6 Ways to Right Size that Big Blogger Ego

Ever find yourself or one of your blogging friends suffering from a case of big blogger ego?

Let’s be honest, this happens much more than anyone would like to admit. When you spend all day online with thousands, tens of thousands, or even hundreds of thousands of followers, it can become easy to take everything too seriously. A false sense of importance takes hold.

Here are six easy ways to recalibrate your head based on personal experiences:

1) The Grocery Store Test

Go to your community grocery store for the weekly eats. If you don’t normally perform this household chore, go with your spouse. If anyone actually recognizes you, you probably have a right to feel like a weblebrity. More than likely, you will be just another citizen amongst citizens. And when you talk to them, tell them you’re a blogger or an Internet personality. Note their reactions. You have identified yourself to the normal world as an oddity.

2) Go to Hollywood

Walk of Fame
Image by Mot the Barber

Try telling everyone that you are an Internet star in the marketing blogosphere. Notice how impressed they are. Before you leave make sure to visit Hollywood Boulevard’s Walk of Fame. Notice your name isn’t on it.

3) Attend a Different Web Conference

Go to a conference about a different part of the web, one that is not in your community. Since you’re reading this blog, attend something not marketing related like HTML 5, Ruby on Rails, or cloud for the enterprise. See how many people recognize your name in casual networking. If it is three or more, you have arrived.

4) Have Fun at Your Own Expense

If you can’t have fun at your own expense — a little self deprecation — then you have definitely become a legend in your own mind. This is not healthy! Do it for a cause or to lighten up a room where fellow community members are a little star struck. One of the core undercurrents in Dale Carnegie’s Great Depression era books on relationship building is self deprecation. It takes a right sized ego (or false humility) to enjoy a little fun at your own expense.

5) Coach a Little League Team

Or get involved in Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, or 4-H. Basically, get yourself around the same group of kids for a few weeks. Be present for them, and leave that phone in the car.

Hopefully, by the end of the experience, all of those children will have great respect for you and what you’ve done for them. See if any of them talk to you about blogging or the Internet (beyond talking games) through the experience, other than to find out what a blogger is. Somehow, investing time in children means more to them than a virtual career.

6) Visit the Wild

Guanicos in the Chilean Patagonia Mountains

Take a long, non internet connected visit in the wild. Notice how you become attuned to the beautiful nature? As you walk, you notice animals and birds. None of them know who you are, in fact they are more than likely afraid of you. But the sight of these beautiful creatures brings great joy to your heart. As Ralph Emerson said, “In the woods, we return to reason and faith.”

Please add your own right sizing exercise… Have a great weekend, folks!

Anatomy of a Great PR Pitch

Stephen Strasburg Delivers

When I woke up this morning the following pitch was waiting for me in my email…

Hi Geoff –

I hope all is well. I’m a fan of your writing and share the same area of focus. I started Pinkdingo.com, which we launched in Beta form in March and are now overhauling with a very specific focus that will differentiate us (and our value-add for charities) quite substantially in a pretty crowded field (online fundraising).

Also, it looks like we have the same taste in motorcycles (see below)….

Anyway, I’d love to chat with you sometime soon about what we’re up to and planning, and online giving in general, if you’re game to do so. I am particularly interested because of this point from your post yesterday:

“It’s time for the popularity-based charity craze to evolve into a much more productive form of crowdsourcing that can better benefit society sans social network spam.”

I think you’ll like where we’re headed and I’d love to just talk about online giving / fundraising / charity and behaviors anyway, I could talk all day on these and I imagine you’re in the same boat, so I think it’d be fun to catch up. I will actually be in DC in the next few weeks, if you’d be up for a beer (always better than the phone….).

Let me know, thanks!

Scott Arneill


Why I Loved This Pitch

Let me just state I almost never ever follow-up on cold pitches via email. I love my readers, but I am a free spirit and tend to blog about what I want. But Scott got his meeting (we’re getting together at the Mashable Social Good Summit on the 20th in New York City). Here’s why:

1) Did his homework and knows what I tend to write about, and even cited a point a recent blog post.

2) Went beyond the norm and researched my personal interests, and even included a motorcycle pic. Aside from Scott’s fabulous taste in motorcycles, even if he had mentioned the Ducati I would have known about the extra effort. I have not actively talked about my GT1000 in roughly 6 months online.

3) The soft sell works. I hate being asked to do something specific. I love being informed of something that may be interesting. Instead of asking for a blog post, spamming me with a press release, or asking me to RT, badge, or anything else specific, he just wanted to chat briefly.

4) Scott offered me value via intelligence about the sector. Given his current role with Pinkdingo, I believe he has insights that I can learn from. The time will be well spent, in my opinion. It seems like quid pro quo to me.

I almost never expose bad pitches as I see them as a by-product of being a successful blogger. Really, I am honored to be spammed. At the same, time I use the delete key liberally. If more people pitched like Scott I think success ratios would go up dramatically. I look forward to learning more about Pinkdingo!