As any parent will know, the things that come out of a child’s mouth can either delight, infuriate or bemuse you. What is coming next is almost impossible to predict, such is the apparent randomness of their thought process. It’s one of the amazing things about hanging out with your kids – they remind you of a way to look at the world that you have probably forgotten. One of my sons has a particular love of categorising experiences, so he will suddenly ask, “Daddy, what is your favourite movie / favourite song / favourite superhero / favourite car / favourite colour / favourite city / favourite child..?”
Pause for thought
I’m usually not drawn into answering the last one, but for the others I’ll always have a good go at thinking it through. He’s getting his frame of reference organised in his head, and I find it actually quite useful to have a check of mine too. What I used to regard as my favourite car will have changed over the years, and I’ll be more attracted to a thoughtful historical movie than 007 these days. Why is this important? Because our priorities and values evolve as we age and acquire more responsibilities.
So when he asked me, “What was the happiest day of your life?” I of course glibly answered, “The day I met Mummy”. And he was satisfied with that answer. However when I reflected some more I changed my mind. Don’t get me wrong, meeting my wife was incredible; I’m over the moon about that day. But there has since been a day that has probably given me much more comfort and peace…you might describe it as the day I discovered the meaning of life.
The Holy Grail
Take a deep breath…get ready for it…this is life-defining stuff. I realised that the happiest day of my life was when I discovered that I actually have the freedom to live and work as I want to…I am in charge of my own destiny….THIS is the meaning of life.
Is your mind blown?
Probably not. Because it’s actually kind of obvious. It is constantly on the fringe of our awareness these days in our post-conformist society. We’re all aware that there are alternative ways to earn money, and being wage-slaves as our parents mostly were is not the only model. However, what really made the penny drop for me was realising just what it means to actually live that life and have that freedom.
Expand the horizon
Like the majority of the developed world I grew up with the frame of reference of getting good grades at school, getting a degree, having a solid career (for me in the Armed Forces), and upon that solid foundation then constructing a happy life. And hey, it worked out. I did well in school, had a great career doing some interesting stuff, and built a great family life. In that respect I was successful. But it’s like I was creating my life having selected a door to open when I was seventeen years old. I opened it and walked down that corridor. Sure, there were some side doors I opened along the way; I had choices all along. But I was always walking those corridors of conformity.
The joyous moment for me came when I finally realised that I don’t have to be bound by walls or corridors, and in fact there are no doors either. I can wander freely and seek my fortune according to my own desires and priorities. The horizon is broad; the terrain is open; I can go anywhere I like.
When I have free time I love going to the mountains. I breathe deeply, I marvel at the vastness of the scene, and I revel in the fact that I can walk and climb anywhere I want to. This is something of a model for life, I think. I feel free and unbound there. I can roam where I like, and create my own path. And the meaning of life is that this joy does not have to be restricted to the mountains; it can be enjoyed every day, wherever you live.
Working Nine to Nine-o-Five
Now, nine to five doesn’t exist for me. I can work when needed. It can be as little or as much as required. I can take the morning to see that school play, I can have a coffee with a friend I haven’t seen in a while, I can enjoy some meditation time once the kids have gone to school. The choice is mine, and I do not have to explain it to a boss that is inhabiting a conformist corridor.
Working for myself as a consultant is so fulfilling in so many ways. It makes me ambitious like I never had to be in a steady job. It satisfies me knowing that I am personally responsible. It thrills me that I get to enjoy a variety of challenges. It blows my mind that I get to help people and help them discover the meaning of their life too. Their perfect day will be different to mine, but the meaning is always the same.
Every day at 3 o’clock I watch one or more of my sons play sport. I love it, and they love having me there too. And then I take them home and talk about their day, and answer their many questions. I can tell them that I did some good stuff at work today; that I hit some targets; that I had a good day. In fact I can tell them that because I lived it as I wanted to, today is the happiest day of my life.
The Social Media Mafia is a community of like-minded consultants, all living the happiest days of their lives, free from the shackles of corporate structure. By following the Pathway to Success you can make your own perfect days, and start living them sooner than you thought possible. Visit socialmediamafia.com to learn more.
Admit it, you’ve been dreaming of it telling yourself you’ll do it for years now. You’ve imagined it as you’ve sat in the commuter traffic, or during those long train journeys, looking at your phone. But you’ve never found the time. The conditions have never been quite right. It’s always been too risky because there’s been a baby on the way / the promotion is just around the corner.
Excuse your inertia
There’s always an excuse not to follow your dreams. For most people dreams remain just that; unfulfilled; the stuff of fantasy. For some of us it’s easier to keep them at arm’s length like that, so they don’t ever get close enough to make us actually do something. The fear of what might happen next is greater than the optimism of what could happen next. This kind of inertia is crippling, and is exactly why tired-looking fifty year-olds have such a dead expression as they put on their work clothes each morning, wondering why they didn’t quit this shit twenty years ago.
