We all know that perfectionism, while it has its merits, holds us back from making the progress in our business and in our lives that we truly want and need to make. Perfectionism in marketing is death. Death to progress and eventually to your business. I have to admit, not with any sense of pride mind you, but I have never had to worry about the negative effects of being a perfectionist. I have been a self-proclaimed slacker-mom, rusted trophy-wife, and a fly-by-the-seat of my pants entrepreneur. Always biting off more than I can chew and figuring out how to survive as I choked it down. Let’s just say, I have no shame in my game!
So I am not going to sit here and tell you how I overcame my struggle as a recovering perfectionist. But I am going to tell you that in my 22 years of being in business, helping people with their marketing, I have seen the carnage that perfection leaves in its path. I’m going to give you some facts that will help motivate you to let go a bit with your marketing and then 4 and ½ steps to help you recover, make more progress, and grow your business! Why the ½? Well it’s so perfectly IMPERFECT!
Let’s get a few things out so we can build your motivation for seeing the need to let go of the neat lines and perfect circles:
- Perfectionism kills creativity and can completely cripple your ability to get ideas out and move your business forward.
- Today’s pace is faster than ever. We can’t wait months to get a piece of content created. Many times, we need it in hours or days.
- Marketing is all about testing. Testing means you have to produce multiple products, videos, lead magnets, blog posts, etc. to… TEST. You have to release something to the world before you can truly know what your audience wants. Then you can make adjustments based on the feedback you get. If the only feedback you have is coming from your head, you might spend months on something and then release it to crickets! If it takes you MONTHS before you can get one item completed, the only thing you will test is your patience.
You may say you don’t want to put anything out unless it “looks professional” or is “professionally created.” There is absolutely nothing wrong with things looking professional if it can be done in a realistic time frame. There is nothing wrong with something being created by a professional, as long as they don’t cause said professional to age 12 years working with you because of all of your “small edits.” If you can’t get something out because you are waiting on the graphic designer to return the 87th version of a 2 page PDF, you need therapy…and now the poor graphic designer does too!
Video is one of the hottest marketing tools you have today and yet video is a big hurdle for many perfectionists because there are just so many areas where perfection is nearly impossible. You may want to wait to do videos until you have the perfect equipment. You will of course then need to put it off until you are at your perfect weight and have made an appointment with your hairdresser to get those highlights looking perfect. Then, of course you will need the perfect day when you got the perfect amount of sleep so you look…PERFECT. (I think this could be the beginning of a children’s book… If you give a perfectionist a project.) Let the real YOU shine through. Instead of trying to create a perfectly produced video of you sharing your expertise, imagine sitting across from a friend over coffee and sharing these nuggets of wisdom. Be THAT you on video. It is so much more enjoyable to watch and learn from someone who is REAL like the rest of us.
More motivation here:
- Overly produced videos do not do as well as raw footage of the real you when trying to build relationships with an online audience. When people see a very nice “commercial” of you and your product, they see you trying to sell them something. When they see you giving tips, information, or advice with nothing but you and the camera, you become more real and approachable…Even with bags under your eyes! Your imperfections create likability and build trust.
- Authenticity comes from showing your imperfections. We want to see the real you not the overly produced you. This doesn’t mean your videos have to be unprofessional, it just means they don’t have to be perfect. You may find after you record your video that a piece of your hair was sticking up like Alfalfa, the entire time. You may start a live broadcast a few minutes late because there were technical glitches. You may be recording a video and you forget something you were going to say next. You may be in the middle of a live video stream and your dog will bark…or all three of them will suddenly go NUTS…all hypothetical examples of course! This is REAL LIFE. What would happen if you were face-to-face with someone and these things happened? You would keep going.
So let’s get to the 4 ½ steps to help you tousel your hair a bit and start producing more marketing content to build your business.
[bctt tweet=”You can’t get GREAT until you GET STARTED! ” username=”GinaSchreck”]
Get rid of “All or Nothing” thinking.
