Social Media for Humans

Fighting the social media time-suck with Doris Taylor

June 03, 2022 Alexis Bushnell Season 2 Episode 14
Social Media for Humans
Fighting the social media time-suck with Doris Taylor
Show Notes Transcript

If you've ever felt overwhelmed by social media, like it's just a massive time-suck, or frustrated that you have to become a content creator to promote your business, this episode is for you!

Doris Taylor (she/her) shares her own struggles with losing endless time to Instagram both on her personal account, and her new business account. We discuss how to shift to a community focused approach to social media and whether anyone is really choosing a doula because of their "perfect" grid.

Recently I left my career of over 20 years as a Registered Nurse and have started working as a birth and postpartum doula in the Greater Seattle area, Washington State, US. I provide emotional and physical support for a birthing person and their partner during labor and in the transition home with their little one(s). I am also a wellness coach and herbalist making herbal body products helping clients with chronic illness and overwhelm.

Doris' links.
Website: https://www.moonshinewellnesspnw.com
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/healersmoonllc/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/healersmoonllc/
LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/doris-taylor-3a937b59/

Alexis' links.
I hang out on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/alexisbushnell/​
Find me on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/SocialMediaForHumans
Join the club to learn more about ethical and effective social media marketing: https://socialmediaforhumans.club/

Voice over by Hawke Wood: https://www.spotlight.com/3490-9081-8844

Support the show
Hawke:

Hello and welcome to Social Media for Humans, the  podcast that empowers you to do social differently.   Your host, Alexis Bushnell, and her guests  discuss their experience of social media as   business owners, users and ultimately, humans. With  insights and advice to help you find an effective   and ethical strategy that works for you, grab  yourself a drink and join the conversation.  

Alexis:

Hello hello, I am here with wonderful Doris,  do tell us who you are and what you do.  

Doris:

Hello, I am happy to be here and  thank you for inviting me to be here. My pronouns are she and her and I am a birth  and postpartum doula in the Seattle area in   Seattle, Washington of the United States and  I'm also an herbalist and a wellness coach.  

Alexis:

Very good and before I hit record you were saying  that your sort of big struggle with social media   is really like the time management, it's the way it sucks you in and just managing your time,   even before you started your business, so can you  tell me a little bit about how it was for you   before you started your business when you  were just using it for sort of personal use?  

Doris:

Yeah so I would struggle with feeling like  I never had enough time between working full-time   and family but then I would get on   my social media and then like two   hours would go by and and it became very apparent  to me like if I'm having so much anxiety about my   time, about not having enough time in my day to  do everything that I wanted and needed to do   but then I could spend two hours on Facebook in  the evening and, you know, then you're going   to bed late and then you're tired the next  morning it becomes this very vicious cycle,   and it became very apparent to me  that there was a lot of problems with how social media sucks you in from the  algorithms and how easy it is to scroll   and you're like "oh just one more thing," you  know, it's one more post, just one more story,   and then suddenly hours go by and you're like "what  did I just do with my time?" And this is time I'll   never get back, this is time I wasn't,  I hate to use the word productive, or   really relaxing because social media is not truly  relaxing as you know, studies have shown it really   just, it makes people more anxious, it makes people  more hyped up, it hypes up your nervous system, and   so it's not truly relaxing, you're not  really calming your nervous system,   you're not really doing something, it's  not really self-care and it's not truly taking care of yourself, it's just a huge addiction  and the more you learn about   it the more you realise that it's created to be  addicting, like they want you on there for eight   hours a day and it's hard to manage  that sometimes, and I've gone through periods where   I will completely take all social media off  of my phone because that's the easiest thing,   you know, that if I have to log on to it on the  computer I'm less likely to actually get on it,   so yeah I'll go through periods where  I'll take it off my phone and I'll have something   like Next Door on my phone and then I'm  checking around to see and looking at like   the missing cats in the neighbourhood, it is not  as enthralling as the other social media apps   but it's an addiction because I will find myself  it's just that reaching for the phone, I'll just   check something for a minute, and then even when  I know I don't have those apps on my phone and so   once you kind of start stepping back  from it, I've realised oh, like this is truly like   an addiction, like it's truly an issue but  it still becomes a problem and how you manage   that and how do you not get sucked in? "I'll just  check it for a second" and then 30 minutes goes by   and you're like "wait a minute, I'm supposed  to be, or I want to be doing something else"   but it's so easy just to get so  sucked into it and and hours go by   and that's been really eye awakening to me  and I've realised in my head I started saying   "how do I want to be spending my time?"  to try to break myself away from   being on social media so much because I'll  tell myself this isn't how I want to be spending   my morning, or this isn't how I want to be  spending my evening, and that's become more   of a way for me to be able like shut it off,  put my phone down and go do something else,   because I won't remember in two  years what I was scrolling about but if I'm   doing something that I find relaxing  or beneficial or learning a new skill,   that I will more likely remember and will be a  benefit to me, versus how much I've spent scrolling   on social media or been on Twitter or any of those  places, and so I'm getting a lot better,   certainly is not perfect but I'm getting a lot  better about creating boundaries around my social   media use and not checking it first thing in  the morning. So easy when you get up to   like, I'll just have my cup of  tea and scroll on Instagram a little bit   and it's like no, that's not what I  should be first looking at when I   get up, and there's been times where I've been able  to get up and not even look at my phone at all and   kind of start my day a little bit  and then check it, and it's been   many years though in creating those boundaries  and realising how detrimental it is to myself. 