Taking the plunge is good for the soul. Swedish bathers jumping into icy water each winter not only enjoy the exhilarating rush of the experience, but also derive great benefits from the stress of being taken out of equilibrium. There is a lot to learn from these apparently crazy folk. They’re not reckless thrill-seekers, they are actually braving the short-term discomfort for the long-term benefit to their physical and mental health. They understand that life isn’t always comfortable, and actually venturing into the cold can lead to a deep and lasting warmth.
Leaving regular employment can seem reckless, particularly if you have a family to support and bills to pay. Your pragmatism just won’t allow you to leave the safe and familiar shore. This is when you make those excuses and keep the risk at arm’s length. You tell yourself those brave few that stepped off and were then successful must have had different circumstances to you. Maybe they got lucky and were ‘in the right place at the right time’…
But you know you’re lying to yourself, and massaging your own withering ego. They weren’t lucky; they were brave. There’s an old cliché that goes “Fortune favors the brave”. It’s not literally true as brave people are not always fortunate. However it is true that cowards are rarely fortunate; and this is the point of the saying, really. Those that go for it and take the plunge are far more likely to enjoy success than those that stand and watch, their towels wrapped tightly around them.
A good friend of mine is one of those calculates risk-takers, and he is one of the most successful guys I know. When I say successful I mean that he hits the targets he’s aiming for. I do not mean that he is rich. He makes a comfortable living. What I mean is that he delights in devising and hatching an idea, and then works with incredible energy to make it happen. And what makes him successful is that he is nailing his dreams. He consistently turns them into action. As well as establishing a successfully growing consultancy he is also currently leading an exciting new food and beverage franchise. This guy has no difficulty at all whipping off that towel and diving in.
Calculate the odds
So what makes him so happy to go for it? Calculation. There is nothing reckless about his endeavors; he has carefully calculated where he wants to go and what it takes to get there. He is a fiercely ambitious person who knows where he wants to get to, and is fuelled by his past successes. He is able to reflect on them and thus know that the risk of stepping off into the unknown again is lower than most would perceive it to be.
So what? You’re not that guy. You don’t have his experiences. You don’t necessarily see the world in the same way that he does. Most likely you want the same outcome as him – financial security for his family and a comfortable retirement – but your route there will be different to his. So why do I bother to tell you about him, and about the Swedish swimmers?
I’ll answer with another question…what do you think the key determinant is in their decisions to take the plunge? You may be tempted to say that it is just that they had the courage to go for it? And you’d be partly right; fortune favors the brave. However for me the key factor is that they have correctly analyzed and calculated the risks and the likelihood of positive vs negative outcomes. They have identified as well as they can, that there is a high likelihood of success. They have been encouraged by the knowledge that thousands before them have done it, and have had good experiences.
So what can you do to get that same sense of comfort with taking the plunge?
The Social Media Mafia is a community of like-minded social media consultants, each at a different stage of daring to do it. Many of them have studied the Pathway to Success, through the Social Media Mafia Academy. It is an 8-week program to prepare you to take the plunge and become a consultant, working for yourself, on your own terms, making the money you want to. So what you can do right now is to visit https://www.socialmediamafia.com/ and learn how you can acquire all the skills and knowledge to make taking the plunge less terrifying and more thrilling.
Rather than a box of chocolates I see life as a juggling act. We have a number of balls we need to keep in the air. Some have more balls to juggle than others. Some smug bloggers/influencers make it look so easy and appear to be doing cartwheels while juggling too. But for most of us I think we’re self-taught jugglers, just trying not to drop the balls too often.
Obviously when we become parents we increase the challenge – some of them become balls of fire! Life can seem relentless. And a lot of the time it’s easy to think you’re pretty bad at juggling. But I think there’s a way to free yourself from the stress of juggling, and to actually enjoy the experience of being a working parent. This is how it goes…
First of all, stop comparing yourself to some bullshit standard you’ve built up in your mind. It could be your impossibly perfect Facebook friend who only ever posts the #blessed stuff that makes you want to vomit; or perhaps the impossibly high expectations you’ve subconsciously set for yourself because you didn’t get enough emotional validation as a child.
I’m definitely not intending to underplay the psychological significance of either of those motivators; they’re both incredibly powerful. But they’re also shades over your eyes that you need to cast off in order to see life more clearly. The key fact we all need to bear in mind is that we are already good enough. We’re all flawed too, sure, in so many ways, but that’s fine. Despite our many flaws, we are all good enough humans. Some people appear to be superior humans, but they’re still flawed too.
Which leads me to my next maxim…everyone is carrying around their own bag of shit, and you don’t know what’s in it, so be kind…kind to them, and to yourself. However impossibly perfect someone seems to be, they still beat themselves up for something. They still wish they were better at multi tasking / more patient / thinner / funnier / more daring / whatever. Literally no-one in the world has it completely nailed, so stop expecting that you should. Accept that you’ll do your best, and you will often fail, but then you’ll go again. It’s what humans do. And you, after all, are only human.