Remember, in marketing your goal is to produce regular content to TEST. You have to let go of the thinking that gets you stuck, or paralyzed. “If I can’t get more people connecting with our brand on social media, then I don’t want to put together the slides for the webinar we were supposed to do. And if I can’t do the slides, then there is no point for me to schedule a weekly Facebook live.” “If I can’t get the graphic artist to get this image just right, I don’t want to put out the blog post.” Put the blog post out with a regular image and you can always go in and swap it out later if you wanted. Aim for PROGRESS, not perfection. You need to TEST, TEST, TEST.
Use tools and then TRUST the tools.
If you find yourself frustrated trying to get your marketing pieces looking professional but can’t do it yourself or your budget can’t afford the cost of having a graphic artist do 87 revisions, check out some of these tools: Beacon for creating tip sheets, resource guides, and even eBooks. Typepad or for creating quizzes. Tools like Canva can help you create infographics or graphics to promote the tip sheets and guides you’ve created. (See our post on Create Lead Magnets for more information.) And if you want a video tool to send out videos in emails check out LOOM, a free Chrome extension that allows you to record just you, or you showing your screen. This tool is free for videos under 10 minutes.
Go for 80% Done.
A good friend of mine (and client), Toni Newman, is a recovering perfectionist as well. Someone told her that she needed to use the 80% rule because her 80% good enough is still 100% enough for everyone else. I love this. If you think you must have 10 pages on your whitepaper before it can be complete, let it go when you have 8. If you think your blog post has to have exactly 1,400 words before it can be published, wrap it up at …. 1,120 (full disclosure… I had to ask Alexa what 80% of 1400 was, whereas I should have said “wrap it up when you are around 1,000 words”). Just learn to let go a little sooner and watch how the world keeps spinning and you get more accomplished.
Allow yourself to be a beginner.
Especially when it comes to using new tools like podcasting or social video! It’s ok to let your audience know you are using a new tool, or finally working up the courage to use live video. Not only will people be ok with it, they will often cheer you on and offer words of encouragement. This transparent confession also makes you much more LIKEABLE.
4 ½. GET STARTED!
That 1st step is the only huge one. Once you commit to doing it—putting yourself out there—getting that first blog post written and published, or that first video done and out to the world, you will find that each one following gets easier and BETTER! I used to tell my youngest daughter, also a perfectionist, that she can’t start something as an expert. Experts become experts by being beginners who kept doing something over and over. You can’t get GREAT until you GET STARTED!
Do you have tips that have helped you overcome your need for perfectionism in your marketing? Do share below. And if you’d like to hear a Facebook LIVE that we did on this very topic with one of our DIY.social Group members, Elizabeth Suarez, check out the video below (and you will hear dogs going crazy!)
There is no doubt that Facebook is the power-tool that we need in today’s marketing toolbelt. With well over 2 BILLION users, you have almost half of the world at your fingertips.
What started as a college connection tool has evolved into a Quad-Faced, personal networking and professional business behemoth. Along with this evolution has come great confusion. How to separate personal from professional use? What is the difference between profiles, pages, and groups? Here is an overview of the four faces and how to use each.
The FACEBOOK PERSONAL PROFILE.
The mainstay of Facebook is the personal profile, and it can be used for both personal connections with family members and close friends or as a professional networking tool. The terms of agreement at Facebook state that you will have only one account. If used correctly, you do not need separate accounts for business and personal use. Using the “LIST” feature you can create a list for colleagues and lists for family members or friends and then set privacy settings for these lists that will help you keep your information and photos nicely separated. When you go to craft a post on Facebook, you can select who you want that information to be shared with–the PUBLIC, FRIENDS, FRIENDS of FRIENDS, or you can select one of your groups…family only, people who live in Littleton CO, etc.
The FACEBOOK BUSINESS PAGE.
The former FAN PAGE has matured into the Business Tool extraordinaire. PAGES can do just about anything a website can do including house videos, blogs, testimonials, and more. You can have as many PAGES as you’d like and they are created off of your personal PROFILE. When you log into your personal PROFILE you will find a section on the left column that reads, “EXPLORE” and then PAGES. From this link, you will choose “Create a PAGE”.
