published Friday, July 1st, 2011

Jenkins: Simplify the focus of your technology


by Donnie Jenkins

One of my primary tasks is to help friends and clients overcome frustration in their tech work.

I find that this frustration often comes from trying to do too much at one time, or by not setting a specific goal. You can see this at play in the way some businesses approach social media.

Social networks such as Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIN have forever changed the tech environment. They offer many advantages but can create confusion, too. I have had to learn to simplify my approach to them and especially to focus tightly on the job at hand. This also means ignoring tasks and distractions that do not contribute directly to the end result.

Here’s one example of how narrowing your focus can help:

One of my favorite online gurus is Andy Jenkins. He is a professional video editor, Internet marketer and co-creator of the excellent Kajabi platform for creating membership sites and online promotions. He recently released a blog post quoting an excellent video on social marketing that outlined eight key features of successful social marketing.

One of these speaks directly to the subject at hand: Develop a laser focus on the audience you want to attract and do everything you can to discourage those whom you don’t. While this sounds counterintuitive and counterproductive, it has merit.

Andy Jenkins (no relation to me) gave the example of a recent promotion he did for a video production product, Video Boss. He gave away two iPads in a contest open to everyone. He found that many people not at all interested in video production ran across the contest by searching for iPad on Google and elsewhere. Some of these people left negative comments on his blog promotion page, as they thought the contest was perhaps silly or they were upset to search for the iPad and have to read about something in which they were not at all interested. While he was not overly concerned about the comments, he makes the point that it’s probably better to target your audience more tightly and specifically.

You can see this principle in action anywhere someone or some business is trying to be all things to all people. This never works, and it scatters our efforts and wastes valuable time and energy.

I see this every day in the way people approach computers and technology in general. Many folks get frustrated that they can’t seem to keep up with the latest and greatest, whatever it is, and so do little or nothing.

It’s best to keep in mind the laser focus we spoke of. The key question to ask is, what do we want to do or to accomplish? The next step is to focus only on one aspect of this at a time until we’re done. “Inch by inch, life’s a cinch: yard by yard, life is hard” is the best approach. I have yet to see anyone who is unable to accomplish at least some of their tech goals by zeroing in on one thing at a time.

Email Donnie Jenkins at donniejenkins@yahoo.com.

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