by Martina Iring | Featured Contributor
As small business owners and entrepreneurs, we might have our own specific ideas on how we should be approaching social media. In this post, I’d like to get into some mind frame shifts that you could find useful in propelling your social efforts forward. Sometimes the thought patterns running on autopilot and the preconceived notions we have aren’t actually that helpful. So let’s re-frame, shall we?
Ditch the word competitor from your vocabulary
You would never not become friends with someone because they are into the same thing as you, right? If anything, it makes it easier to develop a friendship when you have stuff in common. Same goes for social media. Don’t think of people as your competitors, think of them as compatriots.
Now of course if we’re talking direct competition, it probably doesn’t make sense to get chummy on social media. But competition in some cases is not a cut and dry thing. There are degrees to it. Some businesses and industries are much more fluid and you’ll have to give some thought to what it’s like for your biz.
In my case, for example, as someone that does internet marketing for small business, the competition is fierce. There are all kinds of other people doing what I do. But I don’t stay away from them online. Instead, I nurture relationships with them. Some of my closest online friends are other marketing consultants and agencies. While, yes, technically we are competitors, we support one another and share each other’s content, to the benefit of our audiences and ourselves as well.
“But aren’t they in a position to steal your business?” you may be asking yourself. Perhaps. But as I see it as there is plenty to go around and if someone looking for marketing help finds them through me and decides that they resonate better with them, then in my humble opinion that’s great and I still feel that I have been of service.
Fearing the popular crowd
In my post last month, I suggested that you target industry leaders and influencers in your online networking efforts. Did some of you balk at this idea?
There will be people that you come across that you really want to establish a relationship with. They are awesome. They have lots of influence. You love what they do. And so do thousands of other people.
That doesn’t mean that they are above you and that you shouldn’t even bother trying to connect. Remember, we are all human after all. So don’t let someone’s apparent online status prevent you from reaching out.
One of 2 things will happen:
- They will ignore you
- Or they won’t
Only your own anxieties about what you should or shouldn’t do, or who you can and can’t talk to, stand in your way. The worst thing that can happen if you reach out or interact with someone on social media and get nothing in return is just that. No big deal. They might get hundreds of comments and mentions a day.
When you’re first diving into social media, it can seem like everyone is more popular than you. I know I felt quite intimidated and shy when I first started out. “No one wants to hear what I have to say.” “I don’t want to bother people.” Blah, blah, blah. We all know the negative dialogue that is always trying to run the show. You must break out of this. It’s the only way to start making those connections and building the relationships that will take your business to the next level. A simple shift in your mindset is all that’s needed.
It’s not all about you
Interacting and networking is an important part of your social strategy. It helps you ensure that you are not just promoting and sharing your own stuff. This is the last mind-frame shift I want to touch on and it’s important.
I see so many businesses that see social media as a platform for sales. And nothing else.
While yes the ultimate goal in your social media efforts and your marketing is about making sales, constant promotion is not going to get you there. Providing helpful resources and adding value is the name of the game. And you can learn to master the art of selling without selling. Remember, social media should not be all about you!
On to you. Do you agree with my suggestions? Do you see other shifts that you wish entrepreneurs would make on social media? I’d love to hear from you in the comments!
Martina Iring – Internet marketing consultant & small business cheerleader
Martina Iring is a marketing consultant who works with small businesses and entrepreneurs unsure of how to make the internet work for them and their success. Whether they need to take their online presence to the next level, bring it up to date, or even get something going in the first place. This can be super overwhelming, especially if web stuff isn’t your thing. She’s on a mission to help the little guys make sense of internet marketing, teaching small biz owners how being online is not only profitable, but enjoyable! She is based in Vancouver, Canada but works with businesses all over the world.
She loves marketing. She loves small business. Bringing them together is her bliss. You can call her the small business cheerleader!
As a small business owner herself, Martina can relate to the whole magical journey of entrepreneurship – the challenges and the struggles, but also the joys and the amazing freedoms. Her blog, Small Business Bliss, offers up plenty of marketing info and doses of inspiration. Be sure to get your free website improvement guide here.