Alexis:

Yeah yeah, and I think it's, and I  want to say I teach social media and   to use social media in a way that like is  supportive for you and and is self-caring, I'm   still not quote perfect at it. Like there are days  that I just cannot get off social media, so   you are absolutely not alone and it's  a consistent thing, it's something you have   to choose to be aware of your usage of it, and you  have to choose different things every single day.   It's not, I don't think it is, kind of like an  addiction, I think it is something that you have   to consistently be aware of because it is that  awareness that makes the difference, and if you   are especially, I think when people are tired  or they're stressed, they're feeling a little   bit run down, yicky, whatever, that tends to be  the time that they think oh I'll just sit down   and I'll just scroll social media for a  little bit because it's a relaxing thing,   and often it's not that relaxing, and  there is an issue that when we do that   that's when we're not conscious of it, that's when  we're not thinking how long am I actually spending   on here? What am I actually looking at on here? Is  there something else I could be doing that I would   like to be doing rather than sitting on social media? Doris: Oh yeah for sure.   when when I worked my eight to five, Monday through  Friday job I was exhausted all the time and   I'd be like "I'm too tired to read, I don't really  want to do anything," and on the flip side of that   too you're like "oh I deserve a little bit of  mental break and so I'm just going to scroll   on my social media for a bit," and it's so hard  to break out of that because you're like "oh I just   deserve a little bit of time to do this because  I've been so busy in my day" and so that feeds   into oh I don't, I'm too tired, I don't  want to do anything else but I can sit on my couch   and scroll, you know, that's easy enough and so  that definitely plays into like the addiction   for it of oh I'll just do it for a little  bit because I'm too tired to do anything else. Yeah I think it's interesting that  reading is one of the things that I   know I'm guilty of this is that I'll think  oh my eyes are too tired to read   but they're not too tired to  scroll on social media, interesting that!  [Laughter] Yeah but I do, for me I think the  awareness is the the key thing   and tends to be what makes the difference for  people because, like you say, the algorithms   are very much designed to suck you in and  even the notifications that you get for   it, how the apps are designed, everything  is designed to keep you on the platform,   but I think when people become aware of that,  and I think we saw this a lot after   The Social Dilemma came out, a  lot of people suddenly had more of a grasp of how social media works and how  they are trying to keep you on the platform, and   being informed in that way allowed people to see  the methods that they're using for what they are,   they allowed people to see, oh I've got  a notification to say that I've missed   five notifications from my friends and instead of  thinking "oh I've missed all these notifications"   they thought "this is a tool to get me onto the  platform again to start scrolling again, it's   not about connecting me to my friends." And so  for me I definitely think that awareness is   really the key thing, knowing, doing a little  bit of research and finding out how the social   media platforms actually work, I do have some  content about that, side note!    But then implementing that so that when you see things  come up you kind of consciously say to yourself   "this is what, this is this is why they're  showing me this, this is how this is working,"   so that you start to see those things for  what they are more naturally and you don't   have to be as conscious about it then because  as you're scrolling you think "oh yes, they're   showing me these posts because of this" and that  kind of thing. I'm interested as well then how   when you, because obviously if you're  using social media for business as well   there is an element of you have to be on social  media then? It's no longer just "oh I'm   gonna sit down and relax," it's also I have to use  social media, I have to go on this network, I have   to do this thing. How did that sort of compound the  the time issues that you were that you were having?

