As those reading in the Steamfeed.com arena are aware, the starting point for SteamFeed was fed by a growing need to separate the self proclaimed “gurus”, “experts”, and bot companies promising outlandish results in just 7 minutes a day, from those that are actually doing the job in the trenches day in and day out. We understand that snake oil salesmen will be everywhere there is a place to make a quick dishonest buck. We have blogged about it, chatted about it and posted about it. However it dawned on me recently that I have not yet seen a post addressing the day in and day out “regimen” that social requires to be successful. Of course we all know it is all glamour, jetting from one engagement to the next, blogs, posts, strategies all just roll off the tongue and life is wonderful…NOT!!
Lets take a look at some of the activities that are shared whether a seasoned social media professional, or brand new to the profession.
Read, Read, and then read some more.
One of the most important exercises that a social media professional must be doing, is reading any and as many as possible, blogs, articles, books, whitepapers, etc. Any content that
is relevant to what and how you do what you do on a daily basis. This does not mean just social media content, but includes all the peripheral responsibilities that come along with the position. Remember you are most likely going to be called upon to meet a “jack of all trades” job description. Photography, video, blogging, strategy, curate and create content with trusted and as well as the latest apps, just to name a few. I block off time each and every day to make time to read, and then I grab any and all opportunities to read some more. A big part of your job is knowing where “things” are going, your clients are going to expect you to know all the latest and greatest in all area’s of “their” social space. At the least you need to have a well rounded background in all forms of communication surrounding social.
Know Your Social Media Weaknesses
This can be a tough one for many. Nobody likes to admit to weaknesses, but it is so important that you understand that failing to acknowledge weakness in a particular area can mean disaster to your overall effort. Again, remember you are going to be expected to know a lot about a lot…it makes sense that you are not going to perfect in all areas. As your business progresses be cognitive of what areas are a constant struggle. Chances are you struggle because you are behind in that particular area. The real important thing here is recognizing and addressing it. If you are weak in say invoicing, hire someone to do that. If your blogging skills are not where they should be just yet, hire someone to handle that until they are. Recognizing and addressing your area’s of weakness is in itself a strength, if that makes sense.
Listen to your inner voice
This particular one is also hard for beginners. But, really, the best advice I can offer….listen to yourself, and more importantly believe in yourself. Yeah it scares the heck out of you, that out on a limb feeling, you will be second guessing yourself of course, but stick with your gut reaction. I have found 9 out of 10 times my gut reaction was right on the money. The added effect here is validation, when you realize you were correct in your thinking, it builds your confidence and you find it easier and easier to believe in yourself. I would love for some of my colleagues to comment on this particular thought, have you found the same to be true?
Ask for HELP
I have found that the vast majority of professionals in the social space are great sharers. They are extremely knowledgeable in the area of being social after all. Utilize that character. Get yourself out there, join some Linked In groups, Twitter chats, Facebook discussions, anyplace that you can interact with others that are involved in the profession. Remember this is SOCIAL media, if you are apprehensive about meeting new people and engaging (being social) I would venture to say that maybe you picked the wrong career. Sorry if that is harsh, but it is a lot less harsh then the tongue lashing that your client that is paying to be social will deliver. Ha ha.
There is no “One way”, or “Magic Pill”
All those posts you read from social media managers and community builders talking about patience…yeah that’s all true. It takes time and lots and lots of effort. Lots of trial and error, very rarely does something work for all clients in the same way. Consistency is soooo important, if you don’t stick with it and are willing to try any and all outlets that might get that traction we crave, you are not gonna make it. Hard work combined with dogged consistency wins the day and the client. The positive from that is it always an exciting day, sometimes frustrating, but when it clicks and a strategy gets solid traction…that’s what I like to call AWESOMESAUCE….