Expanding my horizons

January 12, 2010

If we’re connected on Twitter or DailyBooth, you’ve might caught me mention recently that I have turned in my two-week notice at my nine-to-five jobby job and am counting down the days until I’m 100% self-employed. Am I getting a fast start on my 2010 goals or what?! LOOK AT ME GO.

One of the many, MANY things I will be doing to move my business – more accurately, my brand – forward once these two weeks are over is to review and expand on the length and strength of my reach online. I’ve liked the concept Chris Brogan has been talking about lately regarding your online spaces and how outposts can improve your strategy with social media. There, Chris talks about your ‘home base,’ ‘outposts,’ and ‘passports’ online. AnnieSorensen.com is obviously my home base, and one that I have many plans to expand.
I currently consider Twitter, DailyBooth, Facebook, and Corkd as my outposts; those areas online where I consistently spend time conversing and connecting. The purpose of these outposts is to have fun, network, and eventually filter folks back to my home base.

Passports, however, represent a huge growth area for me. I think of passports as areas online where I’m reserving and representing my brand, yet not actively playing in the space. And the work I could do on my passports is massive. I mean, LinkedIn? Ugh, let’s not even get into how much I’m leaving on the table in that space. That’s a current passport I DESPERATELY need to turn into a solid outpost.

Then there my other passports; Tumblr, Flickr, Ustream, Amazon, YouTube, TubeMogul, StumbleUpon, and…hmm, I’m sure I’m missing others. I will soon have much more time to develop my brand, which items from this list do I want to dedicate more time to and develop into outposts? Which would I prefer to keep as passports? What passports have I not yet even secured? Very important questions that I need to figure out how to answer.

Lots of work to do!

What say you – how do you decide what spaces to develop into strong, beneficial outposts of your home base? What spaces do you think are important in 2010 to, at the very least, secure a passport?

  • http://twitter.com/SeanMalarkey Sean Malarkey

    Annie, I'm so proud of you! I know you will succeed. Your a rising star and don't let anyone tell you different! I have paid attention to you since you engaged me way back when and you are definitely doing everything right!

    I know you can do it because I am living proof. 1 yr almost to the day I made a similar decision. I had it all – I owned a business that afforded me everything I could ever ask for. Except one thing – freedom! And I as I wrote my goals for 2009 it hit me like a ton of bricks. Many of my goals and dreams were not making it into the list because of my business. So right at that moment I made the decision for change. I wrote my goals as if my business were not an obstacle and was so inspired that within 2 months I had cleared the way for my new life.

    I'm writing this comment from Argentina on the 2nd day of a 3 month vacation (one of my goals). I could go on an on about whats happened for the better (and worse) in the last year – but ill spare those details for the book! Just know it was all worth it!

    There will be tough times, and twists and turns but in the end you will have no regrets! You can do it – I don't think everyone has the ability – but after watching you for the last few months – you definitely do!

    Good luck on your Journey!

    • http://www.anniesorensen.com Annie Sorensen

      Sean, thank you so much for the kind words! Really means a lot. As much as I have been working towards and excited about this moment for years, it's completely CRAZY now that it's actually happening.

      So glad to hear that you're having amazing success. 3-month vacation – will definitely have to add that to my list. :) Have a wonderful time!


      • Seanmalarkey

        A year has now passed – How's it working out?

        • http://www.anniesorensen.com Annie Sorensen

          It's been almost 18 months since I leaped out of the corporate world and, and, and…I can't believe it. So many amazing things have happened and so much progress has been made. I am so grateful.

          After this post, I went through a few months of going bonkers, touching upon anything and everything that I could possibly work on, because, well, I could finally work on whatever I wanted! That was fun. By mid-summer, I hit a rough patch. Because I could work on anything and everything I was working on anything and everything! And as I'm sure you know, that is NOT a good thing. I had no direction. My “why” before was to have the time freedom, to get out of the corporate world. I accomplished that, and it didn't occur to me until after several months of floundering that I needed to set a new Why.

          So, I did. My priorities, the things that I really liked to do and was successful at were my networking business and my real estate investments. So those were my priorities. I also started touching upon what I LOVED to do – which I recently identified was my writing. Many fun goals in that department this year, which is amazing and scary and exciting. Additionally, I identified several personal hobbies that I always knew were a part of me but never had the time to be able to expand on – reading more, volunteering, etc.

