Chores

chopping wood

There are chores to using social media to improve your business communications. You may or may not be experimenting, but if you’re hoping to drive business using these tools, there are chores involved with this. Obviously, it depends on your goal as to what these chores might be. Here are some chores for you to consider. Rewrite the list for your business needs.

Listen

I’ve taught you how to grow bigger ears. Once you have those in place, you have to use the tools to listen daily. More than once a day is ideal, but it’s up to you. I go to my listening tools to listen for customer service issues (with me or my products). I go to my tools to listen for opportunity (I have searches set up for potential business wins). I also go to my tools to stay current with what’s going on out there.

Build Useful and Entertaining Information

I make content here at [chrisbrogan.com] so that it’ll catch your attention, stimulate some thought, equip you to do something. Some of what I do here is for lead generation. With more ways to be helpful being launched by me every month or so, there are more ways that I use this blog to build bridges between your interests and my potential solutions.

Build Lists

You live or die by your database. Jeff Pulver taught me that. He was right. I work every day on building my email newsletter list because if I can offer you recurring value there, I’ll have the opportunity to reach out to you when I’ve something else that you find useful later on. If you’re not working on lists as part of your social media efforts, you’re missing an opportunity.

Connect

I spend 50% of my time connecting with people, by commenting on their blogs, by replying to their tweets, by answering their questions in my own comments section, and in various forums like Third Tribe Marketing. Connecting is where I can promote others who are doing amazing work. Connecting is often where opportunity pops up. The more I spend time networking and building relationships, the more I get lucky.

What Other Chores Are There?

These that I’ve listed above are the main chores: listen, connect, publish (which I’ve called “build” in this post). I make sure to do pieces of this daily.

Beyond this, I have chores that I do a little less of, but that are as important:

  • Build ecosystems: add products, services, and community bridges to my primary projects and ideas.
  • Find owners: build relationships with people who will come to define the extension of what I’m doing and building.
  • Talk with kings: spend time with brilliant minds, both established and rising stars, so that I grow my own capabilities and opportunities.
  • Extend my media: connect with non-social media communities and expand my reach.

Chores Make It All Work

Chores are tasks in service of your work and its purpose. If you’re building out a healthy donor community for your nonprofit, you do what you can to connect and build relationships. You spend your time finding stories that resonate. You look for ways that tools break down barriers to giving. If your purpose is promoting your book or your software or your whatever, then you spend time finding new ways to interest people in what you’re offering and make them aware without making yourself seem like a pest.

Above all else, chores are units of measurement for realizing whether you’re just playing with all these toys or if you’re building something of future value.

I write my chores down on a poster in my office. The more I can keep on task, the more I can accomplish.

What about you?

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  • http://www.moremoo.com Adam

    Inspirational reading Chris, I especially liked your point about Connecting which I consider to be one of the most important blogger’s activities. Linking with new same-minded people, gaining new knowledge, pushing our minds further.

    I was also wondering if you could share what portion of traffic is driven here from referring sites in comparison with the Google traffic?

    Adam

  • http://www.wsiebusiness.co.uk Peter Rees

    I think your use of the term ‘Chores’ is spot on and serves as a reality check for many, myself included. I so often find people expressing the view that they ‘don’t have time’ to do all of this, and they struggle to understand the importance of commitment to this form of marketing activity. Those that do put in the effort, quite often fail to realise that this is a two way street, and concentrate solely on what they can ‘broadcast’, and generally fail to make the effort to engage.

  • http://www.CoActiveHealth.com Alexander Rinehart MS, DC, CCN

    Daily writing can be a chore…but it’s about generating conversations, not necessarily megaphoning your information. People still play the numbers game, paying attention to numbers of hits, not quality. That’s why I appreciate this Sunday post, because only a handful of people post anything on Sunday…Even if you only get half of the hits to your site, if it leads to a high quality conversation, it’s still worth it. From a business blogging perspective, it’s putting out content, and gaining potential followers that your competition is not.

  • Mwallace

    Chris:

    Great post this morning Chris. I think the title of the post is spot on. Not many people like to do the chores – they are not as glamorous. As we learned as kids, if we do our chores, we will get our allowance (reward). Same in business.

    Thx.
    Mark

  • http://www.lisahickey.com/ Lisa Hickey

    I agree with everything in the post except for the word “chores”. The word chores conjures up for me a task that I don’t want to do, but know I need to move things forward. It conjures up “hard” and “work” and things I would just as soon procrastinate about.

    But what you describe — listening, creating things that are actually useful or entertaining to people, figuring out lists of people who like what I have to offer, connecting with those people on a regular basis, extending out my connections to people who know more than me or have done great things — which of those feels like a “chore”? None in my book.

