The right voice

Beginning this week, in addition to sharing art projects on the PS MacMurray Facebook page, I will include occasional tips and content related to social media marketing. Since these are my areas of expertise, I will focus on social media ethics and the cultural aspects of communication. By “area of expertise” I do not mean to imply that I am the authority on the subject. Simply, I have a great interest in these topics and have studied them for nearly 30 years.

What is the connection to this blog? Let me explain.

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It has been about two weeks since I launched this new blog and the accompanying Facebook page. I spent the last two weeks asking myself how best to use them so that I offer a valuable message. One question kept surfacing: What is my voice?

I read a lot about social media marketing and participate in workshops whenever I can. I studied sociology of communications for four years, in college and at university, and absolutely loved it. There are different schools of thought, from the very aggressive “go for the money” approach to the more convivial voice. I am definitely not cut out for the big business approach. I firmly believe that social media provide a “place” for conversation. Hence the importance of a genuine voice.

It takes longer to build an audience with this sort of voice. It requires more thought and research. The resulting connections usually endure, because the intention is precisely that: to connect and really share knowledge and common interests, as in a “real” relationship. This is extremely important. I would hate blogging and Facebook if I were not able to use them based on these principles.

To be honest, I’ve struggled with finding my voice in my community. I love working with people. I love meeting people and learning from them. In spite of this, I am a hermit. For the past three years, I’ve tried to fit in by joining various groups. It never worked. Not because of them. Because of me. So I pulled back and gave this much thought. I asked myself what made it possible for the people in those groups to work well together and eventually came to the conclusion that it was because they are not trying to fit in. They come together naturally, going where their skills fit best, without effort.

Conclusion: It’s never about fitting in. It’s about giving free expression to whatever it is that we have to offer. For some, this leads to group situations; for others it takes a different shape.

Conclusion: Stop trying and start doing. Doing art. Writing. This is what I have to offer. So how do I do it in a manner that gives something? I asked. I must accept that if someone happens to find inspiration from my artwork or writing, then I have given something. I receive a lot from others’ words, art and experience every single day. I must accept that this works both ways.

Today, on the spur of the moment, I put the dog in the car and we went for a long drive. We stopped in four different places to go for walks. Today, I walked away so that I could clear my voice.

Since I am applying social media strategies to promote my artwork, I thought, why not share that knowledge with my audience as well? I’ll just share what I know, what works for me, the same way I share what I do; the same way we all share what we know and do.

See you here and there!

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