How To Start Marketing Your New Business On Social Media

[If you’d prefer to watch this in video format, scroll to the bottom!]

You’ve just started your new business.  Congratulations!!  I’m sure you’ve already realised that you should be using social media in your marketing mix.  But how do you get started and what are the right steps to take to lead you towards success?

 

  1. Work out what you want to achieve

Rather than just jumping straight in, take a bit of time to work out what success on social media looks like for your business.  If you’re looking to generate sales directly through social media, how many will you be aiming for in the coming year?  And then break that down by how much you expect each quarter.  If it’s web traffic, how much traffic are you expecting?  Get specific on what you wish to achieve and the date by which you wish to achieve it.  This will help keep you focused on the actions you need to take on social media.  It will also allow you to measure the success of your activity.

 

  1. Define your audience

Who is it you want to attract as your social media audience?  Get clear on as many features of your audience as you possibly can.  The more specific you can get, the more this will help you generate the right content.  And remember, if you target other businesses, your audience will be someone within the business, not the business itself.

You need to consider all demographics, plus behavioural features such as what challenges them, what knowledge they are seeking, what entertains them, what value can you provide for them.

 

  1. Pick the right platform(s)

Once you’ve highlighted who your audience is, it’s time to work out where that audience is.  You don’t need to be on every social media platform.  In fact, it’s probably best to not spread yourself thinly across them all.  Focus your efforts on the one(s) that will get you the best response from the audience you are looking for.  Research the demographics of each platform.  If you are B2B, LinkedIn is likely to be a must.  But consider other platforms too.  For example, Instagram is a popular place for professionals to build relationships in a more relaxed way than may be typical on LinkedIn.  If you’re B2C, you’re probably going to look more at Facebook and Instagram.  Twitter, TikTok, Snapchat and YouTube may also want to be part of your marketing mix, depending on your audience and your message.

 

There is a full video with 12 steps to start marketing your business on social media available to Planet Social Media members.  To find out more about Planet Social Media and what benefits members receive CLICK HERE.

 

 

10 Positive Actions To Take On Social Media In The Current Coronavirus Crisis

There’s no denying that this is the weirdest of times for us all.  Whether you’re having to juggle working from home with your children there, stop the routines you’re so used to like going to the gym (and the pub!), having financial concerns or the threat of business closure, or even suffering from coronavirus.

It may want you to hide away from social media, not knowing the right approach to take for the best.  But I suggest the opposite.  Social media can offer a place of solace and togetherness right now.

So, here’s ten positive actions I suggest businesses take on social media right now.

 

  1. ACKNOWLEDGE IT

It frustrates me when you read posts saying how it’s “business as normal” for them.  No matter what situation you have found yourself in as a result of this crisis, it is not business as normal for anyone!!  We are having to change the way in which we live our day-to-day lives.

So, acknowledge that this is the case for your audience.  Yes, social media can offer some form of escapism.  Or add humour to the situation.  But this can still be done while acknowledging what’s going on in the world.

Simply starting your post with things such as “let’s not mention the C word for 1 minute!” to lead in to your non-coronavirus related post.  Or a “I think we could all do with a laugh at the minute” to lead in to your humorous post.

The important thing is you don’t act as if nothing in the world has changed.

 

  1. BE VISIBLE

No matter how this has impacted your business, if you want your business to still be operating when this is all over (and one day it definitely will be), it’s important to stay visible and don’t let your audience forget you exist.

You don’t have to post as often as you used to.  I have definitely reduced my volume of content creation, mainly due to the time constraints of having my three young girls at home all day on my own.  But also, I understand that many of us aren’t feeling all that creative right now.

If you’re stuck for ideas of what content to share, the first thing I would be asking is ‘how can HELP.’

 

  1. HELP

If there’s one type of content that is definitely working right now, it’s content that provides help, support and guidance to others.  We all have new needs that we didn’t have before.  And new questions we are struggling to answer.

Do a brainstorming session of how you can help people right now through your content, with the knowledge you have.

