Almost every day I hear people tell me things like:
- I am a private person
- I prefer my privacy
- I don't trust social media sites
- What is social media anyway?
- I don't know how to use social media
- I don't have time for social media
- Social media seems so impersonal
Here is a reality check: Social Media is showing up more and more in our lives every day. If you aren't using social media to bring a face to yourself and your business, you aren't just avoiding it, you are actually giving this control up to others.
Take a look at where Social Media was in 2009, just one year ago.
Imagine where it might be today and double or tripple that!
Social Media, Your Business and Your Life
The fact of the matter is, if you have a business and want it to continue to grow, potential customers will be looking to social media to find businesses just like yours.
Think about it, if you had a choice between picking a real-estate agent or marriage councillor out of the phone book or going to someone who came highly recommended by someone you trust, which would you be more likely to choose? We are all consumers and we are all looking for the best value from our hard earned money.
Playing small won't help your business grow and if it isn't growing, it's most likely dying. Even if your business is perfect and status quo suits you just fine, your competition is busy building up their business. Think of Sony, once king of the portable music players with their Walkman. Happy with their business just the way it was, it didn't take too many years before other innovative players came in and took over the industry. Today, it's very rare to see someone carrying around a Sony Media player.
The same could happen to your business in the blink of an eye. Then what? If a company like Sony hasn't been able to recover from their mistake, what makes you think you could then turn your business around any better?
Social Media: Be Safe, Not Sorry
Social engineers who steel your identity are still out there and we certainly don't want to help them along. Don't divulge all your personal information. Social media sites are certainly not the place to air your dirty laundry. Think about this for a minute. If you are not happy with your boss or co-workers, do you really think it will make things better for you or for them in the long run by publicly insulting or humiliating them? And even if they never see it, other will. Who do you think those others will be? People they know? Your future employers? Do you really think your friends will love you more for badmouthing anyone at all? Perhaps a few, however would you want to hire someone who has a reputation for speaking poorly of their employers?
Being in business means having a public side to your life. If you don't want to be caught with your pants down, live the way you want others to treat you. Double check your moral compass by imagining what your mother might think of you if she was going to see details of your private life on the 6 o'clock news (or worse yet, Facebook or YouTube!).
Did you know? Unlike a conversation amongst friends, Social Media sites often keep what is written in the public eye forever.
Share things that are already public. For example, you can hardly be in business without people knowing your real name. If you feel the need to hide that, you probably shouldn't be doing business in public.
Social media can work for you if you act socially responsible. This isn't just about what you post online, but what you say and do when you are not. Just because you aren't posting the lesser known part of your life doesn't mean that others won't… and this applies whether you are on Facebook or not. If people are going to say things about you or your business, don't you think you should have a say in that conversation?
Leading Your Life or Letting Others Lead It For You
You have a choice of painting a picture of yourself or letting others paint you. When you let others be in control of your life, they will do so from their own perspective and in their own best interest. Only you have the ability take control of your life and act in your own best interest. Ultimately you want to create as many win-win situations as possible as this reflects well on you and others.
It's your choice -- get involved and take an active role in your life, or do the ostrich thing, stick your head in the grown and hope nobody is going to kick you in the behind.
With warmest regards,
Life & Tech Coach Michael Milette
Come discover a great life!