I’ve come to realize that are two paths you can take when you’re trying your hand at social media. 

The first is rapid growth. You consume every video, podcast, and article on social media that you can find, and you go at it with brute force. No tip or trick is too small to try. Of course, over certain period of time you find yourself eventually doing the following:

  • Creating listicles to get quick easy page views. (I’m guilty of this one.) 
  • Creating unsustainable content creation strategies which ultimately lead to burn out.
  • Creating click-bait articles that could pass for writing on Buzzfeed. (I’m guilty of this one too.)
  • Employing third party algorithms that will tell you who to follow in order to gain more followers. (I’ve tried this.)
  • Trying to mimic social media celebrities without asking if that’s who you really are. 

The second path is much harder. It’s about creating something that’s durable. It’s about finding a rhythm to the work, that keeps the work in line with who you are. Again, this path is difficult because it means the following:

  • Saying no to the latest trend or social network that will help you “enlarge your audience”. It’s not because you’re against growth, but you want maintain your focus. 
  • Coming to the understanding that generating value for an audience isn’t about volume or speed. It’s about building a relationship that helps you understand that they want. 
  • Realizing that the word “hustle” is code word for always being on the go and never resting, which is not sustainable.
  • Finding contentment not from your social media numbers, but from the quality of product the you produce. Knowing that in the end those numbers are meaningless if what you’re producing won’t last.

I’m not against growth. I’m against the culture that defines your value by arbitrary numbers or lures you into practices that  are contradictory to who you were created to be.