I started 2020 with just over 3 months of blog posts written and all of my social media posts outlined. I had perfect graphics, engaging content and I knew this was the best I had ever been in terms of readiness, organization and continuity in my content. It was a proud moment when I ended the year with this much ready and scheduled. There was big hope and expectation that what I had come up with was going to knock the literal socks off any one who saw my posts, read my blog or went to my YouTube channel. If they still had socks on then they just hadn’t found me yet.
As I sat back during Christmas break in a little bit of down time admiring my fine work I tuned into to a couple podcasts that I had not had time to listen to before. I am always searching for podcasts that are for solo-prenuers or contain business strategy and support for small businesses. As I sat tinkering with different things and setting everything up to schedule I was listening to these podcasts talk about all the things I should be doing in my business. Specifically what I should do online for building a robust engaged following and converting them to paying customers. If I wasn’t doing them then I couldn’t possibly be successful in my own business. Then another podcast show talked about a list of things you definitely should not be doing if you want to be successful in your business, especially on social media. After a couple hours of this I stopped what I was doing and hit pause on the podcast.
I got so upset as in on the verge of tears because as I looked at this content I was so proud of and was anxiously awaiting to roll out in January I realized it was inferior and completely wrong! It failed in so many ways against the lists of dos and don’ts the podcasts, people who are considered the experts, described as the only way to be successful. Oh and blogging was just dead. No one and I mean no one who is successful online blogs unless it’s in these abbreviated conversational posts that are put on Instagram. Everything I had just created was the complete opposite of what these so called experts declared as the right way to be successful online.
Pretty graphics and pictures not what people want
1-liner inspirational quotes and thought provoking taglines so 5 years ago
Links to drive people to your website – seriously that is so uncouth
Did I just seriously waste the last 2 months over the holidays scrambling for nothing? Was the past 2 years a waste with countless hours researching, outlining and writing blog posts for nothing? O.M.G. Here I was on Christmas Eve day sitting in my office enjoying some downtime outlining bullets to build my April content being smacked to a dead stop by a podcaster telling me I was doing it all wrong.
It was at this point I went and made some lunch and distracted myself with folding a load of laundry. I was perplexed and I was mad. All the work I had poured into creating 3 months of content and blog posts was just described as crap by a person who had not even seen it. They didn’t need to see it because their results had shown them that what I was doing was crap. It was still crap because no one does what I did and was successful in social media or in business today. Here I was worried about making things pretty and meaningful, speaking to my followers hearts and giving them my sage wisdom through intentional graphics, insightful quotes and blog posts that I had to wonder would anyone see? Would they care?
When I checked on the Instagram profiles of the podcasters I was listening to I saw they had a lot of followers. Their posts received a lot of likes and comments. The stories and feed were not what appealed to me but I could see why some would like it. Most of it felt harsh, stark and sloppy in presentation but again apparently presentation is inferior to quality content. I started to realize that what they said may be true but it may not be true for me. It may not also be true to my avatar. Yes there are fancy algorithms on social media and some people will gain followers overnight with their content. However, I think true success in your business regardless of building online or in person or both is best measured by own your metrics and results.
I often think of a billboard that is nothing but the color white with a tiny little logo in the corner. People think this is high tech art and flock to the brilliance of it but all it is in reality is a white billboard with nothing on it. That style, message (if there is one on a white billboard) and impression it gives people inspires thoughts, feelings, experiences and a general like, dislike or don’t care mentality. Now everyone is putting out white billboards and flocking to those types of styled messages. That’s all anyone can talk about is the white billboard style and deep connecting message it bestows on those that “get it” while lining the profits of those that created it.
It isn’t like I don’t want those things in my own business. It isn’t as if I’m not wanting to make an income or create a dream from the work I’m putting into this business. Hearing how wrong I was doing things though really made me consider what they were saying in their podcasts. Is social media and online building truly just a fad trend approach and if you’re not keeping up with how to do it you’re failing? Was all of what they said true and I would never expand in reach, convert people to customers or become an influencer if I didn’t do what they were doing?
The more I sat with these questions and information I realized I had developed a case of image envy for their success and it was distracting and diminishing my own creativity and innovation. Their messages were taking away from who I wanted to reach and speak to in my own words. What they said was very true and it was proving successful for them. There were pieces of what they said that I found helpful. However, when I focused more on the things they said I should and should not be doing and saw I did the complete opposite of those things I found my heart beating fast, I became anxious and was about to rip up and start over what I had created to change my entire strategy! Poof just like that!
Thank goodness I didn’t. Thank goodness I sat longer with this challenge and sorted through it more. I believe if you want to be truly successful in your business you have to be unafraid of your own voice, style and approach. You can change them but they should always (ALWAYS) be representative of you, your brand, your dream. If your messaging and content feels best in pretty pinks and whites with heartfelt inspiring words rather than in your face bold colors with curse words you do pink and white! You do you and you keep doing you regardless of what the experts say. Become your own expert. Remember the quote about going down the road less traveled? No where is that more true than in being a solo-prenuer.
Where we often fail in our dream of having our own business is when we give the power to someone else to drive our direction and decisions. When we stop listening to our own minds and hearts and let it be unfairly influenced by another who supposedly does it better than we would. If you want someone else to do that for you, it’s called a job. This is your chance to stand out on your own and let your voice come out in the way, shape, size, color, format and forum you choose! The people who respond are your people. They may be few but they will come. They will be yours because you are being true to yourself and doing what no one else is out there doing.
So while blogging may be dead I still read blogs written by a lot of different people very regularly. I still write my own blog daily and continue to write ahead so I can be ready for what’s coming next. I still create social media content using graphics and pictures that speak to me and draw me in. I do this because if it attracts me then it’s going to attract the people I want to share these messages with, who I can best serve as my customers and who I know don’t follow the latest white billboard trends of how we should be functioning and thinking. This is what I call living natural in your own business.
I stopped listening to podcasts for a while and I realized my image envy went away. I also saw fantastic response to my first quarter social media content and blog posts. Thank goodness I didn’t dump it and follow a white billboard into the abyss.
If you’re ready to start your own business with your own voice and style, let’s connect! On my website are fantastic resources and support to help you get started, launch and operate for success you define. Join me! https://www.dragonspitapothecary.com/grow