Building a social platform for business. Ugh. Every day I beat myself up for not having a more consistent or visible presence on some sort of social platform.
You and I hear it from every source, “find your social platform to grow business”. And that’s true, but…
We get in our heads that our platform has to look like the highly visible ones that we, ourselves, follow.
So we do everything we can to build lots of followers on different types of social media and then stress out because we don’t have time to create 3-4 posts a day, do webinars, live Facebook posts, Instagram stories, podcasts, blogs, or build a YouTube channel. Much less engage with people who comment or respond.
This is especially true for the microbusiness / microentrepreneur / solopreneur.
Building a social platform for your business can be crazy stressful.
>> And what platform should I really be on anyway???
Before you and I gulp the social media kool-aid, let’s step back for a moment. It’s tempting to think that we need a large, public social media following (and want it, truth be told. It gives us a feeling of satisfaction to see those hearts, likes, and new follower notifications. I admit I check my Instagram follower count and notifications several times a day. I mean, who doesn’t want to be
But the point of building a social media platform for our business is to, well, GROW our business – not feel important.
Frankly, most of the people who engage with us on social media will never be a client or customer – so why do we put so much energy, time, and money into building “fake friends”?
Before I answer that, let me first say that I agree we need to build a social media platform for our business; but it may not be how we typically imagine it.
For my business, I had to admit that all my effort to build a following and put out content wasn’t producing any results – other than wasting a boatload of time and money that I didn’t have.
Then I stepped back and thought about where my clients and quality contacts were coming from. Guess what? For my main business, ALL my clients are word of mouth.
For Kingdom Women in the Marketplace and other things I do, social media platforms play only a minor part. At this point, social platforms are for the interaction of existing relationships, which reminds me that I have to not only ask WHERE I need to build my platform, but WHAT is its purpose. My platform for KWIM is different than the platform I need to build for my copywriting or typewriter business and as it grows, will NEED a bigger platform.
So – again – why are we, in general, feeling the huge pressure to build a social platform?
About the best thing social platforms are excellent at
That being said, having a social platform IS extremely important to business – and it looks very different for each microbusiness.
However, when we’re honest with ourselves, we like the idea of lots of followers and platforms we can stand on.
Isn’t that what a platform is? Something that lifts you up and out of the crowd so that you stand above them? It enhances your voice, position, and visibility. Yet, when we’re building a platform without the proper thought and action behind it, we become like every other shouting voice in a sea of platforms looking for fan bases that are searching for freebies and the flavor of the month.
Remember, building a platform doesn’t magically produce BENEFICIAL results, but it does play into our need for immediate feedback.
Instead, we should be looking for the platform that presents our brand, voice, ministry, or services to the right people that are going to take the time to connect and grow our business.
Sometimes, that means you may or may not need a social platform. Or if you do have a social platform, it’s going to be small – but it should be effective.
Instead of giving in to the social platform pressure that is out there, take time to step back and ask yourself:
- if your Ideal Client would even look for you on a social platform and which one(s).
- which social platform is most likely to produce RESULTS ($$$)
- what purpose it serves for you (be honest)
- if you need quantity over quality
- if you even need a social platform for your business
The answer is going to be different for each of us.
BUILDING A PLATFORM THE RIGHT WAY
My next post will dive deeper into how to answer those questions so that you and I can make the most of our time. I’m embarrassed to admit I wasted so much energy building a platform that wasn’t producing.
Social platforms aren’t bad, they’re tools. But they can suck the life out of your business and direction if you’re not careful. As I mentioned previously, everything that is income producing has happened OUTSIDE of my social platform. Which is why I pulled back for a long time. I’m slowly making my way back in, but it is with a much different mindset and purpose…
…and I don’t feel guilty if I’m losing followers or not posting something every day.
What are your experiences with building social platforms? Has it actually brought you business (i.e. increased your bank account) or sucked up your time and money?
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