My hope when starting Social Media Explorer in 2007 (as a blog … it later became a business) was to build a brand that could survive without me. Success came in 2012 as I stepped away and Nichole Kelly and team took over the agency side of the business so I could focus on events. Then in late 2012, I completely stepped away for a new challenge at CafePress.
While I’ve continued to write at Social Media Explorer, the brand is bigger than me. The company is doing fantastic work for great clients, none of which I had anything to do with – signing, strategizing or handling the day to day servicing of. I measured to my goal, never falling to the temptation that success was a revenue number or client portfolio or any of the other sexy trappings of the agency business.
SME took off, and even got better, when I was out of the way. That, to me, makes my launching of Social Media Explorer quite successful.
Yet many people in the consulting world would deem my ride through SME to be a failure. I built and audience then sold it to someone else. I didn’t become a multi-million dollar business. I lost a fair amount of social capital traction when I jumped to CafePress and stopped speaking and writing as often.
True, I’ve had moments of frustration watching friends like Jay Baer and Mark Schaefer have incredible success, knowing that I was on that same path once. But my path has been very, very good to me. The only person who can call me a failure with any meaning is me, and I don’t feel that way.
And there’s always a chance for a do-over online. Or a fresh start, depending on your perspective. Now that I’m back in the agency world, leading digital strategy and driving new business for Elasticity, it is valuable for me to speak and write more. Rachael Powell, our Director of Social Media, and I are formulating a new direction for the Elasticity blog – highlighting great content marketing – so you’ll se me there a lot now. But I’m also doing something a little bigger and different for me.
I won’t stop writing at SME – many of you have come to expect me here and that won’t change. But some of my more deep, thoughtful pieces on the industry will now find a home on my site for public speaking and thought leadership in the industry. My one regret in building the audience here at SME was that I did it in a parallel with the company and didn’t keep it for myself. While I’ve never swayed from ensuring you weren’t sold a bad bill of goods — and I don’t think you were — I am now starting something new and just hoping everyone will come with me. Starting a blog from scratch in 2014 isn’t going to be easy and replicating the audience and success (from a blog perspective) of Social Media Explorer won’t likely be possible, but it’s high time my personal perspective had a permanent home. Now it does.
Please do come over to JasonFalls.com and subscribe. My first piece is a deep dive into the conversation about Social Media ROI. And remember that it’s not SME or JasonFalls.com, it’s SME and JasonFalls.com. There will still be great content here from me and from others, including Nichole, Tracey, Jay, Matt and more. But there will be great content over at my place, too.
Thank you for being part of my great adventure. We’ve only just begun.