Want to be Successful at Social Media? Here are 13 Steps You Probably Missed (Pt.5)
In previous articles we have discussed Step 1. The Proper Way to Set Goals, Step 2. The Importance of Seizing the Day … Every Day … to Advance Your Social Media Goals, Steps 3, 4 & 5. What To Do Along The Way and Steps 6, 7 & 8. Develop grit, Develop will-power & Develop the wisdom not to make your goals harder to achieve than they already are.
Today’s article, and the three to follow, will tie up some loose ends. They may seem like small items, but they’re not.
This article will offer some guidance on why you should:
- Replace poor habits with better ones
- Expand your center of influence, and
- Make yourself available to those who find you influential.
First Thoughts …
Before we begin, let’s put this series in perspective. If you have read all of these articles and hang in there for the next three — an investment of significant time and attention — you will have proven that you will succeed at Social Media. You are well on your way to becoming a member of an elite group, the ranks of true Social Media Professionals. Sometimes it’s the small details that make all the difference.
Social Media Professionalism
The previous 5 Steps are important ones — but the overarching benefit of the 13 Steps You Probably Missed is that taken together, and put into practice, they will make you a more skilled Social Media professional. Perhaps a professional-in-training, but a professional none-the-less.
That is a tremendously important skill set. One that should be appreciated by all of your contemporaries and stakeholders.
By virtue of your job description, as an entrepreneur with an interest in Social Media or as a Social Media Strategist for a large company, you are in charge of a function crucial to your company’s survival.
Your level of professionalism and contribution in this job will eventually drop to the company’s bottom line as directly as that of manufacturing, marketing or sales. Never lose sight of that. You will be a key player in your company’s future.
Step 9. Replace poor habits with better ones.
Changing your habits may seem a rudimentary suggestion, but carefully adapting your habits to your specific business situation — and replacing poor habits with better ones – can have extraordinary results.
It is never too late to adapt, to learn from the experiences of others, or to refine your techniques.
Even when you have had every advantage, in education and experience, you can still magnify your results if you strive for consistent improvement.
Social Media’s eventual objective, after all, is to enhance the profits from your business. That’s an admirable notion. But Social Media is still an untested way of making money, and sensible entrepreneurs must recognize the value of learning new approaches, and should never be resistant to changing their habits if their old ones are getting in the way.
In 1930, a future entrepreneur was born — the second of three children and only son of a businessman and politician. Can you imagine the dinner-table conversations overheard by this young man? He started his life surrounded by wise people with good ideas. And soon he started the his life-long goal of making money.
He went door to door selling chewing gum, Coca-Cola, or weekly magazines. For a while, he worked in his grandfather’s grocery store. While still in high school, he carried out several successful money-making ideas: delivering newspapers, selling golf balls and stamps, and detailing cars, among them. Filing his first income tax return in 1944, he took a $35 tax deduction for the use of his bicycle and watch on his paper route. In 1945, in his sophomore year of high school, he and a friend spent $25 to purchase a used pinball machine, which they placed in the local barber shop. Within months, they owned several machines in different barber shops.
All of these were learning experiences. And like all budding businessmen he developed a few poor habits. He chose to replace those poor habits with better ones. He took advice, acted upon it and improved his earnings.
He once said, “Bad habits are like chains that are too light to feel — until they are too heavy to carry.”
That is a profound and valuable statement. One worth listening to.
Just as Social Media represents a paradigm-shift in the way America does business, for this young man the Stock Market seemed a more efficient and effective way to pursue his financial dreams. He changed his techniques, improved his habits, and began revolutionizing his business life.
On a trip to New York City at the age of ten, he made a point to visit the New York Stock Exchange. He watched and listened carefully to the best ideas that were shared with him. Leaving the pinball machines, chewing gum, Coca-Cola, and weekly magazines behind, he adapted to his new business surroundings, and at the age of 11 he bought 3 shares of Cities Service Preferred for himself, and 3 for his sister.
He had always been industrious, but now he adapted his habits to his specific business situation — replacing poor habits with better ones.
Today the former chewing gum salesman is an accomplished investor, industrialist and philanthropist. In 1962, he became a millionaire, in 1990 he became a billionaire, and today he is widely regarded as one of the most successful investors in the world. Sometimes replacing poor habits with better ones – can have extraordinary results. His name is Warren Buffet.
In the ancient Chinese text, Tao Te Ching, it is said: “He who controls others may be powerful, but he who has mastered himself is mightier still.”
This is sage advice.
The daily demands of Social Media will tax your talents, skills, persistence and energy.
It is a daily routine that demands adjusting how you plan, how you work, how you prioritize and how you persevere when you run out of steam. It will keep you organized, effective and efficient.
