Key Components of a Social Media Strategy (& why it's so anxiety-inducing)
Social Media Strategy Doesn’t Have to be Scary.
Often when I begin telling a #solopreneur about Social Media Strategy, I see an instant panic wash over their eyes. Why? Because social media is scary. Or so we think. Read below to find out the core components of a social media strategy as well as how you can use social media marketing to increase your selling power and brand awareness.
Why is social media so hard?
Did you know that we are the most anxious society to ever grace the earth? In 2000, the American Psychological Association published a study in which they found that the level of anxiety found in the average college student would have been enough to be admitted to a Psychiatric Ward in the 1950s. When they ask why, it’s because of lack of social connectedness (living alone, divorce, lowered trust in people) as well as increased perceived threat (often due to increasing media coverage).
Now before you start thinking that this is a rant against Social Media, please remember that I do social media for a living. If I was against social media and thought it was evil I definitely wouldn’t be in this line of work.
If we look at that study, we see that some core components of social media are, as the study found, core contributing factors to anxiety. Increased media coverage as well as lower trust in people?? HELLO SOCIAL MEDIA COMPARISON GAME! As solopreneurs, we look at social media and see all these people who are seemingly doing SO well on their platform that we start trying to swim upstream before even learning how to float. Then, we get pushed out and lost to a sea of self-doubt, which further creates our anxious thoughts and pushes us further away from the success that we want (but are now beginning to think we are unworthy of).
Most of those solopreneurs I talk to who panic at the mere mention of social media strategy are the ones stuck out at sea. Little do they realize how easy it is to get out.
How to Find Success on Social Media
If we’re continuing this analogy, if social media is the river and people at the top of it are the “success stories,” we’re left with the question of how did they get there?
They didn’t swim.
Wait, what? But I thought that swimming was THE analogy? Now you’re taking it away?!
They realized that they didn’t know how to swim, but they still wanted to get up the river. So, they went out and bought a boat. It had a small motor, nothing fancy, but they knew it was enough to take them where they wanted to go, and there was a paddle in case they ran out of gas or wanted to push the boat a little faster. Soon enough, they got to some point of “success” on social media - though please let’s remember that there’s no “end goal” on socials (or life for that matter), for when you get to whatever that goal is, you’ll likely have a new goal you’re trying to reach.
Where did they get this boat, and what is it? The boat is confidence in their own abilities and offerings, and they found that confidence by trusting in their own worthiness of success. In case you haven’t realized it yet, getting the boat is the hardest part of finding success on social media, not actually the process of arriving at the success. For once you have confidence in yourself that is founded in your own worthiness, the rest of it is easy. Your business falls into place. Sure, there will be moments your gas tank runs dry (or, you feel low moments and question yourself), but you always have a paddle, and that paddle is resilience. It is the capacity to pick yourself back up, remind yourself of the REAL truth, and carry on, not falling victim to the lies you sometimes claim for yourself.
How do you get this? You do the work. Whether that’s in counseling, with an inner-kindness coach, or by reading a book - do whatever feels most necessary and “right” to you. You already have everything you need inside of you, and you are capable of healing past wounds.
If you’re looking for a place to start, download my worksheet on Overcoming Your Limiting Beliefs.
Ah, finally. Let’s Talk Social Media Strategy.
There are four key components of any social media strategy. If you do not have these four, your strategy will not work. And your “boat,” otherwise known as your foundation of worthiness that promotes confidence in your abilities, is what carries all of them. Without the boat, these four components would just be further weights to prevent you from floating, they’d be extra stressors that hold you down. So please, do the work and buy the boat before jumping in to the powerful force that is Social Media.
1. An Ideal Customer
Who are you talking to? A strategy that is talking to everyone is actually talking to no one.
Imagine you're in a cafe and you're talking to someone you know well. The conversation is flowing, you seem to just "get" each other, and you are feeling endlessly inspired by the depths that you are continuously reaching. Now imagine that you're on stage in front of a sea of people (you aren't even sure how many, who they are, or why they're there). You're trying to have the same conversation, but you have a microphone and they're sitting in the dark and you're not even sure if they want to be listening to you?!
Which conversation do you think will spark the most action and inspiration? Which one do you think both you and the person/people you're talking to will be most invested in?
If you haven’t yet mapped out your Ideal Customer, you can do so with this worksheet.
2. An End Goal
Where are you taking your followers? People won’t hop in your boat if they don’t know its’ destination.
We’ve talked about this before, but this is why many influencers often have a hard time making a sustainable income despite having thousands of followers - they don’t have an end goal of a business/product/service, they only have a brand. And a brand alone can only get you so far.
Are you taking your followers toward purchasing a new product? Are you asking them to buy-in to coaching with you? Whatever it is, your social media strategy needs to be pointing toward that.
3. A Big Picture Vision
Why should your followers stick around, even after making a purchase or buying-in in some way? Once they’ve gotten what they came for, what’s the purpose of continuing to be there when there’s so many other places they could go?
This one is a little less “tangible” than the others. But in my opinion, there’s only one answer: your big picture vision is to create a community of people authentically-invested in what you do. If you’ve been around for awhile, you’ve likely heard me talk about Raving Fans by Ken Blanchard already. But if you haven’t read it, now’s the time. If you create a community of “Raving Fans,” a community of people who LOVE what you do and will support you through everything, you’ll not only have customers for life that are willing to pay top-dollar for your services, but you have totally free, uber-successful marketing. Word of mouth marketing is still king when it comes to return on investment (a personal recommendation sells waaayyyy faster than you just saying, “I’m good at this.”) and you literally pay zero dollars for it.
Lead your followers into this big picture of a thriving community around your brand, and you’ll create a sustainable following as well as a sustainable income.
4. A Clear Depiction of Your Value & Reliability
What makes YOU someone they can be confident in?
If you’re like me, your first thought (due to the dreaded issue of social norms) is “Ahhhh! Are you telling me I need to go get a degree?!” To which my answer is, likely not. Yes, there are obviously professions that require a degree (hello Nursing!), but the world we live in today has so many opportunities that are outside of a traditional, 4-year approach. And even if you have a degree in a profession like, say, marketing, many (honest) people will tell you that beyond giving them a bit of a foundational understanding of a subject (that could have been received by being dedicated to doing your own studying), all they really got was a piece of paper saying they were qualified for something.
And I’d bet that if you’re reading this right now, a piece of paper means nothing when it comes to proving your ability in your chosen profession/side hustle. So how do you showcase your value? How do you encourage others to have confidence in you?
By showing up, confidently, in all that you do - while also actively seeking knowledge, growth, and a fresh perspective. I don’t have a degree in marketing, and yet I am successfully running a business in marketing and my clients are seeing success from the practices I preach. I don’t have a degree in marketing, and yet I’d bet that this blog post has been extremely helpful for you. I don’t have a degree in marketing, and that says nothing about my ability to market myself and coach marketing strategies for others.
Don’t wait until you feel ready, until you feel confident enough. For if you do, you’ll be waiting forever. I’m not advocating for you to fake it ‘til ya make it, instead I’m saying: believe it until you receive it. Don’t quite feel confident enough to show up and bring value? Show up anyway, and believe that the confidence will come as you dive deeper into it.
And that’s it.
So now what? How can you begin implementing this strategy yourself? For access to a downloadable worksheet on this as well as a host of other free resources, join my Solopreneur Resource Library. It’s entirely free and will give you unlimited access to every resource I create as well as exclusive deals on all of my services.
Hope to see you there :)
With love, Carly