There are needs and wants for:

  • Keeping children entertained in the home
  • Keeping fit at home
  • Managing nutrition on limited resources
  • Cooking restaurant standard food at home
  • Home cocktail making masterclasses
  • Understanding furloughing of employees
  • Managing productivity when working from home
  • Home hair dying when you have only had it done at the salon
  • Self care
  • Managing anxiety
  • Selling in difficult times
  • Managing finances
  • Learning new skills
  • Managing boredom
  • Overcoming insomnia

You get the idea!!!  We’re all faced with new needs, so how can your business help with those.  For example, a restaurant could provide guidance on how to cook the perfect steak.  A beauty salon on how to perform your own facial at home.  A bar could teach people how to make cocktails.  Just because you’ve been forced to close, doesn’t mean you have to stop posting.

 

  1. ENGAGE

I think it’s really important we stay connected with others while we are isolated in our own homes.  Social media offers such a big opportunity for this.  Simply taking a bit of time out each day to comment on the posts of those you follow will both help you feel a bit more connected to the outside world, but to also build relationships with those you engage with.

You can also look at different ways to engage, such as sending voice notes or video messages, to add a more personal touch.  This will definitely give a boost to those you send them to.

And, commenting on other’s posts will also help increase the engagement on your own posts.  Stay connected.

 

  1. SELL

Selling is tricky at times like this isn’t it?  I say times like this.  When have we ever had a time like this?!!!!

But, businesses have to survive it, and still need to make sales.  I think many businesses assume that their audience have no money or no inclination to buy right now.  And an assumption is exactly what it is.  There are still people earning every day.  And they might be more inclined to buy right now, depending on what you sell.

I usually suggest an 80/20 split with your social media content, with 80% being non-sales posts and 20% being sales posts.  I don’t see that as being any different right now.  Your sales messages will probably need adapting though.  You may need to point out that you are still operating and still need to make sales.  You may want to adapt your message to suggest why this is something that they might need right now.

You may also want to consider running an offer.  You don’t have to dramatically reduce you’re pricing.  Again, it’s an assumption that people don’t have money right now.  But, it could be a good idea to run a deadlined offer for something that could be really helpful to people right now.

For example, I’m currently running an offer to join Planet Social Media for only £1, to help businesses learn more about how to grow their business on social media (which I think is becoming more and more important to businesses, especially those who have had marketing budgets slashed and are having to rely on free or low cost methods).

Remember, there is a big difference between profiting (which keeps your business going) and profiteering, which is taking advantage of others in a time of need (such as those people who bought loads of hand sanitizer then sold it on ebay for ridiculous prices).

 

  1. GO LIVE

Have you noticed there seems to be an influx of people going live at the moment?  I think partly it’s a need to connect with others beyond our four walls.  I also think people are more in need of openly communicating.

If you’ve never gone live before, or have a fear of going live, now could be a good time to break through that fear.  The majority of the audience for a live broadcast watch the recording after.  So the first few times, you could decide not to share the recording of the live and limit your audience while you get confident in doing it.

You could also schedule lives that are relevant to your audience’s needs.  Let them know you’ll be going live and the time/date and suggest they add it to their calendar, or add a countdown on Instagram stories for them to get reminded.  You can then prep the main points you want to discuss.  It’s a great opportunity for your audience to interact directly with you and ask questions.

 

  1. SHARE SELFIES

Social media has always been about people.  But again, I think this is more important than ever.  Remind your audience who the people in your business are.  They may not be able to see you face-to-face, but they won’t forget what you look like!  It adds a much more personal touch to your social media.  People want to hear from people right now, not stock images.

Show your face!!!!

When taking selfies, lighting is important.  You want to stand near a natural light source.  Cloudy days work best rather than direct sunlight.  You can also use apps like Snapseed to improve your image and add features such as brightness and lens blur.

