Gini Dietrich

Online Habits: Is Less Really More?

By: Gini Dietrich | July 18, 2013 | 

Online Habits: Is Less Really More?By Gini Dietrich

Yesterday I received an interesting email from my friend Frank Strong. In it he said he’s doing an interview piece on his blog and he’d like me to answer some questions.

He said, “I don’t want this to be just fluff, though. I want to ask some hard questions tailored to each person. For you, I want to ask about your social engagement. I’ve noticed you aren’t as everywhere as you used to be, which isn’t critical by any means, but I think a useful line of dialogue a lot of people struggle with.”

Since he sent that email, I haven’t been able to get it out of my head. You see, I have reduced the amount of my social engagement. Heck, I’ve even reduced the amount of blogging I’m doing here. I’ve reduced a lot of my online activities and it’s been very deliberate.

I won’t ruin the answer I’m going to give Frank in the interview, but I do think it’s important to have the discussion about why our online habits change.

Is Less Really More?

First and foremost, I’ve noticed an interesting trend since I’ve made a conscious choice to simmer down. We’re winning more awards and being listed on the top of social media lists.

For instance, Spin Sucks was named the number three PR blog in the world by Cision and I was named the number 11 most influential advertising executive (advertising??) on Twitter. Even my Klout score has increased. Not that that really matters, but I find it interesting that I’m spending less time online and the score goes up.

But it’s not just the fluff that has increased. My speaking requests have more than doubled and people no longer bristle at the thought of paying me to show up for their event. Our revenue has increased and 2013 will be our best year in history.

I don’t say all of this to brag. I say it because, for four years, I painstakingly chose every one of my Twitter followers and engaged with them in conversation. I read – and commented on – more than 30 blogs every day. I liked and engaged with Facebook fan pages to grow the Arment Dietrich page. I wrote here seven times every week.

Then I slowly began to move away from it all. Not completely, but not as obsessively either. And THEN all of this stuff started to happen.

Don’t get me wrong. I’m not suggesting you participate in your online activities only half-witted, particularly when you’re starting out, but I do wonder if we sometimes become too accessible.

Online Habits Change

I think that’s what was happening with me. I started using the social media tools when the economy tanked and I had some extra time (okay, a lot of extra time). Then I co-authored Marketing in the Round with Geoff Livingston and the publisher required obsessive social networking to sell more books (it doesn’t sell more books, by-the-way). Then I went on the road (63 trips last year!) and met so many of you in person and wanted to continue those relationships online.

Now Arment Dietrich is growing and my team are the perfect fit to help us grow. My priorities have changed. Not only is it my job to be the face of the company, and some of that requires – gasp! – in-person visits, but it’s my job to grow the organization to give my team the resources they need to effectively do their jobs and mentor and coach them so we can scale beyond me.

That means my online habits have to change because, unfortunately, there are only 24 hours in every day.

I remember last year someone said to me, “Oh you’re so big now you can’t comment on blogs anymore.” I’m sure I made some smart aleck comment back, but it really hurt my feelings. If I could get paid to read and comment on blogs all day, every day, that would be my ideal job. I love the different voices and perspectives out there on the web. I love reading what each of you have to say about some of the topics we all discuss.

Unfortunately that doesn’t pay the bills.

I do still read about 30 blogs every day, but have chosen to use the time I used to take to comment on them for other initiatives. Sometimes I get blog post ideas for here and I’ll help you promote your content by linking to it here and sometimes you give me great fodder for my own tweet stream.

Yes, I have chosen to do this. It’s been very deliberate. In some cases, it’s been a test and in others it’s been simply a restructure of my time.

To understand the real catalyst to it all, you’ll have to read Frank’s interview with me (to run in the next couple of weeks), but I will say this: Priorities change. People change. Organizations change. It’s okay to change how you participate online. It certainly won’t be the first time you do it or the last.

