“How do I become a social media success?” one of my students wanted to know.
As part of my visibility coaching, I always spend time on using social media, since it’s a big part of my own content marketing strategy.
“How would you DEFINE social media SUCCESS?” I asked my student. “It helps to formulate a clear goal so you know the finish line. Otherwise you become like those people who tell you they want to make “more money.” As soon as they have one extra dollar or euro in their pocket, they have reached their goal.”
One of the secrets to effective goal setting is to be very SPECIFIC. It makes it easier to look at where you are now, and find out how close you are to reaching your goal. It helps you focus on a clear result, because vague goals lead to vague results.
For instance, the word MORE is vague. Linguists call it a ‘comparative deletion.’
MORE THAN WHAT?
Another vague word is BETTER, as in: “I want do do better, or be better”
BETTER THAN WHAT?
UP TO YOU
The second ingredient in goal setting is that a well-formulated goal has to be self-initiated and maintained. In other words: the person setting the goal has to be the DRIVER of the process. If you leave it up to others to reach your goal, you have lost control because you’re dependent on things you have little influence over.
Another question I always ask is: “What will reaching your goal mean to you in your life, and in the life of others? What are the positive benefits for you and your environment? And with environment I also mean your family and friends.”
In goal setting we call this the ecology check. Choosing to go after a goal with all you’ve got, will change who you are and how you will spend your time. Those who are dear to you will see a new you, and need to be okay with you spending lots of time on different things.
That’s why your goal also needs to serve a GREATER PURPOSE. It’s just one puzzle piece in a bigger picture. Where does it fit in, and how?
Lastly, I test my student’s motivation by asking them: “What PRICE are you willing to pay for reaching your goal, and why would that be worthwhile?”
There is no success without sacrifice. It will cost time, money, energy, and maybe even more. You’ve got to give it everything you have.
And then some.
As the author of one of the most, if not THE most successful voice over blog on the web, I often reflect on why it is that people follow me online. It was never my goal to have a huge number of subscribers.
If we listen to former Facebook data scientist and whistleblower Frances Haugen, ENGAGEMENT is the key to social media success. But engagement is a double-edged sword.
“FB algorithms reward engagement. When a post receives comments, “likes,” and other interactions, it is spread more widely and is featured more prominently in feeds, instead of just featuring posts in chronological order. The engagement-based formula helps sensational content, such as posts that feature rage, hate, or misinformation, travel far and wide.”
So, one of the ways to increase engagement has to do with controversy and confrontation. I have to admit that only a few years ago, my writing was indeed more confrontational. You may think that in the mild-mannered world of voice overs, people shy away from conflict. But my most fiery posts about Pay-to-Plays and voice talent exploitation and ignorance, were predictable hits that were shared all over the web.
“Tell it like it is, Paul!” “You write what other people are thinking.” “You’re not afraid to bite the hand that feeds you.”
The more outspoken I was, the more people would read my rants. This gave me quite the reputation of being a nasty, bad boy. I remember going to one voice over conference and people told me they couldn’t believe I was so “nice.” I wasn’t this rage-filled Tasmanian Devil they thought I would be.
After my stroke in 2018 I changed, and my writing changed. I became more philosophical and less confrontational. I didn’t attack the VO establishment as much, and I started to focus on helping my colleagues grow their business by changing their mindset.
I haven’t lost my fire, but this new, more mild approach did cost me a huge chunk of my readership. Some people would rather see me kick P2P’s in the ass, than listen to what THEY could do themselves, to make their business less dependent on these predatory sites.
Now, I started this post with the issue of attaining social media success, so let’s end with it. What does it actually mean to me? Thousands of fans and followers? Public adulation? Winning a prize for service to my community, perhaps?
If that’s what you think, I have to disappoint you.
SAVING THE WORLD
There’s this Jewish concept of Tikkun Olam. It’s defined by acts of kindness performed to perfect or repair our broken world. It is often used when discussing issues of social policy, helping those who may be at a disadvantage. One of the key ideas behind Tikkun Olam is that if you save one person, you save the world.
Change always starts small. With one individual making different choices. These choices will have a positive ripple effect that goes way beyond a single soul. Eventually, a ripple can become a wave.
Yes, I am definitely proud of the forty thousand plus subscribers to this blog, and I’m delighted to have found over four thousand new friends on Instagram.
But, the biggest number that’s important to me, is the number ONE.
If on ONE day, I can positively inspire and encourage ONE reader like you, with ONE thing I say or do, that’s success!