Hey, it’s 2016 – Happy New Year, friends, family, and furry forest dwellers!
Today we have a simple message of hope that we hope will inspire our GANG collaborators, friends, and anyone who may happen to come across this article. We’ll try to keep it short since we know, by the time this goes out, everyone will be drunk, sleeping, and/or hungover.
Now to get a little serious…
Bad Things Turned Good. In 2015, many bad things overshadowed otherwise good, productive, and fun times. Some of us dealt with deaths of close family members, battles with cancer, financial struggle, loneliness, and overall loss of hope. Many of you may not know this but I lost my aunt this year and she was like a second mother to me. It really knocked the wind out of my sails along with other bad news but having The GANG, our community here at GeekyAntics, really helped me out.
I learned a lot of things about myself, our audience, and what GeekyAntics can and should become. Mainly, everything positive that happened reinforced my beliefs that…
- People are fundamentally good.
- Small victories can lead to big things.
- The storm always comes before major break-throughs.
- This network truly is about collaboration and support.
The GeekyAntics Network is exactly where we need it to be right now and where we expected to be right now. Heck, we’ve done so much more than we expected considering I’m bootstrapping everything and we’ve encountered so much adversity. We could not have done it without YOU!
Unlimited Possibilities. One thing thing that has helped us all out is having an abundance mindset. There truly is a world of unlimited possibilities out there and, really, the only thing that limits our growth personally and as brands is our attitudes. So many folks give up right when they are on the verge of a major break-through and we’ve been working hard to help those types of folks stay strong and focused.
While we are still very much committed to individual brands (mainly streamers, writers, game devs, and podcasters), it is absolutely necessary to partner up with bigger brands. We’ve teamed up with tons of people in 2015 but two brands stand out the most: Martin Septic Services, based out of Middle Georgia (not Middle Earth), and Unified Combat League, based out of Seattle and sometimes Canada.
Martin Septic Tank Services (also known as Martin’s Septic Service) has been an awesome sponsor. Vince Martin is a pleasure to work with and one of the coolest guys I know in Georgia. Teaming up with a local company in such a niche may seem silly to some but our goal is to align ourselves with brands that are people and people that are brands. That is, we want to work with brands that are authentic, transparent, and approachable.
On the Martin Septic Services Facebook page, you’ll see exactly what I mean when I talk about being social with social media. Vince Martin and I work together to bring updates that are as fun as they are useful. Content covers a wide range of goodies from home improvement to funny pet memes to hot deals. The fine balance of curating content and providing original content is key and you’ll notice Vince Martin hardly spams about himself or his business so, when he does self-promote, it counts!
Unified Combat League and Jesse Eller have been an absolute pleasure to work with. I love how exciting this brand is because the blend of competitive gaming, sports games, and combat sports (i.e. MMA) is a marriage I have not seen yet… And that’s all stuff most of us really dig! Be sure to check out the UCL Facebook fan page. For you Rhonda Rousey fans, there’s something there about how she loves sexy time (LOL).
One thing I can tell you is that, as much as you try to give your stuff away for free and drive value, cash infusion is always necessary to build and sustain growth. Our partnerships with Vince Martin and Jesse Eller have helped us get a nice shot in the arm. In return, we get to work with brands and communities that match our core beliefs, goals, and voice/tone.
That said, we will never promote something we don’t truly believe in, no matter how much they pay us. I’ve turned down offers for that very reason. It’s not just about integrity and credibility. We simply can’t share things we don’t find exciting ourselves. At every turn, we remember what it feels like when the shoe is on the other foot.. So we’ll always stay true to sharing little-known finds and awesome sauce brands that we believe our community, affectionately called The GANG, will enjoy!
Anti-Social Media. You may often hear me talking about how social media has become anti-social. That’s something we want to help shift. To me, it’s such a shame that people avoid Twitter, Facebook, Google+, and other social platforms because they don’t see the value or feel there is too much noise.
Social media can be fun and super useful when used right. Folks like Cupcakeeenvy, Spydersvenom (Gaming History 101), TheWorstRadioShow, metric_methodz (Dapper Family), and our countless friends on Twitch.tv show us just that. Our approach to marketing is to make friends one person at a time. It’s working for us, our clients, our stream team members, and everyone who is authentically engaged via social media.
One thing I cannot stress enough is that you should support others as wholeheartedly as possible. Don’t burn yourself out in doing so. Everyone has their limits so you’ll find your sweet spot. That said, everyone has the time to support others. The simple things go a long way: a link here, a banner there, words of encouragement, guest blogs, guest hosting, etc. There are countless opportunities to build others up.
Of course, it is not a completely selfless thing to help others. Curating, cross-promotion, joining a network, working on a team… All these things build credibility, backlinks, integrity, etc. By helping others grow their brands and audiences, you do the same for yourself. It’s simple collective economics, folks.
My Personal Resolutions. With free time becoming more and more of a commodity, I simply can’t afford to hold hands and help others who are not first helping themselves. I know that sounds terrible but I realize that, if I can’t making time for people that don’t plug in and get social with social media, I’m taking away from folks that are taking initiative, supporting the network, and/or paying for our services.
In 2016, I will be reserving Twitch coaching, marketing services, web site optimization (SEO, copyediting, inbound marketing, etc), and other resource-intensive things for paying customers, premium members, and active GeekyAntics teamsters. We’ll still cross-promote and plug the things and people we love, but we won’t go above and beyond. It’s all about re-investing in the people that invest in us, and vice versa. Of course, someone has to take the first step but we have such a busy year ahead that I’ll be carefully picking who will make it into our “inner circle”.
Again, it’s not to make our community into an exclusive club but there are just so many people that talk the talk but don’t walk the walk. There just isn’t enough time in the day to waste with flaky folks. Those of you content creators out there on the grind know exactly what I mean. That said, I do resolve to automate more things and make more time for the people that I know are truly passionate about doing remarkable things, working as a team, and helping others.
I also resolve to be more consistent with our content creation, especially articles. That means we need to find more folks as passionate as the rest of us, which is no small order. We can do it.. You’re here and that’s a good start.
One last resolution for me is this: I will be less salty (LOL). Actually, my rants and salt are all in good fun but I think we could all stand to be more positive and hopeful. Believe in the goodness and potential in people. If you build others up, you empower them to be great. If you criticize and belittle, people will never disappoint: they will be the bad things you say of them. Let’s all be more positive this coming year. It’s not about being cheerleaders. All you have to do is let people know you appreciate them and great things will follow.
Find the joy in the little moments. Appreciate the small victories and opportunities everywhere. Even the worst moments can be transformed into challenges and opportunities for growth, discovery, and joy. There are no obstacles we can’t overcome together. I truly believe that and hope that, in 2016, I can convince more of you on that. Dream big, love wholeheartedly, and don’t let negative nellies steal your dreams.
Let’s rock 2016, folks!
BTW, in case you are wondering, “Why a cute kitten for the banner/thumbnail image?” It’s because everyone loves kittens.. And we love YOU! Besides, you have to admit that is one really cute kitten!