    I do know, of course, that you are merely laying out a plan (and you’ve once again done so eloquently, simply and helpfully). But I really hope all of you out there doing this stuff actually enjoy what you are doing.

  • http://ClimbingEveryMountain.com Mary E. Ulrich

    Chris, one of your greatest talents is breaking down the task into smaller pieces. One question I’m always wondering about: “Do you have a team of people who help you?” I’m picturing a construction crew with multiple talents, one who puts in the plumbing, another the electricity….

    Maybe I’m not talented enough, or don’t yet have the skills, but even if I just tackle one of these chores a day, I just can’t seem to get er done.

  • http://www.kylechowning.com/ Kyle Chowning

    Chris,I’d love for you to write about what, of all these things, one SHOULD do, when you’re working 50+ hours in a work week, while still wanting to maintain a solid online presence. To be frank, I don’t think most of is have the luxury of devoting our full day to this like you do. Furthermore, we may love our jobs/careers, not wanting to change, and desire to augment it with these type of things. What’s most important for those who want to spend 4 hours a week doing what you do?

  • http://www.kylechowning.com/ Kyle Chowning

    Chris,I’d love for you to write about what, of all these things, one SHOULD do, when you’re working 50+ hours in a work week, while still wanting to maintain a solid online presence. To be frank, I don’t think most of is have the luxury of devoting our full day to this like you do. Furthermore, we may love our jobs/careers, not wanting to change, and desire to augment it with these type of things. What’s most important for those who want to spend 4 hours a week doing what you do?

  • http://mydarabell.com/ Dara Bell

    I feel the mood the people is for greater and greater connection, desire to connect is at its greatest. So while I do some of the things you mention I trust in the this overiding trend.

    I often change the words chores to include action orientated verbs. Like Begin Listening, or Implement Engagement, especially when the task has not been started, to get on task fast.

    For me connecting as I started with is important so I make sure I know which times are hot on Social Media channels and have tweets or status posts up before time. Their are rushes to be in particular Social Space at a certain time. I don’t automate this just have schedules.

    I feel what Peter says is spot on and I use Ping Fm to make sure I am connecting at the right times, also Twitter search is such a useful tool, to me Twitter does it all for you. I like to get back to people even though I might be elsewhere when they tweeted.

    I am sure I am doing other things but cannot think of them right now. For me its about making sure I am on the Savanna when the Lions are drinking!

    Dara

  • http://judysoped.blogspot.com/ Judy Helfand

    I particularly like physical chores. When I am caught up with business planning, tasks, projects, then I will often take a break and go do something physical. I am talking about cleaning some windows or doing the laundry, ironing alway good thing. Somehow, when you physical space is in order it helps your brain to function better.
    I learned this when I own the country inn. I loved working in the barn with the sheep, cow, pigs…mucking the stalls, it was a nice break from guests and bookkeeping.

  • http://judysoped.blogspot.com/ Judy Helfand

    I particularly like physical chores. When I am caught up with business planning, tasks, projects, then I will often take a break and go do something physical. I am talking about cleaning some windows or doing the laundry, ironing alway good thing. Somehow, when you physical space is in order it helps your brain to function better.
    I learned this when I own the country inn. I loved working in the barn with the sheep, cow, pigs…mucking the stalls, it was a nice break from guests and bookkeeping.

  • http://www.eroutingguide.com Ken Kowal

    Hi Chris-

    I just started following you recently and find your content to be very helpful, thank you. I was hoping to get your perspective on the idea of becoming a social media thought leader within a specific industry. Of all the great content on social media out there, it is seldom geared towards a certain group or market. I definitley understand why that is, but do you know of any good examples of people or organizations acting as social media thought leaders within a niche space?

  • http://matthewm.org Matt Medeiros

    Recommend any good listening tools?

    These chores seem similar to your piece on Maintenance from last week (or week before.) Working with micro businesses, this is the hardest part to get them to understand. They think by just “signing up” the fan base will come.

    It’s scary how many small business owners I talk to have no idea how to build relationships for thew new world order.

  • http://www.mazakaro.com Rahul@MazaKaro

    improving business communications is a very good point, and talking about this topic really helps ! loved the ideas , i do agree connecting and sharing things and thoughts with people does help a lot , talking and commenting is simple but has a powerful effect indeed for everyone’s business ! thank you for talking about these chores :)

  • http://twitter.com/web_licht Leon Widrich

    Hey Chris. I don’t really get your point about lists. What do you mean with working on lists? Just getting more people to sign up for your newsletter? could you elaborate please.

  • http://twitter.com/web_licht Leon Widrich

    Hey Chris. I don’t really get your point about lists. What do you mean with working on lists? Just getting more people to sign up for your newsletter? could you elaborate please.

