One of the things that people often ask me is; ‘In order to be visible, do I have to be on socials all the time?’ Or ‘I really hate socials, or I am overwhelmed when I come into socials and I just don’t know how to not waste loads and loads of time on socials’.
So I’ve got a number of tips for you today to rethink the way you approach socials.
1. Use the software, don’t be used by it
When you’re adopting a CEO mindset, the mentality you want to approach is not to be used by the software, but to use it for your own purposes. Here’s a common experience; you wander into Facebook, and notice the notifications and start responding to them. Then you notice there’s this group having an interesting conversation, and then you see a photo that your cousin has shared, and then getting caught up in a random cat video. The next thing you know, you’ve completely forgotten what you’re there for and 30 minutes have passed by.
When you use a piece of software purposefully, you don’t just wander in. You’re very clear about why you’re entering the space. You put parameters around your time and participation, exercising discernment and discipline. Then, as you open up a social app, you know it’s a very distracting space with a lot going on, but you’re also very aware of why you’re there and by holding tight to that focus, you’re able to lay out a pathway and walk along with it.
Achieve your objective, and leave.
2. Get clear on what purpose socials serve in your life and business
The next question to get really clear on is; ‘Am I on socials for personal and professional reasons?’
When you have a personal brand this can become messy and people start oversharing, confusing marketing with personal expression. When you’re on socials for the dual purpose of engaging personally with your family and friends, and you’re also there to connect with your community, peers, and colleagues, then it’s like walking into a workspace and discovering that your aunt and uncle are sitting in the foyer, and your grandmother’s over there, and your friends from school are over there. You might be thinking, ‘I have to get up to level five and do some business’, but it doesn’t feel right to walk past your friends and family and not engage so you tell yourself you’ll just spend 5 minutes responding to their posts.
Goodbye to the next hour of your life.
Therefore, the bigger question you might ask yourself is; from 2021 onwards, are you going to use socials as a personal space, a business space, or both?
If it’s going to be a hybrid space, how will you set clear parameters around that?
And, if you want it to be a personal space, would you consider a separate space in which to show up and build your business?
3. Get comfortable with setting boundaries
If you’re going with a hybrid model – using socials for both personal and professional purposes – it’s important you get comfortable with setting boundaries. Here’s one approach you could take; during the day you might focus entirely on work stuff and then in the evening, you spend half an hour scrolling through your own personal feed. Or you might spend half an hour doing work things (using something like a Pomodoro app so you know when half an hour is up). Then you might give yourself 15 minutes to just scroll, and play, and chat with people or whatever.
Knowing yourself and your work habits best will help you decide on the right approach for you.
One of the things I invite students to consider a lot inside Women Speaking Up is; what are your visibility habits? Your visibility habits are both the habits you’ve built around being visible and the habits that are undermining your visibility, or causing you to not be as effective as you otherwise would be with your visibility efforts. One such habit is not being really clear about how you’re using social media.
Spending time getting clear on which habits are helping and which are hindering your visibility efforts is a wildly useful exercise for everyone to take some time with.
4. Leverage systems to become visible without personally showing up all the time
People often misunderstand visibility to mean that they have to physically show up all the time to connect with their community.
Yes, your business needs to leverage social media to be visible to the people you’re here to serve and support. That does not mean you need to be visible all the time. You can personally be discerning about when you show up and when you don’t show up and your business needs to have systems in place so that your brand can be available, visible regularly and consistently.
The beauty of putting those systems in place is that they free you up to show up when it’s appropriate for your workday and/or when you’re feeling inspired to do so.
The systems you establish might relate to batching or scheduling. They could relate to advertising. They could look like developing a template for the types of posts you share or developing a rhythm with your sharing. For example, knowing what your audience likes to hear most from you, you might set up a system whereby every other day, that kind of post is in the hopper ready to go out to your community. In between times, you might then give yourself the freedom to share whatever takes your fancy that day.
Having a system enables you to be consistently visible to your community without feeling overwhelmed, over-burdened, and still connected to creative inspiration and expression at a moment’s notice.
At the School of Visibility (SOV), our system looks like this; we set up our socials at the end of each month for the following month. I dedicate time to thinking about which posts people would benefit from most for that month and curating our feed so it’s not a mishmash of random thoughts, but has some kind of journey associated with it.
I create a structure to what we have to share and I leave space for things to arise; a global event I want to comment on, a reaction to something I’ve seen online, a theme I see coming through for multiple Women Speaking Up students that I want to talk about with the whole School of Visibility community.
Once those posts are created, one of the SOV team members creates the visuals and then they’re scheduled into our social media planner, Planoly.
And that’s it! Socials are complete for the month which means my job then is to simply jump in each day and chat with you. I’m not overwhelmed thinking of new posts each day and I don’t feel like I’m on some kind of social media hamster wheel. Instead, I feel at choice about the way I use socials and when I do jump online, I’m able to put my energy into thoughtful engagement rather than feeling exhausted by having to come up with the content, create the content, and then engage around the content. And that, my friend, is why the CEO mindset is so useful when it comes to engaging on social media.
If you know that setting up or leveraging systems is something you feel some aversion to, jump on over and check out our visibility recipe, ‘But I hate systems!’.