Wednesday, December 02, 2009

Steve Sherlock is Social Media: and So Can You

What follows is a guest post from Steve Sherlock's birthday mate, Phil Gerbyshak
Social media is a big part of my life. I spend about 20 hours a week online, writing and reading blogs, on Twitter and Facebook, and cultivating my network on LinkedIn. I also teach people to successfully use social media to grow their personal brand, and take their business to the next level. After 5 years doing this, I've come to realize one thing:

Steve Sherlock is Social Media, and So Can You!

I met Steve Sherlock a few years back. We started out as blogging buddies, sharing a space on a the Synergy Weblog, 100 Bloggers, and eventually, as part of the Ho'ohana Community at Joyful Jubilant Learning. We learned and shared the way of the geese from the wonderful book Gung Ho! If you're not familiar with the story, part of the story has geese honking each other on to achievement. Honk Honk! It's what Steve, and I, and the rest of the community did, and continue to do; we've helped each other find our way in the world.

Steve Sherlock is Social Media, and So Can You!

But it didn't stop there. Steve and I spent time taking the blog off the blog with phone calls, Skype conversations, and then taking advantage of travel opportunities to connect in real life. I've stayed at Steve's home in Franklin, Massachusetts, and we always get on like old friends. Sometimes Steve and his family would come near Milwaukee, and he'd always look me up, so we could reconnect and get to know each other a little more.

Steve Sherlock is Social Media, and So Can You!

I think most importantly, Steve has taught me about the power of asking questions to learn more about people, to pay attention to happy coincidences (like our shared birthday) and
sharing what you know by adding value where you can.

Steve Sherlock is Social Media, and So Can You!


It's really not that hard to be like Steve, or like me, whether it's your birthday today or not. Here's how you can be social media:

1) Seek out and show up in places where other smart people hang out - I spent time on the blogs Steve and I eventually connected at long before I ever left a comment or was part of the community. The folks there (Troy Worman, Rosa Say, Trevor Gay and Steve, to name the 4 most prominent folks) shared what they knew in real time. It wasn't perfect, but it was authentic and it was refreshing. There are now MILLIONS of blogs. Find a few with smart people and get to know the writer and the commenters. Make it your home. Get deep on just a few places and really add value to the community.

2) Take it off the blog and Twitter - Always make time to connect off the blog. Tweeting a link to your favorite bloggers post is nice. Spending time with them at a conferences is even better. Pick up the phone and call someone new. Chris Johnson is GREAT at this! He makes time to call people every single day. You can do it too!

3) Pay attention - Steve and I noticed that we shared a birthday. I noticed it was Stephen Smith's birthday yesterday. The more attention you pay to someone, the easier it is to get to know them, and the better you can help them. Social media has a LOT of ways to pay attention, so pick a few and use what you learn to better connect with others in your life.

Steve Sherlock is Social Media, and So Can You!

Happy birthday Steve! Thanks for sharing your space, your readers, and more importantly, your life, with me!

And to all the folks reading this post, thanks for sharing your attention with me! It means a lot to me, and I know you have a million other things you could be doing. The fact you took a few minutes of your time to share with me means a lot to me.

What are your best ways of BEING social media? Share your tips in the comments, and let's get to know each other a bit more.

Honk Honk!



Phil Gerbyshak is a professional speaker and social media coach based in Milwaukee, WI. He shares a birthday and a passion for lifelong learning with Steve Sherlock. If you'd like to connect with him, your best bet is to follow him on Twitter and send him a Tweet.