I was scared. Sure- yet, unsure, of myself. All I knew was that I had been struck with an idea, in the middle of the night, an idea that told me in no uncertain terms that I should change the course of my education, thus changing the course of my career. So I did, but I was scared to death. I decided, with only a semester left in pursuit of my teaching degree that teaching was not what I wanted to do with my life. I realized it was my path to make writing about the Outdoor Industry the cornerstone of my career.
My good friend advised me to start blogging and making connections on Twitter ASAP. This was also scary for me. My friends and family supported me and told me they enjoyed my writing. But what if no-one else did? What if I really sucked and I was just being humored? Putting myself out there was intimidating. It seemed riskier than submitting ideas privately; that way if I faced rejection, that was also private.
I took my friend’s advice anyway. I began following outdoor companies and the friends I had in real life with Twitter accounts. I began my blog and starting Tweeting about my posts. I had no idea what I was doing, and was busy reading everything I could about how to effectively use Twitter and what the do’s and dont’s were. I’m not gonna lie, I made some mistakes in the beginning, like asking for re-tweets and other pathetic things, but I was catching on.
Then my first dose of positive reinforcement arrived, through Chicks Climbing. That’s right. Chicks came to the rescue and found my one of my first blog posts about climbing floating around in a Tweet; I didn’t even use any hash tags, but they found the word “climb” and starting following me. Let me back up a moment and say, that, I had often seen half page ads for Chicks with Picks and Chicks Climbing in Magazines like Rock and Ice. I can remember looking at the color pictures of Betty, hair done up, make-up, sunglasses, with a rope slung over her shoulder like it was no big thing; conveying the message of “Yeah, I got this.” Betty, to me, represented how a woman can embrace her femininity, yet keep her independence and her identity. The Chicks were the epitome of cool, and so bad-ass, that I only wished I could be half as cool! And here they were following… me? Retweeting my Tweets, and mentioning me in the Gossip Column?! Wha…(lifting my jaw off of the floor) ? Words cannot describe how much this meant to me.
My acceptance by Chicks Climbing seemed to give me the street cred I needed because soon afterward I had an increase of followers that also blogged about climbing and gear. I have made some many great connections through Twitter with some truly awesome peeps.
That is the way social media works, you build up relationships that don’t happen overnight, but it takes time, like in real life. Chicks Climbing, an authority and leader in the community gave me an in, but the rest was up to me. I had to build relationships and I now work hard to maintain them by re-tweeting my Tweeps as well as reading their blogs and comment when I can.
This is true in all online communities. My newest, growing, community is in the marketing and business world where I found the same to be true. Once I got the attention of a well-known blogger, doors suddenly opened to me and I found my following and connections increased. It is really exciting to see it happening. I am grateful to living right now in the world because I am watching it grow smaller and see my desires become more attainable.
Krysia Hepatica is a mother, climber, blogger and goal setter that harbors a love for social media and has a secret crush on skin care products. You can read her adventures on her blog or follow her on Twitter @Ventrsomekrysia.