Over the last few weeks, I’ve had several conversations with successful social media influencers about their personal brands. These are creative and talented people with real fans and large followings. However, a high follower count on a social platform is not always enough to take a personal brand to that next level. This is when those influencers want guidance as to to how to get even bigger business opportunities and more brand awareness.
While there are a few common themes that keeps cropping up, the one I want to focus on in this piece is: overthinking your social media presence. There is a lot of “analysis to paralysis” happening.
People get so hung up on details that don’t really matter. For example, I receive questions like whether a particular picture is the perfect Instagram shot, does the post fit with their “theme,” or should they spend more time on Instagram Stories vs. Snapchat, or should they start a podcast because everyone has one (even if they have no idea why they would start a podcast or what it would be about).
I am also always happy to answer these questions and I can understand wanting a gut check (I’d be out of a job if people didn’t want my opinion). However, by the time someone has usually asked me, they have already slowed or stopped creating and putting out content because they have been overthinking it.
Advising clients on what to do with their brand also entails giving advice on what not to do. Social media should not be sucking your creativity because it’s become more work than fun. When social media feels like a job, it’s going to be harder to put out content. If you already have a following, people are following you because they enjoy what you create. While slightly counterintuitive to the advice that people most give, at the end of the day, post what you like.
It’s much easier to see as an outside observer, but here are some things to keep in mind when thinking about personal brand content:
• Social media should be social. Be human! Being human includes not always posting the “perfect” content because humans are not perfect.
• Yes, you can optimize your posts for certain platforms and yes, there are best practices.
• However, platforms are constantly changing and what works today may not work tomorrow. If that means you need to make 20 perfectly targeted hashtag buckets before you put up a post, you’ve already lost.
• Yes, you can take your brand seriously. I think knowing where you are trying to go and what you are “selling” is important to consider.
• However, one not-so-perfect post is not going to kill you. Just keep testing and learning. If your audience doesn’t like a piece of content, you can see if they respond better to something else.
• Social media has been making a move towards the raw, live, and unfiltered. Not being perfect is hot right now.
• Scale appropriately. You do not need to start your daily vlog, weekly podcast, publish your ebook, and release a new “product” all in the same week.
• If you’re doing something that works, keep doing it. Expand accordingly.
Remember, there is no “perfect” in social media. There just isn’t. Needing to put out the seemingly perfect content and also feeling like you need to be on every medium imaginable will only lead to content paralysis. You don’t always have to worry about always being “on brand” because you are your brand and if it’s what you like, the right audience will be there.
And, if you need help, feel free to reach out :).