Wednesday, July 18, 2012

This Little Light of Mine - Developing an Online Strategy

I was moved to hear today about the passing of Stephen Covey (1932-2012) on 16th July 2012. He has been a great inspiration to me for a number of years and his works, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, First Things First, and The 8th Habit from Effectiveness to Greatness, are three very well-read books in my library.

I saw him speak a number of years ago in Melbourne, Australia and the memory of that encounter remains clear in my mind to this day. This prompted me to think about what it was about him, Stephen Covey, the person, that made him so memorable to me - beyond the works he produced and the 'systems' he developed to enhance personal effectiveness.

And here's the thing, he spoke his truth and his light surely did shine.

Often when we attempt to embark on a programme of social media/online media/new media (whatever you want to call it) activity, we ask "how do I/we get people to take notice?" or "how do I/we stand out from the rest?".

The answer lies in understanding the simple fact that engagement - online or off - is personal; it's about people creating connections with people. Stephen Covey did this that day years ago in Melbourne, in an events centre with over 1,000 people present. He made a personal lasting connection with each and every person there, without moving from the stage.

Then what he did was he took that connection to the real world and created a business empire selling ideas, books, workshops, webinars, support groups, and so on. I bought his books. I attended his workshop. I joined his online community. I became a long-term customer and an advocate.

The point I want to make here is, when planning your online media strategy, don't get tied in knots focussing on "B2B", "B2C", etc., and the resulting drone of broadcasting and push marketing messages.

Take inspiration from the Stephen Covey (RIP) school of genuine, authentic engagement by developing real and lasting connections with your online audience - person to person "P2P" - then watch your customer base grow and oh how your light surely will shine!