what's everyone up to?

“I wonder what everyone is up to” is the harmless thought that enters my mind, right when I’m about to scroll through social media.

Harmless scrolling, I just wanna see what’s out there.

And After scrolling, do you find yourself having these thoughts?

My email list doesn’t have enough subscribers.
I was JUST thinking about this one idea, now SHE’S doing the same thing.
My content isn’t interesting enough.
I don’t know what to write about.
I don’t have any likes or comments.
What’s so special about my offer?

These thoughts were also expressed by my clients and people in my community these past two weeks.

(Truth be told, I hear myself asking the same at times).

And when I dug deeper, I realized we had one thing in common.

It’s an ailment of our times. It’s called Social Media Scrolling and Inevitable Comparison-itis (SMSAIC).

It’s a real thing.
And here’s something else that’s real. We can’t make social media go away, and we enjoy it too.

Social media is good for life + business – it’s free advertising and free reach. It’s also good in surveying your network and letting everyone know what you’re up to.

I love me a good social scroll – current obsessions include Celeste Barber’s posts (pee in my pants kinda funny) and Rudy Rochman, a Jewish- Israeli rights activist who created a movement to bring Palestianians and Israelis together to solve their conflict.

BUT, if you’re the kind of person who sees what everyone is up to, and then turns this info into ‘emotional’ info (no judgement I do this too), you might be suffering from SMSAIC.

How do you know it’s affecting you? You’re constantly asking yourself the questions above 👆🏼👆🏼 and sprinkling on some thoughts about why you shouldn’t promote yourself on social media or anywhere else for that matter.

And we can’t have that.

You know what I think? I think that the theory of portfolio diversification in finance applies to social media scrolling dilemma, and there’s a way to do it and still feel good about it.

If investors figured out how to mitigate risk in investing, so can you when it comes to mitigating risk of SMSAIC.

Diversification is the process of allocating capital in a way that reduces the exposure to any one particular asset or risk. A common path towards diversification is to reduce risk by investing in a variety of assets – not just one.

So, what does this have to do with social media scrolling? If you are investing time and thought-energy in what other people are up to (one kind of asset), you need to intentionally ALSO invest time and thought-energy in What you’re up to (another kind of asset).

When you do this, consistently and often, every time you have thoughts about yourself as a comparison of other people, you ALSO remember your OWN accomplishments and the value of your own products and services (AKA your own lane).

I’ve compiled a list of questions you can write down, keep next to your laptop, next to your bed and answer every day (bonus points if you use a pen and paper – it adds an extra sprinkle of magic in your memory).

1 – Who would benefit from my work?
2 – What is the message I want to share?
3 – Why is my work important? And why is it important NOW?
4 – What is a need I am fulfilling?
5 – What am I offering?
6 – What is my ‘je ne sais quois quality’ and how can I integrate it into my offer?
7 – What have I accomplished so far in life and business?
8 – What have been pivotal moments in my life and what were the big lessons?
9 – When have I been wrong about something I thought I couldn’t achieve?
10 – When have I listened to my intuitive nudges and what was the outcome?

Most advice you’ll receive, will tell you to stay in your own lane.

While that is true, we can’t help but indulge in a wee bit of strolling on other people’s lanes.

BUT, we can also empower our own thoughts about ourselves, that’ll help us remember that behind the square on Instagram is just another human being whose life/business/ situation isn’t better than ours.

Taking away scrolling, is like taking away my evening ritual by the firepit with a full dropper of CBD + a glass of wine haha.

For now, I don’t want to give it up.

On one of my monthly Q&A calls, I chatted with L,  a pediatrician of  20+ years, who was in the middle of a pivot.

She was starting a brand new company for first-time moms based on a proprietary process she’d created, and she was really excited and inspired to help new moms stop feeling overwhelmed.

And she asked the classic question – How will I get clients?

And this reminded me about that time I signed up with a coach for a $3,000 program, because I thought she would reveal something earth shattering about ‘getting clients’.

This coach said, “my process of working social media took me from making $20K to $54K per month”.

“Here’s my Messiah!”, I thought.

