I am a perfectionist. At times this trait serves me well. Other times it’s a major hindrance. In regards to social media, perfection has proven to be a major hindrance. Perfection kills momentum, innovation, and creativity.
It’s taken me nearly 10 years of professional marketing experience to learn that perseverance, not perfection, is what determines success. Social media success, business success, even life success!
To share what I’ve learned I’ve compiled 10 reasons perseverance, not perfection, is the key to success on social media.
1. Social media is dynamic, not static
Inbound marketing tactics such as social media, SEO, and email nurturing are dynamic. Success in these tactics centers around testing, optimizing, changing, improving. Thankfully, the outbound marketing approach of throwing the perfect message out there and hoping it sticks doesn’t apply to social media. Your social profiles are living channels and your audience understands that you will get better over time. No one expects you to be perfect when you first get started.Your audience understands that you will get better over time. No one expects you to be perfectClick To Tweet
2. No one is an overnight expert
About five years ago, I decided I wanted to be a social media expert. Two weeks later I was ready to throw in the towel. I was completely overwhelmed and scared shitless. How in the world could I keep up with all the different channels? The good news is you don’t need to know everything. Learning the channels takes time. Pick one channel, learn it inside and out, and then learn another one. Or don’t! Many people have grown a huge audience by becoming an expert of just ONE channel. For example:
3. Comparison kills
We all have insecurities and days of feeling “less than.” Unfortunately, social media has a way of amplifying our insecurities. You jump on twitter and discover a new expert in your niche, or you scroll your Pinterest feed and find 10 blog posts with headlines similar to what you’re currently writing. It’s easy to get discouraged and give up.
Don’t let yourself get sucked into the comparison game. You’ll lose every single time. Instead, celebrate the success of others and embrace your uniqueness. No one else has your perspective, experience, or personality. And you know what? Sharing your true self is exactly how you build a loyal tribe.Don’t let yourself get sucked in to the comparison game. You’ll lose every single time.Click To Tweet
4. Social media is 80% art, 20% science
Digital marketing and social media are focused on testing and optimizing. There’s a bit of a science involved, but marketing is mostly an art. The big secret marketing professionals don’t want you to know is that we’re all just guessing. GASP! Some of those guesses are based on data, this is where the 20% science comes in. But, much of those guesses are based on assumptions – what we like to call “educated guesses.”
Educated guesses? Give me a break! We like to throw out fancy terms and talk about customer personas, but in reality, we have no freaking clue. If we did have a freaking clue we wouldn’t need to constantly test and optimize! Stop stressing about getting the “science” perfect and spend more time creating content and connecting with people.The big secret marketing professionals don’t want you to know is that we’re all just guessing.Click To Tweet
5. High ease of entry.
Let’s face it, anyone can jump on social media and say they’re an expert. We’ve all stumbled across someone with hundreds of thousands of followers and they’re a total buffoon. It’s maddening. The point is, social media is flooded with new people every single day. We’re all trying to find our audience and let our voice be heard.
In ten years from now, who do you think will have found their audience? The perfectionists paralyzed by fear they’d muck it up? Or those who embraced their imperfections, trudged through the crap, and posted consistently no matter what? I’ll give you a hint, those who persevered will have found their audience.
6. Tons of content
Naturally, high ease of entry means tons of people, which means tons of content. A recent report from the Content Marketing Institute revealed 70% of B2B marketers surveyed expect to produce MORE content in 2017 than they produced in 2016. Want to guess their #1 content marketing tactic? Yep! Social media.
It’s becoming increasingly more difficult for your audience to find you among this sea of content. Difficult, but not impossible. You know who will be found by their audience? The hustlers, the outside-the-box thinkers, and the persistent – not the perfectionists, the fearful, or the pessimists.It’s becoming more difficult for your audience to find you. Difficult, but not impossible.Click To Tweet
7. Social media is constantly changing.
To clearly demonstrate my point, let’s take a stroll down memory lane and look back at just a few changes that occurred in 2016.
• Twitter shut down Vine.
• Google and Facebook banned ads from fake news sites.
• Facebook changed the news feed algorithm 10 times!
• Instagram rolled out tons of changes, including a change to the news feed algorithm. Yikes!
• Facebook added a dedicated video tab.
• Pinterest rolled out a bunch of algorithm and design changes.
• Twitter changed what counts toward your 140 characters.
Are you starting to get the point? Social media is constantly changing. Your inner perfectionist needs to learn to roll with the punches and persevere through each and every change.
8. You must be actively engaged
The funny thing about social media? It’s social! You must be actively engaged and socialize with others to grow your audience. Think of it this way. Two people attend a networking happy hour. (Which everyone hates BTW.) Person one stands in the corner holding a sign that says, “Please like me, I’m really great!” Person two walks around the room and talks to people. She asks questions, shares helpful tips, and forms connections. At the end of the networking event, who leaves with more business cards? Easy! Person two. Networking on social media is no different. Humans crave connection. Even when we’re hidden safely behind a computer screen we are still human. Keep in mind, real connections take time and require perseverance.Humans crave connection. Even hidden safely behind a computer screen, we are still human.Click To Tweet
9. Going viral is not a real thing
Did you know that one hour of video is uploaded on YouTube every second? In just one day approximately 86,400 hours of video is uploaded to YouTube. That’s a shit ton of video! Based on the average video length of 4 minutes, 20 seconds, roughly 19 – 20,000 videos are uploaded each day. Considering only a handful of videos go viral each year, you have a 1 in 7 billion chance of going viral. Yes, that was some really rough math, but even so, I am telling you there is not a chance.
10. Trouble will happen
Life is a roller coaster of constant ups and downs. Bad things are going to happen, in life and on social media. Look at some of the most successful people and brands on social media and they have all faced challenges. They’ve had social media accounts shut down, faced legal battles, and encountered personal attacks from internet trolls. No one is perfect. We all experience challenges. It’s easy to give up, but those who persevere and face the challenges head on will find success!
Social media is hard and you need perseverance, not perfection, to succeed. Perfection is just another form of fear, and fear is the enemy of success.
Next time you find yourself feeling discouraged, doubting your ability, comparing yourself to others, or straight up scared shitless, read this post again and remember that PERSEVERANCE, not perfection, is the key to success!