As originally seen on Forbes
It’s a new year, and a new chance to take a look at the habits that define is. In the seminal business book 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, Steven R. Covey offers a masterclass in creating a system in your life to do what matters most to you.
“Habit is the intersection of knowledge (what to do), skill (how to do), and desire (want to do)," says Covey. Knowledge, skill, desire: all very important things.
Let’s take this further. The key to success on LinkedIn or in any business development effort is to make it a habit, to make meaningful participation online (posting content and engaging with others) second nature. Now, that might sound time consuming or difficult, but in all honesty, those are all just roadblocks and excuses you are giving yourself. Creating winning habits comes down to three simple things:
Knowledge, skill, and desire.
Let’s start with knowledge. Every professional has knowledge that other people need to do their jobs better. Now you may be thinking, “I don’t know have anything to say. I work in accounting. Nobody wants to hear about more taxes.” These are all just excuses. Do you know your craft? Can you talk about subjects in your area of expertise?
You have more practical knowledge than you realize. Talk about the things you know and an audience will come. Think Field of Dreams. We live in the information age where knowledge is the only currency, and guess what? Your knowledge doesn’t just give you power on line, it makes you dramatically more attractive to potential customers.
This last year we saw the power of information when the PPP loan were announced. Accountants were in the veritable catbird seat with knowledge businesses needed urgently. When the first stimulus package came through, information about PPP loans was a desperately needed commodity. People needed them to just stay afloat, so who came in to save them? Who had the most valuable insights? Accountants and lawyers. Those who shared this information on LinkedIn and Twitter drove a massive amount of traffic to their blogs and websites. Forget celebrities singing Imagine poorly (link last article), accountants were suddenly the superstars of social media. Everyone is knowledgable in their own way, and like I said, there’s nothing more valuable than the right knowledge at the right time.
Next up we have skill. Now, don’t go saying, “I don’t know how to use Twitter, isn’t that for teenagers and billionaires.” Are you serious? Are you going to allow 15 year-olds and a trust fund babies show you up? If so, I have a house at 53.484691°N 1.211447°W to sell you.
Twitter and LinkedIn are successful in large part due to their simplicity. You type in what you say, then you hit post. That’s all there is to it. Part of the reason I created Clearview Social in the first place, was because far too many professionals couldn’t be bothered to log on to LinkedIn to copy and paste a link. My service just requires a single click, but even that is too much for some.
Stop making excuses, and get online. Conferences are canceled, dinners and lunchers are scarce, so online networking is the only game in town. Join the party.
Finally, we have desire. There’s a couple of questions you have to ask yourself. First, what future do you envision with social media? If you want to drive traffic to your website, it’s best to post links to content with a light amount of commentary. If you want to build a large following, post information that directly help the user that is relevant to what you do.
What routine works for you? If you want to share everyday, you better get to it. Once a week? You can do that, too. The key is consistency. Your audience needs to know that they can count on you as their go-to subject matter expert.
How often should you post? Data out of Buffer and Hootsuite suggest that LinkedIn posts should be 4-5 times a week, while you can post to sites like Twitter 3x this much. There are also a myriad different tools out that, like Clearview Social, that can greatly assist you in auto-scheduling posts at peak traffic times on LinkedIn and Twitter, ensuring that those posts get the most amount of eyeballs on them. Use a tool like this, or just create a set schedule. The most important thing is that you have a system.
Getting the social media habit rolling may seem daunting at first, but when you break it down to these three simple steps, it’s incredibly easy. Give it a try, like the old proverb says: the best time to plan a tree is twenty years ago, the second best time is right now.
As originally seen on Forbes