Here are a few practical suggestions, in no particular order:
- You will want to, but try not to take on too many objectives at one time.
- As I mentioned earlier, if your market is on Twitter resist the urge to develop a Facebook page — that can wait until later.
- Don’t march into a LinkedIn presence until the appropriate time.
- And don’t waste your energy by struggling with videos for YouTube, if it doesn’t further your goals for today.
- First strategize, then prioritize, and finally energize around one thing at a time.
- Monitor results and improvise if necessary.
- Whatever you choose to do first, do it right. Do it well. That’s a winning formula. Joe Paterno, who coached more college bowl game wins than any other coach in college football history, once insisted, “You have to perform at a consistently higher level than others. That’s the mark of a true professional.”
- Prepare a daily agenda of tasks that need completing, and then stick with it until they’re done.
- If you find that some tasks are more difficult or burdensome, do them first.
- If procrastination becomes a habit, force yourself never to procrastinate again.
- Social Media can be exciting when it’s going well, and frustrating when it isn’t, so form a habit of consistent performance whether you enjoy it or not.
- A professional is someone who can do his best work … especially when he doesn’t want to. Alistair Cooke, the British-American journalist, television personality and broadcaster once remarked, “A professional is someone who can do his best work when he doesn’t feel like it.”
- Form habits of optimism and consistently hard work.
- And as suggested by the Harvard Business Review, learn to “Focus on what you will do, not what you won’t do.”
One of the most profound, useful and invigorating aspects of Social Media is its inherent ability to create and share influence. Whether giving it or receiving it — influence is a powerful tool.
For those who have benefited from long business experience, sharing your accumulated knowledge is an ideal way of giving back. It is also the right thing to do. That does not mean that you must give it away entirely, it just means that a modicum of free advice is a proper gesture and an appropriate way of building your own credibility. If you have and maintain influence in the industry from which you derive your living, business will come your way — after you have established respect and trust from those who listen to you.
With Social Media in particular, there is a lot of misinformation out there. When an entrepreneur asks for help with Social Media, he is actually asking for Social Media knowledge that will help him prosper his business. He is not looking for theory, or a sociology lesson, he is asking for practical, proven advice. Actionable advice. He already understands the “Why?” — he is looking for the “How To.”
In business, this means advice from proven businessmen and businesswomen, not from theorists or students. Lee R. Raymond, the Chief Executive Officer and Chairman of ExxonMobil from 1999 to 2005, once nailed it when he said, “The main professional responsibility of a person in business is business.” If you have real business acumen, your Social Media suggestions are seasoned and worthwhile. You have a responsibility to share them.
For those who are willing to ask questions, the sharing of influential information from other professionals can change your perspective, broaden your horizons, increase your skills, and provide welcome encouragement when you need it most.
There once was a struggling musician, “a good amateur but only an average professional,” to use his words. After asking other influential musicians for their considered opinions, he continued, “I soon realized that there was a limit to how far I could rise in the music business, so I left the band and enrolled at New York University.” That young musician, who was not afraid to ask questions, and listened carefully to the expert answers he received, went on to become an American economist who served as Chairman of the Federal Reserve of the United States from 1987 to 2006. First appointed Federal Reserve chairman by President Ronald Reagan in August 1987, he was reappointed at successive four-year intervals until retiring on January 31, 2006 after the second-longest tenure in the position. His name was Alan Greenspan.
Gaining the perspectives of others and amassing experience from them, is a fundamental benefit of seeking influential advice. It can add value to both your professional and personal life. A remarkable Hispanic woman, was born in the Bronx, New York, to Puerto Rican parents. Her father had a third-grade education, did not speak English, and worked as a tool and die worker. Her mother worked as a telephone operator and then a practical nurse. Her father died of heart problems at age 42, when she was nine years old. After that, she finally became fluent in English.
This young woman grew up taking guidance from some interesting influencers. She has said that she was first inspired by the strong-willed Nancy Drew book character. She then wanted to be a detective, but childhood diabetes made that impossible. Then after her diabetes diagnosis led doctors to suggest a different career from detective, she was inspired to go into a legal career, after watching the Perry Mason television series. She reflected in 1998: “I was going to college and I was going to become an attorney, and I knew that when I was ten. Ten. That’s no jest.”
After many years of hard work, and continued listening to good advice, she went on to become a judge.
“This wealth of experiences, personal and professional,” she later remarked, “have helped me appreciate the variety of perspectives that present themselves in every case that I hear.”
This remarkable young woman, now 57-years old, learned from the influence of others. Today, she is an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States, serving since August 2009. Her name is Sonia Maria Sotomayor.
Both of these fine Americans beat the odds — by taking advice from influential people in their lives.
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