    • http://productivityjunkies.com Darin Persinger

      Lists or aka Database. What are you doing to grow your database, specifically an email list, but for you, you might need a physical mailing list as a part of lead conversion funnel.

      But without a list, you can not truly get into a conversation with someone. They are lurkers, like going to a car dealership on Sunday. They kick they tires without getting bothered. And there is nothing wrong with that, but you won’t be converting the traffic you need to truly build your business.

      Think of conversion as conversation. You can not convert until you are in conversation with them. Until you get an email address, a phone number, etc. it is not a conversation. It is a monologue. You talk, they listen.

      If I give you my email address though that is form of me saying “yo, I like what you are saying, I want to get into conversation with you.”

      I don’t read Chris’s blog every day, I don’t even check my Reader every day, but you know what I do almost, every 10 minutes. I check my email.

      Do things to create an interest in people signing up for your email list. In my opinion, your business is your database, or AKA “list” as Chris would call it.

    • http://chrisbrogan.com Chris Brogan

      Really simple. Darin explains it well in his reply.

    • http://chrisbrogan.com Chris Brogan

      Really simple. Darin explains it well in his reply.

  • Anonymous

    I disagree with you about email newsletters. I recognize the importance of having a database, but having tried an e-newsletter, my ROI didn’t match the time or cost of the newsletter. Conventional wisdom says we should have one, but how many people really look at an e-newsletter anymore? I unsubscribe from newsletters regularly (all of them I’ve usually been added to without opting in) and I find it irritating to get one more email with someone trying to sell me something.

    • http://chrisbrogan.com Chris Brogan

      So you disagree because your attempt didn’t work? Is it possible that your attempt wasn’t effective? I’ve getting a pretty high open rate every month.

      • Anonymous

        I did everything you’re supposed to do with e-newsletter, that a variety of people, yourself included have suggested. Wrote helpful articles, made occasional offers, but it didn’t really seem to work. And I came to this conclusion after doing this for a year and change, so I’m not sure what else I could’ve done differently, but when I looked at the time spent writing and putting them out, it didn’t add up.

        • http://website-in-a-weekend.net/ Dave Doolin

          Taylor, being successful on a blog or with a newsletter requires bringing a certain energy to the task.

          What I’ve learned in coming on two years at this is that perception and belief are critical.

          In other fields, it doesn’t matter what you believe. If you swing the hammer and hit the nail, it’s going in.

          In marketing, I see people who are competent, possibly massively competent, fail. And total amateurs taking off like rockets.

          The difference is belief.

          FWIW: I’m a total skeptic myself. But arguing with the success of others doesn’t help me succeed.

          Perhaps you could do what I’m doing: just quietly build your list, month after month, keeping it no more than warm with small, informative emails once in a while. I’ll worry about what to do with it later, meantime, it costs me very little to build and maintain it.

          • Anonymous

            Hi Dave,

            Arguing with the success of others can give you some answers. I found your advice, for example, helpful. It’s given me some food for thought, and actions to take. I like questioning success because it helps you understand how someone succeeds. In any case, I do appreciate your comment and take it to heart.

    • http://chrisbrogan.com Chris Brogan

      So you disagree because your attempt didn’t work? Is it possible that your attempt wasn’t effective? I’ve getting a pretty high open rate every month.

    • http://twitter.com/saraoliver_prmk Sara Oliver, LLC

      It’s not what you do but how you do it. The problem isn’t the concept of an e-newsletter but that you received the e-newsletter without opting in. If you would have opted in than you would have been interested in the contents of that e-newsletter. It’s important to have recipients opt in first to avoid irritating them, resulting in a loss of confidence. It’s better to have an audience of 500 avid readers than 5000 uninterested people. Which I believe I took that example from a previous Chris Brogan post.

      - Oliver Cheatham

      • Anonymous

        Hi Oliver,

        When I did my own newsletter it was opt-in only, precisely for that reason. However a lot of people don’t follow that rule. In some cases, I know they got my email from a business card I gave them, but I never chose to opt-in. I do stay subscribed to the e-newsletter that I choose to opt-in on, but TBH those are very far and between. I can keep up with people by following their blogs or what they’re doing on social networks, so it seems kinda redundant.

  • Anonymous

    I disagree with you about email newsletters. I recognize the importance of having a database, but having tried an e-newsletter, my ROI didn’t match the time or cost of the newsletter. Conventional wisdom says we should have one, but how many people really look at an e-newsletter anymore? I unsubscribe from newsletters regularly (all of them I’ve usually been added to without opting in) and I find it irritating to get one more email with someone trying to sell me something.