 

  1. OFFER SOMETHING NEW

It may be that you’ve offered the same product/service for years and years but are unable to sell it right now.  Let’s not use the word ‘PIVOT’ because everyone else is!!!  But it could be that you add a new offering and share it on social media.

This could be as simple as a takeaway service if you’re a restaurant and never offered it before, delivering home hair dye kits if you’re a hairdressers, creating an at home pamper package, switching your in-person training delivery to online, creating a new online course, running online exercise classes, and so on.

I’m sure you’ve seen many businesses add a new offering to allow them to continue in the current situation.  And you may be able to as well.  Social media is a great place to share what you are now offering.  AND, you can continue to offer it once this is all over.

 

  1. BE INSPIRED

I’m finding social media a place of inspiration lately.  For good news stories.  For businesses doing their part to support those on the front line.  For quotes to lift you up.  For humorous memes on this whole crazy situation.

Social media can definitely be somewhere to lighten the mood and remind you about the good going on in the world.  It may just get your creative juices flowing when you see others creating inspiring content.

 

  1. LEARN

Many of you reading this will find more time on your hands.  Which offers a great opportunity to learn new skills in your business that will put you in a solid position when all this blows over.  Jot down everything you’d like to learn about for your business, and then seek out the social media accounts that will help you learn that information.  Also look for books, podcasts and online courses that can help you achieve your learning goals.

You will probably want to relate this to your particular situation right now.  For example, you might want to learn how to turn your business from offline in to online.  Or, if you have been forced to temporarily close down, now is the time to be learning as many marketing skills as possible to help you grow quickly when you are able to reopen.

If you want to learn more about marketing your business on social media, I have added an 8 module course on this topic to Planet Social Media.  And you can currently join for only £1!!  You can find out more about the course, and join Planet Social Media to get access to it, here.

 

Wishing you all good health.  Stay safe and stay home x

10 Instagram Success Tips For Beginners

Instagram is the ‘platform de jour’ at the moment (unless you’re under 18yrs old, then of course it’s all about TikTok!).

I’ve recently been having a lot of conversations with business owners who want to give Instagram a go but feel a little apprehensive about it.  What are stories?  What pictures should I share?  How do I get my first follower?  Starting any platform can be daunting.  But with the different features of Instagram, it’s one that seems to bewilder quite a few people.

So, what would be my top tips for getting started on Instagram?

  1. Go take a look at other people’s profiles

To get a good idea of what goes on on Instagram, it’s worth having a little snoop around first.  Search for businesses and influencers in your industry, or other businesses/people you know, on Instagram.  Take a look at how they use it so you can get a feel for it.  This is definitely not for you to replicate what they do.  More to give yourself a feel for the platform and a little more confidence in using it yourself.

You can look at anyone’s profile without logging in.  If you Google ‘Instagram and BUSINESS NAME’ it should help you find their profile.  Or if you know what it is, just type www.instagram.com/USERNAME in to your browser.

 

2.  Make sure your profile introduces YOU!

Sounds so obvious, but there are so many businesses with wishy-washy bios.  The ‘we help make people’s dreams come true’ type ones!!  Just get straight to the point.  Make it easy to read by using bullet points.  You could use emojis as your bullets to bring more interest to it.

Also, if you’re a small business like me, don’t hide behind your logo.  Use a headshot for your profile picture.

 

3.  Start posting as if you have an audience

Don’t wait for your audience to arrive before you start posting content.  If you go to follow people and they see you have posted nothing, chances are they won’t follow you back!  Plus, posting content means you can include hashtags that will allow people to start finding you (more on this below..).

An obvious one to begin with is introducing yourself/the business and include a selfie or a team shot  (FYI, you have to include a picture or video with your post).  You could do a ten facts, including some comical ones to engage people.  Make it more interesting than “Hi I’m NAME, I’m new to Instagram.  Let me introduce my business…..”.

 

4. Post consistently (every day!!!) with content your audience wants to see

Don’t dabble then decide it’s not going to work because you posted one picture and only got one like!  You need to post consistently to help build your audience and the engagement on your content.  Set yourself the challenge to post every day.  You can have the weekend off if you want, though I find my Saturday posts get a good bit of engagement!

