Mainly business stuff, but not always :-)
Mainly business stuff, but not always :-)
Social Media Stress - how much of it is really productive, or is it just another long list of 'ToDo's that are getting you no where?
Guess what?!!… LinkedIn launched streaming video a few weeks ago. One of the last major social media players to do so. Now you can add the LinkedIn Vlog to your list of todo’s to be able to be seen in all the right places.
… and probably at least a dozen more that didn’t make it into my memory banks with prepared videos for each different platform
Hmmm, does that feel like a full time job? Honestly I get stressed just looking at that list.
And to make things even more peachy for the average business owner, all of these platforms keep changing the rules on you! What used to work for you doesn’t anymore, so you have to not only create and curate content for all of these things, once you have learned how to do it and are just getting good at it you have to go and re-learn the whole thing all over again.
I have belonged to so many different so called systems in facebook that were created in reaction to a change that Facebook forced onto us that they have all converged into a huge stomach churning blur. So many different rules I should have been following. (Anyone remember the Facebook ladder groups and then the EdgeAway groups that replaced them? Am I now showing my age? In social media years I feel ancient!!)
Then I get clients who have difficulty comprehending just the difference between a profile and a business page and feel like bursting into tears when confronted with yet another change or new feature when they were just getting the hang of a few of the basics. They feel like they might as well give up entirely and pack up their business sometimes.
Just Stop and Breathe for a minute
So I am going to ask everyone to just stop and think a minute. In fact just stop and breathe, stop chasing the newest marketing ‘gadget’ and take some time to sit back and think about this rationally.
Business owners in general are overworked with the ever increasing demands of marketing. I get it, you need to keep those sales coming in, and without any kind of marketing, whether that is word of mouth from a happy customer or a multimillion sponsorship we need marketing to trigger the next sale. Without money coming in we don’t have a business.
This I am not disputing. But most of us have gotten caught up in ‘Shiny Object’ syndrome… and I include all the experts in this. I could spend 80 hours a week easily just reading all the expert advice on how to tweak all the different platform approaches. And then having to re-read that expert advice because yet again something has changed or a new technique has been proven to be the hottest thing to catch people’s attention.
But in my request for you to stop and think the first thing I want you to think about is why does it all keep changing so frequently?
…. Seriously I want you to stop and think about that because it is a really important question.
Because I can assure you that all these changes are not all due to technological advancement, far from it. Developers are not paid to make changes just to keep them employed, Facebook is not that philanthropic. In fact usually the changes are driven by human behaviour and the respective ‘powers that be’ then go design the solutions before creating the technology.
So what is the human behaviour that drives all this infuriating changes in marketing and social media platforms?
Marketing ‘people’ are more focused on the metrics than the message.
There I said it, social media marketers are driving the changes they hate. Anyone involved in normal marketing activities drive the changes that they / we don’t want!
And it is because some of us get so good at the technical side of shoving a message under someone’s nose that the general public gets sick of it so the platform providers make changes to keep their customers happy. Marketers then find a way to exploit the medium with the new changes and so ad infinitum. It is a vicious circle.
Starting to get the picture? This realisation has slowly been revealing itself these past few months after a few indicators, one of which was me and my client’s different levels of overwhelm by all the things we are all supposed to be doing. I mean in years gone by all you had to do to start a business was stick a sign up on the door ‘Open for Business’ like everyone else and you stood an average chance.
Now you have to be competing on at least most of the channels listed above… just to be average.
Well let’s not be average, let’s be Different!
So yeah I remember what it was like to get stressed and frustrated, because all this ‘chasing’ was taking valuable time away from important work like writing, creating products and coaching clients… now that has to be really valuable compared to figuring out how to use the pixel in facebook ads…?
And then I came across a refreshingly different marketing guru who systemised his marketing (those of you who know me know I love to be able to break things down into a simple to follow system… mainly so that I or my clients don’t have to do the huge pile of grunt work required but someone else can do it without standards slipping... you know... the EMyth way). I came across his name after researching an associate’s newest marketing guru. When I looked up reviews there was comment after comment to forget said guru and go read Sean D’Suoza’s Brain Audit, or check out the Psychotactic website.
I was intrigued, and duly went to find out more. Sean D’Souza has to be one of the most refreshing marketing guru’s I have come across since Jay Abraham. (Yes I am also that old to remember Jay Abraham before he had gained global recognition)
Sean’s approach is to pare everything back to the psychological basics of why people buy. He has a 7 step system that is so easy to understand, less so to apply because you got to really think about this stuff, but definitely easy to understand. In essence it is so simple, and in it’s simplicity lies its power. You can apply his principles to any platform you care to regardless of any technical changes.