By the way, I find those people that shamelessly admit their faults and mistakes to be the most disarming and real people in the world. It’s far better to be liked for being the real you than for being the impossibly perfect model of a human that people aspire to. Who wants to live with that kind of pressure? That’s one ball you really don’t need to be juggling. Drop it.
Stop feeling guilty
Guilt. Such an unhealthy vice, yet one that we all seem to have to varying extents. Whether you enjoy flagellating yourself for working too much, for working too little, for missing too many school meetings, for missing sports practices, for not reading with your kids enough, or for a hundred other things, you really need to stop. Feeling guilty about our choices is a total waste of emotion. Rather than wallow in guilt, spend the time reflecting on how you’re prioritising and decide if you’re getting it right, or if something needs to change.
For me, this boils down to values, as do most things really. Once we have decided upon our values – what is really, really important to us – then we can judge whether we’re on track or if a change of direction is required. In the Social Media Mafia Academy’s Success Pathway we place a lot of stock on choosing your destination and then planning a route to get there. Your compass on that journey is your set of values. It guides you through your choices and decisions, and just like a compass it can never be wrong. Unless you have shitty values of course…
If you know what your values are, and you should, then you just need to bear them in mind when making your choices. If you value money above all else then you will choose to chase the dinero in some way. If you value family time most then you’ll choose accordingly. None of this is not rocket science of course, but it doesn’t often occur to us that we should use our values as our frame of reference.
So if you chose to put a few more hours in at work and skip that parents’ evening then there is a reason for it. You’re valuing something over something else. You can insert the variables as you please – the equation works across all values. The point is, you don’t need to feel guilty about it because your choice was based on a value you hold, and you just need to evaluate if that value is a good one or a shitty one. I’m not here to judge, you’ve got your own bag of shit after all, just as I do. I just want you to know that you can change your values if you want to, and in fact you should if you want to get a little bit closer to nailing it as a working parent. All those shitty values are other balls you can stop juggling too.
Set your values
A key principle of values is that they must be within your control, and not dependent on someone or something else. For instance a value such as ‘being admired by my friends for being cool under pressure’ is not a good value. You can’t control what other people think of you, and in fact it’s none of your business and totally irrelevant to you. However ‘taking a patient, balanced view on issues’ is a fair value because you can control that. You can use it as a way to guide your behaviour.
So to almost nail it as a working parent you need to consider your values, scrutinise them and hone them, and certainly write them down and remind yourself of them. Those values will actually become extra hands for your juggling act. As you realise that your choices are being handled by those safe hands then the juggling becomes so much easier, and in fact you even get to enjoy it. You may even be able to take your eyes off the balls you’re juggling for a moment to look around and appreciate just how good you really are.
The Social Media Mafia Success Pathway has everything you will need to become an expert juggler, lion tamer and clown. Knife throwing is extra.
I don’t know about you, but I’m all about my family. I’m lucky enough to have an amazing wife and three incredible boys (and a dog, a cat and a hamster), and I am constantly working to ensure we have the best possible life together. But when I say constantly working I don’t mean that I’m grinding out the hours at the office, slaving away for the paycheck. No, quite the opposite in fact.
I work constantly at improving my relationship with them all by being there, present in every moment I can be; being part of every aspect of their lives. It’s good for them, and it’s good for me too. Society is waking up to the importance of that sort of emotional education for kids, which comes from stable and available parents, and I’m determined to make sure mine benefit from it too. And luckily we’re also working in an era in which it has never been easier to arrange our work to make it happen.
Commit to change
I confess I’ve read a few of the parenting books. Well, more than a few. I love learning about why we behave as we do. It won’t come as any surprise to hear that we’re all messed up pretty early on by our parents, and then we pass those nasty little habits on to our kids. However the good news about reading those books is that we gain a valuable insight into how we can change. We can change how we think and behave, in order to influence how our kids think and behave. It’s not easy, but if you’re committed then it is totally do-able.
The same is true of changing how we work in order to spend more time with our kids, and to be more emotionally available to them. They come hand in hand, in fact. As I spend more time with my kids when I collect them from school each day and take them to sports practice, I get to know them better. We bond over a wider range of issues because I’m there with them for more experiences. I get to support them in more areas of their lives. I love that because I know that our parenting days are too few, as are our chances to guide and support them. I want to max out now before I blink and the opportunity has passed.
Don’t miss those moments
The thing about reading those parenting books, or the blogs, and dreaming of that business you want to start, or that house you want to build, is that eventually you actually have to do something about it. I procrastinated too much about seizing the lifestyle I wanted, and while I am not in the business of regret, I am conscious that there were many missed moments. Everyone who has ever had the courage to successfully follow a new path has always said it – “I should have done it sooner”, and that’s how I feel about my parenting and my work life. However, I’m happy to report that later is certainly better than never.
