Category Archives: Social Media & the Web

The Not-so Lonely Life of the Solopreneur

In honor of the re-opening of the LHF Greenhouse, I’m re-sharing this post from last January about the importance of community–even when you work alone.  Enjoy!

my office assistant is cute but not helpful

Like many people who run a home-based business, I do most of my work alone in my office save for an office assistant whose main contribution is to sit on the Caps Lock key.  As a person who thrives on the company of others–and who needs the input and perspective only other people can provide to do my best work– one might assume this arrangement is a recipe for disaster.

Actually, it would be, save for one very important technological advancement:  the Internet. Continue reading

Want to Try Something New?

As some of you know, I dumped my monthly newsletter in June to try a new experiment.  So far, it’s working out pretty well so I’m sharing it with you here.  If it sounds like fun, I’d love to have you subscribe.  If it sounds like something you could modify for your own work, feel free to “steal” the idea and run with it! 

I’ve noticed a recent trend in the way I read my e-mail: I rarely make it to the end of long messages.

Maybe my attention span is starting to go, or maybe it’s because I read so much of my e-mail on my phone, but whatever the reason, after about 300 words, I close the message telling myself I’ll come back to it “later.”

Except, later usually means never.

It occurred to me that if I feel that way about e-mail you might be noticing that same problem with say, e-mail newsletters with “monthly on-line communications advice.”

To that end, I’ve decided to try something new. Instead of sending one long article each month, I’d like to send you a short “prompt” each week.

One week’s e-mail might include a short challenge designed to help you improve your social media presence. The next week it could be an activity to help you get out of your own way, overcome resistance, or be nicer to yourself.

The unifying factor is that each one will invite you to take a simple (if not easy) step just outside your current comfort zone, in order to help move you just a little closer to your goals.

Oh, and each message will be short enough to read on your phone between meetings.

Sound like fun?  Click here to subscribe!

Need some convincing?  Check out a couple of the messages you’ve missed.

Do You Equate Boring with Serious?

Do you believe the only way to become a thought leader in your field is to express yourself in as dry a manner as possible?

Do you use data or graphs your audience won’t be able to read so your opinion seems well-researched?

Do you obfuscate your  meaning with words like obfuscate to make yourself feel smarter?

Do you wonder why you have a hard time bringing outsiders into your fold?

Unless you work in web development, gaming, or some corners of the internet marketing sector, the answer to these questions is most likely yes.  It also explains why if I were to sum up my consulting practice into one sentence it would be:

Stop sapping the awesome out of your inherently amazing work. Continue reading

“Waste” More Time on Social Media

If you want to use social media to build your audience, attract new volunteers, sell your artwork, or change the world, there is one thing you can do to make your campaigns more dynamic, interesting and effective.

Use social media personally. Continue reading

On Community: the unsung power of Internet communication

my office assistant is cute but not helpful

Like many people who run a home-based business, I do most of my work alone in my office save for an office assistant whose main contribution is to sit on the Caps Lock key.  As a person who thrives on the company of others–and who needs the input and perspective only other people can provide to do my best work– one might assume this arrangement is a recipe for disaster.

Actually, it would be, save for one very important technological advancement:  the Internet.

Sure, I rely on it to connect with potential clients, and I teach those clients to use it to connect with their clients, customers, and donors, but that’s just the most obvious benefit.

The Internet also provides me the one thing I need to stay sane, productive and creative while working on my own:  access to other humans.

Thanks to Twitter, I am connected to a huge community of theatre artists and administrators through the #2amt hashtag and some of the most dedicated nonprofit professionals you’ll ever meet though #smNPchat.  Twitter is also the place I “hang out” with some of the smartest and most generous consultants I know including Erica, Pamela, Jenny, and Shoshana.  (I’ve linked to their twitter profiles, but be sure to visit their websites as well!)

Thanks to the Society of the Secret Play Date, I (usually) remember to incorporate a sense of wonder and play into my everyday work.  I also have the pleasure of cheering the accomplishments of other play-daters (and receiving encouragement myself) when we meet in our secret hideout.

Thanks to the Remarkable Marketing Blueprint, I now count some of the internet’s best “third tribe” style marketers among my friends.  I  also have a place to go to test new ideas, get advice, and blow off steam when I worry I’ll never have another good idea.  (Thanks to the blueprint, I’m also just one Kevin Bacon-style step removed from Seth Godin, but I’ll spare you the fan girl moment.)

Finally, thanks to Facebook, I have a way to stay connected to my “real life” communities made up of family, friends, teachers, students, neighbors and colleagues scattered across the United States–and increasingly, the world.

So while my physical space offers only 3 cats and one engineer for company, the Internet provides me a variety of spaces, some public, some private, where I can go to hone my skills, get advice and encouragement, ask silly questions, build relationships and, of course, procrastinate.  Thanks to those communities, and the amazing people who are a part of them, I’m able to pursue a dream that would not have been possible for me 10 years ago.

A New Place to Build Community

Because these online communities have been so crucial to my work, (and because the world will be better when more people start pursuing their dreams) I am building a new private space where smart, kind, generous, and driven people can take the ideas about which they usually only whisper, and give those ideas the nourishment, protection, support, and care they need to grow.

Click here to learn more about the LHF Greenhouse.

In many ways, the greenhouse itself is the “seedling” project I intend to grow along side the seedling projects of other greenhouse members, so those of you who choose to become charter members will play a major role in helping it grow.  If you like the idea of shaping the greenhouse for future members, or just like the idea of getting in for an insanely good price, you should go check it out now.

I hope to see you inside.