Timing the Future Starts with What You’re Doing Right Now

Thanks to a recent tweet by @Jgombita (UPDATED with reference to tweet) I re-discovered an interview I did with Erin Nelson at Explore B2B last April and then curated as part of a post on content marketing for SEO Journal.

Take note if you're working on getting your content discovered through connected individuals.

Also, many of the highest Google search posts are conversations with industry experts I published here.

Hopefully, Erin won't mind my highlighting the second part of the interview where I talked about this blog as a learning tool.


Your blog, Conversation Agent, is among the Top 50 blogs on AdAge Power150. How were you able to achieve this level of social media visibility?

Valeria: It may sound simplistic, but: it’s an outcome of doing the work.  Putting some thought, research, and commitment behind publishing completes the sentence with “leadership.” Simple is not the same as easy, though. The blog was always the last thing I did in the day, or I should say night, after delivering at my corporate job, and the first place where I tried new ideas in digital marketing, studying the results for potential implementation at work. It’s the place where I took all the risks, every day. Being consistent and persistent helps.

Writing on the blog was only part of the equation. Commenting on other blogs, extending discussions, helping others with research and content via interviews and writing for other sites with higher visibility like Fast Company, Marketing Profs, Daily Fix, The Blog Herald, Marketing 2.0 made it all work.

Then, of course, we had Twitter (where I founded and moderated a weekly chat on business and shared content daily), the Facebook page (where we talked possibility with a “what if” series), and now Google+. For more about how I use social networks, see here. All together, I figure I published upward of 2 million words. Staggering digital and social inventory, isn’t it?

Publishing in English and Italian is quite an impressive feat. How does being able to communicate your ideas in more than one language influence your business relationships?

Valeria: It is a feat, because culture is a dominant part of language and identity. In March, The New York Times published an article that discussed some recent research that supports what many people who speak more than one language have experienced to varying degrees:

"SPEAKING two languages rather than just one has obvious practical benefits in an increasingly globalized world. But in recent years, scientists have begun to show that the advantages of bilingualism are even more fundamental than being able to converse with a wider range of people."

The brain grows by use. We saw proof of that when working with early child brain development in the first several years of my career. Back then, I was actually logging in forty hours of simultaneous interpreting and a hundred or more in written and consecutive translation per month. Going to-and-from one lanuague to another literally requires a constant adjustment to thinking in a different context, based upon cultural references. I used to laugh because it took about twice as long to say anything in Italian than it did to say the same thing in English. Italian is a descriptive language, you see.

You learn to identify patterns early and to connect meaning quickly -  when you do that day in, day out. Extrapolating the lessons for business in digital media and on the social Web means being attuned to the opportunities that develop to form relationships in the moment. It’s as much an art as it is a science.

What is the one, most important bit of advice you would share with professionals on how to drive online growth?

Valeria: Timing the future starts with what you’re doing right now.

… and so it does.


[image courtesy Paul Foreman]


Valeria is an experienced listener. She is also frequent speaker at
conferences and company events on a variety of topics. To book her for a
speaking engagement click here.

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