It’s been an interesting couple of weeks. You know how I made a big to-do about writing for BNET?
Well, that’s over.
But quite recently, I was also asked to join the Socialbrite team as a contributing author and “expert.”
Neither of these are (were) paid gigs. Both of them are (were) ego boosts, in the sense that my name would appear in places other than Waxing UnLyrical, thus possibly opening up new audiences and, yes, new clients.
But the main difference between the two, after the initial euphoria of being asked, was that with the one (BNET), I was rapidly sinking into a cesspool of despair. With the other (Socialbrite) I feel light and bubbly, as if all things are possible.
BNET is awesome. It has a ton of great information, great bloggers, and definitely has the “I’m so kewl” factor, seeing as it’s a CBS media property. But after the initial euphoria subsided, what I found more often than not was that unless I was writing a post that ranted, my posts just didn’t work for my editor or the BNET readers. And despite what you might think, I’m not a ranter by nature.
Over and above that, the business leads that I did get were from people who didn’t want to actually pay me money, but were looking for a handout. Maybe the name of my column, “The Startup Storyteller” was a factor … but my editor and I came up with that name because the posts I liked writing the most were about people and organizations who were using social media differently, to tell a story. Like Dan Gordon. Or Eat Your Serial.
But as the BNET gig moved along, the pressure (yes, pressure) of trying to write once a week for them got to me. I’ve lost count of how many times I’ve been late on submitting posts, or how many times my editor wanted me to take a different tack. And every day, when I’d make my to-do list, “BNET post” would be on there … and would, more often than not, stay there without getting scratched off.
to Socialbrite, which is a great resource for nonprofits looking to use social media … just the kind of client I like!
I’d had some contact with JD Lasica, the Socialbrite founder, prior to this, but I met him IRL a couple of months ago. He asked me to join the team and I thought about it for a long time. Because while it was certainly flattering to be asked, I wanted to make sure I’d do Socialbrite justice.
I finally said “yes.” Why? Because I like working with non-profit organizations, I like incorporating social media into their overall communication outreach, I get a rush when the building blocks I’ve put into place help move the needle. Sure, it’s my comfort zone, but more than that, it’s what I like doing.
And I didn’t go into business for myself to do what I don’t like.
And while I am no statistician, it seems to me that the paying work … the speaking gigs, the new clients, etc., that might come my way via Socialbrite, will be much more relevant to who I am and what I like to do than any of the half-hearted queries that came my way via BNET.
So a few weeks ago, I got “hired” by Socialbrite, and a few days ago, BNET and I “fired” each other.
And I couldn’t be happier.
What would I have done differently?
Well, for starters, I would have pulled the plug on BNET a while back. But my (then) editor was so encouraging, that I wanted to keep going for her. Because she is a really nice person. But when you know deep down that it’s not working, isn’t it better to quit, or say “no”? I should have done that a while back.
I would have said “yes” to Socialbrite earlier. But the generosity that is JD recognized that I needed time to make my decision, so he didn’t push me. And, as a result, I was able to come to this decision on my own, without any pressure.
Fired from one, and hired at the other. Isn’t it funny how things work out?
Image: madaboutasia via Flickr, CC 2.0
Well, I’m glad I could help, Pat. :P
Great post. And at just the right time for some things happening in my world. Thanks for sharing this!
@jdlasica So far so good, I’m learning so much from johnhaydon askdebra and you – thank you for having me!
Hi Shonali. We’re thrilled to have you on the team! Hope our collaborative work style suits you … I’m guessing it will. And glad to see you haven’t been swept away by the Rapture!!
@3HatsComm It is, and thank you! I love writing, and I like to think it’s one of my strong points, but I was getting to the point where the mere thought of it was stressing me out. I don’t feel that way, at least right now, with Socialbrite. Of course, all things can change… :p
@3HatsComm Definitely a feather in @ginidietrich ‘s cap… and even in mine (I mean BNET), ‘cos the story URLs will still live on. But the stress wasn’t worth it. What it really helped me to do, though, was understand more about editing – my BNET editor is (was) absolutely terrific, she has a very keen eye (and also a very sharp virtual red pen), so it was very valuable to me from that point of view. And it also really helped me to crystallize my thinking, at least somewhat, of everything I do, WHY I do it, and what I should stop doing. Much as I’d like to think I can do everything, I can’t. Not until nittygriddyblog sprinkles some of her fairy dust on me, at least. :p
@ginidietrich That’s a great point. Now, if I were to write for our business journal, that might be different… but honestly, I don’t know if it would be – case in point, your experience. It’s definitely great from an awareness point of view, but IF that starts to pay off, it can take a long, long while…
@dskaletsky Ha, thanks. :) I don’t think it’s ever a pleasant feeling when you realize something not’s working out, but it does give you some relief, doesn’t it?