Don’t get too hung up on what the image should be.  You can share selfies, team pictures, employee spotlights, product pictures, office views and whatever you think would work well to showcase your business.  I mainly share selfies on my account, so that people can get to know me. But I do incorporate text based images too.  These are easy to create using Canva.com.

The important thing is that you are consistently present while you build your audience.  Avoid selling in your posts.  Instead, share knowledge, raise discussions, introduce your team members if you have a team, ask questions.  Essentially, anything except trying to sell!  Your audience won’t be attracted to follow you if you only posts sales messages.

 

5. Go follow those you know to start

To start building your following, think about who you already have a working relationship with.  This could be customers, people you know through networking, other local businesses, or your industry peers.  This will help to start off your presence.  As these people/businesses already know you, chances are they will follow you back.

 

6. Then start looking for your audience

Once you have started to build your following and have posted consistently (I would wait until you have posted 9 posts so you have a 9 square grid), you can then start seeking out the audience you want to be following you.

You firstly need to get clear on who that audience is.  Who do you want your Instagram audience to be?  For example, if you are B2B, do you want to attract someone within the business to follow you rather than the business account, which may be controlled by a marketing team or an external agency.

You can then search the hashtags they are likely to be using in their content.  For example, small businesses in the UK are one of my target audiences on Instagram and so I search the hashtag #smallbusinessuk, #businessowneruk or #entrepreneuruk.  Follow those you think fit the audience you are looking for and, most importantly, engage with their content to start building the relationship with them.

You can also seek out your audience by thinking about who they might already be following and then taking a look at the followers of that account.

 

7. Use hashtags your audience will be searching for

This will also help you to build. your following.  You can add up to 30 hashtags to a post.  Don’t use hashtags just to increase the reach of your post.  For example, if your target audience is working mums, there is no point you adding #coffee to a picture of your drinking coffee!!  This may up your reach but not to the right people!  Instead, you’d want to be using hashtags that your audience are likely to search for.  For example, #workingmum, #motherhood, #mumhacks, etc.

To find the hashtags to use, have a look at what other influencers in your industry are using.  Search hashtags that you think might be relevant and Instagram will give you a broad idea of how many posts use that hashtag on Instagram.  It’s good to use a range of hashtags, including some that are very popular and others that are less so.  Searching for hashtags will also show you similar hashtags.

There are also websites that help you find relevant hashtags, such as hashtagify.me.

 

8. Engage, engage, engage, engage and, engage!

This is the bit that you definitely shouldn’t miss out, and yet most businesses do!  Engagement builds relationships with your audience.  It encourages them to follow you.  Plus, the stronger relationship you have with your audience, the more likely they are to buy from you.

When anyone comments on your posts, respond back.  Build the conversation with them.

But, don’t just leave it at that!  Take time daily to look through your home feed, where you’ll see the posts of those you follow.  Then add a comment to those posts.  Make it a meaningful comment rather than a simple ‘this is great’.  This definitely makes Instagram a more fun place to be.  But it also has a huge impact on success.

 

9. Create daily stories

Instagram stories sit across the top of your home feed.  They are the little circle profile pictures with a red ring round them.  These stories only last 24 hours.  So you can be a bit more relaxed with them.  I have a blog here on 5 ways to use Instagram Stories, which may help give you some ideas.  Again, take a look at a few stories to give you an idea of how you might use them.  Then get stuck in!!!

People spend more time looking at stories than they do their home feed, so it is definitely worth being present on there daily.

 

10. Post video content to IGTV

This may feel like a step too far for some of you.  And, if you’re not creating video content for other platforms yet, you may feel like you should wait until you’ve been on Instagram a while and are feeling more confident with it.

BUT confidence comes from taking action!