It’s true that changing how you work takes some courage, and some careful planning too. I certainly wouldn’t advocate just jumping off the train on a whim. However once you see the opportunity and have come up with a strategy then just get on with it. As you procrastinate on the train, the stations go whizzing by. Chances, moments, opportunities, experiences, all pass you by while you dream and plan. Before you know it your kids are teenagers and you’ve been in that depressing 9 to 5 job for fifteen years. None of us see that as a happy outcome, right?
Instead look at the happy ending to the story…you saw that opportunity to work from home, to be your own boss, to work as a social media consultant. You seized it, knuckled down and worked hard in your own time, and made a success of it. You were able to study and work flexibly so you could be there for your kids when they had a sports match, or a flute recital, or for that parent teacher meeting that was always inconvenient because of traffic. You were able to meet your kids from school, ask them right there and then how their day was, meet their friends, if they’d allowed that.
Focus on the happy ending
In ten or fifteen years, or whenever, you’ll look back on that moment when you stopped procrastinating and went for it, and you will see it as the moment that changed every aspect of your life, and your kids’ lives too. It’s said you only regret what you don’t do. Don’t burden yourself with that regret. Go for it. Now.
The Social Media Mafia is a network of social media consultants, working and living flexibly, making their professional and personal dreams come true. Through the Social Media Mafia Academy, social media consultants can gain the knowledge, skills and contacts required to make the bold step towards living how you want to. It’s better than a parenting book or a self-help blog, it’s a lifestyle network. Tap into it now.
Do you have a vision of what your perfect day would look like? If you’re a parent then perhaps it’s a fun day with your family – no stress, no work to do. Or maybe it’s sending the kids off to school with smiles on their faces, leaving you to spend a few hours doing whatever you love.
Whatever your perfect day looks like, how far from it are you right now? Do you get to see the kids off to school moderately happy? Do you get to do something that you love? Do you get to pick the kids up from school and share their highs and lows? If these are the things you crave in life, but you’re not getting them, you’ll be pleased to hear that they could be closer than you think. And many more joys could be waiting for you too, once you take the step into consultancy.
How valuable is your time?
We all put a value on our time. For most it is an hourly rate. Whether you’re a solicitor, a plumber, a hairdresser or an IT technician. Most people are paid for the hours they show up to work, and that relationship between time spent and payment received is fixed in our mindsets. There aren’t many jobs that pay out irrespective of how many hours you put in. In fact you may not technically regard them as jobs, as they kind of break that familiar paradigm.
So it’s time for you to discard that tired old paradigm of how you should be rewarded for the hours you give, and instead look at your compensation in terms of how much value you add. This is the realm of the liberated mind, which eschews those outdated notions of what work is and how it should be done. This is the land in which smart people are rewarded for their input based on the value of their contribution, not for their skill in self-publicising or corporate brown-nosing.
However we’re not talking about a distant utopia here. We’re talking about work that is happening right now, all around you. It’s not the people who started a bakery business that went national, or the property developer that strikes the big deals and smugly drives a Bentley; it’s the consultant that services clients and makes big differences to their business, regardless of how long it takes them.
Break the habit
So many of us are stuck in the mindset of having a fixed fee for the time we work, but it’s crazy and doesn’t have to be that way. Instead we should look at the value a consultant adds to sales income through targeted advertising. A few hours’ work developing a marketing push for a product might result in tens of thousands in increased sales. As the consultant that recommended and implemented the marketing idea should you be rewarded with three hours’ pay, or with a more representative figure?
This is the pricing model which will allow you to manage your time more efficiently. As soon as you break away from the fixed relationship between time and money you free yourself and your time.
How busy do you want to be?
An inspiring entrepreneur and lady boss, Charlene Lull, manages her time very strictly and manages to make all the time she needs to raise her kids and nurture her relationships. She follows a regular routine which involves marking out specific times for specific activities. This really works for her as she works across several business interests as well as a non-profit, and so she needs to be efficient in how she services each one. However what is at the heart of Charlene’s time management is the time she needs to be with her three kids. It is a priority and so she allocates that time accordingly.
Charlene is busy, for sure. Some might say her schedule is relentless. But she is incredibly ambitious and driven; that’s her jam. Maybe your jam is to run your own consultancy and be there for your kids, and to make time for your friends during the week too. Or to devote some time to working with a local charity. Whatever it is, you can do it if you make the leap to becoming a consultant and running your own time. No boss. No clocking in and out. No office politics. Just whatever you want it to be.
Charlene is a member of the Social Media Mafia; a network of social media consultants committed to furthering the profession and spreading the word. Through the Social Media Mafia Academy we give you all the skills and knowledge you will need to change your life, and change how you work. Sign up now and take control of your time.
