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I have just read an article about Usain Bolt, who is currently the world’s fastest man. The article refers to him as the “…relaxed funny guy who makes it look easy.” The article reminds me of my own relationship with social media and ongoing conversations with others who view it as a quick fix.  One of the main lessons to be learnt in using Social Media as a platform for marketing is found in what Bolt goes on to say. He is asked if running is really that easy. His response is an important key for us. 

“Well, the running part is easy for me. If I train hard and I work hard, then the running part for me is the easier part because all I have to do now is go there and execute what I have learnt over the past couple of months…”

If I train hard and work hard, the running is easier. There you have it in a sentence.

In other words when I am prepared and  have done my homework I  go out and do what I have learnt to do. And, I do it well.

If you are reading this post, you may be among those who felt that social media  would be the answer to your marketing problems. You have signed up for Twitter, had your website revamped and even use a blog occasionally. Then, you sit back and  hope work will come rushing through the door. You will have realised by now that  this is not the case.

However, there is hope and we can be successful as long as we ‘put in the time’ to train ourselves. We may not all be a Usain Bolt, Seth Godin, Darren Rowse or Chris Brogan of Social Media Marketing but we can be ourselves. That is the important and most enjoyable ingredient which everyone enjoys. So, BE YOURSELF….

1. Learn from those who use Social Media well. Read the blogs and articles of Seth Godin, Chris Brogan, Su Butcher, Peter Masters et al. They are being themselves by sharing with us who they are and what they do. If you have questions please ask. I have found the SM community to be helpful and friendly.

2. Read up about those aspects of social media which are key for your business. When I first started out  I found myself in a place of information overload. Which tools do I use? Which ones are the best? How will I learn how to use them? People then start asking are you using Hootsuite or Google + or whatever. Don’t sweat! Start with what is right for your business. Learn the process well and then develop your network but stay within your plan of action.

3. Don’t be distracted by the latest SM tool, unless it forms part of your plan. There is too much to learn over night. SM is developing so fast and it is important that you exercise discipline in staying with what works for your business. I have spent many an hour looking at great apps and thinking afterwards, I don’t actually need this even though it is a brilliant tool. Maybe down the line this may change. Overwhelm can take the joy out of the process.

4. Start with the basics. Put in the hard work and then the running will be easier. Social Media is about engaging with real people whether on Twitter, through your website or blogging as I am doing now. Engage with people and slowly but surely build a network of ‘friends’ who enjoy hearing mutual sharing. Put in the hard work. Learn to train yourself for the good of others. Be encouraged to continue and make it work.

5. A lot of people may talk about it but we need YOU to interact with us. If you have been watching the news over the last few days you will be aware that in the midst of turmoil ordinary citizens have stood up and given practical help in their communities. They are tired of the ‘talk’ from leaders. They want to act in a positive and responsive way. They have made a positive difference to our cities and we should commend them. I want to encourage you to also stand up and like Usain Bolt work hard and train hard so the running becomes easier.

  • “Dictionary is the only place that success comes before work. Hard work is the price we must pay for success. I think you can accomplish anything if you’re willing to pay the price.”   –  Vince Lombardi

By the way, I have put in the work and if you are not already, PLEASE  follow me on Twitter. See you soon.

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