IGTV is for longer videos on Instagram, between 1 minute and 10 minutes.  It stands as it’s own feed and allows a new audience to find your content.  Plus, you can share a 1 minute preview of your IGTV video to your feed to increase the views on it.  I think it’s well worth getting involved with IGTV as soon as you start posting to Instagram, as this will quickly help establish your authority on the platform.  I personally aim to post one IGTV video every week.  You could start with an intro video then progress on to more knowledge based videos.

 

Of course, you don’t have to take all these steps.  But success really does come down the actions you take.

Are you ready to storm Instagram?  Come and say to me on there!!  You can find me here!

Making 2020 Your Best Year Ever On Social Media

I have a really really REALLY good feeling about this year!

It may be because I’m launching my new business.  But I also just have this feeling that great things are about to happen!

2020 can be a year we can all achieve huge success.  I for one am committing more and more time to my social media activity, in particular Instagram.  LinkedIn has served me as a great source of business for many years now, and continues to do so.  But I think Instagram could take its crown for my new business.  Time will tell!!

So, how can you make 2020 your best year ever on social media?

1. Create content your audience wants

Don’t create content for you.  Don’t focus on what you want to sell them.  Don’t focus your content on what you want to tell people.  Focus on what they want to hear.  With every new year, there are more and more social media users.  If you focus your content on your business and away from your audience, they’ll just scroll on past.  Think about how you can help your audience, how you can add value to them, how you can entertain them, how you can inspire them, how you can make them laugh, how you can get them thinking.  All of this will have a much bigger impact and will undoubtedly lead to more sales than focusing on sales related posts.

 

2. Spend more time engaging than creating

Engagement is more important than ever on social media.  Why expect engagement on your posts if you don’t give it elsewhere.  My engagement went up dramatically when I spent more time engaging on others’ posts.  I aim now to spend approximately an hour a day engaging on social media, and it has had a massive impact!  It’s lead to more engagement and reach on my posts.  But, more importantly in business, it’s lead to more sales!

 

3. Pay attention to your insights

Your audience is telling you what they enjoy from you through your insights.  Those posts that get the most engagement are the ones they love.  Those that get the least are the ones they are less keen on.  Don’t ignore the messages your audience are giving you.  Check in weekly with your insights and analytics to see what’s working best for you on each platform.

 

4. Be more you!

I’ve always spouted on about how important it is to be personable on social media.  But again, I think that’s more important than ever.  Businesses that don’t have faces tend to struggle on social media.  Your audience want to see the people in the business.  Faces bring your business to life.  And, after all, we socialise with people.  And this is SOCIAL media!  Include selfies of you and your team, sign off with names if managed by multiple people, share more about your life beyond your business.  You know you’ve got this right when your audience feels like they know you despite having never met you.

 

5. Stop worrying about the number of followers you have

If I had a penny for every time someone asked me how to get more followers, I could buy myself a fair few chocolate bars!  My first question would be ‘how much business do you get from the followers you already have?’.  If the answer is very little, then what’s the point of getting more followers that you hardly get any business from?  Instead, focus your attention on building relationships with the followers you already have.  Get to know them.  Let them get to know you.  It’s very rare that any follower is going to buy from you after seeing one post.  So be consistent with your content, engage with their content and build that relationship. Then when you do post a sales message, it’s far more likely to convert.  When you build relationships with the followers you already have, you will naturally grow your follower base too, as you’ll have more engagement on your posts and will get more and more reach!

 

6. Create video content

It’s time!  This is the year to get out of your comfort zone and start getting in front of the camera!  People hearing you speak is a sure fire way to increase the relationship with them and often a great way to get your message across.  Hardly anyone likes being on camera.  Which is why hardly anyone does it!  Be the one who does.  It will really help you stand out.

 

7. Stop doing what everyone else is doing

It’s tempting to look at successful accounts on social media and think ‘I’ll just do what they do’.  Then when you do, it doesn’t work!  We firstly need to work with our audience, not someone else’s!  So, think more deeply about how you could appeal to your audience. And being the same as everyone else will not help you stand out.  Think of a way you could be different.  For example, a video I put out on Instagram at Christmas received my highest view count of any video I’ve ever posted on there.  Why?  Because I sang on it!  Be different!