Changing your tune can change how you groove
“I have a vision of a better life”… “I’ve got this great idea”… “I’m just developing the concept”… “I want a better future for my family”… “I don’t know where to start”…
Do these lines sound familiar to you? Perhaps you’re formulating your big idea right now. Perhaps you have a vision of what you’d like your family’s life to be, and you spend your days and nights dreaming of it. These lines are like tired old song lyrics that you keep muttering to yourself because they’re ingrained into your psyche; like nursery rhymes. We all suffer from the cultural vice of dreaming big but not having the courage to go for it. We all sing the same song.
Talk yourself successful
If you sing these songs too then it’s time you changed the track. In fact it’s time you changed the whole goddam genre you’re listening to! The messages you send yourself through your inner monologue have a profound effect on what you outwardly say and do. It’s all too easy to get stuck in a rut of dreaming and planning, and telling yourself that you’ll do it once you’ve done x, y or z. It’ll never happen.
We’re programmed to be cautious and to protect what we have now; particularly when we value our family above all else. Taking risks with their future because you have a great idea that you’d like to work for yourself, or work from home, or work flexibly, can all seem a bit…well, risky. It’s what young people without kids do, right? Wrong. You’ve got that Neil Diamond album on again. Throw on some Stormzy and challenge yourself. Changing how you live and work doesn’t have to be risky. Instead it could be challenging; it could be exciting; it could be exhilarating; and it should be life-changing.
As parents we focus on our families first. You’ll do anything for them, right? Well then that ‘anything’ also includes following your dreams, and turning them into reality. How awesome would that be as a life lesson to teach your kids? How amazing for them to witness you cranking out some ultra-positive messages and then making some ultra-cool stuff happen as a result. Before you know it they’ll be singing the same positive songs. As adults and parents we can change the songs we sing, so it’s time to come up with some new lyrics.
Write your own songs
Imagine if you told yourself that you absolutely can make that change; that you absolutely will make those calls; that you absolutely will arrange that first meeting. Imagine if you found a way to make it happen rather than making excuses for why you can’t do it just yet.
This all starts with setting some goals for yourself, which will help you get towards your ultimate destination, wherever that may be. Goals are essential if you want to stay motivated and focused. Just having a big dream isn’t enough. You need to set some goals to aim for, and then to tick off as you achieve them, on your journey to your big dream. This way you get that sense of achievement each time you reach a milestone. There’s nothing better for your sense of self-worth than saying you’ll do something and then goddam getting it done! It’s also a great example to set to the kids. It’s time for a fabulous truism:
Say you can or say you can’t. Either way you’ll be right.
If you recite the same old Morrissey-style self-loathing song of how scared you are, or how risky it is, or how you don’t know where to start, then it will most certainly be the soundtrack to your life. You’ll intimidate yourself into never achieving anything. However when you holler those Dolly Parton-esque numbers you’ll be dancing through life like a winner. You will not, however, be working 9 to 5 to make the rich man richer. There is a better life, and it’s only a song away…
Great songs stay with us our entire lives. We know the lyrics off by heart. They can evoke the most powerful memories and inspire the most intense emotions. Your song should be one of those classics – an uplifting, pulse-racing, kick-life-in-the-face, Queen number. But great songs are written a verse at a time, so start drafting your verses now. Set your goals. Structure it properly. Give yourself some achievable targets. Once it starts flowing you’ll have a classic on your hands.
So leave the nursery rhymes for bedtime with the kids. Leave the Adele tunes for Mummy and Daddy time. It’s time for you to start writing your own songs, and writing your own future, one line at a time.
Incidentally, if you like listening to uplifting messages, check out the incredible podcast interviews with truly inspirational people on socialmediamafia.com.
So what is a sales funnel?
I got asked this last night by someone who actually carries out social media for a client…. Seeing that is the case (which is not untypical) I thought I’d share the intro section to our Sales Funnel course as it should be informative if you do not know what a sales funnel is.
Simply put a sales funnel refers to a buying process that we lead prospects (or customers) through when they are purchasing products. 💰💰
However, in the context of a social media consultancy I recommend you implement a sales funnel in order to encourage prospects to make an appointment with you (automated appointments) – when you can then use a face-to-face (F2F) sales process to sell your high value service. 👩🏫
So the outcome is not always a sale, but there is always an outcome, a goal, if you will. 🥅
We call this a funnel because generally what happens is that a lot of people enter the top of the funnel, and a small percentage drop out of the bottom of the funnel – the action takers. 📈
Without being overly dramatic, without a sales funnel in place your social media clients will never make a dollar online, and they will soon get bored of you just bringing vanity metrics such as Facebook likes, whereas at the heart of it they will typically always want sales, a return on their investment. That’s your job to help them with, to consult on the best approach for their business. 🤷
So your focus should be to move your client’s prospects from one place to another, to an eventual sale, and in fact if you do not do this, you will be doing your clients a disservice.
