Why Being Internet Famous Is Meaningless and What You Should Do Instead

by Suzan Bond | Featured Contributor

On a gloomy February day 5 years ago, I joined the ranks of Twitter. I had no idea how to maneuver this new media thing but soon I was tweeting, RTing and…paying close attention to my number of followers. When something I did went viral, I got a whiff of what being “internet famous” was like. At first I enjoyed the attention. The people who exclaimed “You’re Suzan Bond?!?” upon meeting me IRL made me blush but still I wouldn’t turn down the attention. I’m embarrassed to admit that it started a craving which rivaled my legendary craving for potato chips. I wanted more!

Over time I discovered that internet fame is much like cotton candy—so airy it lacks real substance. It was hollow. It didn’t bring much except to feed my ego.

IMG_2071You can chase internet fame all day long. You can beg for followers, admire all the people who favorite every thing you say, collect random likes–but what does it really get you? You might get a bunch of followers–who have no idea who you are, don’t understand your skills and have no intention of ever hiring you to design + develop their new project, buy your product or do anything that’s of real worth to you. You’re not unique–you’re just one of the herd.

I know. It’s so very seductive. But what is it really getting you?

Similarly, being a traffic monger is not always the wisest idea. But looking at your traffic is one thing, being a slave to it is quite another. There’s a trend among high profile publications known for their quality work. A number of these well-respected publications stopped showing the numbers to their writers including the MIT Technology Review who found that showing the writers number had them focus on numbers rather than on mission critical things like delivering insight and unique stories and doing quality work.

If you want… 
more clients
more money
more fulfilling work
more of anything you want…

You need to stop focusing solely on the numbers, let go of social media comparisons and focus on adding value. Put quality time into your work. Be REALLY damn good at what you do.

How Baking a Cake Might Just Get You What You Want
The other day I came across GirlWithCake_ who believes that everyone deserves a cake made with love. Her mission made me tear up. It inspired me.

The absolute best part? She started this little project because she received poor treatment and was worried that all people were bad. She wanted to demonstrate to herself and others that it wasn’t true. After the first cake she just didn’t stop.

She doing something powerful with her time, her gifts and her resources. I want to spend more time with that person. I immediately added her to my list of Cool Twitter People and followed her on Instagram. This is a spot-on example of someone who is doing something interesting and having an impact. If she persists with her project there’s no doubt she will gain attention even if that’s not her goal.

Think about it.

She makes strangers smile by making a cake with love just for them. Now I don’t live in Cape Town and I certainly don’t need to feed my sugar addiction but I absolutely want to be a part of her happiness revolution. More happiness in my day? Yes, please.

A Challenge
Perhaps you’re like me and you just need some sort of goal to focus you. Alright then, let’s give you a challenge.

For the next 30 days, turn that focus on numbers into a relentless pursuit of another goal either:
1) Provide value to someone every day.
2) Make something every day (write a blog post, code that app you’ve been wanting to do) and share what you’re up to.

Check back in with me in 30 days and tell me how things are going. My guess? You’ll be much happier, making a difference in people’s lives and closer to your real goals.


Suzan Photo by Aimee GieseSuzan Bond – Branding Expert of Suzan Bond & Co. (Denver & New York City)

Suzan Bond is a brand strategist, CMO-for-Hire and the founder of Suzan Bond & Co  Since she was a wee lass Suzan has been obsessed with the study of human behavior, communication and personal presentation.

Suzan started her career helping brands like Accenture, Banana Republic, Sears and Walmart marry their offline marketing and branding efforts with online strategy and execution. She honed her personal branding expertise as an Executive Coach using her unique formula to help professionals craft their personal brand and market themselves. A writer by nature, Suzan wrote a book about intuition and is currently at work on a memoir and a book about personal branding.

Since leaving the corporate world she has guided numerous startups, entrepreneurs and software developers to discover their persona and genuine messaging. She believes that branding should always be organic and true to the person or organization represented rather than artificial or overly constructed. Her favorite saying is: All you have to be is you.

After growing up just outside Detroit, Suzan’s wanderlust drove her to live in San Francisco, Chicago, Boulder/Denver, Minneapolis and finally New York…for now. By the age of 16 Suzan had visited all of the continental states except one. A devout Twitterer, she’s proud that Perry Farrell of Jane’s Addiction RT’ed her. Twice.

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One Reply to “Why Being Internet Famous Is Meaningless and What You Should Do Instead”

  1. Norma Maxwell

    Already commented…but went to an error page. Not sure if I need to do this again or not, but here goes anyway. This post is the BOMB, Suzan. I love the simple truth of it and I’m taking the challenge…great post and thank you! I knew I liked you. ~N

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