.

This media thing is not a game.

Print media is a strange animal in its own separate environment. With so many magazines being born and dying regularly due to poor business decisions, it’s very important that you have more than a pretty magazine cover. You must also have relevant, substantive, well written content in a magazine. This is primarily important if you want to appeal to people who actually know how to read. Unless of course, your magazine publication is only a pictorial, pretty pictures might be enough for your audience.

As I look around at some of the ventures being put out, I notice that a lot of them don’t understand how to properly do business. Some editors are so quick to get something out there that they fail to do their due diligence with securing their content. They have pretty websites with blank pages, misspelled words, broken or unresponsive links and poor grammar throughout the site. They are trying to establish followers using social networking without a product actually being made available that people can put their hands on. You can’t even Google their publication by name. Some of them have literally relaunched the same magazine multiple times within less than three years because they just don’t seem to get it.  They also don’t know how to tackle the challenges associated with the digital era where people can download and read publications on laptops, tablets and smartphones. I solemnly swear that one day people will learn how to use technology for more than just updating their Facebook status.   

◊ This media thing is not a game.  

We have to do better when it comes to the products and services that we provide in media, particularly within our own community. We also have to be more savvy in our business dealings. You don’t have to charge an arm and a leg for your product because you want to have special paper from China. You can put out a quality media product by using local resources available to you for a fraction of the cost and not have to worry about your product being delayed by customs. A few of the keys to doing well in the media business include having a basic understanding of business, having knowledge of your core demographic and how to reach them, knowing your strengths and weaknesses, and building a talented team of people who aren’t your relatives. Most importantly – be different from what everyone else is. If you appear to just be a  recycled version of your former publication or someone else’s, without bringing something new into the equation, people will lose interest quickly…as in overnight.

◊ This media thing is not a game.  

This media thing is only for strong, decisive people who know how to compensate for anything they lack by having other talented and knowledgeable people connected to them. It’s not about being a dictator and having everyone report back to you so that you can micromanage every facet; particularly when you have no idea of what you’re doing. It’s not about doing the same thing over and over, the same way and expecting different results [that is the definition of insanity]. This media thing is about dispersing information in a way that educates and entertains people intelligently so that you appeal to a wider demographic ~ i.e. the people who make money and make decisions. This media thing is about providing quality content that does more than create divisiveness and drama among individuals. This media thing is more than scripted reality television shows and poorly written material thrown out with the hopes that one percent of the population will like it. This media thing isn’t just about making money, putting your name on a masthead or cutting down trees for the purpose of nothing.  

◊ This media thing is not a game.  

Personally, I’m looking forward to hiring other talented people to work for The Brand so that one day I can take a real vacation. I’m aware that without hiring others, I won’t experience the true growth and success that I’m striving for. I’m thankful for the opportunity to network with like-minded individuals that have worthwhile projects that I can collaborate with them on; both today and in the near future. Growth isn’t singular when you’re a media entrepreneur. Your growth, or lack thereof, impacts others, even when you don’t see it.  

◊ This media thing is not a game.  

An idea is only as good as the work you put behind it. If you’re into this media thing as a hobby, that is your choice. But if you are in this media thing purpose driven, make it worth the time, energy and money for yourself and for consumers. This playground is big enough for many of us to be successful, but this media thing is not a game. If you’re not ready, I suggest that you do your due diligence, research and observe others who are successful and do well in media before throwing yourself in the ring.   

Some people only care about their check, and some people care about sh** being the right way. – Jam Master DJ Scratch