It’s over. You’ve bit your nails, done the follow up, waited for the feedback, and then you get the bad news. You’ve lost out on that opportunity, that advancement, that career changing, monumental THING. Whatever it may be. But it looked and felt like a door to something big. And you’ve officially snapped off the key in the lock. What happens next? Well, if you’re me, you go through several stages of mourning.
First, you get upset. Like, really upset. Almost as if you were just dumped after you had sex on the first date. “I thought we had something special!” Then realize, no, you didn’t, you’re just kind of emotionally near-sighted, and maybe a little mentally slutty.
Next, sleep off the defeat. Nothing takes the edge out of an ego sting quite like shutting off you brain for a bit.
The morning brings the recovery period. Listen to Tom Petty. Lots of him. No one gets your soul quite like that brilliant Floridian with enviable hair for a gentleman of his age. Also, it is physically impossible to remain negative while hearing the opening bars of “American Girl.” Seriously, give it a try.
Read some inspirational quotes on Pinterest. See what Seth Godin has to say on the matter of professional rejection. Then dig your heels in. As lame as it sounds, you’ve got to be your own cheerleader. At the moment, my internal cheerleader is probably a little buzzed, smoking behind the bleachers during the big game. That girl needs to get her ass in gear.
How? Think about why you wanted that opportunity in the first place.
Why am I in social media? Why do I want to remain in social media?
It boils down to one very basic, simple reason. Storytelling. That’s it. That’s what the core and heart of social media really is. It’s not an obsession with ever changing platforms. It’s not sitting around counting your fans or retweets. (Let’s not start any wars here, those things are important in their own ways.) It’s about telling a story. A brand’s story, a person’s story, a 3-legged dog’s story. It doesn’t matter.
Social media is one moment. Social media is the constant striving for that instant when you deliver your message, pause, and the audience goes, “And then what?”
There is nothing more rewarding than that moment. In elementary school, I created a talking ladybug character with superhuman strength. When given a creative writing assignment, I just busted out good old Wizz (Miss Wizzleheimer was her full name), and regaled my teacher with another of her adventures. In reality I was just being lazy, but then, after a few public recitals to my classmates, I started to hear it. “And then what?” The idea that someone else joined me in that made up world, and wanted me to create more of it for them, was just elation.
During college, I worked at a mall after classes wrapped for the day. It was the most insanely boring thing I’ve ever experienced- until I realized that the computer we used as a register also had Word installed. As my shift ground to a close each night, I killed time by writing a story segment, printing it out, and leaving it for whoever opened in the morning. Nothing was ever said to me, until the one night we were busy and I closed the store without updating the story. The next morning my boss called to make sure I was okay. She assured me I hadn’t screwed up the closing procedure, but I hadn’t left the story.
“I needed to know what happened next.” She said.
I was addicted.
I live for that moment. That’s how I know I belong in social media. I live for the moment when I’ve captured a brand’s lifestyle, their purpose, their story, and I’ve delivered to their audience in a way that interrupts their thought process. It causes them to pause. Look again. Smile, laugh, think. And ask for more. It’s the participation. Their voices coming back, excited to have found this character within what they once pictured as a flat organization, devoid of personality.
Yes. There is an immense amount of work that goes into making those moments. Finding the right platform, the right audience, the correct tone, and content creation. Analyzing the results, and honing the engagement to reach a goal.
Without that moment, there is no social media. And that moment is what makes me light up. It’s my thing. I create that moment. (Alright, cheerleader, come on.) And I do a damn good job of making those moments.
So, social media, I’m not about to give up on you. I’m especially clingy.