P.S. One week from today is our free webinar with email marketing genius, DJ Waldow. Join us on Thursday, July 25 at 11 a.m. CT. Register by clicking here.

About Gini Dietrich

Gini Dietrich is the founder and CEO of Arment Dietrich, an integrated marketing communications firm. She is the author of Spin Sucks, co-author of Marketing in the Round, and co-host of Inside PR. She also is the lead blogger at Spin Sucks and is the founder of Spin Sucks Pro. Join the Spin Sucks   community!

  • patrickreyes

    What’s funny is that although your online habits have not changed, your strategy hasn’t. I’ve always thought of social as the initial step in meeting someone with the ultimate goal to meet in person. This not only helps you develop relationships you’ve made online but has helped you grow the business like you mentioned.
    I think about how you and I met. It want until we met in person that I think our friendship truly developed. Great post as always Gini.

  • I think what you’re really hitting on here is that it’s about finding a balance – a sweet spot, if you will, where your inputs (the amount you consume and read) and your outputs (sharing, commenting, interacting) hit that perfect place. 
    You have been able to move the needles of your business growth and revenue because you are able to be more focused on it now (less time spent consuming and creating content you don’t get paid for, more time to really build the business). Swing it too much one way or another, and the needles may move again, right? 
    A few months ago, my output was fairly insignificant – a few blog posts a month and inconsistent at best on my company blog. Since I’ve gone to 3x a week on my blog, and 3x a week on my company blog (thanks to my great co-worker, who contributes too!), I’ve noticed that I’m extending my reach more and have even drummed up some new prospects. Perhaps I’ve found my sweet spot too!

    • suzemuse And you know what else? YOU are a fantastic writer with a different perspective. So people are naturally drawn to your content because you’re good at it.

  • Gert you built a tribe/community and now it doesn’t take the same care but doesn’t mean you ignore it- kudos

  • Your points are excellent. It’s a sign of a healthy business that the leader reassesses how she’s communicating (operating, prospecting, etc.). Sounds like these events are the fruits of all your labors (and the change in your office environment). Early on (maybe too early), I chose to limit my activity and narrow down the number of blogs I read, knowing that although there are many good ones out there, my time needs to be focused on my family and current clients. I also have the “day” job, which immediately limits the hours in my day. But, gotta read Spin Suck every day.

    • Word Ninja The fact that you have to read Spin Sucks every day makes my heart sing!

      • ginidietrich THAT I would like to see on video.

  • Great question, Frank_Strong! I think this is something many marketers struggle with. Or, at least, I do. Figuring out that balance and what makes sense is tough. I’ll be eager to read the interview to find out more.
    ginidietrich – do you think pulling back on blogging and social media is the reason all of these things have improved for your business? I’m just wondering if it’s a direct result of your shift or a by-product of other changes you’ve made. 
    I think it makes a ton of sense for you to pull back. I often wondered how you kept it up. I think the question for people is determining when it makes sense to do that. The answer is going to be different for everyone.

    • lauraclick Frank_Strong ginidietrich I was wondering the same thing about other changes. Whatever the combo, glad it’s working well for you!

    • lauraclick Nope…I think pulling back has been because business is so crazy right now. If I still had the time I had when business was down, I’d be spending my time like I was because I really love it. But priorities have shifted because we’re growing, which is a change from 2009-2011.

  • I think we’re seeing the arc as social media (and our participation) is maturing. The always-on mentality makes sense when you’re in the growth phase of building and establishing a community and solid presence, but then you settle into a method that works — for you. 
    I’ve pulled back on some of my activity as well and relaxed considerably on the publication schedule — and it’s incredibly cathartic and rewarding. 
    My own book of business is growing at a healthy pace and the more laissez-faire attitude around posting and commenting that I’ve adopted means I can really focus on producing really good work for clients and partners.

    • rdopping

      jasonkonopinski Makes perfect sense to me. I can relate, wholeheartedly.

