The Value of "So What?"

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Large numbers are impressive, but it's important not to take them at face value. What do those numbers truly represent once you get past the surface, and more importantly, what do they mean for your business?

Pretty Lovely Wedding Photography has amassed 17,000 followers on Twitter. So what? How many people are they following? Did they follow a ton of people and then delete a bunch in order to have a broader ratio? Are the people following them paying attention or tuning them out via tweetdeck? Do they engage in two-way conversation with their followers or do they only use Twitter to post their one-way witty thoughts?

A wedding blog has 2,450,000 page views per day. So what? Which pages are being viewed and by whom? What does the average visitor path look like? If you're advertising on a site that monetizes through a CPM model, then these are questions you should be asking.

A wedding blog wants to feature your work. So what? Who is their target audience (remember, "brides" isn't an answer) and is it the same as yours? Do they require exclusivity? If so, will that preclude you from being published in print as well? Is it worth it for YOU to be featured on their blog? The promise of editorial as exposure or "free advertising" isn't enough; evaluate what you are really getting from that particular blog in return. If the blog isn't a good fit for YOU, don't be afraid to turn them down, regardless of their size.

A wedding blog doesn't want to feature your work. So what? Does it mean that your work isn't good? Not necessarily. It may mean that wedding didn't fit that blog's style. One photographer I know submitted a wedding to a blog that should have been a fit and had it turned down, but a high-profile magazine picked it up in a heartbeat. Move on and submit your work elsewhere.

You're slammed with emails. So what? How many of those do you have to handle yourself and how many can you delegate? Can you set up filters and systems to help you manage it better? (The answer to that last question is yes, by the way.) Your self-worth and importance are not dictated by your inbox.

Asking yourself "so what?" whenever something comes up can help you focus in on what is really important and help you make better decisions for your business.

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