@ginidietrich Sigh, the hard truth, publicity, awareness and credibility sometimes = zero clients. Yet I have to think even though it may not make your phone ring off the hook, it’s still a ‘marketable’ feather in your cap, that maybe it helps open doors “We’re AD, you know… from that column in the Biz Journal.” IDK, just thinking. Hmm..
Congrats on the new gig Shonali, sounds like it’s already making you happier. I’m worst when ‘forced’ to draft a post. A friend just asked me how long it takes me to write and if I am ‘making’ myself write for keywords or ‘client development’ or something I think hits a certain target, it’s a chore. If I am writing whatever hits my mind, something fun and sometimes rants.. the words just flow. Takes longer to find the right humorous, mildly inappropriate shareable graphic. ;-) Best of luck in the new gig, FWIW.
Atta girl! It’s funny. I write for our business journal, which I love and the whole freaking world reads (“Hey Gini! I read your column on XYZ last week”) but it’s brought us zero business. It’s been a really good lesson in media relations that I’ve been able to relate to clients. It’s great for brand awareness and credibility, but don’t think you’re going to be swimming in leads from your publicity.
wow…this was calling out for a big, nasty rant, but you resisted. Well done and, as always, tx for the honesty…
@HowieSPM Well, that was the thing. I said “yes,” and was really excited. And they really gave me every opportunity and my editor was very patient. But we could both feel that after the initial few posts, it just wasn’t working… so better to cut the cord. She did say that they’d tried a PR blog before, and that didn’t work either. Maybe business people just don’t want to hear about PR…!
I will try to stay light and bubbly for you, Howie, except that I won’t be a #barfshiner. :p
@Wedge Kilobox I think this is the first time you’ve commented on WUL – thank you and woo hoo! You are a TERRIFIC writer – your blog is one of my faves. The faucet analogy is such a great one.
I have a hard time with BNET only because I don’t know if I can ever truly trust Henry Blodget again after the dot.com stuff. I get their updates and read some articles but I remember not long ago they did a top 10 most influential people in business media and included Henry. Uhm you include yourself? Nice LOL
Any I know they have a lot of readers and not sure I would say no to write for them. But the social brite thing sounds great and anything that makes you light and bubbly we all support!
Sometimes we have to create art for a deadline to meet expectations and support objectives, but I completely understand that authentic enthusiasm cannot be turned on like a faucet. My writing suffers (or at least my audience does) when I’m under pressure to focus on quantity rather than quality. Keep up the good work Shonali.
I @Shonali @AnnieAndreHacks I do still make them. I’m winding down for the summer. You can check them out at http://www.Lenekonoir.com .
@AnnieAndreHacks Oh, you are SO normal. Thanks so much for sharing your story. Are you still making your sleeping masks?
@rachaelseda @ginidietrich I know, isn’t it funny how it always works that way? I’m an inveterate worrier, and I’m trying to do better about that too… there’s really no point in worrying about something. Give it all you’ve got, and either it will work out, or it won’t. I’ve also seen that the more I obsess about something, the further away it gets from me. When I stop thinking about it, boom, there it is. Have you found that as well?
@imladitee Thanks! I’d love to hear more about your work whenever you have some time.
It just goes to show you that you can’t force yourself to be or do something you are not. I make sleeping masks by hand and sell them online and on etsy. I started a blog about sleeping habits and i swear i wrote one post every other month I hated it. So i stopped it was horrible. I thought i must be the worst blogger in the world or i have nothing to say. But then i started a new endeavor based on lifestyle design and adventurous living for practical people. Now i have more ideas than i can post. I just lack the time.
thanks for this post. It assured me that i am normal and that we are who we are for the most part.
Yes! It is funny how it all works out but it does. My Mom used to always say, if it’s meant to be it will be. Most recently @ginidietrich reminded me of the same thing. In the moment we sometimes forget this but then something like Socialbrite comes along (the name is even fun and happy) and reminds us that when one door closes another one opens.
Congrats @shonali I look forward to reading your posts there as well!
Congratulations. It does sound like the new ‘gig’ is a better fit. I work for a nonprofit so there is something we have in common.
Tonya – imladitee