Since the 2014 Sochi Olympics opening ceremonies, many of us have been totally consumed with the Olympics. We cheer for our country’s teams, pick our favourite athletes and stay up until the wee hours of the morning just to be able to see their performances. Almost 2,500 athletes are there for one goal, and one goal only – to win the Olympic gold medal! They want to represent their country well and bring home the gold.
So what does it take to become a gold medalist?
It starts with passion for a sport and a big dream, but we all know that dreams without work will never be reached. Taking part in the Olympic Games is every athlete’s dream, and it requires huge amounts of determination and long years of training. There are many elements involved in even making it to the Olympics. I would say that if you make it on to your country’s Olympic team, you’re already a winner. You are the best of the best in your own country and now you are on your way to compete with the best of the world.
While I was watching the Olympic events, it became clear to me how similar the Olympics are to a business’ social success. You might say that I see social media in everything around me, and that’s right, because we breathe, sleep and eat social media. It’s who we are, not just what we do.
You already have a passion and a dream!
That’s why you own a business and I sincerely hope that your ultimate goal is to become the gold medalist of your industry.
As a business owner you know that you don’t have the choice of whether or not to be social. The question is how well you do it.
If you want to be a social media gold medalist here’s what you need to do:
- You must assess your social condition.
Just as athletes need to assess their physical condition, you must assess your social condition. What are your strengths and what parts of your business need to be adjusted for you to become more socially connected with current and potential customers? Have you ever had a social media audit to analyze your strengths and to determine where change is needed?
- Train hard.
No matter how talented or driven the athlete, they must train for hours each day to perfect their skills and maintain their phenomenal physical condition. An aspiring Olympic athlete spends an average of eight hours a day, seven days a week training their body and mind.
Businesses that have an outstanding social media presence trained hard for years before they reached their amazing performance. Social success doesn’t happen overnight. And signing up for a Facebook Page or Twitter account will NOT magically solve your business problems.
When was the last time you attended a social media training session or signed up for a social media consultation? Without proper training and hard work you will never reach your dreams.
- Get a coach!
To have a successful social media presence, you NEED a coach. Just as every single athlete who made it to the podium has a coach, you too need a social media coach/strategist who will work with you to help you achieve your goals. A coach will guide you, keep you accountable, encourage you and support you throughout the entire process. Your coach’s dream is to see you succeed.
When you hire a social media strategist, make sure that they are there for you and that they will work with you to help you achieve your ultimate goal. You will train according to your coach’s suggestions because he/she knows what changes are necessary for you to accomplish your goals in the least amount of time.
A social media coach will put together a strategic plan to help you reach your goals. I can’t stress this enough. Without a strategic social media plan that fits with your overall business plan, you’ll just do random marketing and random marketing just doesn’t work. As well, a social media strategist devotes a lot of time to staying on the top of changes in the industry and their expertise will help you stay in the loop.
- Invest in yourself.
Athletes invest in the best equipment, nutrition, clothing, and the list goes on. To become a social media medalist, you must invest in yourself and learn about the key tools and technologies. You must invest money in a coach; you must invest time to train, and you must invest in personal development to become a better social being.
- Be consistent!
I can’t stress this enough. Athletes train for YEARS every day, all day long, before they ever even make it to the Olympics.
To have a successful social media presence, you MUST be consistent. You will never be successful with random marketing. You can’t just post once a week, or once a month on your social platforms. You MUST have a plan and you MUST be consistent. You have to show up every day, and you have to communicate with those who decide to connect with you. Consistency is absolutely crucial if you want to attain your social media gold medal.
- Have patience and determination.
Without patience and determination, you’ll give up. There are so many businesses that jump on the bandwagon of social media. They sign up for social media platforms, set up the account and give it a try. They expect a miracle. Some think that social media will somehow solve their business problems.
Before they ever invest in a coach and training, they randomly show up once in a while and then give up. Even with the right coach and the best strategy, you still need patience. You have to give yourself time. You have to build a community. You must provide value and attract people. It will not happen overnight and if you don’t have the patience, you may prematurely decide that social media is just not for your business and miss out on a lot of potential opportunities.
Successful businesses didn’t build their platforms over night; you won’t either.
- Visualize your success.
Most athletes visualize their performance thousands of times before they actually step out onto the Olympic stage.
When was the last time you visualized your social success? What would your dream community look like? What kind of value are you offering to your followers? Why would they want to join your community? Do you really know what you want your social media community to look like?
If you don’t have a mental picture of your social goal, how are you ever going to reach it?
- Start Competing.
After all the training and coaching, it’s time to compete! You’ve worked with your social media strategist to put together a plan, so start competing! You need to build a platform that provides enough value to attract followers.
It has been said that honey attracts bees. If you show up, if you provide value, and if your performance is outstanding, the crowd will follow you. The more social your business becomes, the more followers you will attract. Tell your story, show your followers how much you care, be social and I can guarantee that with every performance you will get closer to your gold medal.
- Failure is part of the process.
Every time I watch an Olympic performance, I’m amazed at how easy the athletes make it look. However, when you study the close-up images, you can see the difficulty of what they are doing. I can only imagine how many times they failed before they perfected that movement. We often learn about the many broken bones an athlete has had before they make it to the podium. These athletes learn very early on that failure is part of the process. It’s not the end of their lives; it teaches them to be better.
When you choose to be social and you put yourself out there in front of your customers, they will see your failures. There is NO perfect human, so there is no perfect business. You will be criticized, and at times disagreed with and that will happen publicly. You will make mistakes and it’s OK.
You must understand that this is all part of your growth and that through these failures, you will become better.
- Measure your performance.
It’s absolutely crucial to measure your performance! Many athletes attend more than one Olympics and compete in several competitions, but most times they don’t make it to the podium. They do their best and after every performance they sit down with their coach to evaluate it. They closely analyze the videos to watch for tiny mistakes that might block them from reaching their goals.
While they do compete against their competition, their main focus is always to increase their best time, best speed, best jump … it’s all about becoming better and better at what they do.
If you want to earn your social media gold medal, you must measure your performance. You need to check your work and determine where it needs some tweaks. When it comes to social media, you have to measure, measure and measure and when it works, you must repeat, repeat and repeat until you become your very best.
Now go out and BE SOCIAL and fight for your social media gold medal! Embrace who you are! Tell your story! Provide value! Make it your business goal to support your customers in reaching their goals!
We are here to coach and assist you in attaining your gold medal. Because social is who we are, and if being social is your weakness then let us use our strength to help you accomplish your dreams.
We can help you establish, grow, and optimize your social media influence on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Google Plus, YouTube, Foursquare and Instagram.