Doris:

So that's also been a struggle because now there's so much more   behind it, because now it's creating a post and  figuring out all those little bits and pieces   related to like your social media  account, link to your web page. And it's even more now, it's even more work  to do something, like none of those posts are just   easy to do if you want them to look like  a certain way, like there's a lot of work that   goes into them and and I still haven't  figured that piece out. So I don't do well with that, just to be  honest, and when I first   started my business accounts I took two  months off and so they just kind of sat there   for two months and so I feel a little  disconnected from them and I haven't   jumped full force into them to start  creating like all these posts related   to what I'm doing. And I've had people say "oh you  should, you need to be posting all the time to   create that content and create those  followers," and I just cannot. I just cannot.   I can't, I don't have the time or  I'm not making the time to do it, and I   would like to use it more as a tool for  advertising but not like my only way to create   interest in my business and my  offerings, and it almost feels like   I would like to be in a post social media world  where we're not so dependent on social media   and like kind of step back a decade or two, you  know, and figure out how to be connected with   your community no matter how that looks but not  necessarily through all these social media apps,   because like I remember Instagram before it was  bought, before Facebook, and I remember you could   scroll down to what you had seen before and  then you were done, there was no jumping from   these different algorithms and you seen something  from three days ago to seeing something from an   hour ago, it was so much better for you at that  time. And then Facebook bought it and   that's where you get the time suck from it,  and there's a lot of resistance from me even   as a business owner to like jump into that and  get sucked into it even more because now there's so much more to do on the back  end on creating content, and how it looks, and then getting it posted, there's so much more  work to it than just taking a picture of   me out doing something and then posting  it on my social media apps, now there's   way more work to try to have it look a certain way,  or a certain frequency that you're supposed to be   posting, which I don't think there's a  magic trick to how frequently and how   much many followers you get. It's definitely a struggle though to   learn how much work it is on the back  end to create these posts and be like "oh   this is a lot a lot of work and  a lot of time," so then it's even more time   than just really what you were doing when it was  just for your personal use because now it's make   trying to get the photos, and trying to get the  font, and trying to, you know, there's so much more   that goes into these social media posts that  you never realised until you start trying to   work a business, and you're like "oh this is  actually a lot of work." And to be honest like   if you look at my business Instagram  and Facebook page that there's not a lot on   it, and I certainly have not created those great  posts, I've just done some random posts of things   that I've been doing because I also know, the algorithm piece is you should show your   face because then you get more likes  instead of just something else and   and it's just, yes definitely a different  viewpoint to be on the business side of   it too and be like, oh, it's even more time  and work and effort than what it had been before   because before it's like share your life with  your friends and then now it's like it has   to look a certain way, and you're supposed to post  a certain amount of times a week or a day or, and I'm just, I haven't bought into it, I haven't jumped into it yet to be consistent with any of my business posts. 

Alexis:

I think a lot of people will relate to that because something I notice when I speak to my friends  who don't have businesses but who use social media,   their experience of social media is very different,  and when I speak to them about like what   I do it is like "but how is it taking that  long to create a post? But why are you spending   three hours doing hashtag research? But what  does it matter if you post three hours earlier?"   People who aren't using it for business don't understand how much work it is   and how different social media is to use it as  a business. But I do also think that a common problem that people come up against when  they first start using social media for business   is the initial advice that you find if you sort  of search for "use social media for business,"   "use Instagram for business," whatever, is  sort of "you've got to do video, you've   got to post at least once every single day,  your grid has got to be   perfectly themed, and you must have all of the  right hashtags, and you must post stories every day,   and you must do this, and you must do that,  and you must be on every single platform,   you must have a backlog of content that you  can share," and there is this long list of things   and I think a lot of people think "if I can't do  all of those things perfectly, then it won't work,"   and the reality is actually you can  do all of those things perfectly and   it is still going to be the long  game. Social media isn't a   if you get the right post and the right caption,  right hashtags and you post at the right time   then you will magically make all these  sales and gain all these followers,   it is a long process to build up, especially  if you want to build up a community of followers   who are genuinely interested in what you do,  they're not just people who saw that one viral   post that you put out that wasn't really that  related to what you do and now follow you but   don't engage on any of your content, and there  is a vast difference between those two things,   which is why this push for more  followers is something that really frustrates me,   and the advice that you have to grow your  followers, yeah you have to grow your followers   but you don't have to grow them fast, you don't  need hundreds of thousands of followers to run   a successful business, and so I think one of the  things that helps especially new business owners,   or business owners who are new to social media, is  to allow themselves to figure out how to do it for   them and what advice doesn't work for them, and one  thing I noticed, especially early on with Instagram   is very much the idea of the perfectly  curated and designed feed and grid is a lot of   people are hung up on this like "my grid has to  look this way, it has to have the branded   colours, and the right font, and they've all got  to fit together, and it's all got to be perfect,"   and actually if you throw that out the  window and you allow yourself to post   whether it's selfies, whether it's a little  bit about you going about your day-to-day life   with a caption that naturally  lends itself to whatever that is,   people will come to you anyway because you're  putting yourself out there, and I know that sort   of "be authentic, be yourself" is really overused  advice but when you're running a small business,   especially if it's just you, if you are  your business, people are connecting with you as   a person. And especially as a doula, people want to  know you because you're the person who's going to   be there, you're going to be on the end of the  phone, you're the person who they're going to be   having a close relationship with, and so I  would argue most people don't really care   about how perfect and fancy your feed is, or the images that you put out are, they care about   getting to know you, they care about learning who  you are, what you're about, what your experience is,   why you do what you do, because they are the things  that are going to inform whether they choose to   work with you, it's those things. I don't think  anybody is out there going "well should I work   with this doula or this doula?" And then going "well  this one has a much fancier Instagram feed so I'm   gonna work with this one." I don't think, I could be  incorrect but I don't think anybody has ever   made a decision on which doula they're going to  use based on how fancy their Instagram posts are.   I think a lot of it does come down to allowing  yourself to break the rules, I'm putting   this in quotes because the rules are not hard  and fast rules, there is best practices, there is   advice that is generally helpful, but  ultimately it depends on you and your audience,   and if you don't have an audience yet it  depends on the audience you want to reach,   and if you want to reach people who  care about authenticity and who care about   relationships, connecting with people who care  about issues outside in the world, who care about   the things that are important to you and the  reasons that you're doing what you're doing,   that's what you have to put out there  because they will be looking for that,   not oh this person's got a boss babe hashtag and  a really pink quote on their feed, you know.

