FOR SOLOS AND SMALL LAW PRACTICES, social media is an unbeatable marketing tool. It is low-cost, low-barrier-to-entry, one-to-many and versatile. Plus, it allows you to directly target your exact ideal client sans middleman unlike traditional forms of marketing such as TV, radio or print advertising, media relations or referrals.
However, if you do it yourself, you may soon feel like the cost to your mental and emotional health is too high, particularly in these volatile political times. It’s not uncommon these days to read declarations of: “Friends, I’m leaving social media for a while. I just can’t take it anymore. I need a break.”
If you are feeling taxed by the constant exposure to negative news reports, toxic tweets, and Facebook feed full of #fakenews or, at best, questionable facts, but you still love social media because it connects you to your friends, makes it easier for you to support causes about which you are passionate, and helps you stay engaged with your ideal clients, then here are some tips to help you stay connected while still protecting yourself:
- Create a content marketing plan for your business and automate it. Creating a plan, creating evergreen content ahead of time, and automating delivery will help you stay focused on your goals of connecting and engaging with your ideal clients. Your number one goal is to help your ideal clients solve their wake-up-at-3:00 a.m. problems. Create content that addresses those problems and your ability to help them solve them.
- Schedule times certain times to engage and stick to the schedule. Turn off your notifications. Set the times you want to engage with the posts you create on social media or in particular groups, and then stick with those times. Set a time limit. Use a timer if you have to. Time can very quickly tick away when we are scrolling and before you know it one, two, three hours will have passed just scrolling and getting more and more pissed off and overwhelmed. You can make a different choice.
- Curate your friends list and your content. Use the delete, unfriend and block buttons liberally. That’s what they are there for. Social media is there for the purpose of enhancing your life. It’s an invitation, a gift, a pleasure. If it is not, then you have the power to change it. If someone else’s posts, pictures, comments or whatever offend you, then delete them, hide them, unfollow, unfriend, block—do what you gotta do and don’t feel guilty about it. Why? Because it is your timeline and your life. No need to announce it. No need to post about it. Just do it. To that end…
- Refuse to argue on Facebook. You are not going to change their minds. You just aren’t. Make your statements on your timeline, but refuse to get sucked into arguments with trolls and baiters. It’s not worth it. You can keep scrolling without commenting. You can delete if it’s on your timeline. You can block. There are many, many choices. Choose the one that feels right to you.
- Diversify. Quite frankly, for the sake of your business, you need to be diversifying your marketing efforts anyway. If you are not using at least two or three forms of social, you should be. And your marketing mix also should include some traditional forms of marketing as well. There are three reasons why you’ll want to do this: 1) it’s never good to depend on one source for all your leads, 2) you’ll reach different (and more) people when you diversify, and 3) you’ll feel better.
- Hire someone to help you with your social media. As you move from solo to CEO of your business, you’ll need to delegate more and more of these types of tasks anyway. Even if you are the “face” or “voice” of your business and the one in the videos, or the one writing the draft of the blog (maybe), you should be delegating the editing, scheduling, posting, etc. Will you still want to pop on and engage? Maybe. In some circumstances. But not always. I mean, what would Steve Jobs do? I mean, if he were alive.
- Know that not every battle is yours to fight. Do what you can when you can. Pick and choose your battles and know that you cannot be the one to pick up the sword every time in every battle in every war. Sometimes, the best you can do it go to work, fight the good fight, take good care of your clients, and then go home on time and love your family. They need you, too. And if you love them and raise them right and it is their destiny, then perhaps they will grow up to go out into the world and create an even greater impact in the world.
- Make time every week to meet with a friend or two in person. Make plans for drinks or dinner with a friend. Yes, I know you are busy and you have a family. Everyone is and everyone does. But, girlfriend, you need friends. Real ones. And you need real connections in the real world. Go out and have dinner or drinks with a girlfriend or a group of girlfriends at least once a week. Those in-person connections will remind you that there are good people in the world. Social media can make you feel like all people suck and dogs (or cats) are better. But getting together with friends on a regular basis will remind you that there are many, many wonderful people in the world, and they’ve got your back. If they don’t, find new friends.
- Share solutions. Remember that Fred Rogers meme about how his mom always told him to look for the helpers every time he saw something bad happen? Well, I encourage you to do the same. Instead of sharing all the bad news all the time on social media, start making it a point to share solutions. For every “bad” news story you see, look for the helper and share their stories. Lightworkers believe that the more energy you give to a thing, the stronger it grows. Therefore, the more energy we give to what we don’t want, the stronger it becomes. What if, instead, we focus all our energy on what we DO want? What kind of world could we create then, all of us working together?
- Lastly, take a timeout. Spend a little time every day meditating, walking in nature, taking a bubble bath, laughing and playing with your dog or your children, enjoying a conversation with a friend or your spouse—without your phone in the room.
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