In fact the journey you craft for the client’s prospect could be short or extremely long, very simple or very complex. However you build it the key element is that you should have a plan of that journey, you should know what the goal is, it is that goal that you can use to sell your services to your own prospects/clients.
I will go further and say that when a perfectly crafted sales funnel is created and implemented with suitable advertising and messaging, it can take a business literally from nowhere to a multi-million dollar business very very rapidly. 📈📈📈
What if you could do that for your clients?
Indeed what if you set up a profit share on a sales funnel you create for a client, and the sales funnel explodes? There is a huge amount of potential within this space for that to happen. 👊👊
However, though I will discuss the mechanics of differing sales funnels in this course, the really important bit is the messaging and copy that is used throughout the steps. After all, it is how we communicate with our target audience, what we say, and when we say it that matters. 👨🏫
So do not assume that getting the mechanics in place will suddenly flood your clients with leads, you must study the art of copy and messaging for your client’s target customers. 🤷
In addition some of the best converting sales funnels are actually visually pretty ugly, and that is often because there is just a simple message and call to action on a single page of each step. 🌱
5 Ways To Be A Kickass Social Media Consultant
Are you, like thousands of other forward-thinking folks around the world, been considering a career change to suit your lifestyle? Are you very aware that the world is deeply invested in social media, and that the average usage per day is 136 minutes? [shock horror face!!] If so then perhaps you’ve put two and two together and have realised that the hot career choice right now is as a social media consultant.
So hot right now
Social media consultants are experts in using social media to link up businesses with their target audience. Social media consultants are tech-savvy and business-savvy, with a talent for spotting opportunities to find new customers. If this sounds like something you’d be into, then read on; there are some hot tips for starting your new career. If it sounds like something you’re concerned you don’t have the skills for then read on too; you may be surprised how accessible this career choice is.
To be a kickass social media consultant you need to be a motivated self-starter, which you clearly are because you’re reading this blog. The biggest hurdle to starting a new career isn’t in acquiring the skills or contacts to earn money; it’s in getting yourself motivated to just get on with it and do something. So consider this your gentle nudge to take action, or if you’re so inclined your kick up the ass. Put these five tips into action and you’ll soon be rocking a new job and wondering why you hadn’t done it years ago.
Speak your clients’ language
Kickass social media consultants know what their client wants because they speak the same language. I don’t mean English, or Spanish, or Latin (niche market there…); I mean that they understand the needs and wants of business owners. How do they understand them? Well, I’m glad you asked because surprisingly it’s not by having been a successful business owner themselves. In fact they gain this insight by being active listeners.
The dying art of being a great listener (the humblest and greatest aspect of communication) is well worth mastering as a social media consultant. You will be able to offer your clients a whole suite of awesome services that will push them up the Google rankings and bring customers to their virtual door; but they have to be the services that the client needs and wants.
What I mean is that it’s not good practice for you to push websites and Google ads just because it produces the best margin for you as a consultant. You listen to what the client wants to achieve and then figure out how to help them get there. This is the essence of being a kickass social media consultant. You don’t just give them what you find convenient to produce. You understand their language and interpret it so you know what they need.
Be a local (search) hero
Kickass social media consultants know that all businesses want to hit the top of the Google search rankings. We always click the top result, right? But how about those paid ads up at the top of the screen? There is some strong evidence to suggest that searchers are far more interested in the organic (non-paid) search results. Eye scanning research shows that searchers’ eyes will most often shoot straight down to position 2-4 on the screen – so past those ads! A third of searchers will click on the top organic result, so it’s worth getting your site into that position.
How do you do this? Well, you need to get the business on the map…literally. Google Maps is one of the key tools to use when positioning a business for local search. If your client’s Denver-based accountancy business is listed in Google Maps then Google will automatically prioritise it when the searcher (in Denver) types in ‘accountancy services’. This, in combination with a few other keyword-related techniques will push businesses way up the local search rankings, without having to pay for potentially expensive ads.
Hey, just because Google and Facebook are pushing the boundaries of personal privacy by mining and exploiting data it doesn’t mean it’s a bad thing to use it. Data about clients and particularly their target audience is an essential tool in converting more clicks into sales. But it starts with what the client wants to achieve – is it more clicks on links? More shares of posts? More time spent viewing articles? Or good ol’ fashioned more sales?
A great piece of information to collect is the percentage of visitors coming from social sites, which can obviously help you to understand what is working and what isn’t. There are loads of analytical tools available to help you gather and understand this data, and it’s totally worth getting into them. You don’t need a degree in statistics to understand the importance of tracking clicks and conversions – you just need to accept and embrace the power of data.
Kickass social media consultants know that they are worth their fee because they add value that is way beyond traditional payment models. It’s just not good practice any more to ‘charge for a week’s work’, or to base your charges on how much time you’ll spend on the project. Sure, it has to be worth your while and you’ve gotta feed the kids, but there is a much better model you should apply.
