How amazing is it that we live in a time and place where the ability to share our message, connect and service people all around the world, is right at our fingertips? Online marketing + Social Media is something that the generations of entrepreneurs before us didn't have... and it's now an essential part of business that we've learned to incorporate into almost every aspect of our life at a rapid pace.
But what if you notice it's starting to hold you back in your life and business? When it becomes something that no longer brings you joy, or is actually getting in the way of your progress, it's important to take a step back and evaluate your strategy + social media habits... or as Ice Cube eloquently puts it "chickity-check yo self before you wreck yo self".
Here are some example behaviours of when it's time to check your social media approach:
comparing yourself to others in a negative way
using it to procrastinate instead of getting important work done
constantly being distracted/sidetracked by notifications
hoarding content instead of building connections
losing track of too much time spent scrolling
constantly posting but getting frustrated at the lack of results
And this is just to name a few... these habits can be a slippery slope and suck up one of the MOST valuable things you have as an entrepreneur, YOUR PRECIOUS TIME AND ENERGY.
Here are a few best practices that have helped me and my clients stay on track, focused and productive before jumping into the digital abyss.
1. SET A CLEAR INTENTION: What is your goal and strategy for using social media in the first place? What outcome are you looking for? Decide what your plan is BEFORE you login, so you know exactly what it is you need to do and why. ex: Are you logging in to make a post? Engage with/build your followers? Give comments/connect? Get inspiration?
2. GIVE A TIME LIMIT: Depending on what your intention is, try setting an alarm to remind yourself when you need to move on to another task. I personally like using Caato Time Tracker to track all my tasks and client work.
3. BE FAIR TO YOURSELF: Don’t get in the habit of comparing yourself to others. It's not fair to criticize your chapter 2 because you're comparing it to someone else’s chapter 20. It’s great to have people that you admire and whose style you love but remember that the accounts you idolize were also once beginners. Learn from them, be happy for them, and know that you are going to have your very own kind of stepping stones as you progress and evolve. If you find yourself feeling bad, take a little break, but don’t doubt how amazing you are and don’t give up just because you’re not the BEST yet. There’s room for us all to shine.
4. TURN OFF NOTIFICATIONS: When you are working on getting important shit done turn off as many alerts as possible. It would be nice to turn off the phone completely, but if you're like me a lot of your notes, pictures and tools are on your phone, and it’s also how clients can get a hold of you during your business hours. To minimize distractions, turn off the notifications for IG, Twitter, snapchat etc. Until the project you are working on is finished.
5. ASK WHY & HOW: Before you spend the time making a post and putting it out there for followers, ask yourself why you are posting it and how it will benefit your target market. If the answers don’t align with your brand, mission, or goals then save your time by not posting it on your business account... perhaps it's more suited for your personal account instead.
6. PICK YOUR PLATFORMS WISELY: Social media for entrepreneurs isn't about being everywhere all at once. Instead, be visible where it counts. Especially if you are just starting out, it can easily get overwhelming if you try to do it all. What's more important is to focus on being fully engaged with one or two platforms and posting on them consistently so that your ideal clients actually get the chance to know, like and trust you. It's about being where your target market is and building relationships with your tribe. Think quality over quantity.
7. OUTSOURCE: At the end of the day, if you find social media taking too much time away or draining you from the work you truly care about and need to be doing… then it might be time to invest in outsourcing some of the smaller tasks so that you can focus on the bigger picture. Once you have a good understanding of your online branding and feel you have spent enough time doing it all yourself, try looking into hiring a virtual assistant or someone to help create an online strategy with you. I can help you get started. It can help take some of the load off and allow you to get back to doing what YOU do best and what’s best for your business and clients.
Putting your authentic self out there for the online world to see is a brave thing to do, and you should feel proud of yourself no matter what stage you are at. The missions and vision you have for your life and business are going to keep you motivated and attract the right people in your life, so make sure you trust your path and treat yourself with kindness. When you feel shitty and are doubting whether it's all worth it... remember WHY YOU STARTED. Don't give up and don't be afraid to ask for help. Success always takes help and there is no shame in that. We are all connected—We are all in this together.