The 5 Most Painful Social Media Challenges that Entrepreneurs Face and How to Overcome ThemJan 09, 2022
We’ve all heard phrases like ‘If you don’t exist online, you don’t exist at all.’
But in today’s increasingly digital, increasingly competitive service-business landscape, it’s getting harder and harder to get noticed amongst the sea of ‘influencers’ and social media superstars.
The pressure is real, and once you begin to feel it, you start to feel it at every turn: When a sale falls through, when you round off a rather bad month. You can’t help but wonder if things would be different if you had 100,000 followers or 50,000 people on your mailing list.
I’m not going to sugarcoat it: Things sure could be different if those things happen, but I’m also not going to sweeten it any more than it deserves: Building a social media presence or an email list, any kind of a digital platform, is friggin’ hard work.
And just because you have a big subscriber or follower base, doesn’t mean they will buy from you.
If you have decided to take the social media bull by its horns, here are the five big challenges that you’re going to come up against, along with a workaround for each one of them.
Here goes: the five big social media challenges that entrepreneurs hit and how to overcome them:
Challenge 1: I have no idea where to start
There will come a time when your network stops presenting you with leads and opportunities. There will come a time when you exhaust the possibilities of working with the people in your existing network.
And that is when you will feel the need to fire up other sales and marketing engines to bring new people into your universe.
And, oh boy, are you in for a treat!
Every marketing guru is going to hold up a shiny new strategy promising to help you break through and start making millions.
Which way should you go? Should you learn paid social media ads? Content marketing? YouTube and video marketing? Should you learn how to launch a podcast? Or should you invest in building an automated-webinar sales funnel?
I can tell you that trying all of them at the same time is a recipe for disaster. I made that mistake and absolutely drowned time and money into trying to do it all. But then I found my success path of least resistance.
Workaround: Basics first
I recommend a simple, organic approach first. Don’t worry about building a following. First, nail your offer and your message and then float it out manually through your existing social media channels. But don’t just post it and hope that it lands in your dream client’s feed.
Seek out your dream clients specifically and send them private messages. Start building relationships and getting to know these people. Connect, ask them more about what they do and get a conversation going, and then share your message and offer with them. It’s crucial to get this message structure right.
Challenge 2: Social media is taking over my whole day (and life)
Finding yourself working on calendars, first drafts, edits, and content all the time? It can be fun, but you can also get to Friday and realize that you did very little other work this week outside of keeping your social media and content engines chugging along.
Building and managing a big social media presence, especially one that builds trust and brings your dream clients in the door, can be an all-consuming effort. If you decide to DIY it to keep costs low, you’ll soon be functioning more like a content factory than a coach or a consultant doing the real impactful work that you set out to do.
Workaround: The Layered Marketing Strategy and Time-Blocking
I use two methods to ensure that I can create quality content without it consuming me, and without sacrificing my evenings, weekends, and inhaling lunch while I edit my podcast.
First, try the Layered Marketing Strategy. Start with one channel and one or at most two formats of content only. Only once you have mastered that production process and only once it starts to generate some results should you add on the next layer.
The other piece that has made content production possible for me as a one-person business is obsessive time-blocking. I block 2 hours on my calendar every morning to write my blog content and work on my podcast.
Podcast interviews are sometimes booked at other times depending on my guests’ availability – but all the prep happens in my morning sessions. The rest of the day and week is client time, family time, the gym, and other life stuff.
Challenge 3: Standing out when it’s all been said and done
I feel your pain. And I know how sick you are of hearing the people with the 100k followings telling you to just ‘Be Authentic, Be Yourself!’
It’s not bad advice, but it’s not sufficient advice.
The thing is, I know you’ve got to be you because everyone else is taken, but you definitely don’t want to be churning out stuff that everyone else is already saying.
It’s common to feel late to the party if you’re just starting to get your social media wheels in motion. A lot has indeed been said and done, and so it’s harder to carve yourself a niche. It also feels fairly pointless to be sharing the same ol’ stuff that others have shared before you.
Workaround: Get message-adamant and package it well
Find one to three things that are really, truly your message. They could be the way you see the world differently; they could be disruptive messages for an antiquated industry or an old idea expressed in a fresh way.
Once you have those messages clearly formed, get extremely adamant about sharing those messages repeatedly. Share them as images, text, video, get on podcasts – your name needs to become synonymous to those messages.
Oh, and, you’ll have to package this all well. What does that mean? Pick a set of colors, fonts, vocabulary, and use those signatures everywhere.
The cream that floats to the top on social media are not the people with the most unusual things to say – they are the people who say the same thing over and over again and have a distinct signature attached to those messages.
Don’t believe me? Open up your feed right now and see who the recognizable names are.
Challenge 4: I can’t convert likes into paying customers
This is perhaps the BIGGEST challenge that most coaches and consultants face on social media. They get a lot of support for their messages and posts, but they don’t know how to take that relationship from follower to paying client.
This challenge is particularly sharp for coaches and consultants that work in the sustainability or diversity spaces. I call it The Curse of a Good Cause – you will always have people supporting the change you want to make, but it’s hard to turn that support into a purchase of any kind. And likes and comments don’t pay the bills.
There is also a nearly addictive tendency that comes with this: Because your posts are getting attention, you want to continue to do more. And so, you invest more time into creating content or check back in more often to engage in comments and conversation, which can quickly become a drain on your time.
Workaround: Map out the customer journey and guide them through it.
Mapping out the customer journey is only successful if you know and understand your clients deeply. If you do, then you will have a deep understanding of the posts that are going to attract their attention. From there, you need to ask: ‘What’s next?’
What is the next point to which you want to direct your client? Direct messages? A phone call? Book an appointment? Take them there. You’re going to need to direct your clients to an actual sales offer if you want them to buy.
They might say no, but hey, they might have been looking for exactly what you are selling! Good business is not a coincidence.
Challenge 5: Umm. I’m not sure I like social media.
Ha! This one had to make the list because I don’t enjoy a lot of social media platforms and I know plenty of other entrepreneurs who just don’t like social media either. I am all for alleviating the pressure to be on social media.
Pressuring yourself into making videos, recording podcasts, writing articles or growing a channel is a downward spiral. If you really don’t like it, it doesn’t get easier or more fun (it didn’t for me, at least.)
And here, my friend, is the good news: You can thrive without social media, too!
Your business will grow if you solve a real problem and if you can get your product in front of people who need to solve that problem. While social media might feel like the easiest, lowest-hanging-fruit way of doing it, rest assured there are other (perhaps more effective ways) to get your offer in front of your dream clients.
Workaround: Find another channel for impact and reach.
The thing is, it’s unlikely that you dislike absolutely every platform and medium. Many times, it is about finding the right place for you to be. It might be one social media channel, and it might be none.
Maybe you prefer speaking on stages. Pause to think about what you do enjoy and make that your channel of impact.
Look, I understand. With the Gary Vee’s of the world telling you to produce 60 pieces of content a day, it might feel as if we live in a world where you need to ‘Go social or go home.’
That’s far from the truth. Social media can be a powerful tool, but it is by no means the only tool for you to grow your reach, impact, and revenue.
If you’re struggling with finding your client-winning formula, then don’t forget to check out Club Unlocked, my community space for mission-driven entrepreneurs. We’re are in there, getting it done day after day, and we’ve got the answers.
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