I urgently wanted business therapy and someone to fix my stuckness, and so I didn’t ask the right questions – not of the coach and not of myself.

I just wanted clients. Obviously, she knew how to market herself like a pro.

I signed up for this program, and I realized pretty early that her process was very basic, the coaching was basic at best and her process wouldn’t ‘get me more clients’.

Womp womp 

But I was still struggling, because If I had what worked, I wouldn’t be stuck, right?

** How am I going to get more clients?

** What’s missing for me?

So what the F was actually missing? Nothing in excess of what I already had at that point.

1 – I wasn’t thinking about my work and experience in an empowering way – I just thought I was doing ‘one more thing’ that everyone else was doing.  I knew the value of my work logically, but I didn’t really ‘feel’ that value when I was putting myself out there.  I somehow forgot I had a big network, work experience, and that people were already paying me.

2 – I wasn’t directly asking for business.  I was making offers on “some” of my social media posts, but I wasn’t communicating how I fulfill a need and telling people I can help them in a direct manner.

3 – When social media didn’t ‘produce’ immediate results, I got mad and threw the laptop at the wall, and gave it up.  I called it social media trauma.

4 – I didn’t talk to enough people face to face.  I expected social media to do it for me.

5 – I didn’t focus on my clients and THEIR SUCCESSES – I didn’t celebrate that enough privately or publicly ( – – >> one of the best ways to get clients to come to you is to share success stories of your clients being the heroes).

I hope these will help you, so that you don’t end up wasting time and so much money like I did.

Nobody can do any of the above for you.

It’s much easier to think we need to find some ‘trick’ to ‘get more clients’, but my lessons were clear and I assured L she’s not starting from scratch.

She needed a reminder and she needed to use her voice.

Why do we think we’re starting from scratch? It’s common when we start new ventures.  We forget about all the things we accomplished in the past, and we definitely don’t remind ourselves of what we learned so that we can apply it to the next thing.

Here’s what I told her (and what I would tell you if you came to me with the same question):

“It might be simpler than you think.  Make a list of what you already have, the people you know, your skills and experiences, use your voice to talk to people about what you do, and talk about it knowing that it’s valuable and needed.  Ground in this and remind yourself that you have a unique way of delivering your product  / service.  You’re not starting from scratch, you have a big network full of people who love and trust you with their kids.  Go out there, talk to people, before you sign up to any program.  After you’ve done this, let’s talk again and assess what happened together.”

Please, don’t sign up to any program, without first understanding WHY you’re signing up.  

My big lesson was: Nobody can reveal things about social media that you can’t read online by yourself, and nobody can talk about your business for you, nobody will promote you like you can!

Use your voice.  I believe in you!

 

When I tell people to share more of themselves publicly, I’m met with A LOT of resistance.

Because they think I mean they should be on social media sharing every detail of their lives – like, “Hey, this is my lunch” or “Here I am at the dentist getting a root canal.”

But what I ACTUALLY mean is to share your story. Your audience wants to get to know YOU, the person *behind* the business.

But instead of thinking of sharing as spilling the most private parts of your life for the entire world to see (remember The Real World MTV?), go into it with the mindset of starting a conversation and creating connection.

Storytelling allows people to make sense of the world and derive more meaning from their lives, and telling a good story will deepen the connection with your audience. 

What personal experiences can you share, in story form, that would move your audience?

One simple topic that never fails is sharing what’s been happening in your life and business.

As a matter of fact, if you write an email with a subject line, “what I’ve been up to” you’ll get a higher-than-usual open rate and direct responses.

Guaranteed.

Another one that my audience loved reading was called “holiday horror story”.

It was a story about how I was hacked during the holidays, while standing on line to get tested for COVID, and the lessons I’ve learned.  

Everyone loves a good holiday horror story.

You could talk about why you started your business, what you’re currently working on, what’s coming up next, why your work matters right now, your plans for the summer, your battle with your landlord in court, a horror story. The possibilities are endless.

The more you share authentically and use your voice to share your message, the more you’ll hear yourself saying, “Whoa, people are responding to my emails!” 

