Social media is like a sea of information. Great content mixed with spam and things that are not relevant at all. It is probably everyone’s number one time sucker and it's easy to get lost, unconsciously and unintentionally, getting sucked in. Standing out on social media is getting harder and harder by the second. You can’t just post something. You have to post something remarkable and inspiring, that is also short and easy to ready in 10 seconds or less.
So why is it so hard to stand out on social media? Do you find yourself saying or feeling?
"There are so many people doing the same thing as me, how am I going to easily and quickly show that I can do it better?"
"Social media takes too much time. I barely have enough time to edit all my photos."
"This is all overwhelming, I do not even know where to start."
"I do not feel comfortable putting myself out there so much and acting like I know what I am doing."
Well, let’s talk about how to stand out and post inspiring content, so that social media and content sharing is not a chore, but something that you enjoy doing. If you don’t start out with posting what you value and what you like, then you will be out of alignment with your true self and your authentic brand. This results in social media and blogging being more like selling yourself, instead of like creating something of value that you're proud of.
So go out and buy a unicorn… There, that is all you need to do!
Just kidding, it is slightly more than that. Standing out on social media can feel a little like trying to be one of the cool kids in high school. You look at what the other cool kids are wearing. You want to copy them to fit in. Then, no one can make fun of you. You find a click or a type of kids you fit in with and you cookie cutter yourself, trying to be like them. For example, when I search for a certain topic on pinterest, I see so many blog posts labeled exactly the same thing, with such similar graphics, it hurts. I want to know what is the best one to click on but the Libra in me has me clicking on all of them! Hours of my day are wasted, but I have however found the next pair of shoes I DON"T need. So in reality, you need to be the weird loner with the leather jacket. Not the cool kid in the varsity jacket they wear every day, even after high school is over. Hopefully this is all far, far behind you.
“There are not a lot of lacrosse jobs once high school is over.” - Eugene Mirman.
So why it is important to stand out on social media? Why bother?
- You can reach a ton of people instantly. Your reach is entirely up to you and how much time and effort you put into it. The sky is the limit and there is really no end to how many people you can find and connect with.
- You can do your research and find your ideal target client and the places they hang out. You don’t have to go from networking event to networking event to get this information.
- People that want to buy services or goods, want to buy something that is different and unique. No one wants to buy something that everyone else has now that they have the internet. They have spent countless hours scouring it and they want the proof of having something only they have.
So here it is, the number one thing you need to know is: BE YOURSELF and be as weird as possible!
Don’t do exactly what other people are doing. Actually look at what your competitors are doing and do something completely different. This can seem a little scary at first AND maybe even a little confusing. You might not even know how to get started doing this. It's so easy to say “stand out and be yourself, be your own person.” But then how do you actually do it effectively. But, why should you be unique? It would be so much easier to just pick that awesome photographer who has a huge following and then try to be like them. But, you don’t want to do that because they already have followers. You have to get your own. Otherwise, you become SPAM or uninteresting. What makes things or brands interesting or able to relate to, is when when they are different. When they create that moment of someone going “oh yeah, that person actually gets me".
I am not going to lie, this took me a while to figure out. I didn't know how or what I wanted to say, what I was going to specialize in, what I was going to share, or even what colors I was going to choose. I felt so lost and overwhelmed! I knew I had to create consistency in my Instagram feed, but I didn’t know how. What was I going to be consistently saying or posting? I mean once you pick a team, you can’t go back. This is when I start over, thinking about commitment and psyching myself out. So like another confused or lost professional under the age of 45 trying to plan out her life, I turned to pinterest. I spent hours cruising around pointlessly, not knowing what to do or what to post, lost in the world of pastels and florals.
So....I made a private board, so no one else could see the hot mess of what was in my head. This private board was what I wanted my Instagram to look like, as far as content and colors. Then I could just start pinning without thinking and let it all come naturally. This made it possible to start seeing how everything looks together. I pinned quotes or messages that I loved, patterns and flat lays that stood out to me and other inspiring pictures. Slowly, I started also adding my own photos so I could see how they all looked together and it began to take shape. I started to create my style without really trying or even knowing it!
These are just some directions and guide points to help you get started. You can really do this anyway you want, that is how you are going to make it your style. So, start looking around at what you have already pinned on pinterest or at your favorite things. If you don’t have a pinterest account get one! It will solve all your problems and questions about life, or baking or party planning. Anyway, I digress... choose some random things and pin them to your private board. Also, pull some of your portfolio images into your private board to experiment with colors, your style and coordination of content.
If you need help getting started don’t worry, this is a huge step that you have already taken by just reading to the end of this! I am going to be reopening my one-on-one consultation sessions at the end of the month, so you can go here and fill out an application to be part of the Aperture Slayer Society. Here, I will work with you and a mastermind group, one-on-one, together and privately, to get your business up and running.