Why I'm Learning to Get Comfortable With Social Media
“I don’t understand why someone wouldn’t want to be the face of their brand”, uttered my friend as we discussed some reservations she had about a current client. But I could. I definitely could. Being a business owner, you’re expected to be so many things from creator, to marketer, content curator, and a list of other responsibilities its not wonder that the last thing you want to do is wear “the smile” all the time. It may be genuine, but still, its tiring. Sometimes you just want to be able to do what you need to do for that day without also having to be “on” as well. There are times when I come in to work at and I don’t to speak or hear from anyone. I just want to do my job and go home. But then there are other times that I’m all chatter and smiles. As a business owner, there really is no off day because you only have that one moment to make an impression with someone on the first time. So I get it. But still….geeeeez.
There were times back in my younger years where I would share sordid details of my private life with my friends in exchange for a little attention. I wasn't a cool kid and I often felt I was just apart of the scenery and not the scene. But now as I am about to “open my doors” for business the further away I want to be from it.
You see I don't do well with people. Before you judge, let me explain. While I may seem outgoing when around my group of friends or even at work, I long for the moments I have to myself. I don't have to put on a show. I don't have to always speak with a smile. I can simply fade into the background, working quietly, observing the scene, or just being alone with my thoughts.
THE SOCIAL NETWORK: IS IT REAL?
But as a business owner, especially a new one, your position requires you to be front and center at all times until people are able to trust your brand AND you for that matter. Because let's honest, most businesses run on a platform where the owner is the brand. People are buying into THEM. But how do they do that? How do they pull it off? With social media of course. While I am seeking to utilize it to its potential for my business, I secretly loathe it. Why? I want to be part of the scenery instead of the scene. Funny how time changes things doesn't it?
Between all the different platforms from Twitter, Instagram, Periscope and all the many others that exist, there are so many ways to connect with your consumer or even other brands for that matter. But are you really connecting? For the most part, I would say yes because there are deals being made and contracts being signed every single day because of those very connections. I also know that real life friendships are being formed as well. As difficult as it is for me to connect in real life, it's even harder online. I'm an IRL person all the way. I like to feel your vibe and not just guess if what you portray online is real. Because let's be real, not everyone that we come across is truly the person that they are in real life. Is that really you that you're portraying? I think we’re all a little too familiar with Facebook pimpin' and the glammed up photos of Instagram. It's not always real life but perception is reality.
Honestly, I struggle with connecting with in real life friends as well. I feel my voice is lost among them and not one worth being heard at times. But that's my own personal hang up which I'm still working to get past. While I feel I would have eventual success on my own through old fashion word of mouth and networking in real life, the time it would take to achieve it would probably be far beyond the goals I have for myself and my family. I know I have to swallow the pill and accept that I must “play the game” in order to get anywhere in my business. I must look at social media as tool rather than a perceived enemy at the gates.
So after that same conversation I began to think of ways to challenge myself to not only become more comfortable using social media and getting beyond my fears but also using it more effectively not only for my business but as means to hold myself accountable towards some personal goals. While Twitter and Instagram are typically my platforms of choice, I decided Periscope would be the one to push me past my limits. I'm uncomfortable in front of the camera, feel totally awkward and believe that I’m in the biggest popularity contest since high school was invented. I’ve done a few posts to date but due to the aforementioned reasons, they’ve been sporadic and all over the place topic wise. But this time I’m coming prepared and honing in on a topic that is near and dear to my heart: health and fitness.
As a former personal trainer and group fitness instructor, I’ve heard and seen the struggles, fears and lack of knowledge in some cases that keeps people from getting to a place of healthy AND happy. I’ve been down that road before and it sucks to put it bluntly. My relationship with food hasn’t always been the best but finding foods I that were good to me and I enjoyed helped along with lifting heavy ish in the gym or hitting the pavement. I’ve put on a little bit of weight over the past year and half due to laziness, wanting and eating all the chocolate and cookies and just being plain tired from late nights, family responsibilities and work. But now I’m back on the wagon but motivation is still needed, especially now that the weather is changing and a warm bed is more appealing than stepping outside for any reason.
So here’s what I’m thinking AND doing. Let’s say you and I get together every day on Periscope for the next 31 days and we’ll discuss the basics of nutrition, training and how to keep it going. But wait! There's more! We'll call it #31DaysOfFit. You like? Ok good! The first one goes down at 9 pm tonight. Sorry its so late but I have this shared responsibility in the form of a 4 year old who like mommy to lay with him while he tells me about his day. But after that we can hang out. Cool?
This entrepreneurial life ain't easy y'all. At times it will feel like it’s going to break you. You will feel lost and at your wits end. And your fears? They will never have been greater. It is in those moments that catch glimpses of the person you're becoming. But you’ll have to get a little uncomfortable. Its a given. I’m trying to step out of my comfort zone. But I’m struggling. Hard. My tendencies to shy away? In full effect. My desire to provide for my family immediate and extended, and a boost to my self confidence because I conquered some s#$@. Priceless.
So let me ask you something. What has been one of the biggest fears in your business? Where has the fear gotten you? What do you plan to do about it? What will the next 31 days do for you?