Here are my BEST TIPS for sharing stories via email and social media that will create engagement and clients:

1 – Write your story, as you would tell it to a good friend, in a non-formal friendly tone.  Sometimes I record my voice and then I transcribe it (lots of free apps for this).

2 – Center your story around a clear message.  Thread your message throughout.  I shared this holiday horror story once, and it would have been a great piece of drama, but I shared it with a strong message and enrolled a few clients to my program as a result.

3 – Embrace drama and descriptive thoughts and feelings.  People love it when the main character of the story struggles with a big challenge.  I read somewhere that it’s OK to be cruel to your main character in the story.  If you’re the main character, describe all the thoughts and feelings of the struggle in the story.  I always get consistent feedback that people love it when I articulate the struggle in detail.

4 – Clear structure – A good story will have a beginning, middle and end. A successful story will start with a little bit of context, transition into an inciting incident, build up to a climax, maybe depict some more unexpected challenges, where the main character doesn’t yet give up, and ultimately arrives at a satisfying ending.

5 – Ask your audience questions throughout the story that get them to think about what it would be like for them in this same situation, once again, threading in your main message – this creates engagement and responses.

Here are some responses I received after sharing my Holiday Horror Story:

We’re drawn to people who show their humanity, who share their journey, unfiltered, mistakes and all.

When you share a story, you’re not seen as just someone who’s selling a product/service, but someone who actually goes out and interacts with the world, has relationships, conversations, failures, wins, and palm-to-face moments.

I’ve been writing emails and sharing videos with my audiences consistently for over a year.

Telling stories has created a lot of engagement and clients.

You’d be surprised how sharing your story will create engagement.

Telling stories doesn’t have to be complicated – just provide an “insider look” into your thinking, your why, your life experiences –

whatever you feel inspired to share is what will inspire the most.

 

It’ll be a game changer for your business.

 

Do you ever feel like you’re all over the place in your business? Constantly switching from one idea to the next?

One minute you’re working on a new program, the next you’re reaching out to leads on Instagram, seems like there’s no endgames in sight.

I have a client who felt like this. M is an artist, a crafter, who was balancing private clients, an Etsy shop, DIY kits, jewelry parties, in-person workshops…while trying to figure out the best way to market her business.

She said, “I still don’t feel like what I’m doing is clear or creating results.  It feels messy.”

I don’t know if I should focus on social media, or should I focus on ads? Should I reach out to more bloggers? Should I create a Facebook group? 

How can I reach *more* people?”

“There’s no exact formula here”, I said, “but you can DO THESE 4 THINGS to find YOUR FORMULA”.

1 – Remember that even though it feels messy, there’s a point to all of this.  Accept the mess and just breathe into it, knowing that you will get clarity if you keep going.  There’s no exactness in timeline or action.  Your mind likes to conjure up confusion. Be aware of this.  Then, keep going or not – either way, you’re the boss, but you started this for a reason.

2 – Dismiss thoughts of what you should or shouldn’t do.  Be open to doing things you are judging right now (like sending a lot of emails and ‘bothering’ people, running your program even though only one person signed up).  No matter what, you’ll still have to test and try new things.

3 – If you feel scattered and don’t know what to focus on, focus on this: YOUR MISSION.  Why’d you start this in the first place and how can you tell more people about it.

When you reconnect with your mission, you remember your purpose, your cause, and why you started this journey.  Then you can choose to stay or go.

4 – What are you doing right now that’s working and that you’d be doing anyway? M loved creating crafts and showcasing them.  She’d be doing that no matter what – whether money was involved or whether her house burned down.  She wanted to create a crafting community, more than anything, and so her next best step was to create a Facebook Group.

So you see, your mind works in a very unique way – and it will inform your actions and inspire feelings of focus or lack of it.  The thing is, if you want to “figure out” how to make it work, you have to figure out how YOU work – as in, your own formula for things to feel like they’re steady.

If you want steadiness, there’s some steadiness that needs to happen inside your mind- less voices that say, “I should do this” and more voices that say, “I’m exactly where I need to be, what’s my next best step?