Anybody who is self-employed these days, especially if you’re a freelance creative type, knows about the importance of social media. How do you know? Because everybody is telling you that you MUST be active on social media. Not just on social media, no, you have to be on every conceivable platform of social media.
You need to have a Facebook page, and not just one, but a business page, too, and you have to be on Twitter. Heaven forbid you’re not on Twitter. Then there’s LinkedIN. Doesn’t matter if you haven’t found a use for it, you still have to be on it. And of course, the latest thing is Google+. If you’re not on Google+ already, you might as well go get a job working for somebody else, because you’re probably too late.
Did I mention Pinterest? That’s where you post a bunch of pictures of other people’s stuff to tell people what you’re interested in, but don’t post pictures of your own stuff because that’s not being genuine, it’s just trying to sell people stuff, and people aren’t stupid, so they’ll see right through that. Posting pictures of your own stuff just tells people you’re interested in making money, and that just makes you a bad person.
See, it’s not enough to be on social media, but you have to know HOW to be on social media. There’s etiquette you see, or as the kids say today, netiquette. Get it? Net, internet, moving on.
It’s important to be yourself, but don’t really be yourself, because sometimes you might be grumpy and complain about something, and if you complain about something, then people will think you’re a whiner and nobody wants to work with a whiner, so don’t really be yourself. People want to work with positive people, so you always have to be positive. Big smiles, happy all the time, fist bumps, high fives, and thumbs up. You have to be Tony Robbins, 24/7, 365 days a year. And you can do it, because YOU are a winner!
Most importantly, be supportive. If you’re not supportive of your fellow creatives and people in general, then you’re just selfish and nobody will want to be around you, which means they won’t want to work with you. The whole reason you have to do all of this stuff is so people know who you are, and that they like you, and you can have a successful business, but nobody wants to be sold anything, so you have to be clever. Share links, advice, motivational quotes, funny pictures, don’t be critical, don’t bully anyone, play nice, don’t brag or talk too much about your life, work, or successes, and once in awhile, if you’re really careful, you can post a link asking people to buy your stuff. But when you do, make sure you apologize for it.
But how much social media is too much, or worse yet, how much is not enough? You have to learn how to do it right. You have to read a lot of books, buy DVDs, watch videos, attend conferences, host hangouts, take classes, and watch webinars all about social media to learn how to use social media effectively. Experts will tell you to only post at certain times of the day because that’s when most people are online, others will say you have to be monitoring it all day because you could miss the opportunity of a lifetime if you’re not watching at just the right moment. But, all you need is 10 minutes a day, or is it 10 minutes every hour? 10 minutes every 10 minutes? Are you writing this down?
Social media is also about being social. You have to hang out, chat with people, give an LOL for today’s viral YouTube cat video, give sympathy for their troubles, kudos for their successes, and encouragement for anything and everything they are currently trying to accomplish. Even if you don’t care, you have to pretend to care, because that’s what positive people do. And YOU. ARE. POSITIVE!
It’s all about networking. That’s so important and networking means getting to know people without trying to sell them stuff. Well at least not now. You can try selling them stuff later after you know them. Of course, then they’ll want a discount. Anyway, successful business people know how to network. And even if you’re not successful, you have to convince people that you are, because that’s how you become successful. Chicken, egg, you understand.
So get out there! Share, Post, Link, Like, +1, Comment, Tweet, Retweet, Message, Direct Message, Watch, Read, Hangout, and LOL as much as you possibly can. Your business, nay, your life depends on your being able to master social media.
At some point, you’re probably going to have to get out and actually do the work that you’re in business for in the first place, but that’s not really very important, because if social media has taught us anything, having something to sell is not nearly as important as having people to sell it to.
Why are you still here?