What do Social Media Marketing and Zen have in common?
Yes, I am one of a quarter of a million who subscribe to Leo Babauta’s Zen Habits newsletter. Leo Babauta’s tag line for his Zen Habits site is “smile, breathe and go slowly”, which is counter intuitive to those of us who are self-employed and running a small business. Yet there is powerful wisdom in these words and in a Zen mindset, particularly when it comes to social media and marketing. How, you ask?
- Give to Receive is an underlying premise of most religious philosophies and it is at its strongest online. Free e-books, free advice, free tips, free access to some pretty knowledgeable people. In the business world we refer to it as the 80/20 rule, give 80% of the time and sell yourself 20% of the time.
- All are equal. In my marketer’s mind, social media represents such an wonderful opportunity for a small business to realistically compete with the deep pockets of much larger competitors. Social media presents a level playing field for everyone who is willing to participate. In fact, large corporations can really stink in the social media arena while the more agile and personable small business person can really shine.
- Clarity of Purpose is required to be successful in any endeavor, but it is most definitely a requirement in social media marketing. Without a plan, efforts are scattered and deliver little in return.
- Focused Commitment. Anyone who has tried to meditate knows, to be successful, one must practice meditation daily. Otherwise, one will never reap the rewards. So, it is with social media marketing. Small business owners have to remain focused and committed to the process to achieve their goals.
- Patience and a quiet attitude are also required. Stomping around in social media circles with both feet to generate immediate interest or avalanches of visitors tends to have the opposite effect. Rather than attracting quality visitors, desperate antics turn people off. All good things require time.
- Ask and you shall receive. Calls to action really do work and yet many in small business forget to make this request. Customers come in their shops and they forget to ask them to return or to sign-up for the store’s newsletter. Advertising for small business is all about their products and not about what they want the viewer to do. Rather than asking their customers if they are involved in social media, it is easier to just assume they aren’t and ignore a rich gold mine of business for the taking.
So do I practice what I preach? I think the answer is ‘yes’. I certainly make a daily attempt. Yes, there are days when it is frustrating. When technical issues get the better of me and cause me to lose my calmness. Or when my faith falters because my efforts didn’t produce the desired results. But, the marketer in me knows that social media is the best thing to come along for small business since Buddha. And I stay determined and focused to continue, no matter how frustrating.
How about you?
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