      • rdopping jasonkonopinski Me too – I thought I had to be everywhere at all times. I’ve learned you don’t – and sign off of my social networks on weekends. It’s been working for me – it’s refreshing to take a break every week and regroup.

        • rdopping

          Good plan. I get to the social when I can. Like now, at the gym on the elliptical trainer. Look mom! No hands!

    • webby2001

      jasonkonopinski ginidietrich  I think social is far from maturing–in fact, I think it’s so far from maturing that the idiosyncratic relationship between an individual entity’s activity on social, and their business success, is a random walk. We are still in the “anecdotal case study” phase of all of this–if there were really some direct or inverse relationship between activity and business success, arbitrage and information efficiency would alter them as soon as those “laws” became widely known.
      I think the danger is this: if you have built your notoriety based upon frequent participation, and that participation begins to bear fruit,  you begin to believe that there is some kind of relationship between your backing off and your recent success. It might simply be that success is a well-lagging, trailing variable to that participation, and that backing off may, in the future, have deleterious consequences that lag well behind pulling back.
      I hope that isn’t true, Gini, but it might be. I try to maintain the same, paltry level of participation no matter what 🙂

      • webby2001 ginidietrich I just got schooled. 🙂

      • webby2001 jasonkonopinski ginidietrich  Very scientific Tom, which is naturally fitting.  There is something to be said of reaching a level.  
        This is why Apple can send a nebulous invitation to attend an event and  people will clamour for a seat even without the vaguest notion of what it is about.  
        I’d even risk to theorize with you (knowing the danger of that given your expertise) that Seth Godin could abstain from publishing a post until a year from now and would still have an incredible amount of virality — in fact that might even be newsworthy and we’d see more.  
        In a financial sense, people work their entire lives to retire with enough saved in order to maintain a quality of life.
        There’s something to the idea it takes a lot of work to build cache initially, and then a little bit less to maintain it.  
        There’s no judgement here, it’s just a darn interesting question about people and sociology.

        • Frank_Strong webby2001 jasonkonopinski I was listening to Andy Crestodina on Jason’s podcast and he said it was 10 years between albums from Justin Timberlake. It didn’t hurt him, and we all clamored to get the new album when it came out this year.
          I know David Meerman Scott has the same philosophy. He won’t talk about a new book until it’s on the shelves so we may not hear anything from him for a year to 18 months.
          It’s an interesting conversation, for sure.

      • webby2001 I certainly think about those things…and I saw it in offline this year. Because of the insane traveling I did last year, I took the first quarter of this year and did no traveling. We saw a nearly immediate lack of prospects in our pipeline because of it…and now I’m having to catch up on that lazy quarter. 
        The slowing of participation and engagement is a test, but I also now have a team behind me to pick up where I’m lacking, which I didn’t have a year ago. So, while it may not be me, it’s someone within our organization and I *hope* that means we don’t see that drop you suggest.

  • Hi, Gini – I think if folks weren’t changing, there would be cause for concern.
    If you invest the time in nurturing community around your business like you have, and have something substantive to give the world, it’s only a matter of time before it will lead to less time spent online, and more time building a profitable business.
    This kind of work leads to much greater opportunity for your business and your person.
    I’ve also noticed, in many, if not all cases, it can take a few years to establish a body of work that really opens up those doors.
    I haven’t witnessed any overnight successes in the blogosphere, although James Altucher is making some pretty big waves, fast 😮
    I don’t think less is more, but rather I believe you’re reaping the fruits of your labors.
    People need to be committed for a long period of time to crank out the best work of their lives for very little compensation in order to have an opportunity to establish a successful social business that will have an impactful and lasting presence in the marketplace. 
    This is anything but easy, and nearly impossible for most. 
    We live a world that’s driven by a desire for quick results. The social web is full of quick buck artist promising fortune and fame that feeds on the opportunity seeker mindset. 
    You can’t build businesses of substance on this mindset and, you can’t build long term customers either.
    I think you’ve been a great example of how a successful social business is established, Gini…
    Cheers to you and your work, miss!

