Four Tips From My Running Coach That Apply To Social Media, Too.
Who ever thought training for a half marathon would teach me something about social networking? I sure didn’t when I was in the midst of long exhausting runs on dusty trails. In fact, social media wasn’t even on my radar then – about five years ago. Today, being a social media coach, mentor, consultant and speaker on all things social media, I give advice, cheerlead when necessary, and help small business owners and entrepreneurs conquer the fear, confusion and overwhelm many of them experience when finally deciding they need a solid sales and marketing strategy that will bring results.
It occurred to me this past Sunday on my morning run, that many of the tips I learned about preparing for my first 13.1 mile race apply to assisting a business person dive into social networking.
1) Always start out slow – if you speed ahead quickly, you will run out of steam. So true when racing and very true when attempting to learn Facebook for business, Twitter, blogging, You Tube and more. You can’t possibly do it all at once. Pick one venue, attain a nice comfort level and then move on.
2) When running rocky trails, look where you want to place your foot, don’t look at what will trip you up. Having not heeded this advice in my early running days, I know this to be true! Look at that pointy obtrusive rock and you are guaranteed to step on it and slip or fall. Same thing with social media. If Facebook for business is your goal; focus on it 100% and learn how to be engaging, interactive, influential, and educational. Even though you may see posts in your stream done on You Tube, if you are not there yet and do not know the strategy, don’t attempt to shoot a quick video, post it without tagging it and thinking hard about the right title. One step at a time!
3) Don’t push through the pain. Slow down, walk and stretch. Being a survivor of foot surgery, this is a big one. The “no pain, no gain” theory just doesn’t apply. Being authentic online means working at your comfort level. Sure, it’s OK to push yourself a little and get beyond your limiting beliefs, but if you truly have not embraced Twitter, for example, don’t tweet yet. If it’s not enjoyable for you and you see no point, your readers and followers will pick up on your lack of enthusiasm. This is not worth your time.
4) Be consistent with your training runs, for it’s far easier to increase your mileage if you run at least five days a week. This training tip is so applicable to social media. Show up, consistently. Making a brief appearance on Facebook once a week or writing a blog once a month will do nothing to establish yourself as an expert in your field. Schedule your time on social media on your calendar – preferably 30-45 minutes once or twice a day and stick to it!
What “training” tips do you apply to your social media strategy? Are you getting the mileage you want from your efforts?
Laurie Hurley is an avid runner and social media coach who finished her first half-marathon in 2:22 at the age of 52.