PAGES have no limit on the number of fans you may have (profiles cap at 5,000) and each post from a PAGE is fully indexed by Google and other search engines (profile posts depend upon your privacy settings). People who like your PAGE cannot see anything on your PROFILE (unless you are connected there) and your friends are not automatic fans of your PAGE. Facebook PAGES also offer wonderful analytic tools to help you track click-through rates, fan demographics and more.
[Read: 7 Reasons to use a BUSINESS Page over a PERSONAL PROFILE]
One word of caution when naming your page: You may want to put your business name or other benefit-revealing name on your page instead of your personal name. Your friends will know the value or type of information YOU will provide but if your goal is to grow your fan base beyond your friends, your page should give an idea of WHY I SHOULD allow your PAGE information to be added to my information stream. [See post: Unless You’re a Rock Start, Your Facebook Page Shouldn’t Have Your Name]
The FACEBOOK PLACES PAGE.
This is the somewhat old and random face on Facebook. This was to try and create a Yelp-like page for people to post reviews and photos of different locations. When a business came around to finally creating their “business page,” they would convert the PLACES page into a BUSINESS PAGE. The problem is, there are still PLACES pages being created by users who just can’t find the actual Facebook Page for the business, and then the businesses find several rogue places pages out there and have to merge them into the main page. It’s a pain and I hope these go away soon.
GROUPS are meant to foster discussion around a particular topic area and were initially great tools to use after a class or conference to keep the conversations flowing. Facebook GROUPS are similar to LinkedIn Groups. They do not have the same functionality as PAGES but have the benefit of being made private (members must be approved to join) or even secret (not even showing up in group searches). This makes them a great tool that you are able to monitor as an individual or business. Currently (2017) a business cannot start or run a group. They must be managed by an individual profile. So I manage our DIYsocial group as Gina Schreck. SocialKNX (our business page) can promote the group, but SocialKNX cannot post or comment. I have a feeling this will change soon as more businesses are finding creative ways to use groups. To create your own GROUP, you simply log into your Facebook PROFILE and like creating a PAGE, you look for the GROUP link on the left column and select “Create a GROUP.” After naming your GROUP and filling out some basic information you will be taken to the second page that allows you to make the group public, private or secret.
So whether you choose to take advantage of one or all four of Facebook’s Faces, it all starts with YOUR face. Take off that mask, create that profile and let’s connect!
I would love to know which face on Facebook do you spend the most time with or find the most helpful to your business?
If you haven’t joined our DIYsocial group–pop on over, there’s lots of helpful info and it’s a place to get your questions answered.
If you are just setting up your business page, be sure to download our free GUIDEBOOK for STARTING ON FACEBOOK
@GinaSchreck Connect with me on Facebook – Gina Schreck or any other social channel…I’m everywhere you want to be! 🙂
Hitting business goals with social media is like planning a family vacation: You don’t start with planning potty-stops (well unless you travel with someone who has an extremely small bladder, then you just might).
Yesterday a new client asked how many posts per day we will be sharing on Facebook and how many on Twitter. I asked her if she has ever taken a road trip. She replied, “Yes. Why?” I told her when you plan a road trip you don’t start by deciding how many gas stations and potty-stops you’ll take. You decide where you are going and make the necessary stops to get there.
Many people are concerned about whether they should be posting 4 times a day or 20 times a day on their social media channels. There are people who worry about whether posts go out at 5am or 5pm. The key is, the algorithms have gotten so good it doesn’t matter what time of day you post. If your followers are typically interested in your content, it will be waiting for them when they log in.
We are looking at social media marketing all wrong if we are asking how many posts do we need to load each day. We need to take each goal and ask, “How do we get there?” Will we need to take a plane? A train? A car? All the above? And if you have ever followed a paper map instead of your GPS, which basically tells you what to do and which route to take, you know there are often several routes you could take to reach the same destination.
You may have to identify multiple goals along the way before you arrive at your final destination. Perhaps your final destination is halfway around the world. Your first goal is getting your family from your home to the airport. Then the next goal is to get from that destination to a train station and then a rental car location in the next destination. Achieving a business goal is a lot like this family vacation. There’s a lot of planning that has to go into getting to that final and ideal destination.
