Big thinking is great. Without it you won’t dream, set goals and be inspired. Maybe your “big thinking” is that you want to write a book or grow (or launch) a business.
Maybe you’ve started…and run out a steam….
A month goes by, maybe six. You realize your dream is on the back burner and never really gets moved to the front.
You’ll say it’s because you “got busy.” It’s hard to find the time.
I’d also say, it’s because declaring an ambition is fairly easy. Even if it’s a long held dream. When you recognize it you get excited, you feel a fire inside you. Yet, it flames out because you don’t know the steps to help you achieve what you want.
Hey, we all do it. Everyone has something “big” they want to accomplish. The difference between success and regret is getting started and continuing on the path.
You Don’t Have to See the Whole Road
You know that expression, “How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time?”
If you apply that to your BAHG (Big Hairy Audacious Goal) you’ll recognize it’s the same thing. You take it one step at a time. Break it down into bite size chunks, do one, then the next. Pretty soon, you’re making progress.
Here’s an example I see frequently. As a social media coach and trainer, I work with business owners and entrepreneurs on gaining clarity on their social media. How to break down the “big” thing (using social media for business results) into a series of action steps so they can start seeing those results.
For many people “getting on social media” and using it for marketing is huge task.
In some cases, they’ve been resisting it for years but now that it’s 2016 see that’s no longer an option. So, they half-halfheartedly make a couple of Facebook posts, maybe post a couple of pictures on Instagram and then forget about them for weeks.
They don’t know how to use the tools strategically and they’re not at all sure how to find potential clients.
So we break it down.
In my current social media marketing class, we start with defining who your buyer is. What do they care about? Why do they buy from you? What platforms do they use the most? Who else is marketing to these people and what are they doing well?
Next we focus on one particular platform — maybe it’s Facebook, maybe it’s Instagram but focus on one for four weeks. Then we go out there and get comfortable on that tool. Make sure your account looks professional, find your ideal clients, etc.
There three main components to developing a successful social media presence. I’ll talk about each of them in this post.
The first one? Be a spy!
Be a Spy
If you’ve ever had a desire to be James Bond this is your chance.
Go to Facebook’s search bar and start typing in terms related to your target market.
If you’re selling vegan clothing then type in vegan and see what shows up.
If you’re selling nutrition coaching, type in “nutrition,” “nutrition coaching,” “health”, “health coaching” and every diet you can think of to see what’s out there.
This let’s you see what else is going on in your industry on Facebook. Yes, you can do the same thing on Pinterest, LinkedIn, or any other social media platform.
Make notes about what you see.
I like to make a quick spreadsheet with categories for Pages and Groups and note some of the most asked questions. That gives you fuel for your content and networking development later.
Here are three more tips:
- “Like” the pages of the membership associations in your niche
- “Like” the magazines in your niche.
- “Like” the pages of complementary businesses – if you’re a local organization like a bricks and mortar shop, “like” the pages of the other area shops. They’ll appreciate it.
Once you’ve done this, review your spreadsheet (or notepad) and notice what stands out to you.
Do you see any holes in the market? If so, does your product/service fill those? Who do you see who could be a possible referral partner? (i.e., you agree to promote one another.)
If you can only dedicate 15-20 minutes a day, then plan to like another 10-15 pages a week.
If you can dedicate more time, join relevant groups and participate. The goal is to see what people in your niche are talking about and connect with them. “Like” some of those posts and comment on them if you have something to add.
It’s through participation that you grow your social media presence.
That’s so overlooked by many that I’m going to repeat it.
If you want to gain new “likes” and followers, you need to participate. This is a contact sport so when you have an opportunity to have an active dialogue, take it. Add value. Be in “helping” mode, not “buy my stuff” mode when you interact with others and you’ll naturally grow your business.
This often trips people up. Maybe it sounds cliché or over done or you just don’t understand it.
That’s ok. Here’s the idea. Whether you sell SaaS (Software as a Service), coaching services or shoes, you focus on the solution you provide.
When it comes to SaaS, maybe you offer a great social media scheduling program like Buffer. They have an information packed blog where they share great social media tips and how to get more out of their tool.
If you sell any type of services from health coaching to accounting, there are dozens of ways you help your clients save time, money, improve their health, etc.
You can provide a series of “how to’s,” testimonials, case studies, etc. via video, blogging and social media posts.
It’s all about slicing and dicing all that great information you know into bite-size nuggets and sharing it via social media tools.
This is a biggie for a lot of SMB and entrepreneurs. You’ll join a real life networking group that meets every week and show up there for a year or more before you start getting real business but you’ll show up on Facebook six times in as many months and declare “it doesn’t work.”
It does work, you just haven’t put in the work.
Lack of consistency is one of the biggest causes of social media failure when it comes to business. You can reap the rewards with a little patience, doing your homework and creating a plan about what types of things to post where and when.
It all starts with taking small daily actions.
Week 1:Spend 15 minutes a day researching your target audience, where they hang out and what’s on their minds. “Like” other pages and make notes on what you like that others are doing.
Week 2: Review your research. Where does your target audience hangout most? Instagram? Facebook? LinkedIn? What are the top questions you see coming up? How does your product/service answer those questions?
Week 3: Develop 10-15 posts that answer the most often asked questions. Use Picmonkey or Canva to create images. Review your social feed daily. “Like” and comment as appropriate.
Week 4: Start posting your content on the social channel of your choice — your Facebook page for example. Continue networking.
If you do this in small increments, in a few minutes a day you’ll start gaining new followers. You may even make a sale or two right away. Ultimately, you’ll develop a true sales funnel — email list/offers to bring people to your website and invite them to opt in to your webinar, download your White Paper, etc. and you’ll truly see the power of social media.
Whether it’s social media marketing for small business or some other big goal staring you in the face, I hope you can see that small, daily actions will help you reach your goal. That’s the power of thinking small.