There is no doubt that social media is a powerful tool. Complain all you like about the kind of people who upload their every passing thought to Facebook, or those who insist on documenting every bite they eat to Instagram, but when you break past the nonsense social media is an amazing way of connecting to people from all over the world, which is a huge deal for an entrepreneur (writer).
But it doesn’t help the entrepreneur in the slightest if their only followers are family members and people they already knew from school or work. The entrepreneur needs to spread their social network, create a spiderweb of connections and interconnections.
The Connector brings more people into the fold. The Connector seems to know everyone, and through them the entrepreneur meets many new people as well.
The Maven is a treasure trove of useful information. They always seem to know where you should go or what you should do. They help the entrepreneur become a better entrepreneur.
The Salesman is the person that everyone listens to. If the Salesmen hypes up the entrepreneur’s work (book), you can be damn sure that people will buy it.
As I was reading about these three types of people, I began thinking about whether I knew any of them yet. It took a bit of thinking but I realized that, yes, I do know a few of each, though I’m not sure I know any Salesmen that know me well enough to do what they do best for me.
Then I got to thinking…do I fall into any of these categories?
I’m definitely not a Connector. At this juncture in my life I can definitely say that I know a lot of people, but that’s not exactly the same thing. I have a large family, so I know them, and some of their friends by extension. I know the people I went through school with, though I barely connect with them anymore. I met a ton of people out West while I was working there, and I even have a ton of them added to Facebook and LinkedIN, but again, I connect with very few of them. The fact is that I am actually quite shy, even after all I’ve done and at the ripe old age of 29. I’m not a Connector because I don’t like to connect. Don’t get me wrong, I’m quite fond of most of the people I’ve come to meet over the years, but I’m also the kind of person who sits in a corner at a party until she’s drunk enough to force herself to speak to someone.
I really wouldn’t call myself a Maven either. I do retain information from time to time and have been known to help people out with some well-timed advice, but this is not the norm. I neither retain every bit of information I come across, nor do I make it my mission to share this information with others. In fact, if I come across a good piece of info that I think will help me in the future, I have to record it some manner (blog, notes on my iPhone, etc) or else I will totally forget about it. No, I’m definitely not a Maven.
Salesman? No, this one is even worse than the first two. I can’t be a Salesman. For one thing, even though I blog and Tweet and update my status on Facebook, I am actually still quite shy and have trouble with this concept of trying to convince others to buy something (this is going to become a huge issue later on when I do get a book published and need to market it). For another thing, I’m not the kind of person of whom people automatically trust the opinion. I like such a wide variety of things, that it makes people wary. Someone might not take my suggestion to watch a particular horror movie, for example, because I also recommended this god-awful b-horror-movie that I happened to love. You see what I’m getting at here?
So if I’m not a Connector, not a Maven, and not a Salesman…what am I? Am I just some weirdo hanging out on all the social media outlets, not contributing anything at all to the spiderweb?
No. I contribute, just not in the ways discussed.
I’m a writer. I write about life as a writer, life as a mother, life as a wife. I write zombie horrors and supernatural romances, fantasies and fan-fictions. I write novels and short-stories. I write blog posts.
And because I am a writer I also read. I read blogs, Twitter updates, and Facebook statuses. I read fiction novels and craft books and bits of writing that fellow writers share on the internet.
Through this identity of writer-and-reader I contribute a little bit in every way. I may not be a Connector, but I will occasionally send a writer friend along to a writing group or introduce a blogger to another blog I think they’ll like. I may not be a Maven but I’ll sometimes critique a writer’s work by using the tips and tricks I managed to glean from the last craft book I read. I may not be a Salesman, but I will absolutely promote what I feel requires promoting, especially if it’s something I absolutely loved myself.
So I guess you could say that I’m a protege. I have tiny bits of all three types of people in me, fighting to be something helpful, and that’s okay. We can’t all be precisely labeled by the exact function we serve in society, but we can still contribute in a real and meaningful way.
Hi, my name is Tracey. I’m a Social Media Writer-Reader.