Blogging and Social Media is Really Intimidating Until...Mike Irving

Blogging and Social Media is Really Intimidating Until…

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I’ve had a really interesting experience today.

Here’s a little background to start off with – I’ve been running my business as a coach for almost 8 years now.  I created a website and started blogging about 3 months ago.

That’s 7.5 (almost) years that I went without being online.  And the business worked.  It did well enough thanks to referrals and getting results.

Online?  I didn’t think I needed it.  I didn’t want it.  I couldn’t see how to use it.  I wasn’t sure how I was choosing to represent myself online.  I wasn’t going to say ‘Yes’ to it until I could clearly see how to implement it myself.

While all of that is true, the other truth is that a part of me was intimidated by it.  What the hell am I going to write about anyways?  What would be a reason that someone would choose to read what I write?  I’m good at coaching people, not writing.

Self doubt was kicking in majorly every time I put my attention on it. And so was self criticism – I don’t know how to write, I’m not that guy, etc. And I really did not want to expose myself.
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That’s enough background.

Now back to my experience today.

I met with a new potential client.  The meeting came about because she knows one of my top level clients that I’ve worked with intensely for over three years.

The last time she had seen him was almost three years ago.  Until a few weeks ago when they caught up.  She told me she noticed how different he was, and could sense how much he had changed.  She was aware that he was different, and his business had grown and become more organised and professional.  He credited me with the changes.  #humbled

It grabbed her attention and interest enough that she went home and that same day went to my website to book an appointment to meet me for a coffee.

That coffee was today, and I got a real distinction about how much I’ve changed in the last 8 years.  I heard her tell me about the reasons that IT was frustrating, and why she was annoyed with IT companies and social media – there is so much to learn.  She also knows a bit about it’s value, because her daughter is managing a social media campaign via Facebook for the business, and when nothing gets done on Facebook, the business suffers.  Her daughter is obviously doing a pretty good job of it!

You may have a different experience to me, and I know that if at least two people have had this experience, that means that millions of others likely have or have had a similar experience.  It can be challenging and intimidating when you first start looking at blogging or social media for your business.

So, what do you do to deal with this?  I know what I did – I watched.  I observed.  I listened.  I took it all on board and thought about it for a long time.  I’m not what is called an early adapter (my wife is).  I started researching it and learning about it.  I saw what others were doing, and observed the effects of their actions.  The process taught me a lot about myself.

Slowly, I began to see a couple of ways that I might use this beast called Social Media.  Then I started thinking about what I was willing to be, do, have, experience, and create in the social media space myself.  What’s the way I choose to represent myself online?  Am I willing to be thought of as an ‘Expert’ – so many questions!

The main thing I can see that I did was this – I did not do anything until I could be totally clear on what my intention was in doing it.

We make mistakes because we start without thinking about the process and the end result we are after.

When you don’t understand something and how it works, it’s impossible to be clear on any intention other than to learn about and eventually understand it.  Sometimes it’s best to take no action at all until you understand.

Don’t believe the hype.  Be clear on what you’re saying Yes to before you take action.

Blogging and social media can be intimidating until you understand it and it’s applications.  Once you gain some clarity on it, it becomes much easier to see a way to implement it that will work for you, align with your branding and marketing strategies, and fit with your integrity.

I saw an earlier version of myself today in the woman I met with.  Social media, and online marketing in general, can be very intimidating.  One of the most intimidating parts of it can be your level of willingness (or unwillingness) to expose yourself and be seen or heard.

To be authentically You.  To let everyone know what you stand for.  Unapologetically.

And I’m not saying that I’m great at that.  I know from today that I’m a heck of a lot better at that than I was 12 months ago though.

I am going to take a minute to acknowledge the done tonight.

And if you are reading this, thank you for your openness and honesty today.  I learned a lot and I enjoyed our conversation.

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