There is so much I could add to this.  But definitely, doing the 7 things above will lead you to much greater social media success in 2020.  I hope it’s an amazing year for you!

If you want to explore more about how you can make 2020 your best year ever on social media, I’m hosting a free webinar on Wednesday 15th January.  You can register here!

Reviewing Your Year On Social Media

The end of 2019 is fast approaching!!

I for one am very excited for 2020.  It’s going to bring a lot of change in my business and a new approach to how I do things.

A big part of that for me is going to be planning my content for the year ahead (look out for the next blog for more on this!).  But the first stage in that process is to review how well this year has gone on social media.

For this, I’ll be looking at the free insights and analytics available on each platform.  I’ll look back through the year’s posts and see which performed best in terms of:

  • Reach
  • Likes
  • Comments
  • Shares
  • Clicks
  • Views

This will help guide my content for next year, as I’ll know what content my audience has been loving in 2019!

I’ll also be looking at which posts performed least well in each of the above metrics.  This will then give me an idea of what I should doing/talking about in 2020.

You see, your audience are telling you what they enjoy and what they’re less keen on.  You just need to pay attention to them!

This is definitely something you should be doing more than once a year.  At the very least, I would suggest looking at your content every month to see what performs best and least well.

So, set yourself an appointment before the end of the year to review your metrics before you start to plan your social media content for 2020!

What Do Your Audience Want On Social Media?

If you want social media success, the most important thing to focus on is your audience.  It is very tempting to focus your content on what you want to tell people.  But if you instead shift that to what they want to hear, you are likely to achieve so much more success.

But how do we know what our audience wants from us on social media?

 

  1. CREATE A PERSONA

Write down every detail you can possibly think of in relation to your target audience (and remember if you’re B2B, your audience is not a business.  It’s people within the business).  Drill down to age, location, gender, job role, family, education, industry, what makes them laugh, what are they worried about, what challenges them, what do they read, what are they interested in, what do they want to learn, and anything else you can possibly think of!!!

Grab yourself a big piece of paper and write down everything.  Then create a persona from this.  In other words, take it from being a huge audience to being one person.  You can even give them a name!  If it’s tricky to make just one persona, you can make a few.  But try to avoid having any more than 5.  Each time you create content, have this ‘person’ in mind.

 

2. SPEAK TO YOUR CUSTOMERS

I’m sure you’re trying to attract people that are similar to your customers to follow you on social media.  So, speak to your customers.  If you have regular conversations with your customers, ask them about their social media use and what they would like to see from you on social media.  Ask them to give you honest feedback on your current activity and whether they can relate to it.

 

3. RUN A SURVEY

You can ask questions on social media directly to get some feedback from your audience.  You can also run a more in-depth survey to gain a better understanding of what might appeal to your audience.  Free tools like Survey Monkey will allow you to email a survey or share the link on social media.  You could incentivise the survey with a prize draw to increase response.  Ask questions like which platforms they use and the type of content they like to see (top tip: don’t leave this open ended.  Instead give multiple choice responses so you don’t end up with lots of different answers!).

 

4. LET THEM TELL YOU

But by the far the easiest and most effective way of understanding what your audience wants on social media is to let them tell you.  And they do this by engaging, or not engaging, with your content.  Each platform gives you insights and analytics behind each of your posts.  At the end of every week, look at how much engagement you have had for each of your posts.  Likes, comments and shares typically suggest that your audience is interested in that content.  If you don’t get as much engagement for a post, it is likely this is due to them not being as interested.  This will give you an idea of what your audience wants to see from you.

Pay attention to overall themes.  For example, if you get more engagement for videos rather than images.  Or if you get more comments on images with people in rather than products.  Do more of what gets you the most engagement, and less of what gets you the least!!

 

So, what does your audience want?  If you don’t know, it’s time to start figuring it out!

