Most LinkedIn Members are afraid to post anything on LinkedIn. They fear sharing content and commenting with any meaningful response beyond, “Thanks” or “Good stuff.” They’re afraid to post something that others will laugh at.
- They’re afraid to it may be fake news.
- They’re afraid their boss will yell at them.
- They’re afraid of violating some rule or privacy guideline.
- They’re afraid of making a huge mistake.
- They’re afraid of the monsters lurking behind the keyboard.
The reasons are broad, however, they can be overcome.
I’ve made those mistakes, and I’ve lived to tell it about it.
Once, years ago one of my clients posted a YouTube Video that I commented on. My comment started out appreciative and supportive. Then I made a ’snide’ remark about the number of Ums & Ahs my client made in the video. He called me up and asked me, “is this how you want to engage with your client in public?” I immediately realized I made a mistake. I apologized and then deleted the comment and posted a positive one with no snide remarks. I learned from this mistake. I no longer criticize, condemn or complain on social media.
Another time I decided to get into an argument with someone on Facebook about a political issue. OMG, that failed miserably. I deleted all of my comments, took my public beating for running from the argument and, learned from my mistake. I no longer discuss politics or religion on social media.
“Live and learn, most importantly learn so you can live a better life.”
I have three edicts I’ve adopted that help me to overcome some of these fears:
“Never do, say or engage in any way you don’t want to be seen, heard or perceived of in life.”
“Everything you post on social media must be TRUHE (Transparent, Relevant, Useful, Honest and Engaging or exciting, educational or entertaining.”
“It’s not all about you (Teddy), rather make it all about your target audience.”
Adopting these edicts have kept me from making more dumb mistakes on social media as well as in life.
Now, with these ideas, how do we help people who should be engaging more, yet are still a little afraid?
It’s not easy, but you can start practicing and in time all of your fears will go away.
Here are some more tactics that may help:
- Listen to the words you say out loud when you are talking with a client, a prospect or someone else relevant to your business. Often what we say out loud could be a simple post on social media. The quote I wrote in this article, “Live and learn, most importantly learn so you can live a better life” became a graphic, Facebook and even LinkedIn Post.
- Listen to what your target audience says and asks you. Again, often these words and/or your response to them could become a simple post, if not a full-fledge blog post. This article here came from a conversation with a client who asked me, “Teddy, how can I get more comfortable engaging on social media?”
- Listen to the conversations at networking events, board meetings, conferences, symposiums, seminars, in the news, in trade magazines, industry websites, podcasts, and people on the street. When we discover the conversations going on around us, relevant to our businesses and our clients, these conversations can be sparks for your own posts, articles, videos, graphics and even a well-intentioned selfie.
- Read what your target audience is talking about. Search for these conversations by keywords and/or by the individuals or brands. Read, or at least review the conversation and then imagine sitting at a coffee shop with a good friend and they just told you what you read. How would you reply back to them? What ideas come to mind? What words could you cobble together in a positive way and then respond?
- Read content on LinkedIn relevant to your business and your clients. If you liked it, maybe, just maybe, someone else in your network will like it. Hit the Share button and help someone else learn something. Always tell your viewer what you got from the article when you share it.
- This is important, don’t overthink what you are going to post or comment. Think about it, but if you spend too much time noodling your post or comment, it’ll come out looking scripted and seem fake.
- Don’t overdo it. You don’t need a new post, article, video, graphic or comment every hour or even every day. Practice slowly. Practice around the people you trust and respect. Engage on their content first. Practice again on someone else’s content. Don’t try to create a post around every conversation you hear. Rather let your subconscious lead you with the most meaningful conversations you hear.
Practice does not make perfect. Practice makes permanent. I know this because I listened to a client ask me a question and it spurred me to write this article. I wrote what I thought was an interesting quote, and I took it to another level. Practice every day.
If you want my help, comment on my stuff and then message me and ask me, “Teddy, did I do OK?” I promise you as long as it was TRUHE and you did not overthink it, the answer will be Yes.
If you want my help to guide your sales team on content creation and curation, let’s talk.