There is a ton of crap out there about best social media practices and most of it falls into two categories: A. Regurgitated, repetitious information. B. Simple theory.
What makes this any different? Nothing, really. I’m going to advise you to do something that you’ve already heard: Be yourself. If you’ve tried this before and it hasn’t worked, though, then read on for a solution.
The Trick to Being Yourself AND Attracting Clients
I’m a little sarcastic. I’m a little self-deprecating. I don’t pretend to do anything by the rules. Despite the simple theories that suggest it’s best to curate your best self on social media, when I post, I use my own voice. Miraculously, I have a successful business.
I don’t post regularly. I don’t alternate images, quotes, links, and self-promotion. In fact, I flip-flop between Facebook and Twitter without either being too consistent.
Since I ignore the rules and it works for me, you can do it, too. If you are yourself on your social pages, share your story in the comments.
All the Answers
OK, I can’t give all the answers. I don’t know all the questions (You won’t either. Score another one for being yourself).
I’ll shoot for the biggest three issues.
One: “I’ve tried being myself, and I’m still not gaining momentum.”
Ask yourself these two questions:
- What makes me different?
- What makes people understand me? (This can also be asked as, “What makes me connect well with others?”)
Use those two (or three) answers, and don’t be afraid to own them.
I’m a yoga instructor. I do web design to keep the lights on; and, I write because I enjoy looking at a finished piece. Online, I say the same to people, adding I’ll help with your website when I’m not busy. I’m also upfront about my personal disdain for the process of writing before getting to the finished piece.
You’ll get work by resonating directly with a client and having a body of work (even one or two pieces) you can show them that also have the same voice.
Two: “People don’t like the real me.”
There’s an old saying: “There’s someone out there for everyone.” This is completely true, but you do have to work to find them. In business, do you really want to find the customers that are crass and vulgar? They’re going to abuse you. Do you want the customers that are totally buddies? They’re not going to want to pay you…buddy.
You need to own yourself by being someone you’d like to work with.
We all have people on our social media feeds that we cringe at. If you re-read your tweets or posts, would you cringe at yourself? Do you retweet a bunch of tired old quotes? Do you post random complaints? How about pictures of your food tagging random followers? Don’t be that guy/girl.
Three: You didn’t honestly think there was going to be a third, did you?
Why Ignore Current Social Media Best Practices?
It works. Don’t be yourself and you will attract people unlike yourself.
As new entrepreneurs, we focus on ANY work. We try to be palatable so we can attract every customer – because, really, we want to attract any customer. Sure, this works at first; but, in the end, this is going to result in struggles with customers and clients who just aren’t a fit.
It’s efficient. Being someone else takes much more effort.
When we sit down to a computer, something happens. We change from ourselves into our “online persona” – whatever that means. This takes additional, unnecessary work because it doesn’t get you the results you want, anyway. You have to take what you’re thinking, translate it into your online persona, then edit it again so it makes sense to people reading it. What’s smart about that?
It’s much more effective to simply say what you want as you would normally say it than to craft something fake that you would never say in person.
We also tend to spread ourselves too thin, attacking every social media platform there is – Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, G+ (they don’t even know what this is), Reddit, etc. We never find our place in the madness because we’re never there long enough. Which is the social platform you use inherently in your private life? Start with that one. If that doesn’t “work” for your business – maybe it’s time to evaluate that.