Let’s be sure the main goal you have in mind is the real business goal. If your goal is to have 1,000 fans on your Facebook Page, I would ask you WHY. Why do you want 1,000 fans on your Facebook Page? Do you want 1,000 fans so you can get 500 of them in a coaching program you run? Then getting 500 coaching clients is your goal. Having 1,000 fans on Facebook might be one of the vehicles you take. Adding fans, and followers to your social channel that then come into your email list to attend a free webinar to then sign up as a coaching client might be a better route to take.
So let’s take our road trip analogy and help you create a plan.
The Strategic Goal: Where are you wanting to go?
Identify the goals you have, big and small. These are the destinations you want to get to. Many times, it is not a single goal, but each one will have its own roadmap and plan.
The Plan: What mode of transportation will you need to take to get there?
Let’s identify some of the different vehicles you could take to get you to your goal:
- Social Media Posts
- Video – Live streaming or pre-recorded
- Blog Posts
- Podcast shows (yours or someone else’s)
- Whitepaper or research paper
- Tip sheets
- Facebook Ads
Now let’s work backward. We’ll use the coaching program as our example and work backward to identify the specific activities that need to take place to help us get there. You will simply tweak this to layout your own trip and plan.
GOAL – Final Destination → Getting 500 people in a coaching program
PLAN→ Host a webinar to teach the top 2 things people do to sabotage their own success and 3 steps to put a stop to that. If you can convert 20% of webinar attendees to sign up for your coaching program, you will need to have 2,500 on your webinar, or you need to host a few webinars with an average of 500 on each.
GOAL –Destination #3 → Getting 500 people on a webinar 5+ times
PLAN→ Email campaign. Send a series of 5 emails – 4 with short video tips to make changes in your life and the last email inviting people to a free webinar. Assuming you will get a 50% conversion of people who watch your videos to those who sign up for the webinar, you are going to need 5,000 people getting these email sequences.
GOAL – Destination #2→ Getting 5,000 in your email sequence
PLAN→ Lead Magnets (Freebie) with a downloadable resource guide or tip sheet for people struggling with self-sabotage. They get added to your email list when they download.
PLAN → Blog post about the destructive powers of self-sabotage with a tip sheet at the end for people to download and get added to your email list.
PLAN→ Weekly Facebook Live events to discuss one problem and one tip each week and end with a freebie off to download your research paper or tip sheet to gather email addresses.
PLAN→ Social media posts driving traffic to blog content mentioned above.
PLAN→ Social media posts offering freebie download
PLAN→ Social media posts inviting people to webinar
PLAN→ Facebook Ads using FB Live event that has an offer at the end.
PLAN → Facebook remarketing ads to those who watched the Facebook Live videos above but didn’t end on your freebie offered at the end. This ad could offer the free download
GOAL- Destination #1→ Grow your social media audience continually to keep new people seeing your content above.
PLAN→ Add specific hashtags to draw in your strategic audience
PLAN → Follow or connect with people who are interested in other coaching books, seminars, speakers, etc.
PLAN→ Create posts on Facebook that get people to identify self-sabotaging behavior they have experienced or seen in their life. Share a downloadable tip sheet after and ask people to share with others who might find it helpful
As you can see, this list can not only continue to grow but can be as exhausting as a family road trip. The key I want you to take away is this:
Stop focusing on the number of gas and potty-stops that you will make each day. Spend a little more time on the strategy and daily plan and you will get to your final destination much faster and have a much better time once you are there.
Be sure to download our cheat sheet that will help you create your own Strategic Plan!
We are all drowning in oatmeal…content oatmeal…social media oatmeal. Oatmeal is BLAND content with no personality. It comes in large vats and is dished up easily to the masses. Oatmeal content is neither hot nor cold, but it’s easy. It doesn’t require much in the way of preparation or presentation. Now don’t get me wrong, I like a good bowl of oatmeal, with raisins or dried cherries and brown sugar…and a side of extra crispy bacon. Clear the arteries and then clog them back up. It’s a balanced diet. But oatmeal is for breakfast, not for our content.
