Larry BraunerLet’s face it. Few people are writers. Even fewer are thought leaders or guru types.

What can a “regular” marketer do to stand out and make a strong impression in the social media space?

What if You’re Not a Thought Leader?

Thought leadership is probably not as important in social marketing as is keen interest and enthusiasm.

Certainly some degree of expertise in your niche is desirable and, as I indicated in The 80/20 Rule is readily attainable. However, what you feel about your product, service or brand may be as or more important than what you know.

Several months ago, a close friend suggested that I offer to help one of the U.S. political parties with their social media campaigns.

After serious consideration I decided against it. While I possessed the knowledge I would need to succeed, I was not aligned with that party’s views. Therefore my heart wouldn’t be in the right place to do the top notch work that would be required.

If you enjoy a subject and communicate confidently about it, people will respond favorably.

What if You’re Not a Writer?

Let’s suppose that you don’t write and don’t want to start. What can you do?

Here are a few options:

  • If you have a sizable business, you’ll have a person or a department to do the writing for you. Problem solved.
  • If you’re a small business or working on your own, outsourcing is an important option. You can hire a writer such as Ivo Jackson to develop your content or a virtual assistant such as Denise Griffitts to do all sorts of creative and technical things that you can’t or don’t want to do yourself.
  • On Twitter you can make small talk, post links to interesting content and “retweet” other people’s messages. I have written numerous articles on Twitter. Connect with me @larrybrauner.
  • You can use videos instead of text to spread your message. On YouTube you can create your own video blogs, and if you can sing like Susan Boyle, the sky’s the limit.
  • If none of these ideas work for you, you can use your voice and the voices of others. On Blog Talk Radio you can create your own Internet-based talk radio show blog.

Above all be authentic. As I’ve said before, social media marketing is about people, not companies or products.

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15 Responses to “Social Marketing for Non-Gurus”

  1. Diana aka Ladee16 on May 4th, 2009 6:50 pm

    This is good information. I am a one woman company and Blog Talk Radio has proven to be a
    a wonderful way to brand myself and build a reputation of helping others as well.

  2. Debbie Morgan on May 4th, 2009 7:14 pm

    Hi Larry!

    I’m a one “man” band too.

    I’ve been writing articles and placing them on my forum to add new content to my site every day. Google seems to like it because my traffic has gradually risen since I started doing this. This is my alternative to setting up a blog which would add expense and more work for me to do.

    I keep up with a few people on Facebook and try to tweet on Twitter when I have something on sale or post an article that I think may be of interest to my followers.

    There are only so many hours in a day for me to devote to this so I do what I can.

    Thanks, Larry, for great information.


  3. Market Segmentation on May 4th, 2009 11:27 pm

    Hi Larry,

    I found this article informative and helpful. In fact, I think I had an insight into what you’ve been telling me about social marketing.

    Of course, the catch is what Debbie said. There are only so many hours in a day.

    I’ve read that six to ten hours per week will get good results from social marketing, but those results don’t include a direct impact on sales.



  4. Jay on May 5th, 2009 12:27 am

    Great information. As a one man business owner I can attest to the relief and incredible help that outsourcing can offer. I am not much of a writer, so all my articles are outsourced.

  5. Chris Pareja on May 5th, 2009 9:01 am

    I may be working on a concept for a politically oriented site that is niether Democrat nor Republican in its alignment. It is more focused on educating the masses about goings-on in politics and regaining the public’s voice in the process. What are your thoughts on the probability of success (uptake) through the use of social media?

  6. Larry Brauner on May 5th, 2009 10:33 am

    Social media is a perfect environment for promoting a cause Chris.

    Offhand, I think your success will depend on these factors: the amount of underlying interest in your cause, and the effectiveness of your model, implementation and marketing initiatives.

  7. Steve on May 5th, 2009 8:57 pm

    Larry, thanks for another great article. The key, as you said, is to be authentic. Also, you want to be passionate about what you are marketing. I appreciate your input regarding online social networking.

  8. Kathy on May 7th, 2009 11:32 pm

    Hi–enjoyed the article as I’m in the process of becoming a one person shop–love to tweet and blog–have passion for open honest communications and idea sharing. Anybody in the Lower Hudson Valley need a freelance blogger/twitter contact me at:

  9. Larry Brauner on May 8th, 2009 12:41 am

    I’m wondering Kathy, are you in Putnam County?

    In any case, speaking of Twitter, one of my social networking sites is for Twitter users: Let’s Follow Each Other.

  10. Kikolani on May 13th, 2009 5:22 pm

    I think that anyone running or marketing a business should develop some writing skills. Start somewhere that you have a strong interest, even if it is just something personal. Write about sci-fi, comment on sci-fi blogs, Twitter sci-fi things. Once you build up some writing skills in one area, it will bleed over into the professional side as well.

    ~ Kristi

  11. Mike Tomo on May 21st, 2009 11:10 am

    Great post.

    I think social marketing is one of the best techniques used nowadays. More than ten million people go online and use social networking sites.

  12. Social Marketing Tips | on May 21st, 2009 4:49 pm

    […] Social Marketing for Non-Gurus | Online Social Networking […]

  13. Karen McGreevey on August 7th, 2009 11:47 am


    Once again, you do not disappoint with your comments and advice for ways to use social marketing in the event one is not a writer…or thinks they are too new in the field to be effective.

    The main thing is “to start” and to not let not knowing how to write keep you from doing what you want to do.

    And as Steve (May 5) said above, it is important to write about something you love…that’s meaningful to you. That will help you to shine and once you have some success, you’ll be more than inclined to grow.

  14. Larry Brauner on August 7th, 2009 11:56 am

    Great comment Karen.

    You know, very many people allow themselves to become immobilized by fear or by perfectionism.

    Your advice “to start” is powerful, for without starting we become closed off to possibilities.

    Mike Litman taught me, “You don’t have to get it right. You just have to get it going!”

  15. Fathi Ridwan Basalamah on August 19th, 2009 11:57 pm

    Just started building website, next step is blogging as Mike Litman said, “You don’t have to get it right. You just have to get it going.” Aha! I did it and this is approved by BlogCatalog:

    I realized as a newbie I spent a lot time daily searching and learning and building my website step by step and it still going on up till now, always busy days, a lot of emails, pending tasks and works.

    So? “You don’t have to get it right. You just have to get it going”, this is of course just right for beginner just like me. I am the person who working lonely and alone, a new baby born.

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