 

 

 

5 Ways To Use Instagram Stories

I LOVE Instagram Stories.  It’s probably where I spend the majority of my personal time (and some business time too) when it comes to social media use.  It feels so much more real and in the moment than any other social media content.  And really helps you to get to know businesses and people too.

Instagram users are spending more of their time on stories now than looking through feed posts.  So, if you’re an Instagram user, how could you be using Instagram Stories for your business?

Instagram Stories

  1. Research

There is a poll feature on stories, allowing you to give users two options to choose from.  Which means it’s a quick and easy way of getting answers to important questions.  Such as, ‘bourbon or custard cream’ (bourbon), ‘ketchup in the fridge or cupboard (cupboard)’, ‘gin or wine’ (both!).  Obviously you can ask some serious questions too relating to your business, industry and products/services.

You are also able to see individual’s responses, so you can then strike up a conversation with them via DM relating to their response and build the relationship further.

 

2. Behind-The-Scenes

Where your grid posts might be more thought through and creative, your Instagram stories can take people straight behind-the-scenes of what goes on in your business day-to-day and give them a greater understanding of what it is you do.

 

3. Share Tips

Use your stories to impart wisdom.  You can do this with video, or by sharing an image with text over.  Think about current hot topics in your industry and create a small number of stories about that topic.  You can then create highlights on your profile to add this to so that people can come back at a later date and still so those tips.

 

4. Increase Your Post Reach

By clicking on the paper aeroplane symbol under your post, you can share it to your story.  Add a related hashtag and this will increase the reach of your story, leading more people to click through to your post.

 

5. Have Fun

Stories are fun!  You can add face filters, GIFs, do boomerangs, rewind videos, and so much more!  Have fun with it.  Show the personality of you and your brand.  This will undoubtedly help your customers and potential customers build a stronger relationship with you!  Don’t be afraid to be yourself!!

Are you using Instagram Stories?  How do you use them?

Mental Health Awareness Week – Making Social Media A Positive Place For Business Owners

This week (13 – 19th May) is Mental Health Awareness Week here in the UK.  So, I thought I’d talk a bit about the impact social media can have on anxiety of business owners.

There is no doubt that running your own business is stressful in the first place.  We are alone are responsible for our own success, and that brings with it a lot of anxiety.

But, social media can sometimes make that feel even harder.  We get to see what other businesses are doing.  And then we worry that we’re not doing the same thing.

So, how can we use social media to help us feel less anxious as business owners, rather than falling down a comparison rabbit hole?

  1. Remember, It’s Not Always Real Life

What you see other businesses getting up to on social media might not be a true reflection of their business.  It may look like they are generating far more business than you.  But you don’t know what they’re charging, or what their outgoing costs are.  Or whether those really are their customers.  Of course, it’s important to be authentic on social media.  But don’t forget that, just because you are authentic, doesn’t mean that everyone else is!

2. Being Different is GOOD!

Don’t worry if you’re doing things differently to everyone else in your industry.  In fact, doing things differently is really important on social media!  It allows your business to stand out from everyone else.  Do things your way.  In a way that feels right for your business.  And that allows you to have fun in the process.

3. Spread Positivity

The more positivity we put out on social media, the more we will attract.  Think about how you can use social media as a positive place to be.  Share posts that lift people up.  Don’t knock down other businesses.  If we were all like this, how much nicer would the social media world be?!  And remember, you get to choose who you follow.  If an account makes you feel on edge or overwhelmed, unfollow!

4. Use It To Build Relationships

Now I have three young children, I’m not able to get out and network as much any more.  It can be quite lonely as a business owner.  But now, I have built relationships online instead.  I don’t need to leave my office to network.  I’m able to find the people I want in my community and build relationships with them.

5. Be Real

I touched on this above, but if you put on a facade on social media, chances are it will leave you feeling more anxious.  Like that knot we get in our stomach when we tell someone a lie.  It sits there until the truth comes out and we suddenly feel relieved.  Don’t lie on social media.  It’ll burn away at you.  Speak the truth and be real.