YOUR BRAND’S VOICE
This week we were chatting with one of our social media management clients about trying to uncover more of her brand’s voice. We were sliding into the oatmeal zone with her content, which is easy to do when it is a common topic or an industry with lots of competition. I found it difficult to explain this concept. It was about as hard as trying to explain to someone how to speak with “passion” when presenting a technical topic. You must uncover the excitement or the frustration points in the topic, even if the topic is mundane. It’s easy to tell someone to do this, but hard for them to know HOW to actually do it. (The secret is actually to tighten your abs and then speak…Go ahead try it…instant passion!)
It’s hard to know HOW to create content that is unique and stands out. It’s often hard to formulate a personality for our brand that is truly unique. We look around at all the other brands in our industry and see “how it’s done,” and we settle into our bowl of oatmeal with them. It’s warm. It’s safe. It’s easy. If you get too crazy you might ruffle feathers and offend someone. People might think you are CRAZY and whisper about you as you walk down the halls.
GET A LITTLE CRAZY
If you want to see who is doing CRAZY content in a crowded space, look at Maria Cyza (aka Angie Castellano), creating video content in the direct marketing makeup space (which is extremely crowded). But look at the number of views this woman gets on her videos, and by the way, it shows not just in video views, but in sales dollars as well! Maria is BRILLIANT. MailChimp is another brand that consistently shows us their personality. (Of course, it’s easier to do when your mascot is a chimp named Freddie, but no one’s stopping you from creating a fun mascot who can do your dirty work.) Who stands out in your industry? Who do people whisper about when they walk by? What makes them stand out?
Being “out there” or crazy takes guts. We might lose business because people don’t get us, but perhaps that’s ok. The right people will. Years ago I had one of our large clients tell me that he thought I might want to change our company voice mail and contact page. He thought it didn’t have the professional image that he thought we should have (his humble opinion) should their other franchise locations contact us. I actually changed it and then a few months later realized that I didn’t want to be his kind of oatmealy professional. I wanted to stand out, be memorable, be myself. I changed it back and not only get regular comments on our contact page but have had people tell me that it was one of the reasons they wanted to work with us…because we stood out.
Maybe we all need to get a little crazier in our marketing. Maybe we need to loosen our ties and let our true personality come out a little more. Yes, it takes more time when creating content to think about how that should look, feel, or sound in each piece, but if we spend the time uncovering or rediscovering, who we really are as a brand and what makes us look, sound, or feel truly unique, it will be easier for our ideal clients and customers to find and connect with us.
YOUR BRAND STYLE GUIDE
If you have not identified your tone in your brand style guide, perhaps you can add a section in there showing the types of words or phrases that your brand would use and would never use. Outline elements of your brand’s style that you’d like to carry over into each area of your marketing, and if you don’t have a brand style guideline, or you have no idea what I’m even talking about (it’s not the same as Nordstrom’s style guide) download our resource guide on what to put in yours to keep your brand consistent!
Now let’s take care of that oatmeal you’ve got all over the place.
6 Places to Check for Oatmeal:
- Your VOICEMAIL
Is it unique or does it convey the personality of your brand?
- Your EMAIL signature
Do you have a unique signature line or is it the standard oatmeal signature line? Create a signature line that gives people more information about you and your brand. Be sure to weave your personality in there as well.
- Your website ABOUT page
Maybe you don’t even call it an “ABOUT PAGE.” Perhaps your brand is more about innovation and you have another way to let people know about you and your amazing team.
- Your website CONTACT page
Are there more ways to get ahold of you than just via email? Your CONTACT page is a great place to get a little creative. Show off your personality since you actually have someone looking that is interested in your brand. Maybe you can add a lead magnet or put some interesting facts here.
- Your BLOG content
This is probably one of the easiest places for you to highlight your brand’s personality. Don’t get all mushy and bland here.
- Your SOCIAL MEDIA channels
Now loosen the tie a little more and BE SOCIAL. How does your brand behave on social media? Are you just regurgitating blog content or are you inviting people in for a conversation? Be sure to remember that personality here on your social channels.
5 Ways to Get Out of the Oatmeal Zone and Stand Out
Ask yourself, “What frustrates me about our industry or how people perceive it?
When you write about or create content about things that frustrate you (I’m not talking about just a rant post) your true tone typically emerges. Does it frustrate you when people waste time on something or are taken advantage of? Write to fix this problem.
