I was at the gym the other night, doing a spinning sprint session (I’m a sucker for punishment).. but this isn’t about my [lack of] fitness prowess. It’s about finding blog inspiration in random places. After 20 mins of HIIT training, the spin teacher – Dee Tjoeng – said [yelled], “Your ‘why’ will get you through this”. And it stuck in my head. Probably because it’s true!
It really does work in many aspects of life – including social. Many of you will have heard the “What’s your why?” Ted Talk by Simon Sinek (if not – you should!) but it’s easy to forget what that may be and get sucked into the social rabbit hole. 2020 for me, will be about being more focussed on my “whys” both professionally and personally.
Let’s have a look at some possible reasons for being on social.
When we drill down, this is probably really at the heart of it. We all want a bit of profile in our respective relationships and networks (see Community). Profile doesn’t have to be mass market, it’s more about being visible in your network. We want to share our views and opinions about the thing(s) we’re focussed on. We often have the discussion around whether to have ‘personal’ and/or ‘professional’ accounts on social. In my view, there’s no reason anymore to keep them separate. You go to work and talk about non-work stuff, and occasionally you might talk about work at home or out with friends/family – do the same on social! Find your balance with what you’re comfortable with.
You might want to be an influencer – that will make some fo your cringe, but as I tell colleagues all the time, you already are an influencer. Don’t be ashamed of that. Embrace it. And if you want to, take it up to a level you stay comfortable in.
As human beings, we all need people and community around us. The size of that need may well be different depending on your psychological make up – introvert/extrovert – or just the space you’ve landed in. Social is a great way to find and build your community. That may be one community or several. The joy of social is that it lets you decide!
A core aspect of being on social is to learn. You’re doing it all the time. We get through life by learning. And social is a fantastic place to enhance your own knowledge, as well as share your knowledge with others.
My LinkedIn feed is now my primary go-to place for new things – reports, articles, ebooks, blogs, content – all focussed on the areas of knowledge Ive selected to be part of.
Twitter is still great for news collation and breaking news. For some sectors, theres still some fantastic content, communities and leaders – social & PR, politics and charities are three I see a lot.
Social is a great way to build your impact. At the firm, we offer colleagues content which makes an impact on their profiles, and with their connections/followers (I hope!). We want to impact others in our communities; to be seen as a subject matter expert in what whatever area of our lives we’re focused on. The step up from sharing content, is to create your own content – which has even more impact on your network. You’ve actually created you own stuff worth sharing! Own it!
But even with a why, social can be tough. You have to find/create the time. You need to get a rhythm to it. You have to get, and then stay, consistent. (Checks blog frequency in 2019….*sighs*). But looping back to what Dee said last night – “your ‘why’ will get you through this.” Why are you here? Why are you tweeting? Why are you posting on LinkedIn? That’s the reason to stay focussed. If you’re focussed, you’ll find what you do is easier. Because if it doesn’t form part of your ‘why’, don’t do it!
If you’re not sure what your why is, give it some thought. If you’re on LinkedIn to become an expert in your area, then focus on content/people/conversations around that thing. If you’re “why” is to look for a new job, then use it strategically to get yourself and your name/face into the right people in your ideal companies. If your ‘why’ is to to create a better network, search for people you know or have met, or even those you’d like to and give them a reason to join your network. (The ‘Do you want to add a note’ prompt, should generally be met with a “Yes”!)
Enjoy your 2020. Make the most of it. And be your ‘why’.