Communication And 5 Digital Challenges
I sit here this morning taking a stab at blogging on my mobile device i.e. iPhone. Line one and positive and negative emotions were already evoked. Like it or not we are all impacted positively and negatively with the digital age. I love technology. I love watching tech videos like MKBHD, Mr. Mobile, Karl Conrad, Unbox Therapy and Think Media just to name a few. I love Instagram and have my own channel @ngagechannel. Ok shameless plug.
The reality is much of my life is digital today more than ever. Not only do I have my own coaching practice I work for a company where I coach a team and with our present pandemic MS Teams Video chat and meetings is a God Send in my life. I also help with media at my local church setting up Zoom Meetings and running a social platform “Instagram“ for my church. I listen to Pro Church Media for insights on how to smash it in social.
So it’s safe to say I love and dislike all things digital. Here’s why. Simply stated it can prevent us from living in the moment with the people right in front of us. It can create that tension of being left out when we see people we know doing life without us. It can create this weird tension of jealousy because it looks like they have the perfect life. We can get upset when we fail to connect ie not enough likes. You can relate I’m pretty sure.
Let’s get to my top 5 Challenges to Social
1. Temptation To See Social Media Audience As More Important Than Your Real Audience
There is a trap to creating too heavy a focus on social at the expense of who is in front of you. I get it you are trying to grow a business, hoping to make money off YouTube or Instagram. I have watched so many videos on how to create success. I am not trying to hold you back I just want to shout out “Find Balance”. At the end of the day the real people around you need for you to live in the moment with them. That actually means setting your device down and just being fully present listening actively, letting them know you hear them.
Shameless plug: that’s a huge part of the power in working with a life coach. You have our undivided attention to hear you, reflect in the moment and ask questions to help you be the best you. One other thing- no judgement.
2. Spending Way More Time With People You Don’t Know Than Real Friends or Confidants
Feel that buzz in your pocket or hear that sound from your phone? Quick check and see what it is it may be important! Ya that is you and me on the regular, looking to connect, please, and create a connection with people we don’t know. As we seek to grow a brand and create our business or even to keep it moving forward digital connections become increasingly important in our lives. Not to mention the fact that our regular social posts are also important to us. It is not unusual for us to post pictures on an Instagram account or FaceBook or if your are younger to be on Snap Chat getting yourself out there.
The harsh reality is if we are not careful we can find ourselves not living in the moment with the people closest to us in our daily lives. As someone that manages both personal and business sites I find that there are days when my phone in blowing up. What is our response we need to see who is liking a post, leaving a comment and our reaching out to like their posts or communicate a message. After all social sites are about creating new connections. Yet for me I am finding this way too consuming at times. I remember recently, following advice off Pro Church Tools, to build an audience for churches on Instagram. I was using their method on both our church site and my business Instagram - @ngagechannel - yes shameless plug. My accounts were blowing up. At first I was like really excited to see the increased traffic and I was driving traffic to my website as well. Can I tell you as great as that is it was starting to overwhelm me as it was taking up my whole day.
So my advice here is pace yourself. Think about a strategy for yourself on when you need to post. There are apps and programs that can help you do this. Then decide when during your day are you going to jump in to respond to the increased traffic and when will you shut down so you connect with the people who care about and love you. Failing to do this is not healthy for you our your real relationships.
3. Crazy Train: Trying To Impress People You Will Never Meet
So are you building a brand or just engaging in your own private social accounts. Either way, who are we trying to impress and why? What is the driving idea about all the energy you are placing into your social accounts. To be fair, when its friends we exchange information with its cool, it does connect us on a well shallow level. We get a peak inside their world in snap shots. Here is the danger area, getting so wrapped up into trying to impress people we don't even know.
Social for me is about three things. Building my brand for my coaching business. Building the brand for my church [ I serve as the creative arts pastor] and private accounts to connect to people I am close to and those that are fringe relationships. You know connecting with friends friends and family members and people you probably never met and never will.
For the first two - building brand takes a fair amount of time and specific strategies for the audience you are targeting. You are looking to create a conversation and hoping to entice someone to do business with for sure. The danger is getting overly caught up in trying to appear plastic [fake]. I am not a life coach to pretend I am perfect and have all of life perfected. That person does not exist and if they say they do, I would not want them to coach me. Now if they are a person of substance, they are real with you yet it is clear they have a lot of great experience that benefits you go for it. What all of us need to avoid is the crazy train of trying to impress people we will never meet. Living life that way does not lead to personal fulfillment and wont grow a real business.
4. Focusing On Image Over Substance
To be clear, image does matter. We know it, recognize it and relish when our image is positive. If you create a negative image in social media like a ground swell of negative out-lash because of ideas or beliefs its hard to regroup from that. So all of us move with care when building our brand. What I want to warn you against is image over substance.
Image is promoting this perfect image of you or overselling what you are capable of even as a life coach. I will tell you I am not all things to all people as a coach. I am a great listener, I will connect with what is important to you, I don't have to know everything there is to know about all businesses to ask questions that will help lead you to exploring what to do next. However, if I promote an image that I am something I am not, first of all that is not ethical. Second of all it lacks real substance.
So whether you are building a business or brand or just a private social media following. You be you! Don't create image over substance. Be real. An authentic you is way better than someone trying to be what they are not. Its is not healthy and it will not have any long term benefits to you personally or in growing a great brand.
5. Creating Personal Worth Around Likes and Follows
Nothing in life is more dangerous or perhaps disappointing than building your worth around social media likes and follows. Don't get me wrong, as I build my brand, I get excited when what I am posting is pushing people to my website and creating new customers. After all, my engagement in this arena is about changing lives and making a reasonable amount of money to support what I am here to do.
That being said, beware of building your self extreme around likes and follows. Who you are is not dependent upon social media. Seek ways to engage with people you care about outside of the digital world. Seek to be intentional when you are with them. Look at taking social media breaks so that you are fully present and in the moment with people. I have a pet peeve when meeting with people - be fully present and phones put away or silent so that what we are discussing is all that is important in the moment. When helping a customer on the phone, they get my undivided attention. Nothing is more powerful than active listening.
This is where coaching is seated in a new place in your life. A life coach sits with you, listens, I mean really listens, acknowledges what you are saying - being fully in the moment. They make clarifying statements like - what I think I hear you saying is...once clear they may ask deep open ended questions to create curiosity and personal growth. A coach leads you towards what is important and asks you questions to lead you into developing an action plan.
As a coach, I enjoy and value being coached myself. Who I am as a person gets opened up to a different level of thinking. It is an investment in who I am becoming. Where I see myself going. I have often found new ways of thinking about my situation, myself and the way forward. For me, this has greater value, along with my personal relationships than likes or follows will ever have.
So I close with the thought, be intentional, connect deeply with people you really care about. Use social media sites as a way towards something you want, a personal celebration, a way to grow your brand. Just do not use it to build you personally. Your value runs much deeper. Stop living to impress people with your selfie that you took 25 times to get the perfect lighting. Guard your time and set up a schedule so that social does not overshadow the real life you are living. Remember, the real audience in your life are family, friends, and personal faith. Real audiences are conversations face to face with someone you just met and connect with in a meaningful way. Life is full of moments not connected to the digital world. Use digital wisely. Build on and connect with what is truly important.