Remember the days of at-home Tupperware parties? I do. I’m an introvert in most ways, so an at-home party was not my cup of tea. That’s why nine years ago, I was so excited about the opportunity to build a business entirely online.
And that I did! The second business I built grew to be more successful than I expected it to be, and it was just that – an online business with a well known MLM company shared and promoted primarily through social media. I loved it for five years.
And then I didn’t for two more years.
– Mark Zuckerburg decided I should pay to use his platform for advertising. I can’t blame him, I guess that makes sense.
– Then the top dudes at Facebook and Instagram came together and decided that they were going to invent a complicated algorithm that no one understood, and that, even for the really smart people who could figure it out, would change so quickly, that figuring it out would do them no good. Basically, they wanted to be in charge of who I saw and who saw me.
– Finally, and this may be the biggest sign things were changing, my grandma joined Facebook! My grandma, who just got internet a year ago, who still hangs her clothes on the line outside to dry, and who just cuts the mold off of old bread and then eats it (the woman will NOT waste), got on Facebook. That’s when I knew… things are a’changin. (p.s. I love my grandma more than anything!)
It’s obvious that social media is very different now than even five years ago. It has new challenges, but it also offers a lot of opportunity. For some, it’s the right way, for others, it’s not. But for the majority of online business builders, it’s a constant battle.
Today, I want to talk to those of you who are struggling with being an online business owner! First of all, you’re not alone in your struggle! This is probably the #1 pain-point I’m hearing about in Breakthrough Academy. Social media truly is a blessing and a curse. One minute you’re watching your latest product launch reaching an all-time high in engagement and the next you’re hearing crickets and fighting the urge to feel inferior because of someone else’s success.
Do we need to throw in the towel? Not necessarily.
Do we force ourselves to participate? Also no.
This blog is reaching you online, and as I’m sure you know, swHw is a primarily online ministry, so hear me when I say, I’m not anti-social media.
I’m anti you feeling like you have to have an online presence or platform to be successful in your calling. I’m anti you jumping past God to say “this is the only way,” just to be left miserable and unable to see any return on your online investment. We have to quit treating social media as the default pathway for business growth.
There are other ways!
I’m a brick and mortar business owner. I was part-owner in a business before we left Georgia and I currently am in my 4th year here in Delaware. I know without a doubt I am called to be a light in my community. To offer a physical space that exists to glorify God in a special way that an online business can’t, and I am SO thankful!
But I also realize that I am an in-person kind of gal. Strange for an introvert I know, but it’s true. And if I’m going against the grain of my own DNA as God created, then not only will I be miserable, I’ll be unsuccessful. Social media drains me. That doesn’t mean I won’t use it or that I don’t appreciate it what it can do for me. It just means I have to be careful so that I don’t begin to dread what I do for a living because of it.
So how do you fix your frustration with growing your business on social media?
First, talk to Jesus, obviously!
Second, consider your concept, your product, and your demographic. Are you better suited to be online? Or is it possible to bring it to a physical space? Could there be a hybrid option?
I would also tell you to consider what energizes you and what drains you, because as a business owner, you don’t have time for draining duties. As I mentioned, social media drains me, so I have to limit my time and my involvement.
We have to see our callings as unique commands from God, even if there are others doing the same thing. God’s way for you may be different, and if building on social is really that miserable, maybe it’s not the right way for you. We talk about this in Breakthrough Academy a lot – sometimes you have to quit watching and listening to everyone else and forge your own path. Step back, get a mountain-top view of what your business looks like and then create a strategy that you love, that’s right for YOU!
Because if it’s right for you, it will probably be right for your customer!