Julie & Julia Is A Social Media Success Story & A Banana Split Life Lesson


banansplitLet me preface this post by saying this might be the only time I will reference a book/movie on this blog that is not a Sci-Fi. Yes, I am a complete nerd- proud of it! “YOU SHALL NOT PASS!”

There are two lessons I took from Julie & Julia.

Julie & Julia is a case study of Social Media success. The premise of the movie is a very ordinary gal (Julie Powell) has a really tough job post-9/11. She feels nothing in her life because this job is so unrewarding, yet she has everything. When her and her husband came up with the idea to cook over 500 recipes out of Julia Childs cook book in 365 days is when her life starts to fly. She blogs her experience and her diligence to the blog paves the way to many doors opening for her. The lesson for the Social Media world? Being diligent about original content daily is the recipe for success! So much so that Julie Powell opened the doors to a writing career just from taking an ambitious idea, sticking to it and making it a reality. It all culminated with the release of her book and the movie adaptation. The business world should take note and figure out who their Julie Powell is, and what is the idea they are going to stick to what will the business drivers be? Lastly, purchase the book or the movie (when it is out on DVD) and give it to anyone with your office walls who you could call a Social Media naysayer.

Do what you love! The message of the movie was to follow your passion! It wasn’t until Julie Childs indulged herself in French cuisine that she was able to find out about her love of food. Nor did she realize she loved cooking until she abandoned her government job in favor of her passion. Same deal with Julie Powell- her career path was a miserable dead end until she did something about it. Today she has a published book and a movie about her book starring Meryl Streep. Not bad for taking a lead of faith with a pinch of passion! What does this have to do with Social Media? Probably nothing! If anything it is a reminder that this is life- your life! You have one shot at it and it is probably much too short to be spent doing something not fulfilling. Maybe it is because I recently turned 35 and have started thinking about mortality. Or maybe it is because I talk to so many people who seem “vanilla” in their careers. Not the kind of stuff that as a kid they would have ever envisioned themselves doing as an adult. As a kid, most of us envision life as a banana split with many flavors and toppings! So make the banana split! Julie & Julia did!

Thanks for taking this route off the beaten path with me. Sometimes new adventures are in order to keep the insightful engine tuned up and kicking ass!

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6 responses to “Julie & Julia Is A Social Media Success Story & A Banana Split Life Lesson

  • Jasper Blake

    Hey Derek – I take nothing away from what you said – I saw the film and also thought it was inspiring. However, what people mustn’t forget about Julie is that she was already an aspiring writer to begin with. It wasn’t her ‘Julia’ blog that made her into a writer (although it did get her noticed), she had already written a novel that no-one was interested in – she was already a writer – she just needed inspiration – a subtle but important difference.

    I certainly hope the film encourages more people to blog. It is a great medium for self expression. But people should be under no illusions that a successful blog (ie. one that is read) is down to good writing (or good video, if that is your preferred medium). If you are not passionate about writing (or making videos) then however compelling your muse, you will not successfully blog about it.

    • derekshowerman

      Jasper, thanks for commenting. Your comments leads to a whole different conversation. Is there a correlation between Social media & social networking success and being passionate about the product? For example, Julie Powell was passionate about cooking and writing about her cooking adventures. But what if she had to do it for toothpicks? Would she have had a degree of success that she has had? This leads me to my point- is there a correlation in SM & SM success with the objectives being something the stakeholders really care about. Can you be hired to care about toothpicks? Are some brands or products just too bland for SM & SN?

      • Jasper Blake

        Derek – thanks for the follow up – don’t get me wrong – I’m sure there is a strong correlation between passion for a subject/product and social media success – and authenticity is everything – my only point was whether being passionate is enough in itself to be successful. Or is it passion + ability = success? If you have the passion but not the ability, would you still be a success? – and I am purely talking in the context of writing a blog here. If you had the ability but not the passion, could you be a success? I think a skilled PR writer might be able to do so given the right motivation (eg. being paid). Could a writer help a person with passion but no ability? I think so. But I do believe that in such a case the writer concerned should have close contact with the person/business concerned – I’m not sure they could do a successful job remotely, as it were – and you need to let your audience know that this is what is being done in order to keep it authentic.

        I guess my point is that passion is certainly the best starting point, but ability can be bought in if you haven’t got it yourself, especially if success is an important part of the equation. The problem for a lot of people, especially in business, is that they have the passion but lack the confidence in their own abilities to get that passion across in an appropriate manner using the written word as a medium. Or they may lack the skills to achieve what they want to achieve in a timely manner. In such a case, partnering with someone who has those skills can get you into the game. Julie had the skills anyway – but if you yourself haven’t, don’t despair – just get someone to help you.

  • ABiscotti

    ability absolutely matters. that’s why people are paid to provide content for blogs, facebook and twitter.

  • Aurora Palesca

    Thanks, Derek! That was just the kind of pep talk that I’ve been needing. I left my job a year ago to found my own design business (handcrafted jewelry, cards, invitations, books, and more), and I recently began blogging about the experience. It can be trying at times, but I LOVE what I’m doing. I hope that my passion is showing through in my blogging!

  • derekshowerman

    Aurora, great to hear. If you ever need help, please drop me a line. Keep enjoying what you do!

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