It’s possible that social media as a whole could be the best thing that ever happened for entrepreneurs, but you can’t make use of it because you don’t know how. You’re not alone, though – just about everyone telling you they can use social networks to grow your business on your behalf is probably just winging it.
There’s a massive divide between how people act when doing something for their business and what they’ll do in a personal stream. It’s the difference between doing a job yourself, working on the same job in a team, or doing a piece of work for a client – there’s a motivation gap, an interest gap and, unexpectedly for most people, an understanding gap.
We all know what works best for us. In theory. But even for entrepreneurs, the person we are and what works in our personal lives doesn’t always translate even into hobbies-turned-jobs.
We all know we shouldn’t turn hobbies into jobs. Social media and networking is no different.
I’m fairly good at making connections, but the method by which I do this in my private life is nothing like the method I’d have to use if I were working as a Director of Community or some other like job. And the work I’d be doing in that role is nothing like the work I’d have to do as an independent social media consultant for varied clients.
The difference isn’t in the work itself, it’s in the target.
People don’t scale the way technology does, this is pretty well established by now. So what possibility is there that your sincerity, gusto and pluck will translate well from your personal brand to a global brand? Slim to none, that’s what. Part of the problem is that you’re no longer representing yourself. You’re trying to represent a complex ideal subscribed to by dozens, perhaps hundreds or thousands of people all by yourself. Behaving like a human is a nice thought, and necessary, but following the practices a normal person does is impractical and overly time consuming.
Is there a better way?
If there is, I haven’t found it yet. In my promotion of The Dowager Shadow, I’m trying some fairly faceless promotional techniques, everything from Twitter to a Facebook page and some other advertising soon, but so far it feels like diminished returns after only two weeks of concerted tracking. Much of this comes from the book itself being a part of myself, my life, how I conceive of my world. Making the jump from a labour of love to a business is a big deal, and it’s not something every labour of love needs, deserves, or can stand the strain of.
Have you considered, in your zeal to self-promote, that perhaps there simply is no ROI in social media for your situation?