I was explaining to a client yesterday that the easiest time in your business to create strategies is in the first year. Because 90% of your strategies will be based around learning skills to fill gaps in your knowledge in business.
Learning how to sell, how to pitch your services, how to get a handle on your finances, what software you need and how to use it, how to communicate effectively with your ideal client, how to use social media as a business tool.
Social media has been a bit of a steep learning curve for me. Everywhere we turn, we’re told that you have to use video in order to grow your audience. I tell my clients this. Because it is true – the more video content you post, the faster you will grow organically.
And here’s my problem with that – I hate doing video. I don’t like the way I look on video. I don’t like the sound of my voice. I ramble.
Oh boy, do I ramble. I do it in real life too. My brain is usually a few steps ahead or behind my mouth. I throw in irrelevant details that I just thought of. I pause while I think of the perfect, I mean the most perfect, word I want to use. I say “so” a million times in two minutes. It can take me a while to get to the point. If I don’t lose it completely along the way.
My natural avenue of communication is the written word. I can take my time to compose my thoughts, to search out that perfect word that expresses exactly what I want to say.
I can knock out a blog post with a beginning, middle and end in 30 minutes. I can guarantee you that I will spend more time picking out an image for this post than I will writing it.
I can spend two hours on a three-minute video and still not nail it (true story - happened only yesterday).
If I know video content is an important part of my social media strategy, and I know I suck at video content, what do I do?
Here’s the great thing about a strategy – you can change it to fit you. Your needs, your business’s needs, your strengths and weaknesses as a person as well as a business owner. You can find a strategy that compliments your foibles as a human.
Here are some of the strategies I’ve used to help me with video:
I’ve worked in a group run by a video confidence coach which did a lot to help me feel more natural and confident on camera.
I feel more comfortable ignoring that idea that you have to do videos on Facebook in order to grow. I have come to believe that no videos are preferable to horrible, stilted ones. I put out a few of those when I started on Facebook and I promise you – they were awful!
I run a Facebook group that I am comfortable going live in. I practice my lives, I put notes on post-its on my computer and I’m not ashamed to use notes when recording them to stay on track.
I know if I’m going to do a video or live, I’m better doing it in the morning. I’m more creative in the mornings, my energy is higher, I’m more focused.
I may not be great at video but I am finding a work-around with Instagram reels. Which is amazing given a month ago I thought I would never be able to do one! Views on my last four reels have grown from 200 to around 3000.
Above all else though, I’ve learned to accept that I may not always tell the most easily understood story when I speak. I’ve learned to accept that the storyteller in me is more of a keyboard warrior than a video star.
I like to think that when the new Sex and the City hits our screens, we’ll see Carrie Bradshaw eschewing video content for the written word.
Here’s the thing about being a new business owner. We need to find strategies to plug the gaps in our business skills.
BUT, we also need to recognise that we are still human. We need to accept that, even as a solopreneur who has to wear a dozen hats to make our businesses run smoothly, there are things we won’t be very good at.
We can outsource. We can take a ton of courses (or work with a coach!) in order to develop better skills. We can find work arounds, such as focusing on reels on Instagram instead of IGTV.
Most importantly, we can learn to accept that some parts of our business just won't come easily to us because of who we are. We need to learn that showing those quirky, flawed parts of ourselves is a strategy. And that it’s ok to say:
“Hi, I’m Chris and I ramble.”