I have always been the person behind the scenes, happy to write the words for other people to say, or to come up with the quotes to be written in features and articles. Always pulling the strings, as it were, rather than sitting in front of the camera. Until now.
Since setting out as a freelancer I have had to learn to become the focal point of the business. Developing the business and a personality to go with it, which, for the first time ever, can be mine.
That might sound fantastic, and it is an amazing opportunity, but with such an opportunity you feel quite a lot of pressure to get it right.
It has been this pressure that has held me back from really setting out to practice what I preach; posting blogs and updating social media consistently. This may be an odd concept when bearing in mind that I write and post for clients on a daily basis; but posting for myself has been a big barrier during my first year as a freelancer. I’ve been held back by the concept of letting myself out, my thoughts and my life, not a corporate view.
After speaking to a number of new businesses, along with those which have been around a while, it seems this is a common area that affects many of us.
Some of the statements I have heard, just in the last week, include: “what do I say?” “But, I don’t have any cool pictures” “my business isn’t interesting enough for Instagram/ Facebook” “I don’t want to sell all the time, but I need to sell X” “I got more likes for a picture of my breakfast than I did for a work post”.
For so long we have been programmed to hide a lot of who we are for a greater good: a school code with a uniform or a corporate culture, but as a small business you don’t have that restraint anymore and you can let yourself out.
We need to remind ourselves:
The key to social media, as a small business particularly, is to be human.
Be a person going about their life, because at the end of the day, people buy from people. If your audience is choosing you, they want to see that you are passionate about what you do, that you have energy and that you care. We all like to feel connected, and the digital world helps that connection form and grow with a far wider outreach than is possible face to face.
All the different platforms have their place and their function, one size does not fit all.
Different social media channels will be helpful to different people, different times of the day gain the most engagement, and different types of posts are found to be of the most interest. It depends on your business.
Social media is a two-way communication channel, connect and give something back.
In some ways social media is a means of distributing what you want to share with your audience, but it is also a way to connect with them, have a conversation, share interesting things and build a relationship. Let’s not forget it is also a way for them to contact you too, so, be available.
If you’re still unsure about the best way to communicate your business I have a variety of services which could help you.
In addition, one of my fellow new businesses Buttercrumble Creative has put together some great tips for upping your social media game with fun content.