Ask yourself, “What excites me about our industry more than anything?”
Tell the world about something they absolutely need to know. This excitement typically comes out in your writing or content creation.
Point out the questions people SHOULD BE ASKING but they aren’t.
Most content is created to answer the questions everyone is asking. We even recommend starting with your most frequently asked questions when creating content, but what questions do people NOT ask that end up costing them time, money or frustration?
Look for the edge of topics that you are writing or creating content about.
What is everyone saying already and what pieces do you have something different to say about it or what do you disagree with?
Take time to identify your brand’s PERSONALITY.
If your brand were a person, would she be witty? Sarcastic? Empathetic? Filled with passion for justice? What would your brand wear to work? What would she drink? How would she speak if you were hanging out for lunch? Now create your content AS her!
Where else do you see oatmeal content? Have you discovered a secret to keeping your brand’s personality front and center of your content? (We want more secrets that involve tightening our abs –it’s the only workout some of us get.)
Share your thoughts with us and connect with us on our social channels…Let’s have breakfast together!
Content marketing can feel like a full-time job. Keeping your website filled with fresh and new content is no easy task. You make time to write new blog posts each week. You craft social media posts and even manage to get a Facebook Live video completed, but did you know you have hidden content marketing treasures in your website that might take less time and create more Google juice for you? All you have to do is find these treasures in the attic of your website and dust them off a bit.
If you have been creating content regularly for a couple years or more, you will discover when going through your old blog posts, videos, and website pages, one of three things:
- Your writing has gotten better. Your voice is more confident in your industry expertise. You are adding more helpful or interesting content in each post.
- New developments or discoveries have happened that could change or enhance the writing.
- You are more confident or smoother in front of the camera—or as in my case, less cheesy and more helpful!
[old video from 2010 on Tweetdeck…I’m holding a paddle! AYE AYE AYE]
This holds true on every piece of content you have created over the years; Our website may still contain outdated content about our services or even in how we describe ourselves. Our videos, website copy, and lead magnets, to name a few, could all use a bit of sprucing up. Some pieces will just need a couple tweaks, some more of a makeover, and still others, you may want to drag out to the trash and start over. There is nothing wrong with that.
Don’t assume all old content needs to be redone. You may have a very well performing post that you wrote back in 2010 and it is still driving traffic to your site. Perhaps adding some additional, more relevant content could boost it even more. To decide on which content gets the little duster, which gets the power sander for a makeover, and which get placed out on the curb for trash pick-up, you can use a couple of methods:
Use Your Google Analytics Report.
Look at your high performing pages and blog posts and look at your low performing pages and blog posts. Did you write a blog post and no one found it? Perhaps a new title or a bit more research to add in could bring new interest. Do you have pages on your site that are no longer relevant? Perhaps it’s time to make them more of a helpful resource to your target audience.
Use Your Social Media Analytics.
Which of your posts get shared and liked? Which posts are resonating with your audience? Look at the types of posts and content that gets the most traction. Is it video content? Lists or beefy research? Create more of what people are consuming.
Use Your Gut.
When I read through old posts or watch some of my videos from seven or eight years ago, I cringe. I cry. I get therapy, and then I either delete and redo the posts and videos to make them something I am proud of. You will know when you read or watch old content, which needs to be just dusted off and which needs to be burned in the trash heap!
If you select one or two pages per week (webpage copy, blog posts, videos, etc.) and make a few changes and updates, you will find it is much faster than starting a new post from scratch and it can boost your search rankings immediately. Even taking an old post, deleting or unpublishing it and then rewriting it can take less time than starting from scratch.
Once you get that new piece of content completed, promote the heck out of it. Write three social media posts worded slightly different, and schedule them to post and promote that piece of content.
WANT EVEN MORE IDEAS FOR YOUR CONTENT?
Sign up for our 15-Day Content Challenge and we will send you an idea every day for 15 days to help you create content for social media, your blog, your video channels, or maybe all three!
What are you waiting for? Sign up now!
I’d love to hear your ideas on finding treasures in your website attic. Have you done this before?
Connect with me on Twitter @GinaSchreck