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The Saturday Tirade: Why should You DIY on Social Media

I had intended to write on another topic this week but over the week I have spoken to a few entrepreneurs who called for social media gyan and they left me steaming at the ears, so here goes…

Everybody seems to be wanting success, they want to be ‘the’ brand online, they want tons of followers, an abundance of likes, loads of comments, uncountable leads, and of course an epidemic of guaranteed conversions. BUT, but they do NOT want to do the work.

Not wanting to do the hard work of networking, building a community and a presence online is all fine for a company or business with a lot of money. These rich guys can hire an agency to do the work. But it’s not about the money, because it’s more about hiring the right agency who will do the right job, and that does take money. After all, there’s no such thing as a free lunch.

But what happens when you are a start-up, a one man show or a small team with very little funds, how then do you find the funds for these agencies? How do you succeed online? How do you become ‘the’ brand?

I keep saying this to every business owner and entrepreneur I speak to
– only you know your business best, only you know the pulse of your product or service, only you know your customers heart, only you can be the best voice of your brand – and I haven’t changed this stance in the 5 years I have been a social media consultant. This is my top reason for why you should manage your own social media. Especially when you are starting out.

Yes, I agree it’s a fair bit of work but then so was your idea when you first started out in your business. Making the idea a reality took hard work, you wouldn’t just have outsourced it and got someone else to do it, would you? Well, it’s the same here, you’re going to have to do the work to reap rewards.

And you don’t have to do everything, be everywhere and all that. You can choose how much you want to do and where you want to do it. Choosing your networks well and managing your time on it efficiently will lead to great results over time – connections, relationships, and community. And these are real, and you know that for sure because you created them.

Where are the leads and money you say? These connections and relationships that you build slowly over time will create a community for you. And communities are great because over time they become your voice, they make the leads and sales happen.

Startup owners that I have spoken to are always looking to see how they can increase sales, but I don’t find a lot of them doing things to build goodwill, connect and interact with people (notice I didn’t say customers), or be themselves online. They are parts of groups but more of them have to do with entrepreneurship than their service or product.

Online marketing isn’t very different from traditional marketing. It’s just word-of-mouth and relationship marketing taken into the virtual world. The same old school rules apply. Don’t do unto others what you don’t want done to you. Build for the future, not for tomorrow and you’ll be in a beautiful place.

Don’t outsource. It isn’t impossible to manage your own social media, just start small and be yourself. Also be consistent. And then just give it a little time. The magic will happen. And when it does I promise it will be worth it, and best of all you’ll be enjoying yourself while doing it. Social is fun you know! 😉

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