  • http://www.mikemccready.ca/blog/ Mike McCready

    I have five children and quite often the word ‘chose’ has a negative connotation. While some of the social media tasks mentioned may be less fun, I really do enjoy connecting with people.

    While agree with most of your post, I may not have called them chores. Yes they need to be done daily, but are not necessarily ‘chores’.

  • http://twitter.com/rpnorton Rachel Norton

    Thanks Chris – for me, the “chores” metaphor works. I mean, I always enjoy exercise when I do it, but the problem is getting myself to do it. Reframing exercise as something I do every day because it needs to be done whether I want to do it or not–just like washing the dishes or making the kids’ lunches or taking out the garbage–seems to work for me.

    I’m interested in the discussion about building lists. I have kind of neglected this in the past year – I have a dormant email list I haven’t used in quite a while and I need to get it fired up again.

  • http://www.love146.org Marilyn

    Really love your blog.
    Thanks for keeping us as Love146 inspired as we’re fueling a movement.
    Marilyn de Guehery, Love146 Graphic Designer

  • http://emoneymakingonline.com Mr.Ven

    Building list is one of the best practice of doing business online, its the wealth/assert for business. We should make use of it well !

  • http://emoneymakingonline.com Mr.Ven

    Building list is one of the best practice of doing business online, its the wealth/assert for business. We should make use of it well !

  • AmyEisenstein

    I’m just getting started. Thanks for the helpful hints.

  • MatthewLiberty

    Connecting and listening are huge, but I also know they can’t be faked. I love people, stories, and interacting with people; many people struggle with that so connecting and listening are difficult but crucial. The email list is important for sure, I’ve been able to build a relatively healthy list via the small businesses I own in my community IRL and have been able to supplement that list with my online networks. We need to remember there is not really an end game in my opinion, these are things you will do for the rest of your life, so make it fun…enjoy the journey.

  • http://website-in-a-weekend.net/ Dave Doolin

    Chore is exactly the right word. I’m at the stage now where I’m going to have to schedule time specifically to handle social interaction. I recognize the need, but it’s not always what I want to be doing!

  • http://website-in-a-weekend.net/ Dave Doolin

    Chore is exactly the right word. I’m at the stage now where I’m going to have to schedule time specifically to handle social interaction. I recognize the need, but it’s not always what I want to be doing!

  • http://website-in-a-weekend.net/ Dave Doolin

    Chore is exactly the right word. I’m at the stage now where I’m going to have to schedule time specifically to handle social interaction. I recognize the need, but it’s not always what I want to be doing!

  • Anonymous

    Occasionally I’d post class announcements and info about video products, but mostly I just posted articles. When I checked the open rate it was 25% and it appeared that most people didn’t click on links…so I wasn’t getting traffic or in the rare case of a class, or offer, much in the way of bites. In retrospect, it could’ve been the “tone” of the e-newsletter. Something I admire about Chris is his ability to be conversational with what he writes. It’s not something I’ve been able to pull off so easily and that could be a factor.

  • Anonymous

    Occasionally I’d post class announcements and info about video products, but mostly I just posted articles. When I checked the open rate it was 25% and it appeared that most people didn’t click on links…so I wasn’t getting traffic or in the rare case of a class, or offer, much in the way of bites. In retrospect, it could’ve been the “tone” of the e-newsletter. Something I admire about Chris is his ability to be conversational with what he writes. It’s not something I’ve been able to pull off so easily and that could be a factor.

    • http://socialbutterflyguy.com/ DJ Waldow

      Taylor: Thanks for your reply and honest answer! It sounds to me like the content may be an issue. Did you test different content/copy and formatting? I’d be curious to see if this would drive more clicks/conversions…

      • Anonymous

        I did test different content/copy as well as formatting.

  • Anonymous

    Occasionally I’d post class announcements and info about video products, but mostly I just posted articles. When I checked the open rate it was 25% and it appeared that most people didn’t click on links…so I wasn’t getting traffic or in the rare case of a class, or offer, much in the way of bites. In retrospect, it could’ve been the “tone” of the e-newsletter. Something I admire about Chris is his ability to be conversational with what he writes. It’s not something I’ve been able to pull off so easily and that could be a factor.

  • http://twitter.com/PeterPaluska Peter Paluska

    Yup, there’s no getting around it, but a lot of getting around TO it. Chores, tasks, homework, whatever you want to call it–must be done! If the middle class is the “engine of the economy”, then tasks and chores make up the engine of our business/es/projects/NPOs, etc.
    When we can now and then find the joy even in the little chore-y stuff we do, we KNOW we are well on the right path (for us).
    Thanks for the continual value ante-up, Chris!

    Peter

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