This is my first blog of the HER Funny Business series, and I have been thinking about this topic for some time – years in fact.
You see, since I started my first business in 2013 social media has been a massive game changer, and as I see so many ‘influencers’ and ‘experts’ increase their followers by thousands, this has left me wondering “what’s more important – the numbers or the people?”
Rewind back to times in history before the internet was the ‘be-all-and -end-all’ of marketing for business, the way businesses thrived was they made sure they got in front of their target market in the locations where they serviced, and then sold the shit out of what they were offering (yes there is such thing as being in the right place at the right time!)
However, now-a-days, I come across business women (and men) all the time who are so confused with how to market and promote their products or services because they are being fed so many conflicting views online.
Social media and the internet are both blessings, as with a touch of a button we can get ourselves in front of our ideal clients. However, I believe sometimes these are disguised as blessings, but in fact are suckers of our time and energy, throwing confusion at us every time we logon.
With the ease of the output on social media, so many small business owners make this platform their number one choice for selling; however, with so much competition, most posting, commenting and interaction just falls on death ears, as our customers are busier and more knowledgeable than ever before.
If I had a pound for every time I have heard ‘social media’ as the answer to the question ‘where do you market your business?’ then I would definitely be a millionaire! Have we all forgotten that there are so many more ways to promote your business offline, which might be more valuable to our specific business?
Yes, social media is free, however with many platforms changing the rules (a.k.a their algorithms) all the time, the fate of your business is surely in the hands of Mr Zuckerberg and his crew, rather than you as the owner. Plus, each time the rules change, as business owners we then have to find answers to how to get ahead again, which takes up our valuable time and energy, meaning we are always playing catch up and never really making any marketing progress.
So, now my frustrations with social media laid bare I want to move on and out this crap about the popularity contest of life.
With the rise of so-called influences, everyone is calling themselves an ‘expert’, ‘qualified’, ‘experienced’, la-de-dah – but behind these labels there sometimes seems little depth or evidence to back up claims – and this totally frustrates me.
You see for me, I call myself a Business Strategist, Growth/Development and Empowerment Mentor to Female Entrepreneurs, because that is what I am! But I always get asked why I don’t call myself a coach – and the reason is that I don’t hold a coaching qualification.
I have a Business Management degree, ten years’ experience in advising, working with, and developing different businesses in various industries, plus multiple awards to back up my knowledge and skills.
So because I am an honest person and totally transparent with my audience and clients, you can see why it totally pisses me off when I see someone post that they are new to their business with no qualifications or experience one month, then the next month they are an ‘expert’ (because they have had one or two clients!)
And what is all this fakeness about? It’s because social media has made us feel that we need to be popular and the best at what we do in order to be accepted/to fit in/ to complete with others – and it is a lot of shit!
The absolute truth is that it is all about popularity, and how we are viewed by others, rather than actually delivering value and giving two F’s about each person that we speak to and support with our businesses.
That’s why I wanted to mix things up and be the revolutionary, forward thinking, independent woman that I am (as I’m a round peg that doesn’t seem to fit in any of the square holes out there!) by creating HER Business Revolution.
Not a big shocker – I actually do give a crap about the women I speak to, and whether they choose to buy from me or not they are all special, and I really do care about their futures, dreams and ambitions. Of course, I want to support them (and to do that I need money to eat too!) but if they don’t want my paid offerings, I’m not about to just cast them aside like they are nothing to me.
Life as a female entrepreneur is hard, and we all need to support each other as much as possible, without the judgement of popularity being the measure of worthiness. Especially as social media makes us feel inferior, with the number of followers being the number one judgement on us and our success as business women.
The pressure upon us to be liked and popular on social media also means that we will never actually be able reach our own personal ‘success goals’ if we are constantly striving to increase our number of followers, likes, and engagement figures, rather than focusing on our true passions and where best to promote these to our potential buyers.
For years I have worried what people have thought about me on social media, and with the recent changes on Facebook meaning my group numbers decreased significantly overnight, it felt like the right time to out these concerns and rationalise my recent insights into how the online world of social media actually operates.
I want to make it clear that I am not a hater of social media at all, in fact it allows me to connect with some incredible people from across the globe, however it all boils down to the fact that if we focus all our efforts on being popular online – with the numbers being our number one measure – then we are not concerned at all about building genuine relationships with the people behind the computer screen.
By acting in this way and putting all our eggs into the basket of social media stardom, surely we are missing the actual valuable opportunities to make ourselves and our businesses successful???
(These being to reach out to them offline and by really getting to know the people who are interested in what we have to offer the world!)
I hope this has given you some food for thought,
Love Serena xoxo