    • Mark_Harai No, it definitely is not easy. In fact, it’s very time-intense and it’s hard to keep going when there aren’t quick results. But I look at it like I did when I was training for marathons. If I didn’t go out and run every day, there is no way I could have run 26.2 miles.

      • ginidietrich Mark_Harai Run Gini, run!! : )

  • rdopping

    Less is more. Mies Ludwid Van Der Rohe. 
    One of his most iconic buildings is is Chicago, the Federal Center (and mimicked in Toronto, the TD Center) is a testament to “less is more”. It is one of the most beautiful buildings ever constructed and its simplicity demonstrates why focus on essential fundamentals is so critical to success. 
    While I am and will never be at the same level you are with social I too have slowed my roll and have focussed my expertise on content that is important to building on my career as a designer. I have a few creature comforts (like this blog) where the cross over provides valuable insight to how I can improve what I do. This post is an excellent example of that.
    There has been little downturn to engagement for me just more focussed interaction with visible benefit. I love the idea that we can share this way and I don’t think that will ever change for me. Thanks for writing this. Cheers.

    • rdopping Ooooh, I love Mies!

    • rdopping He’s a big deal in Chicago, which I’m sure you know. When you’re here, if it’s still warm, you should take the architecture tour on the river and see his buildings from that perspective.

      • rdopping

        ginidietrich rdopping weird. My mobile comments don’t show up here. Huh? Well, yes, we hope to do that tour. I am so looking forward to that trip and if it works out to see you and maybe even seanmcginnis if he’s around.

  • MichaelBowers

    A critical success factor is doing what you are doing for a reason. Making a conscious decision to a course of action that will bring you the results you seek will more than likely lead to success. 
    It makes sense that your reduced activity is leading to better results. You have put in a lot of hard work over the past several years to build relationships both on-line and in person. These relationships are now turning in to business that requires your time. It isn’t like you are totally pulling the plug you are simply reallocating your time.
    Finally, I would never bristle at having you speak at my events. You are very much worth whatever the cost.

    • MichaelBowers I need to put you on the payroll!

  • “Priorities change. People change. Organizations change. It’s okay to change how you participate online.”
    This. Enough said.

  • Hi Gini,
    We so often see things change once we step away from them, and yes, things are changing here in the blogosphere, for sure, but is less more because of the less you’re doing now or because of the more you did to lay the foundation? 

    • Lori I think it is the latter. There is no way I could continue to keep relationships going at my level of engagement today if I hadn’t worked so hard at it for the past four years.

  • It’s evolution, baby. And as my dear old dad used to say “A change is as good as a rest!”

  • I have actually noticed this trend with a lot of folks, myself included.  I think its about happy medium and also the constant change in technology and evolvement of the economy and our businesses. Anyone who thought 24/7 social media was the answer or the longterm answer is just like the folks who thought they didnt need a website, or mobile, etc.  We have to keep moving an changing and doing what works for our individual needs.
    I am thrilled you are seeing such positive results!

    • sydcon_mktg You bring up a good point about the economy. So many of us were trying to figure this out to continue to make money. Now that the economy has sort of stabilized, we’re able to see the results of that hard work.

  • Hmmm.  I’m seeing a lot of  “yeah, I’m backing off, too” comments and I can’t tell if that’s because
    a) everybody is worn out by the constant change and requirement for incessant activity and adaptation or
    b)  because the digital realm isn’t delivering at a pace equal to the investment and folks are feeling the need to invest their resources elsewhere   
    It would be interesting to get your analysis a year from now as to how exactly your heavy investment in laying  a digital/social foundation helped build your real world (dare I say, traditional) business development efforts and opportunities…. and what you feel the relationship of online/IRL investment should be for you going forward.

    • creativeoncall Great question, Chuck. I’ve wondered that too. A third option to add is what Gini has experienced – she’s at a different place in her business and has grown it to a place to where it’s not as necessary.

