I never believed in karma. Until now. Let me explain.
I experienced what I call a “social media miracle” recently. I was chatting with an insurance colleague, Shelby Allen, via Twitter recently. She was asking me of my weekend plans and I replied, “Probably working on writing a press release for my book” (shameless plug here- I’m releasing a new book called Insuring Your First Home: Your Must-Have Guide to Make Home Buying Painless).
Two reasons I was sweating my “assignment”-
- This book is the most important thing I’ve EVER done and the press release is the best chance I have to tell the world why the book is valuable and why they should buy it. My sales skills would have to be in overdrive.
- I was paying big bucks to distribute the press release via PRWeb.
I typed it with a huge sigh because I’ve written ONE press release in 16 years. I was MAJORLY stressed and had almost worried myself to the point of immobilization. Let’s just say I was not thrilled by the prospect. Here’s her response:
I’m amazed the world didn’t hear the thunk when I fell off my chair. Unbelievable. I immediately typed back- “Can I hire you? And yes, I’m totally serious.” Her response?
I sent her the original Word document and link to the book landing page so she would have as much information as possible to write a “kick-ass” release. Remember, she volunteered to do this on her own free time. And it was Labor Day weekend.
I had the first draft of the release a few days later. And she was right about her skills. Not only was it written in the proper form, but it had the uninterested 3rd party tone that I was unable to capture (because really, if it’s your work, there’s NO way you can be objective). We’re still tweaking it now, but it should be done very soon and just in time for the book’s release.
Here’s what I find amazing about this whole exchange:
- I’ve never met Shelby. We’ve only ever talked via Twitter. And not life-changing conversations either. Pleasantries and insurance jokes, sure, but no discussions about the meaning of life.
- She didn’t even know what the book was about when she volunteered.
- She believed in me and my mission strongly enough to graciously volunteer. Granted, she probably picked up on the pleading and begging “tone” when I asked her to help, but still…..
- She did this out of the goodness of her heart. Honestly. It’s not like her name will appear in the book. Or anywhere near it, except for this post. She did something completely unselfish, volunteering a skill that she knew I lacked and desperately needed.
And quite frankly, I’m still a little struck dumb by the gesture. And I’m also eternally grateful.
This conversation gives me hope about the future of social media
What this exchange did for me was extremely powerful- it chipped away at some of the cynicism I’ve built up over the past few years. Social media has degenerated into a ” scream from the top of your lungs” advertising platform- the epitome of which I personally believe are the automated direct Twitter messages that I seem to get every day telling me “thanks for the follow. I’ve got XYZ I want you to see, so go to this website.” (on a side note, seriously folks, quit doing this. It sucks, it’s unprofessional and people flat out don’t like it).
It proves to me that some people are using social media for its intended purpose- to connect with others, to have conversations- whether silly or serious. To exchange ideas, to offer help where necessary. And the most basic purpose of all- to be human and rejoice in all that that entails.
And to quote a favorite line, “That’s what it’s all about, Charlie Brown.”