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Why Social Media Is Like a Puzzle December 1, 2010

Filed under: I am still learning — stepheppichdaily @ 2:52 am

I was sitting with a client this morning discussing Social Media Strategy.  About half way through our meeting she reached across the table, grabbed my hand, and said “oh my God, this is so much!”  I smiled, and said, “don’t worry, it’s like a puzzle that we get to put together.”

When my son was little he loved puzzles.  He started with the small, six piece, matching the animal puzzles.  I remember watching him and thinking surely he can tell that the picture of that giraffe matches the piece that is the exact same giraffe.  Eventually he did figure it out.  I remember the marvel in his eyes that he discovered the matching pieces all on his own.  It was like a light went off in his little brain – mystery solved Mom, let’s move onto something bigger.

As the puzzles got bigger, and his imagination and rationalization got stronger, he was ready to take on new puzzles.  I remember the first 50 piece puzzle that I bought for him.  It was bright and colorful, full of different animals; he loves animals.  The pieces were huge and I knew that the puzzle would cover most of my kitchen floor once it was finished.    When we opened the box and dumped all the pieces on the floor, I could tell that he was overwhelmed.  ” Don’t worry Boo, we’ll figure it out together.”  Immediately, like most, he grabbed the pieces that seemed the most familiar to him and began to put them together.  At this point in the puzzle master’s mind it was obvious that the tiger stripes didn’t go with with whale tail.  Once he was done with what he could figure out on his own, he looked to me for help.  I went back to my own puzzle fundamentals and said, “lets see if we can figure out the outside of the puzzle and work our way in.”  Seemed rational enough to him, so we started with the framework.

Where this comes back to Social Media:  Sure we want to grab the bright, shiny, things that seem to go together quickest, and easiest for us.  We jump in and don’t try to figure out the framework until we get lost in the puzzle and look up to who is helping us and say – how is this going to work?    It will work, but you have to work on the frame first before you get to the bright, shiny, things.  The framework is your mentors or people you trust.  You ask questions, find out what has worked for them in order to make your puzzle come together.  Once you get the framework together then the fun begins.  Inside the frame, you get to meet or put together all of these fantastic connections, or middle pieces that fit together perfectly for you.  It takes some maneuvering, but eventually, you figure it out.   The center of the puzzle are your clients.  The people that you have figured out by building your frame (the glue), putting the middle pieces together (connections), are the center shiny things (clients) that you build your business puzzle around.

When my son figured out that puzzle, like when my first client called me and said they had secured a client because of my help, there is a sense of overwhelming accomplishment that makes trying out a more challenging puzzle even more fun.

What do you need help with?  Framework, Connections, or Clients?  Let’s put the pieces together.

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