"Helping people who help people"

I just thought I’d share my dilemma in case any of you may learn from my story.

I learned about Twitter enough to create an account at an Association of Bridal Consultants meeting.  The message was clear: if you want to attract brides, you must go where they are.  And they are on Twitter.

So I created an account and the brides didn’t come.  Well, some came.  But a lot of spam and a lot of vendors came.  I was confused, but pressed on.  I then learned, as everyone eventually does in social media, that Twitter is NOT a platform to shout and share yourself but a place to engage and respond.  Once I started doing that, I met some great people!  Those friendships moved to email, to Facebook, and some of them moved into cool business relationships.  As they gave a shout out to me, I gave a shout out to them, and I grew.  Without much effort I have just over 2,000 followers.  I know some people have a lot more followers, but if you look, a lot of their followers are spammers.  I believe more of mine are “real people” than not.  Quality  matters more than quantity in real life AND in social media.

My Twitter list of followers and who I follow (because those lists don’t usually completely match) has brought me to a moment of reflection.  At this point my poor followers have to listen to drivel about weddings, or marriages, or therapy, or even “worse”, therapy marketing.  (I am honored by anyone reading this blog because I know exactly how many marketers salivate over getting your wallet open!)  Then consider my journey towards becoming a therapist (and a new desire to create a local community of real therapists creating real community – separate from this entire blog and marketing stuff) and I’m in a bit of a pickle.  This doesn’t even include my OWN future of becoming a therapist and what I will do AS a therapist to engage in clients.  I’ve got engaged couples, wedding vendors, marriage educators, therapists, mental health advocates, lay people who just want to follow along on my readership list.  I always worry I’m annoying someone even though I try to follow the simple rules of not sending a ton of Tweets at once, or more than 1-2 a day.

On the one hand, what I should really now do is split off my wedding folks from everyone else.  On the other hand, doing that will diminish my followership and engagement.  It will also mean more work to log into separate accounts and “think” more walled off than I currently have to do.  Right now I can brain dump anything and my followers are pretty patient if it doesn’t apply to them.

My point here is that nobody has The Answer.  Any “move” I make has ramifications.  For example, if I split off just the therapists, I may find zero inspiration to write anything, or may find that I become one of those awful marketing spammers because all I do is “talk marketing.”  Or if I’m good about only talking therapy, the occasional marketing Tweet may turn off followers who think I have an alternative motive for being on Twitter.

Some day I’ll make a decision.  For now I’m going to keep with my nutty status quo!

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