6. Use Social Media To Learn

Social media offers a great opportunity to learn new things.  Follow the right experts and you have free information right at the scroll of a thumb!  I always find I feel empowered when I’ve learnt something new!

7. Ask For Help

None of use are immune from needing help now and again.  As business owners, we can’t always have the right answers.  Use social media to ask questions from your community and get their input on problems.  A problem shared is a problem halved after all!

So, please, please, please don’t see social media as a negative place to be.  Somewhere that makes you feel more anxious as a business owner.  Instead focus on the positive impacts it can have on your business and on you as a business owner.

A Few Things That Are Coming Up

It’s been a while since I’ve written a blog!  I won’t list a million different excuses here.  Instead, I thought I’d do an update on a few things that are happening that you may be interested in!

  1. Speaking Engagements

I’ve been so busy with numerous different speaking engagements recently.  Many of them have been private events.  But, I thought I’d let you know about one I’m doing in Manchester on 6th July. Big Social Media Conference is an event filled with fantastic social media speakers.  I will be speaking about Stopping The Social Media Bore.  If you fancy coming along, book your place here: BIG SOCIAL.

 

2. My Own Event

I’m busy squirrelling away at an event I’m hosting on 11th September.  The finer details haven’t been confirmed as yet.  But what I can let you know is that it will be a two hour event, in which I’m going to pack as much value as I possibly can!  Plus, each attendee will receive one of my new courses for free!  Speaking of which…

 

3. Online Courses

I’m in the process of creating a full range of online short courses in different topics around social media.  These will be launched at the event on 11th September.

 

4. Growing A Baby

And that event will be my last for a few months, as I’m currently growing baby number three!!  Which is why I wanted to have a range of courses available for anyone who was interested in learning while I’m on maternity leave.

 

On top of this, my diary is getting really busy with in-house training ahead of maternity leave.  So, if you would like me to come to your business to deliver training, get in touch asap!!

 

5 Ways To Overcome Your Fear of Video

Believe me when I say, you are not alone in hating being in front of camera!  Whenever I talk about using video at conferences, I ask for a show of hands as to how many love being in front of camera.  There’s usually about 2 hands up in a room of 100 people!

Yet putting out videos of yourself talking to camera is a great way of building engagement with your audience, or showing your expertise and of creating a more personal connection with those who follow and are connected to you.

So, how can you overcome your video fear?

 

  1. Remember, Only You Are Bothered!

The reason most of us hate being on camera is because we are self-scrutinisers!  We focus on the way we look and/or on the way we sound (because who likes hearing their own voice?!).  The thing is, we are the only people scrutinising ourselves like that.  No one else cares.  They care far more about our message than about what we look or sound like!

 

2. Brainstorm

Come up with some ideas for what you can talk about on video.  It will give you more confidence that you have a reason to be in front of camera, and some great advice to share.

 

3. Practice and Relax

Chat to yourself about what you are going to record in your video.  Maybe jot down a few key points.  I’d definitely recommend going script-free, as it sounds very obvious when you’re reading from a script.  So, have a practice of what you want to talk about before you hit that record button. And relax!  The more real you are, the more authentic you will come across.

 

4. Record and Don’t Post

Record some videos without posting them.  Watch them back.  Have a think about how you could improve.  Could the lighting be a bit better?  Are you talking too fast?  Never worry about the little stuff.  I often fiddle with my hair in videos.  I can’t help it and if I tried to stop I’d probably have to record about a thousand videos to get the one when I don’t!

 

5. Hit That Publish Button!

Get that first video out there.  Once you start getting comments and likes, you’ll feel less embarrassed and realise that you’ve helped people by sharing your knowledge!  Plus, how rewarding is it to go out of your comfort zone?  And, let’s face it, out of your comfort zone is where success happens!

So, my challenge to you is to post a video if you’ve never done it before!  Please tag me too and let me know that you’ve done it, and I’ll be there with a huge round of applause for you!