I’ve noticed recently that this little community is filled with lots of amazing people chasing big dreams and starting businesses. As a new business owner myself I’ve found balancing the world of social media and my intuitive nature an interesting learning curve. This arena is filled with ‘shoulds’ and expectations, it’s overflowing with strategy and ‘rules’. The thing is I’ve never been one to follow the ‘rules’ and do things the typical way, so why should this be any different? I have spent this year really walking my talk, going deeper into my relationship with my intuition and coming to understand what it means for me to run my business and my life in a way that feels aligned, free, intuitive (truly intuitive) and guided, and for me that means totally reframing the way I show up on social media.
If you’re a business owner too and are tired of feeling like social media runs your business and even your life, if you’re desperate to find another way of doing things that isn’t about algorithms, numbers, and batch content, then my Soulful Social approach is for you.
Here are my 5 top tips for engaging with social media in a way that serves not just your audience, but you too.
1) Look at what you’re consuming first.
Think about it in the same way as you do food, if the things you’re taking in aren’t making you feel good then that’s going to have an effect on the content you create and the way you approach the process. Are you filling your social media feeds with people and messages which inspire, uplift and encourage you or is the content you see making you feel bad? If you constantly find yourself triggered by what other entrepreneurs are posting, find that your staring at your phone with a feeling of dread, or finish a scrolling session riddled with self-doubt pondering if your content is good enough and if should be doing what they’re doing (even though the thought of doing it makes you want to curl up and die) then it’s time for a reset. Unfollow any accounts which are leaving you consistently feeling lousy, and mute any that you’re finding temporarily triggering. Your social media feed should be a place you go for fun and inspiration, so commit to only following content that echoes that sentiment. After all, that’s the vibe we want to give our followers too, right...so why not lead by example!
2) Shift your focus from numbers to message.
It’s very easy when trying to build an audience or community to get sucked into the numbers game…How many followers do you have? How many likes are you getting? How many people are watching your stories or sharing your posts? How many times a day/week are you posting? I get it I’ve been there. It’s well intentioned, we want to be having the greatest reach and impact that we can right, but often it takes us away from why we started and cuts us off from our authentic energy and creative flow. When it comes to using to social media in a way that serves it quality not quantity that matters, and the best way to keep that quality high is to stay connected with your message.
What do you want people to know? How can you help them? How can you serve and support them? What is the message you just have to share? Remember it’s not what we do but who we are that brings people to us. It’s our passion, our story, our magnetic energy and the light that pours out of us when we’re doing something we love and speaking our truth. That’s what pulls people in and gets them listening. Leading and creating from this place rather than a numbers place means that you sharing with an authenticity and depth that speaks to people and prevents your social strategy from becoming a tick box exercise.
3) Become aware of how you feel when you’re creating content for social.
For many of us now social media feels like an unavoidable and often fundamental part of running a business, but it doesn’t mean we always enjoy it. Sometimes when we’re totally in flow the content comes easily, we have bolts of inspiration and the words just come pouring out. Images come together with ease and it’s a joy to share a piece content that you’re proud of, that speaks to your audience and provides value.
Sometimes however, it can feel like running headfirst into a brick wall. The words dry up and for love nor money you cannot get your creative vision to come to life. It can feel stifling, exhausting, and just plain shitty staring at a blank computer screen willing the answer to come to you, or batch cooking mediocre content out of desperation to post something, anything. The trouble is, forging ahead when you’re in that crappy place means that not only do you risk creating content which doesn’t do justice to you, your brand or incredible expertise, you also risk developing a really negative relationship with social media that breeds resentment, toxicity and creative burn out. So, when you’re sitting down to create content for your social channels do so mindfully. Get into the habit of tuning in with how you feel when creating/planning and posting. If you’re feeling energised, connected and aligned with the message you intend to share then you’re in the sweet spot. If you’re feeling heavy, pressured, resentful, resistant or blocked then it might be time for a step back. If it feels like a should then it’s time to try a different tac. Maybe take a break for a few days, get away from the screen, strategy and plan to create space for free-flowing creativity, or switch up how you do things, try chatting on stories instead of doing grid posts or give reels a go.
It might feel strange or even ‘naughty’ to redirect your energy, but in the long term it’ll keep social media feeling fresh not just for you but your audience too.
4) Find your style you’re working style.
When it comes to creating content there are as many ways to do it as there are unique users, and so it can be challenging to understand what works for you (and when I say what works I mean what truly works), not just what you think you should be doing to keep up or to look/feel legit.
For some people a cerebral and logical way is best with a clear content plan, strategy for implementation and daily/weekly timeline to keep everything on track. For some, batch generating a month’s worth of content when filled with inspiration, then scheduling it all well in advance so it can run in the background while you go about doing your awesome thing, is the secret sauce. For others a totally free form approach fits best (this is me), following the breadcrumb trails of insight and inspiration as they arrive and posting when you feel the call.
It doesn’t matter which approach you follow, there’s no right or wrong, you could have a totally unique mix of all these different approaches, you do you babe. The important thing is that you play around and find an approach that works for you. There’s no point in batch creating content if you hate it so much that you spend weeks avoiding it, and then force yourself through the process like you’re pushing sand uphill (yes, this was me). However, there’s no need to take a totally spontaneous approach if having to put something together on the fly makes you feel queasy. Experiment, find your sweet spot, your happy place so that the creative process is enjoyable, not depleting. It’s all about energy and when we’re creating from a place that serves us as business owners, our audience benefits too.
5) Don’t be afraid to take a break and put in some boundaries.
As entrepreneurs we’re often told that consistency is key, you must post all the time, just keep posting (Dory springs to mind here), if you don’t keep posting everything will stop and everyone will disappear. It can create a lot of fear and panic when we buy into these limiting beliefs and fear-based stories. It can keep us employing strategies that aren’t working, and ploughing on when in reality our mental health is suffering and we’re crying out for a break. It can keep us chained to our phones and permanently switched on preventing us from accessing the truly restorative self-care we need. The thing is, as I’ve hinted at before, when it comes to connecting with your audience and drawing people to you with your message, energy is key. When we are taking time to refuel, to reset and take care of ourselves, the calibre of the content we create is higher, it’s more powerful and it has greater impact (even if on paper it’s reaching a smaller number of people than we feel it ‘should’.) When we’re depleted, disconnected and in survival mode, we might be making more content, we might even be getting lots of likes, but the depth with which we speak to our audience is reduced, and it’s unlikely that our message will really influence the people who need it on a level that takes them from casual scroller to avid follower and client.
So, when you’ve been diligently doing the work for a while or are starting to feel your energy drop, give yourself permission to take a break, to disconnect from social and reclaim some headspace. It doesn’t need to be for long (even just for the evening or first thing in the morning would do), but it might be exactly what you need to reinvigorate your social channels… it gives your audience the chance to miss your magic too, so they’ll be even more engaged when you get back.
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