      • lauraclick creativeoncall Here is what I can tell you: Forty percent of our revenue comes from this blog. There is no way we could have built the community we have without the social networks. I was very deliberate about how I built not only my social networks, but the community here. I will never abandon either nor will I stop engaging. I’ve simply shifting my time to things that see the same level (or higher – like speaking) of business growth for us.

  • I’m working at growing my digital presence, while I’m fairly social I don’t often comment or interact with bloggers. Should someone starting to grow their digital influence make a strong push as you did early on? Or is a balanced approach the way of the future?

    • BrianWilliams235 I don’t know the right answer to your question because I think it depends. But I will tell you a strong push and very active engagement is what got us where we are so I don’t *know* you can do without.

  • I’ve been thinking a lot of the same thoughts recently. As I’ve started writing again, I have to think about, “Is this worth the time I’m putting into it?” and “Is this the level of quality I want to deliver?”
    Also, did you copy my art style?

    • JayDolan You were my inspiration! I had three minutes before I had to get to a meeting and I needed something! So yes…I drew a la Jay style.

      • ginidietrich I’ll have my lawyers call your lawyers. 😉

  • YukariP

    Interesting perspective. I think I’m going to try this too. Thanks.

    • YukariP I’d be curious to hear how it works for you.

  • Patrick McFadden

    Perfect example of how social media doesn’t create your success, it accelerates it. That what you do offline compliments you online. They work hand-in-hand. This is I always recommend people not only fish in one pond, sort-to-speak. Use offline marketing methods as well as online.

    • Patrick McFadden You’re absolutely right…it does accelerate it. That’s very eloquently said.

  • Really great question!  ginidietrich, I think this community is also a good indicator that whatever you’re doing – it’s working!  So many excellent comments here and people obviously care WHAT you have to say, not necessarily how often you say it! 🙂

    • lizreusswig That’s it! I’m only blogging once a week, then! 
      (I would not survive that.)

      • ginidietrich lizreusswig Good points Liz – also, I think the feedback is less obvious when you only blog or interact at a lower volume but that doesn’t mean there isn’t a relationship and value. For example, I comment now and then on Frank_Strong ‘s blog, but I read most of it because when he bothers to post it’s compelling content.

        • JoeCardillo ginidietrichlizreusswig Indeed, and then we even had a couple of exchanges later through other vehicles. An I keep an eye out for stuff as a result. That’s sort of how it grows, but I think we’re all coming to the realization that relationship building isn’t scalable.

        • Frank_Strong JoeCardillo ginidietrich lizreusswig Totally. I don’t see that ever scaling either. But, I do read and think a lot about social science-y stuff and I’m a firm believe there are ways to optimize how you relate and engage. 
          For example the actual workflow of our relationship is something like  “Cool, he’s a smart dude I should tune into now and then > Hey, he’s got insights I could learn from > some day I may need what he’s selling > [future] Hey Frank, you know a lot about X, why don’t you [sell/intro/refer me to Y]”
          I don’t know many people that are actually thinking carefully about that interaction, how it works and what the steps are. Most of them are caught up in clicks and highly silo’d SEO/SEM tactics. Of course you may never sell me anything, and vice versa, but IF I happen to be in need of what you do or even anything close, you’ll be the first person I talk to. And that’s what the new world of marketing is really all about, to quote the famous Seinfeld episode where Jerry and Elaine try to break up a couple….”eventually we’ll stop being there for you, and we’ll just be, there.” 
          That concludes this rant…I think.

        • JoeCardillo Frank_Strong ginidietrich Love that example, Joe! 🙂

      • ginidietrich Neither would we! 😉

  • I’ve taken a slightly different approach. I’ve decided only to engage when I am wearing khakis.

