The purpose of this article is two fold. 1) To always keep your eyes on the WHY and 2) We will always have wobbles, but ultimately, it’s how you overcome them.
When I start to notice reoccurring themes in conversations, I like to explore the “why” – for what purpose are these responses coming up, and how can I better educate individuals, leading to behavioural changes for the greater good. (Well, with the ones that truly want to progress in the social media space that is).
I’ll start by sharing for the first time in ten years, last week, I actually edited an Instagram post due to 2 opinions coming from professionals who work in a similar space. Maybe they got to me at a weak moment, which is rare – lol, but I edited the post regardless. On reflection the day after, I was disappointed I changed it, as it held meaning to me, and I knew others enjoyed it also. Even the best of us are going to second guess ourselves sometimes when sharing content, but don’t let it come often, as those doubts will cripple you, and you’ll loose your groove. If you believe in something and know it will impact others who read it, then share it. The more you do this, the more confidence you’ll build when you execute in social media.
Many individuals see the shiny and new in social media, they are intrigued, want to explore more and whether it’s a CEO, a founder, someone in a leadership position or an athlete, they want to leverage the personal branding trend whilst they still have time. Many want to do this to: grow awareness, educate their audience, become a “thought leader” in their industry or sport, engage their followers, grow a database and/or softly “social sell”. Now, this is all good and well if you know what success looks like utilising platforms such as Linkedin, however if you’re not going to fully commit to it then you’re not likely to see results. We are nearing the end of 2018 and there’s never been a more cluttered, noisy and competitive time on social media to capture peoples attention – so you need to have a plan!
I’m writing this post to all those people who are either considering investing into building their personal brand, or are not giving it the time it deserves. Below are a few things you’ll need to commit to if you truly want to propel forward in the space and see the results it can give you.
HAVE A BULLET PROOF ATTITUDE OR EXPECT PAIN
We are all human, we all have opinions and thanks to social media, we can share our thoughts at anytime, anywhere, with anyone at speed and scale. The positive here is that if you have a compelling message/story, know your audience, and back yourself you can absolutely capture attention, and then look to shift that attention into action ( someone comments on your post, a person shares your post as they believe it will add value to their audience, or maybe they visit the company website or your own personally branded site) There’s many places you can take someone once they engage with you and you’ve built trust with them. The pain here is, if you don’t know why you’re on social media, you don’t know who you are and what you stand for on these channels, and you don’t back yourself, then you may get frustrated as your posts aren’t gaining the traction you expected or you decide to take on negative opinions and either give up, or choose not to even get started, due to the fear of what people “may say”. I’ve experienced the latter many times with initial new enquiries. Here are a few things that I hear quite often. I’m sharing these with you, as you may have similar thoughts. If so, understand it’s NORMAL to feel like this, just don’t let it hold your progress back.
“I don’t want to come across like a big head and know it all”
“I don’t want the attention on just me”
“I don’t want to attractive negative attention”
“I don’t know what to write”
“I don’t want my team mates to think I’m a W@#nker and to stand out too much”
“I don’t have the time”
“I’m not established enough to go for Instagram verification”
My advise to you is – know your “why” on social media and understand what you want it to do for you. Once you get started, have a long tail mindset, fully commit to it, be patient and learn from the feedback and keep taking action. The above are only fears of “uncertainty” “not feeling good enough”- once you have a plan mapped out and commit to it, these thoughts will be overcome with feelings of momentum and success will start to creep in.
You may slip up at times, but reflect and push forward
Again, we are all human and may slip up at times. I’ve been in the social media game for over a decade and have always shared my opinion on business and life, even more so from a social media standpoint AND built up a successful social media firm from doing so. People love to spend time with people who are moving forward, who have momentum, who are confident, knowledgable and certain. There’s a saying, “help enough people get what they want, you get what you want” – Zig Ziglar . I adopted this attitude in 2008 – immersing myself by sharing knowledge at speaking gigs, events and via videos/webinars and social media posts. I’ve also spent lots of time with people who are on similar paths, and continue to learn from them. I’ve always believed in what I’ve said and had a bulletproof attitude, even when many have questioned me, I think this is because I know my craft incredibly well now. Some of the “questioning or negative” comments that I receive from time to time, I reflect on whether next time I can say it better, but they have never got to me (apart from that one incident that came up last week in the leading paragraph – we are all human:) ).
So, to wrap it up, here are a few things you’ll need to have prepared prior to fully launching into the space.
- Know your “why” eg: – why are you are you on social media, and what does success look like 12-24 months from now? What do you want others to think/say about you? Why follow you over someone else in your field? What type of people do you want following you and why? What value do you give, that others do not in your field?
- Have a content strategy or road map in place – identify “discussion” themes that you’d like to share on social media or factual posts to add value. We tend to use content pillars at Thinktank and then brainstorm with the client which topic or theme can go under each pillar. EG of pillars: INSPIRED content, EDUCATED content, and TRANSACTIONAL content. Remember it doesn’t always have to be your own content either. Thoughtful and insightful posts on others can be just as powerful. Follow thought provoking leaders to understand better how they do it.
- Storytell and document – we all love stories as they entertain. Look to share content in a way that’s fluid and conversational. You can also look to document your journey, team journey, companies journey over time. Just ensure there is a purpose and outcome to doing this.
- Allocate realistic resources so you can execute – understand how much time you are willing to invest into it, what resourcing tools can assist with efficiency and also any advertising investment you’re prepared to contribute to further amplify your content. For a person getting started, I recommend a minimum of 4 hours a week to plan out the content, schedule in, like and comment on others posts, and reach out to new individuals. A resource which is an all time favourite of ours right now, and pretty much does the leg work for you is Metigy .If you need an advisory partner to help you keep on track then it’s worth heading over to meet the guys at Thinktank Social
- Metrics for success – understand how to measure your progress. Is it about your engagement % increasing, driving traffic to a website, building partnerships, growing your network, communicating a new product or service into the market. Know what you want to achieve then associate the relevant metrics with it so you can track your progress.
If you found this valuable, I’d truly be appreciative of a comment on why or share away also. Thanks for your time.