          Our first solo investment property occurred last year, I obtained my real estate license, I defined my new Why and set my focus, I kept up my blog and social media networking, I grew my Vemma business, made new friends, kept up existing relationships. The list could go on and on. What you can accomplish when all you're working on is what YOU want to work on is shocking. Most of all, I settled into my new, amazing, normal. I learned, once I am the only one in control of my time and my schedule and my work, what I truly want to do and when and how I want to do it. The understanding I have of myself now and how impactful that is on everything in my life…that was something I never even realized I needed to know.

          This has turned into a monster of a response, but I guess there's no way to put into words what a year and a half of being me, of truly living my life, means.

          When I saw the notification in my inbox this morning that you had followed up on this, it made my day. And it's made my week to have forced myself to reflect on it.

          Thanks, Sean. Thank you thank you thank you. :)

  • JoshBTurner

    Outposts…For me it has been coming down to time. I feel like I'm just barely getting enough time to do my thing on Facebook and Twitter. Struggling to try and make dailybooth a real part of my life. I use TubeMogul, and by extension of it, YouTube, Yahoo, Metacafe, Viddler, and a couple other video sites. But without focusing on each of those, they're just nice to host my content :) Oh yeah, LinkedIn too. They're nice enough to hold my online portfolio of business cards.

    I'd also consider the community of blogs that I interact on (within “my niches”) to be an outpost.

    So, for me, I would rather be really good within a couple outposts than lame on many. BUT, if I quit my job and knew I could focus on more…I would put more time into:

    – Forums related to niches/industries I'm working in.
    – DailyBooth (I just think it's cool)
    – YouTube (it has such huge reach)
    – LinkedIn (powerful in the right hands)

    And I'd add a yet-to-be-determined “outpost.” I guess what I mean by that, is that I expect the common wisdom of the crowd to be missing some stuff. There are certainly new tools and communities that will blow up in '10 that aren't on too many radar screens just yet.

    • http://www.anniesorensen.com Annie Sorensen

      Couldn't agree more about your list…and about being flexible! Considering how many awesome things were introduced in 2009 in the social media world, I'm sure 2010 won't disappoint.

  • http://www.tylerandmimiford.com Tyler Ford

    Hey Annie,

    Congrats on moving forward from your current JOB!

    For me I would rather do a few social sites well then do a bunch mediocre. I think that one can spend way too much time on social networking thinking they are being product when they are only wasting time.

    A question I ask myself daily is “am i being productive or just acive? am i inventing things to do to avoid the important?”

    • http://www.anniesorensen.com Annie Sorensen

      Great questions. I think, like so many other things that can occupy our time, it's all about balance. Get out there and network and build your brand, yet still make sure you're not spreading yourself so thin that you're not using time efficiently. I think the key is not getting wrapped up in what OTHERS say is the best use of time. Only we can decide for ourselves what works best, you know?

  • http://www.tylerandmimiford.com Tyler Ford

    I am thinking about adding DISQUS to my blog for the commenting rather than the WP commenting tools. What is your take?

    • http://www.anniesorensen.com Annie Sorensen

      I could NOT be happier with DISQUS. So many others use it, so my account connects automatically in so many places. I like the moderation, the format of the notification emails and the pingbacks, the visuals, everything. A definite thumbs-up from this blogger.

  • cherylsweeney

    The “outposts” where I consistently participate are Twitter and Facebook, somewhat like you mentioned (for fun, connecting, pointing back to home base blog). But, I'm not driving the kind of traffic to my blog that I'd like (http://losingmybehind.blogspot.com). Planning to apply Crush It! principles and suggestions this week which does involve some of these other passports as you call them.

    It is hard, though, it's all time consuming, and I do often have trouble knowing how much time to spend on what. I seem to know in my gut tho when I've crossed the line! Working at home full time definitely has its perks, but the discipline to create structure and keep the ball moving forward is crucial. Something tells me you won't have any problem with that!

    Excited for you and will be watching you fly after Friday!

    • http://www.anniesorensen.com Annie Sorensen

      I like how you said that you seem to know when you've crossed the line, Cheryl. That gut feeling! I think how much time we spend here or there or wherever depends completely on the person…and that we can only decide for ourselves where to place our focus. :)

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