  • I am really looking forward to reading the interview. It is so very easy to dilute our focus so much that we …. are “everywhere” but “nowhere.” I suspect in your case the outcome (at least short term) will be that these changes have helped you focus (and, as you said, grow your team). I started blogging weekly about three years ago and ended up enchanted by a few other things (linkups, wordless Wednesday) that before I knew it I was blogging three times a week (on top of the day job, the family, etc. etc.). I had to take a break from that recently because I was doing a freelance project and now I think I may stay with weekly only. I’ll never get to the book I want to write if I don’t carve out time somewhere, and those two posts per week may be the tiny shaft of light I need to chase.

    • biggreenpen I’ve been thinking about how to write fiction so I get it finished and I may do it in the form of a blog. For some reason, that type of writing keeps me very focused. Maybe you could consider the same?

      • ginidietrich biggreenpen That’s a thought! My goal book is a non fiction thing (it’s about a World War II training camp). I think I need to break it down (and it may start out as blog posts). One soldier, one vehicle, one “something” at a time. I am allowing the enormity of it to intimidate me! Time for that to stop!

        • biggreenpen ginidietrich Love the idea about writing a book in the form of blog posts. Do you worry more about plagiarism though? My IT friend who is writing a fantasy swears by this writing software that is free (for PC). I haven’t tried it yet for the YA novel I’m “working” on:

  • It is natural for our routine to evolve over time I would be surprised if we didn’t see a certain ebb and flow based upon our “normal” habits.

    • Joshua Wilner/A Writer Writes Let’s ask thejackb what he thinks. I think he’d disagree.

      • ginidietrich Joshua Wilner/A Writer Writes
        For once I think Wilner is on to something. I still support six blogs but I don’t post or comment with the same frequency as I used to.
        But we always have to look at our goals and what sort of foundation we have established. Once you reach a certain point you have enough momentum to not have to be as prolific as you once were.
        Doesn’t mean you can disappear, but you can adjust your routine and not experience the same drop off as someone who doesn’t have the same foundation of support.

  • I look forward to the interview! Of course, your habits will grow and change along with your business. But more than that, I see your new approach as focused, laser focused. And that is a good thing.

    • RebeccaTodd I hope so! I’m certainly trying. I’m growing up. (And I’m changing the typo now; thank you!)

  • I like it when people are frank and put it all out it for us to learn from. For the record, what sold me on your book was the chemistry that I saw between you and Geoff as writers and the passion that you guys had towards the subject matter. If you did a video of that and posted it, I’m sure people would realize how helpful your book really is.

    • Rodriguez247 I don’t know…some guy from Asia wrote a three page review on Amazon about how terrible it is. 🙂

  • Roxie Mooney

    I think you touched on a dilemma that most marketers, business owners, leaders, and really  people in general struggle with. Time is such a precious commodity; we have to be so intentional. Our choices of limiting online engagement don’t mean we’re arrogant, it can mean we’re focused. Thanks for your transparency and I’m looking forward to the interview.

    • Roxie Mooney Until we can figure out how to either get more time in our day or clone ourselves…

  • As someone who has never been able to keep up with the “be everywhere” mentality, I’m very pleased to hear scaling back is okay — and maybe even healthy for business. I am sure it leads to content and interactions that are more genuine, complex and worthy of reading. 🙂 Kudos to you Gini for speaking truth. It’s so frustrating to read blog after blog praising the virtues of blogging daily and updating social media at an alarming pace. I can’t keep up! LOL

    • TaraGeissinger I can’t imagine why. It’s not like you have triplets or anything. NO ONE can keep up. I will always blog and I will always write – because I HAVE to for me – and I will never give up on community building and social media. I’ve just found I’m scaling it back a bit to focus on new initiatives that help us round out our expertise.

  • BilalJaffery

    Great points, a similar dilemma I’ve faced in my career as a enterprise digital strategist for IBM, Bell and now Enterasys. My job is to make our business align with digital and social. Not boast about myself and fluff my own ego and brand. With that being said, one has to be proficient in the ever changing role of the digital (notice I didn’t social) medium and understand it well enough to drive business (not likes, books and conferences) out of it. 
    I balance most of my ‘social networking’ at night, Thank you for being frank and honest. I look forward to your interview.

