Short Story: Patience.
Long Story: I, like you (I’m assuming), consume a fair amount of Gary Vaynerchuk. I follow him across all social. I binge watch DailyVees if I’ve missed them for a while and I’m currently reading the #AskGaryVee Book (which was kindly hand delivered to me by my friend Tristan who flew in from another state to do so! #wow).
Gary is a freaking firehose of knowledge, truthbombs and straight-shooting, practical #realtalk (as you know), but there is one thing that stands out to me time and time again.
So, what is this ‘thing?’
I’m sorry, I didn’t quite catch that. It sounded like you just said to me, a Gen Y kid — patience?
I’m not sure if it’s because I’m a Gen Y/Millennial (can someone make up their mind about the definition so I know where I fit please?), or whether it’s because I’m acutely self aware and therefore KNOW that I need to hear something 83 times before I execute on it? But this ‘thing’ he keeps talking about slaps me in the face every time he talks about ANYTHING.
By nature I am unequivocally impatient. If I send out a proposal, I want the go-ahead yesterday. If I’m writing a post, I want it written and posted an hour ago. I feel like my shower always takes waaaaayyyy too long to get hot and setting up to shoot a video; the whole five minutes can put me off doing the entire shoot.
I do find it ironic that while I am learning to master my impatience, it’s the very thing I need to communicate with people wishing to engage my social media services.
And I know I am not the only one.
I have peers who send Gary Vaynerchuk videos to prospective clients to communicate the long term nature of the social media game. I know others who have permanently extended the delivery time of their service in order to quell the impatience that’s often aroused by a shorter deadline. Truth.
Why do we think Social Media should be anything less than a long term game?
Sure, there are times where social provides immediate results (can anyone say ‘paid social?’) but at the heart of it, social media is about relationship.
And relationship takes time.
I don’t know about you but none of the great relationships in my life have happened in a day. I’ve hit it off in a day but the trust has been built over time. The guard is let down and we share more and give more. We have conversations. We laugh and cry and we meet up in real life (because, you know…. #internetlyf).
These exchanges take time but they solidify something that is longer term.
Business is no different. Sure, there are things we can do to cut the time down a little but the fact of the matter is social media ROI is long term and, like a good relationship, the more you invest, the more you give of yourself, the better your return, the stronger your relationship and (unlike a real relationship… hopefully) people will pay you money as a result.
If you find that you cannot commit to the patience involved in relationships then my guess is that you will also struggle with business. Further to that, if you are struggling with social media, consider adopting principles you’ve applied to your excellent relationships.
What are these principles?
- Spend time with your prospective customer and clients (engagement). Answer questions. Say thank you. Ask them questions and if you can meet a need, do so.
- Woo them. Give value. As Gary V would say, give 51% of the value in the relationship which is really just saying — be the helpful part of the equation.
- If you see a problem, provide a solution (aka create courses, worksheets, blog post articles, case studies etc to help your client out).
- Be patient. Do the things above to build trust and apply patience.
Remember: Social media takes patience. It’s hinged on relationships and relationship takes time. Marathon vs. sprint. *Insert another analogy here*
One final thing — a bloody good strategy will help you cut down that time too. #justsayin
But regardless of whether or not you hire someone to help you or you do it yourself — patience young Padawan. Patience.