So first there was my typical stress and the thought that there had to be a better way, then there was Sean’s book on the specifics of marketing, that along with my EMyth approach to business in general and their systemised approach to the sales funnel has significantly changed the way I have been approaching marketing these past few months.
But what actually prompted me to go write this blog was a message from a contact in LinkedIn asking if I would mind going on their email list for their new range of products… Hmm maybe me thinks. What were the products, I asked.
Kitchens… Ah well I am probably not your target market as I have just spent a fortune on renovating the house to put the kitchen of my dreams into.
Well could we send you an email anyway … Ok, I replied, if nothing else I could perhaps give you some feedback.
That afternoon said email duly arrived. Some poor soul has obviously taken great pride in producing this thing and they are trying to be ethically correct in asking permission instead of just putting me on there, so one brownie point at least.
But it was soulless, almost depressing. There was a photo of a beautiful kitchen which is the polar opposite of my taste, so not only had I just bought a kitchen they were showing me a picture of something I would hate in my house. Not exactly their target market. If it wasn’t for the fact that I had said I would give them some feedback and they had asked me so nicely it would have hit the junk pile faster than it would take for Trump to back track on his latest public announcement.
Lies, all lies
And it suddenly struck me… They were following the rules that they had been told, and that most of us never really take the time out to question. They were building an email list and creating pretty looking digital sales pamphlets…. But that is the point, we accept these rules without question, at least without the important questions.
They were not following the ‘Real World’ rules of going where you are celebrated, where people want to connect, to be inspired, instructed, where they want to share and collaborate.
They (and I include myself in this group also) don’t want adverts shoved under their noses. So I went back to Sean D’Souza and looked at what he was doing. I love his stuff. And where most newsletters automatically go into my uproll.me folder, his is delivered right into my inbox along with Seth Godin and EMyth. Everyone else is shoved to a pile that I sometimes read and often don’t… And yet I do not belong to his LinkedIn group, or like his facebook page, I don’t even know if he has one. (I don’t even know if his site came up on Google) But I have subscribed to his podcast and newsletter, and now have bought his book. No video or facebook advert, no google ad, just people talking about him.
So what does that tell you?
Permission to free Yourself
That proves to me yet again something that I had been suggesting to clients in overwhelm for a little while now when working on their areas of marketing … find out where your clients are and what you are comfortable with and then put out quality. And more importantly find out what you are really good at then get really good at articulating the fact, without the normal marketing BS.
Stop chasing all the different platforms, find which medium works for you and your target market and that allows you to CONNECT. Give yourself permission to ditch the ones that don’t sit right with you, it will adversely affect your message. Then get really good at connecting instead of exploiting the latest technical angle.
I found Sean through referrals, I looked at what he was doing and I felt a connection. And I felt total relief as far as my marketing was concerned. He gave me permission to get out of social media technicalities and back to the real world, he was doing it and making a really good living and lifestyle by not doing what everyone else was doing.
I found EMyth through academic studies which referenced and recommended the book and became a coach with them because I felt an incredibly strong connection. All the other coaching companies did not have the same heart as EMyth, they had a different soul and value system compared to others and it said something important to me.
Can you see the common factor? I am now one of those ‘fans’ or part of the ‘tribe’ or whatever the latest term is, basically I am a loyal supporter, because I know who they are and that they speak from the heart, believe passionately in what they do and they get real results. They love it if you get them but are happy knowing that not every person on the planet will like them. (Another marketing discussion for another time, your niche)
So that is my reasoned argument for ditching the latest fad on all these different Social Media platforms, get back to basics and stop trying to do everything that everyone is telling you you should be doing for 2 reasons:
It doesn’t work long term, the fads and technical techniques only works temporarily because it doesn’t feel genuine to your audience
Your sanity, you only have so much time or resources. Don’t try to compete with the efforts of these big brands who have massive full time teams, be you, be real and be practical.
So what are the basics? Find your message, then find where prospects / clients who understand and relate to you all comfortable with, develop value and connections, and then feel free to drop a lot of the other stuff because they are just shiny baubles that tarnish quickly and saps your energy.
You will find me and my articles on LinkedIn, here (beingbusiness.co.uk) and my newsletter. Other stuff is just automatically linked and posted. (I am crap at putting stuff out on facebook, my facebook group will attest to this) I am told by experts it will turn off different platform users such as Twitter. I make no apologies for this. I am concentrating on seeing clients and putting out articles that might help people I will never get to work with.
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