    • BilalJaffery I just spoke this morning to a group of business owners and this was the very conversation we had. It’s not about more likes and followers. It’s about growing a business. Amen.

  • Well I definitely agree with you about changing over time, it’s right and important to shift your priorities. 
    Every interaction, every post, every comment, it’s all information that gives context to your relationships. IMHO you could still have gotten where you are now with less is more but it would have taken longer if you weren’t willing to put in the time. 
    Now you’ve got all of these great relationships with people who know you care immensely about the whole endeavor, and you can let that flourish without pushing the growth so much. In other words, it’s time for you to focus on other things, and that’s right and good.

    • JoeCardillo And I have people like you who send me articles they know I should read and they really empower me. So thank you!

      • ginidietrich JoeCardillo Anytime. You do plenty for me, and for all of us. This is a place I go regularly to get inspired, and challenge myself.

        • ginidietrich I should say, too, that I have plenty of thoughts on this question. Just really busy. The gist of it is that I think being conscious of your thought patterns and quality is really important. 
          I am not a huge interactor on line, but when I choose to engage people get 100% of my attention and think-y thoughts. As a result I get to intake and (I hope) output really useful stuff. I’d rather read one mind blowing thing in a month than 50 pretty good ones.

        • JoeCardillo I am the same…and different. I like to read everything because I get ideas from all of it (or things not to do). But that article you sent me earlier this week? I’ve been thinking about it for days now.

        • ginidietrich JoeCardillo Oh I still read 8 million things a month, I only pay serious attention to a few. That startup article, yeah that’s gold. Got another interesting thing I will send you in a moment too.

  • littlegiantprod

    More power to your success.  You’re just proof that a PR entrepreneur can make it.

    • littlegiantprod Well, we’ll see. It’s still a work in progress.

  • The economy is precisely why I got quiet. I needed to focus on business more than ever and it pulled me back into my shell until I could get out of the rough spot. Now I’m getting into the habit of being more social again but that’ll change again soon. 
    It’s a mad, mad world of priorities.

    • chelpixie It’s so funny it was the opposite for me. I’m sure there is something Freudian in that.

      • ginidietrich Heh. This is a good reminder that we all cope with changes differently.

  • LOL Just saw this. 
    People are bored with social media. people are busier now that more people are working. being social is networking which for many jobs doesn’t equal working. My sister who answers phones for a yacht dealership spends a lot of work time on facebook….doing nothing to advance the company.
    BUT I really think over saturation and boredom is the number one issue. People are not watching less TV in fact it is creeping up…but Facebook unique visitors is trending down again.
    BTW I need some advertising advice Ms G. 8)

    • Howie Goldfarb I don’t know…I watch hardly any TV. Who has the time?

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  • Gini, you and I are on similar tracks here (kinda sorta). I very noticeably scaled back months ago, to the tune of a blog post/month (more to come now that I have staff to jump on board) and very little activity tweeting. I stopped visiting and commenting on blogs almost a year ago, right when my business hit its first upward trajectory. Since then, we’ve hit two more and our 2013 is definitely going to be the best year ever – doubling last year’s which was the best. 
    I can’t justify a lot of time online anymore. It doesn’t make sense economically for me to do it and it actually hurts my business when I do – because it takes me off of the things that are most important. Even with more staff (we’re up to 4, plus an intern now), I can’t do it. Like you, it doesn’t mean I don’t enjoy the posts, the thoughts, and ideas; nor does it mean I’m not out there creeping. 😉 I’m just focused on other things. Funny thing, my Klout score just increased as well and I can’t tell you what I did differently other than take FB (personal) off my phone so I could no longer post or check it maniacally throughout the day. That’s a whole ‘nother blog post, Lucy!
    At any rate, I think we should stop succumbing to a one-size fits most approach to marketing our business or spending time online, and just focus on what matters most to our business, ourselves, our clients and leave the rest at the keyboard steps. 
    love, love, love you!! 🙂

    • EricaAllison How do you tell clients they should participate online when your own business hasn’t seen the value? Our clients would laugh us out of their offices. We actually have seen the opposite (and this 90 day test we’re doing is going to see if that’s true)…the less we participate, the less our business grows.