Kickass social media consultants base their fees on how much value they will add to the client’s business. If they can boost the number of clicks by 100% with just an hour of work then that is worth far more to the client than the $200 or whatever the hourly rate would be. That could be worth thousands to the client if their strategy to convert clicks to sales is solid (more work for the kickass social media consultant there by the way), so charge based on that, rather than an hourly or daily rate. You’re worth more than that.
Constantly upskill yourself
As a social media consultant you need to be constantly evolving, just like the industry you work in. This means investing in your own development so you stay fresh and current, and keep your eye on industry best practice. The Social Media Mafia is a community of like-minded social media consultants that share ideas and experiences in order to grow the skills and achievements of the industry.
The Social Media Mafia Academy is our online academy that equips our students with all the knowledge and skills they need to be fully kickass social media consultants. The content is engaging and directly targeted at getting you ready for your new career. So go ahead and register to become part of the family. Kick some ass.
How to have the confidence to deliver the results in digital marketing
Have you wondered how you will ever get the right skill set to become a digital marketing consultant? Perhaps it all seems very technical and complex – an intimidating minefield of algorithms and coding. Perhaps it seems like only the big established agencies have the expertise to operate in this space. Perhaps competing with those agencies feels like taking on a team of professionals by yourself.
But what if technical expertise wasn’t the determining factor of success in this particular game? What if it was never really the determining factor in any game?
The determining factor
When a group of industry professionals was asked about the biggest issues with being a social media manager the most common response was about having confidence. The confidence to do what? Or to be what? Well, it’s the confidence to step out from the shadows and be the person responsible. It’s the confidence to put yourself out there as the person that will do it. We all know people who shy away from responsibility and challenge; we’ve probably all done it ourselves at some point – it’s easier to make an excuse and not take a chance than to stick your neck out and suffer a humiliating failure.
But that confidence to take a risk and give it a go is the main determining factor in success. It is guaranteed that if you never try then you will never succeed. You won’t ever fail either, but honestly where is the fun in that? Basketball legend Michael Jordan famously talked about how often he failed, and how those failures made him the enormous success he became. It was only by learning those unique lessons that failure taught him that he was able to become the complete player he did. Trying and failing held no fear for him at all.
Now before you angrily observe that Michael Jordan was one of the most technically expert players of all time, you’re right, he was. But we have a chicken and egg situation here – did he only become so technically brilliant because of his willingness and confidence to try? Or did his technical expertise mean he was more prepared to take risks. I would argue that the secret of his success was much more in his mind than in his hands. The determining factor in his incredible success was his confidence to put himself out there and give it a go.
What are you worried about?
So then if we think about those digital marketers struggling with their confidence, it seems obvious that they are suffering from that most human of traits – fear of failure. It appears to be becoming less acceptable to fail these days. The world has been mostly discovered (with the exception of a few elements in the periodic table and the ingredients of the McDonalds secret sauce) and so there is less need for us to be risk-takers and pioneers.
Kids at school are herded towards attaining the exam board standards in order to successfully pass through the educational sausage machine, which spits them out as homogeneous brains programmed to stay in their comfort zone and do what they’re told. It’s actually pretty sad for mankind that our youth are not encouraged to think outside the box very often.
And the point is that this kind of quality – the ability to think differently and take chances is not really something that is taught or encouraged. Instead we’re taught to fear failure because life is so short that a failure can ruin you.
Well here’s my alternative view on life and failure…if you haven’t failed then you haven’t really lived.
The lessons that failure teaches us are incredible; they can dramatically alter our opinions and our world view, but we have to be open to them. Rather than closing ourselves down and licking our wounds we should embrace the opportunity and learn all we can. This is a function of our mindset. If we have a positive growth mindset then we are much more likely to accept failure as a learning experience and to grow stronger from it.
It’s all in the mind
Yes, this is the secret sauce recipe. This is the key to having the confidence to become the expert; to having the confidence to take responsibility for a campaign; to having the confidence to promote yourself as the person that will get it done. It’s simply a matter of accepting that failure is not the end of the world, and in fact it will make you stronger, and so you may as well give it a go.
Confidence comes from knowing, right? You’re confident in something when you know how it works, or how to do it. Well you’re never going to know unless you give it a go. Sure, you can learn lessons from other folks, and you should – they’re valuable too. But the single best way to have the confidence to be a player is to step onto the court and start taking shots. Michael Jordan didn’t get great by sitting on the sidelines endlessly planning his strategy; he got out there and took some chances.
So when you’re wondering how on earth you could possibly have the skills to compete with the professionals when it comes to digital marketing, the key thing to remember is that you just need to be in the game to score some points. You will miss some shots, for sure. But you will see that there are other shots to take, and as you gradually get warmed up you will make more and more of them.
