I see people trying to be everywhere and burning out. It's this frenzied way of hustling that's not exactly healthy that I see all around me. It's why the book "Essentialism" is so popular, because what we need is a solution to this modern madness.
Wanna hear about my solution? -> Don't try to be a master networker if it doesn't come naturally. Invest in things that have more YOU in them.
People come to me for marketing advice and complain they're not social enough, they can't find their tribe, everyone's ahead of them, and so on. First of all, do not compare yourself to other people! You're different from other people. UNIQUE.
Secondly, don't worry about fitting in with the craze of networking. If it doesn't come naturally, just focus on what you love doing and are good at. You can add a little social to the mix, just enough to say you're active on at least one channel.
Focusing on your strengths is a very smart strategy. If you don't believe me, read Now Discover Your Strengths and keep scrolling down.
Successful, but not social.
There are tons of successful people, who are not so social.
Sarah Bray is a digital strategist and author of Gather the People, which talks about "a human-centered approach to making & marketing for people who would rather make what they love than persuade people to buy it." Sounds great, right? I've been following her for AGES, but she's not outwardly social. Rather, she's chosen to provide value via her writing and weekly assignments, which cost money, let me tell ya! She has obviously found a way to monetize her business without relying on social media, and I applaud that.
Jen Carrington is one of my favorite creative rebels EVER. She grows her business through her writing and podcast, but like Sarah, she's not very social. And she doesn't need to be because she's found her way to get her coaching services booked in advance. So her business is built on value and word of mouth, rather than social media. Which is perfect because those two things are the best ways to grow a business organically.
They might not be the best-known creative rebels, and I can't relate to their strategies - I'm a social butterfly through and through - but I recognize their greatness because I understand that we're all different, and it's supposed to be that way.
The beauty of humanity is in the differences, not the similarities.
(Did someone famous say that? I've no idea.)
The same goes for business: The way you conduct and grow your business should be different than my way because we're unique people with unique goals.
Know what you do best.
- Is it drawing? Maybe you have mad doodling skills like my friend Kiki.
- Is it writing? Maybe people really resonate with your words.
- Is it making beautiful things with your hands?
- Is it winning people with your videos?
Make a list of your strengths. (For the purposes of this exercise, I want you to completely ignore your weaknesses.) Take a personality test if you're finding this difficult. And when you have your list, start building your business around it.
You will never succeed if you do what others do, but you could if you built your business around what you do best. -TWEET IT
There are so many business models out there! The problem is, we don't naturally start our business by researching them, but rather, we see what successful people we like have done and try that. Never mind they're totally different people.
I mean, if you're a naturally social person, you could build your business around a community, or if you're naturally great at creating things, you could make your business model revolve around products. You could have a service based model if you're good at one-on-one relationships and helping people help themselves. And so on.
But if you straight up start emulating others, you might end up doing what I did at the start of my business. (I wasn't as smart then as I am now!)
My initial mistake.
Instead of measuring myself to see what bed size would fit me, I went with Goldilocks' approach of trying three beds until I found the right one.
At first, I looked at three women who inspired me, and started trying things they did in their strategy. The first one was the infamous Mariah Coz from Femtrepreneur. As much as I love and admire Mariah, most of her methods were not made for me. Why? Because she's a totally different person. Her values are different, her personality is different, so trying to do what she did was a major flop for me. It derailed me for like a month!
The second person was Jen Carrington, whom I mentioned before. She does everything her way and encourages you to do the same. But she's not as social as I would like to be, so if I tried her VALUE over SOCIAL approach, I would've flopped again.
The third woman was Melyssa Griffin from The Nectar Collective. While she's closer to my values and spirit, she's also a little TOO social. She's on every single social media platform, and as you know, my strategy is to max out on one that I like.
It's why Gary Vaynerchuk repurposes content for different social contexts. And while it's cool to be a social chameleon, it's not ideal for everyone.
The BETTER approach.
Trying all of these things is a great way to learn what you like and don't like. However, if you already know yourself and what you like and don't like, why waste time? Why not just invest in the things that will help you make a difference and grow?
I could have tried to repurpose all of my content and try to be on most channels like Melyssa, but that would've been a mistake because it's not what I enjoy doing or excel at. I could have focused on the value part and ignored social, but that's not me either.
If I were me a few months back, I would come up with a strategy, which is a mixture between Jen's and Melyssa's, and borrow some marketing tactics from Mariah. All the while keeping my core message and my personal values intact.
Which is EXACTLY what I've done. Took me a while to get here.
At the beginning of a business - especially if you feel somewhat insecure - you might be tempted to follow in your idol's footsteps or try everything under the Sun. That's perfectly normal because neither you nor your business exist in isolation. But before you waste all of that time and energy, figure out what you do best and resist the temptation to try everything your online heroes have done before you.
From there, you can build a lovely business/marketing strategy for yourself.
Trust me, nobody knows how to run your business like you do. And if you need guidance, remember to look for coaches who help you be yourself rather than help you do what they did, OK? It's actually what I do for creative rebels:
In a clarity session, I help you discover what you do best, what your ideal business would look like, and what got you stuck if you feel that way.
In the creative takeover, I help you grow your small business in an authentic, purposeful, and creative way, by using Creative Marketing strategies.
In the mentorship path, I become your friend, supporter, and coach for two months. From the conception of your idea to the business model to growing it, I walk you through it all and I'm there to fall back on if you hit a wall.
Now's your turn to share some of your experiences...