  • Awww this made me take a deep breath! I have been struggling myself with being less active online. This year has been a whirlwind and as much as I would love to spend more time on social I just can’t dedicate the time I used to…it makes me feel guilty. I miss it and sometimes I also realize while I miss it, it’s what I have to do right now. Thanks for sharing Gini!!

    • rachaelseda Us women are funny, aren’t we? Why the heck do we feel guilty about this??

  • kamichat

    Perhaps the work you put in a few years ago is paying off now. You might find yourself having to purposefully re-engage in a different way in the future. One thing I have learned about social media, it is a marathon, not a sprint. And it changes so much over time.

    • kamichat One of the things I say over and over in Spin Sucks (the book) is this is a marathon. So I agree…100 percent.

  • incredibly fascinating.  I’ve rationed myself so mych that I didn’t even know you were rationing. So I guess my stock has skyrocketed!!

  • Thanks Gini for finally confirming what I have been seeing from quite a few, including myself. The humorous part is when people tell me nothing has changed.

    • delwilliams Remember the good ‘ol days when we first started on Twitter? It was FUN. It’s not fun anymore.

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  • Chiming in here with a chorus of ‘you work in social, not for it; social is supposed to work for you.’ I read tons, comment plenty and no, it’s not paid a single bill. In your case, it’s about build up and sustainability. I think it takes a lot to get going, you hit that tipping point at the right time, developed a network to feed the content engine, did the requisite book writing, lecture circuit .. so you’re there. Now you can ease back a bit, maintain — and focus attention on where it needs to be. 
    I’ve been so slacking on my blogging this year (no excuse not to see you once in a while) but at the same time, I’m ok w/ it. Right now, it’s not the business engine it needs to be so I’m not missing much. I have other pieces of the puzzle to figure out, how to structure my time and availability, how to develop the kind of business I want. Sometimes social will fit into that, other times.. not so much. Only constant is change. FWIW.

    • 3HatsComm That’s the point, I think. If you don’t find value in whatever you’re doing for work, why keep doing it?

      • ginidietrich Or figure out what you’re doing ‘wrong,’ find ways to get value out of it.

  • proghostblogger

    Since the day I discovered you I’ve loved your posts and appreciate them.  There is another side to things – deliberately choosing to do LESS because that’s all you WANT to do.  I have a tiny little blog content business and just a few clients and its PLENTY for me for where I am in my life and where I want to be.  Sure, once in awhile, the idea of “more money” runs into my semi-retired attitude,a nd I hurry to open a back door and let it run right out again!  There comes a point where you want to do other things.  I’m grateful to be at that point.

    • proghostblogger Why don’t you open the front door and let it run out?! (Just kidding – I though the back door sentence was funny!) The problem with me is I LOVE to write (I wrote a blog post yesterday, but because I’ve scaled back here, it won’t run until late next week) so it is kind of painful for me to scale back.

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  • tamara13

    I really enjoyed reading your post!  It reminded me of the saying “If you love something, set it free.  If it was meant to be, it will come back to you.”  It sounds like this is exactly what happened to you!  I love the irony of your klout score increasing with less engagement.  I’ve never understood the need to be so socially engaged that it feels like a chore.  I thank you for the lessons you have shared and hope to follow them when I find myself overworked and underwhelmed with the pressure of social engagement!

    • tamara13 I hadn’t considered the “if you love it, set it free” mantra here, but you’re absolutely right!

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