So what gives you confidence to deliver results in digital marketing? Well, it’s taking action. Doing something. Doing anything. Once you start doing stuff you’ll start learning, and then you’re away. A great place to start is the Social Media Mafia Academy, where we create the conditions for you to safely learn and develop your digital marketing skills, and to succeed and fail as much as you need to. It’s how education should be – experiential and supportive.
Our alumni have benefited from the opportunity to toss the ball around and practice their shots before they head out onto the court, where they’re now shooting three pointers and making slam dunks and having the time of their lives. Are you ready to pull on a vest and start training? Sign up for the Academy and become part of the team.
How To Help Small Business Using Social Media.
Unless you’ve been exclusively watching Game of Thrones for the last five years you will have noticed the increasing influence of social media in our lives. Whether it’s catching up with friends’ news, following personalities, watching funny videos or trolling strangers, we are pretty much addicted to it.
You will also have noticed the constant presence of advertising in your feed, whatever the platform you’re using. We all know that’s how the giants make their money, and we all resent it a bit too, right? The capturing of our preference data can feel like an invasion of our privacy; as well as being slightly unnerving that an algorithm can identify products you’ll be interested in. There is a significant proportion of the population that reject this use of data capture and advertising.
It’s all about perspective
However if you’re tuned in to the social media industry, and if you’re reading this then you probably are, then you will know that there is a huge positive to this type of profiling. First of all from the perspective of the customer – you are presented with articles and adverts for products that may genuinely interest you based on your indicated preferences. If you’re heavily into animal welfare issues then stories about the plight of Sumatran rhinos and ads for campaigns will really appeal to you. Equally if you have registered for a half marathon and have been researching training programs then ads for good running shoes will be very welcome.
So it’s really a question of perspective. It’s a reasonable assumption that the giants will continue to do preference profiling, and that you will continue to be subject to, and benefit from it. So let’s use that as a start point for this idea…
There’s always an opportunity
So as a customer you can appreciate the value of profiling. But what about as a marketer? Well yes, you can certainly appreciate it as your life has been made significantly easier. Facebook advertising and Google Ads have streamlined the process of reaching your target market, so messages can be pushed out and received with astonishing speed and accuracy. Given that the average millennial checks their phone more than eighty times per day that’s a lot of opportunities to speak to your potential customers. If we look across the whole age range it only drops to around seventy times per day – opportunities abound!
Imagine then the power of social media for promoting a business. How about that small business being run by some good people, enthusiastic about their product and following their dreams? They would no doubt love to harness the power of social media to bring customers to their site and generate sales. After they invested in that website, or built it themselves, they’ve probably been quite disappointed at the lack of visits they get. It will be frustrating that despite their diligent updating of their content they just can’t seem to get the traction they want.
Now consider this…over 99% of firms in the developed world are small businesses, many with fewer than twenty employees and revenue around $100k. The line of businesses looking to benefit from social media is a long one.
But what’s the problem? That’s right, they don’t know how to. To the uninitiated, social media marketing seems intimidating – only for big companies with big budgets. However that couldn’t be more wrong. Small business can definitely benefit from social media marketing by employing the right techniques and processes.
You need the A-Team
So the smart small business owner knows what they don’t know. They have identified the gap in their knowledge, as well as the fact that they are too busy focusing on growing their business to spend time learning about social media. So the smart small business owner turns to a professional to help them. That professional is the social media consultant.
Social media consultants are specialists in identifying opportunities for powerful marketing across all social media platforms. They understand how to identify target audiences and importantly how to reach them through social media. Remember the eighty phone checks per day? Social media consultants are able to turn each of those checks into potential pay-checks for small businesses.
Social media consultants are expert in creating sales funnels, to convert interest in adverts into clicks on the ‘Buy Now’ button. They understand landing pages, email marketing and the power of up sell. Social media consultants really are the A-Team – when you have a problem and no one else can help they will be there. Instead of using a kickass van and automatic weapons though they employ a desk and a laptop, delivering justice for small business owners everywhere.
Do you want to join the A-Team?
The surprising thing is that to be a social media consultant you don’t need an expensive education or to be a super-geek. Social media consultants are regular people that have identified the potential of social media as a marketing tool. They have then learned some skills and processes to get the most out of the opportunities that exist. These are opportunities for small businesses to reach their target audience and deliver their messages.
The Social Media Mafia is a community of like-minded consultants creating opportunities to deliver marketing messages for clients. Through the Social Media Mafia Academy regular people like you learn new knowledge and skills, and develop new opportunities for themselves. People looking for career changes, new challenges, and/or trying to help small businesses thrive all find what they’re looking for in the Academy.
Do you want to upskill yourself and join the A-Team? Are you interested in working with small (or big) businesses to boost their potential, as well as your own? Sign up for the Social Media Mafia Academy, join our team and see what opportunities await you…