If you listen to some people, they’ll tell you that experimenting with any new kind of social media or app is death when You Have A Business To Run.
And I agree that spending all day ‘Meerkatting’ or downloading every new app on Product Hunt is unlikely to help you hit your business goals.
But there’s a fine line between focus and closing yourself off to new opportunities.
After all a lot of the same people built up audiences via blogging or Twitter back in the day and probably had similar ‘waste of time’ speeches levelled at them.
So if you see a new app or platform that you think might help you in some way – or that you see a lot of buzz around and you just want to learn more about – go grab it.
You can always play with it for a week and delete it from your phone (and if you’re worried about distracting yourself with it just get your important stuff done first every day).
But you might find a great new way to connect with your existing audience or build a new one. Even if you don’t, you’ll learn something and actually understand how it works.
Don’t try every single one (unless it’s your business to). Just pick one or two that seem to be attracting a bit of attention (so you don’t waste your time on something too early stage) and see if it works for you.
Is this as important as on focussing on the core stuff of your business? Today, right this minute, probably not.
But for some people, in the long run, it might be. And you’ll never find out if you don’t try.
My Snapchat experiment
In that spirit then of the only way to really learn / understand something is to do it / use it, I’m experimenting with posting a kind of ‘entrepreneurial diary’ on Snapchat to try to keep myself honest by reporting on everything I’m doing.
If you’d like to follow along just download Snapchat and add me (I’m username: iamnickdavis). And of course I’ll add you right back.
PS For another example of this approach see Dan Norris and Chris Ducker’s use of Periscope (a live video broadcast app) which they are both using to connect more with their existing audiences and grow new ones. (Chris has also attributed direct business sales from it).
PPS Here’s Gary Vaynerchuck explaining it better than me (I’ve set the video to start at the relevant question).