“Stay in your own lane”
“Don’t worry about what anyone else is doing. Just focus on your own business.”
We’ve all heard it a hundred times by now. That you need to just focus on what you’re doing and not pay attention to anybody else.
But this is some of the WORST advice that you can take. Yes, it’s important to be unique and to have your own voice and perspective on things. But you also want to pay attention to what’s happening on social media to make sure that you stay on top of trends and you don’t get left behind in the dust.
If you don’t keep up with social media and what others are doing, you’re going to become irrelevant.
SOCIAL MEDIA IS A RAPIDLY CHANGING LANDSCAPE
All you have to do is take a look at Facebook groups from January 2016 to December 2016 to see the difference in how quickly social media can change.
In January 2016, Facebook groups started to become popular, but there weren’t a lot of them. It was pretty easy to grow your group, get members in, and keep an active and engaged community.
By December 2016, everyone seemed to have a Facebook group and while people were joining, it took a lot more effort to keep people posting consistently and to keep engagement high in groups. People who had large communities already on their blogs and e-mail lists had an easier time creating a strong and powerful community, but we’re seeing fewer groups growing and sustaining engagement now because people have many more options to choose from.
If you want to grow a Facebook group now, it will definitely be more challenging than it was last year.
AS PEOPLE SEE THE SAME TYPE OF CONTENT OVER AND OVER AGAIN, IT FORCES DIGITAL CONTENT TO CHANGE.
Remember how just a year ago, posting up quotes in Facebook groups would get a ton of engagement and now, it yields maybe a like or two?
That’s because the nature of content changes. It’s not considered valuable anymore to just post up a quote on Facebook. That works great on instagram but people on Facebook don’t respond to it anymore.
It’s important to pay attention to social media to be able to recognize when trends are phasing out and what’s replacing them instead. Because for everything that goes out, something comes in.
Or, even better, for every trend that leaves, it opens a window for you to be an innovator. If everyone’s posting quotes by other people, come up with your own quotes and publish those. If people are using a ton of purple, be the person who uses green, so you can stand out.
Followers just go with the flow of what everyone else is doing. Leaders innovate and experiment. They’re not afraid to fail because if something doesn’t work, they have 900 other ideas in the pipeline.
BUT IF THINGS ARE CHANGING SO QUICKLY, HOW DO I CREATE CONTENT THAT CONNECTS?
I get it – it’s important to create content that connects because that’s how people can buy from you. It’s especially important in funnels and ads because you have a limited window to keep people’s attention and if you bore them or they don’t connect, they won’t turn into a customer.
And that’s okay – not everyone who opts in is meant to be a customer, but if you want to maximize your conversion, you need to know what’s going to work.
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One. Use Photos of yourself.
One of the biggest mistakes that people make is using canva graphics or stock photos to represent their brand. Unless you’re a corporate brand that’s only a human for legal purposes, you are most likely the face of your brand.
So step into that role!
The great thing about social media is that it’s also allowed us to take instant photos where we don’t need to be perfect and glossy, standing in front of the Eiffel Tower 100% of the time. You can use your phone camera to take some photos of yourself, and you can get a friend or family member to help you if you don’t want a selfie but you want something that’s a little more professional looking.
Two. Talk about your successes (and failures) and link them into the pain points of your ideal client.
The days of having to seem perfect for your ideal client are over. You might not have a super tragic or dramatic story, but no one ever goes into business and gets everything right and has no trials or tribulations ever. It’s just not realistic.
Be open about what results you and your clients are getting – the good and the bad. You have a right to celebrate when something great happens, but you also have a right to learn and to grow.
Sharing why you’re not perfect allows your ideal client to connect with you in a powerful, meaningful way. They understand that you get them, that you’re not above them. You’re learning just like they are. And while you might be learning something that’s slightly different than them, you know what it’s like to try things and not get it on the first attempt, or to follow a strategy and it just turns out so bad for you when it seems to be working great for everyone else.
Vulnerability is a strength, not a weakness.
Three. Show up consistently every single day.
You know that story of the tortoise and the hare? The tortoises are always the winners in business. If you take consistent, steady action each and every day, you’ll see results.
The biggest problem that people have is that they show up, then they make a bit of money or they have one win and they think that they don’t need to show up again.
You need to show up each and every day in some way if you want to be seen as a leader in your space and build a successful business. It doesn’t matter if you’re celebrating your first dollar or your first million dollars. Show up.
Four. Use Video to further your message.
According to a Cisco study, 80% of all marketing for consumers will be done on video by 2020. That means that this is a great time to be on video, since you’ll still be “ahead of the curve” – you don’t need to create polished and professional videos, either.
Youtube Live, Facebook Live, and conferencing softwares have privileged the “real-time” engagement and interaction with others over super glossy, highly edited video content.
Of course, there’s still a place for well-edited videos, too, but nothing beats real time engagement and capturing of fun, entertainment, and information.
What are some of your favorite content strategies?
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Inés Ruiz is a former Cambridge University Lecturer, military spouse turned entrepreneur. She created a multiple 6-figure online educational business in less than 16 months. After her success, she wanted to help other women create their online business – no matter their circumstances- and founded the Women Entrepreneur Community. She is the host of the show/Podcast “We Talk” in which she features other women entrepreneurs journeys.