By Erika Madden | Featured Contributor
A fellow woman entrepreneur who is in the beginning stages of building her business came to me recently and confided, “Sometimes marketing myself online feels like it’s just like yelling in an empty room and getting nothing back!”
I admired her courage in admitting something everyone experiences but hates to talk about: the dreaded online “crickets” on our social media accounts and our blogs.
But talk about it we must, because 1) it’s not as bad as it seems at the time, and 2) there is a way through it.
Now I get it. No one likes to feel as if they’re on stage talking into a void. It’s not only humiliating, it’s leads to a sense of discouragement that can even block us from moving forward in growing our business.
(The internet is littered with businesses who have stopped updating their Facebook page or writing blog posts altogether because they think, “What’s the use? Nobody seems into it, anyway!”)
But while feeling like you’re holding conversations with yourself can be super uncomfortable, it’s not always a bad thing. Here’s why:
If you’ve been in business for under a year or you’ve only recently started being active on social media, it’s 100% NORMAL not to have the kind of engagement you see when you hop on over to someone’s Twitter feed or blog that has been going at it for years.
Unless you already have some sort of “fame” already behind you when you’re starting out, you are going to have a lot of moments where you’re going to be putting yourself out there and no one is listening.
Others do, and very few of them are out there snickering at you because your Facebook post got 0 likes.
(If they are, they’re probably not somebody who would do business with you anyway.)
The thing is, as much as we ALL want to be popular overnight (think: hundreds of adoring fans and customers just dying to interact with us within weeks of our website going live), it rarely ever happens that way.
People need time to discover and trust you. And you? You need time to learn what your audience likes and needs.
All of that is — must be — a gradual process. And as author Jon Acuff famously said, “There’s no use comparing your beginning to another business’ middle.”
So while you start building a following and experimenting with posts that people respond to, what can you do?
I know, I know. It sounds ridiculously juvenile and inside you WILL feel like a complete goofball, but frankly? The success of your business depends on it.
So make posts, ask questions, and share content just as if you had 100 people willing and ready to respond.
The key is to always present yourself with consistency (keep putting out good content on a regular basis), confidence (don’t point to the fact that no one is responding), and energy (be upbeat!!!).
It looks attractive and gives the impression that you’re successful.
Ultimately that will help you grow until one day you’ll look around and realize you don’t need to pretend anymore.
That’s going to be a good day. Press on, and wait for it.
It’s worth it.
(Now won’t you please share your advice for “getting over the crickets” below? I’d love to hear your ideas!)
Erika Madden is the irresistible super geek behind Olyvia, a digital marketing, reputation, and etiquette consulting company that helps women be delightful online. Between herding three feisty young children, running to the store for more Starbucks K-cups, and obsessively tweaking her website, she considers her success to be just short of miraculous.