Doris:

Right, yeah and I wonder if there's been more understanding from people about   how it's not about the amount of followers.  And I'm sure there's still people who feel that whether they're in a business,  or they're an influencer, or whatever   feel that you have to have so many followers  before you make it, but I wonder if there's more   pushback about how many followers you need or  should have because I wonder if there's more of   an understanding of how we've been manipulated  into thinking that, and how these algorithms   play with it or play against it because, like  you said, it really sometimes doesn't matter   how many followers you have if  they're not engaging in your content,   and you could have a million followers or 10,000  followers but if they don't see your content, or   if they're not engaging your content does it  really matter how many you have? And I wonder   if at some point that might change the way the  algorithms are, or the way social media is used   if there's less of an emphasis on how many  followers you have and more so even on how much engagement you have from your  followers, because really that should be the intent   like you said, you want your followers and  your community essentially to engage in what   you're putting out there instead of just a  like and a scroll by, you want them   to engage with you and with each other because  then you're creating that sense of community instead of feeding into that sense of disconnect  that social media has fed into with people,   and I wonder what the trend will end up being,  because the trend so far has been get so many   followers and you will make it and you'll be  great and you'll make so much money, and then   now I've heard more people, and maybe it's just  because of the circles I've been in, it's not   so much the amount of followers but it's more  how much engagement and building that community   organically instead of suddenly, like you  said, having a viral video and you get   10,000 followers but then none of them engage  with any of the other posts you put out.  

Alexis:

Yeah yeah, it's been really interesting for me  to see the shift actually because the sort   of hang up around number of followers  definitely is kind of a hangover from   when that was one of the main metrics if you were  an influencer and wanted to work with a brand,   if you wanted to do anything with a  brand, or a bigger brand than you, or any kind of   collaboration, that was one of the big metrics,  but for a long time now actually social media   algorithms have prioritised engagement and  a lot of people have still been hung up on   the follower number and, personally, I have  no evidence to back this up but my in my opinion   it is very much because we can really easily  tie follower numbers to validation, it's   much easier to say to somebody "well  I've got 50,000 followers on Instagram"   than it is to say "well I've got 500 followers  on Instagram but they're really engaged with   me and they send me DMs and they comment on  all my stuff," it doesn't sound as impressive.   It is more impressive, I would argue, but it's  not that like quick sound bite, look how awesome I am.   And I think a lot of people have  managed to tie their follow account to   how good they are as a person, how good they  are at their job, how important they are, and   that's not how it works. Doris: Well it's just like being the popular kid in high school,   now it's like the popular kid on social media,  but ultimately it still doesn't matter as much.   I mean as I say like popular kids in high school   don't necessarily go on to have very successful  careers and do all these great things,   and it's the same kind of parallel  with social media because you could have   a lot of followers but if you're not getting the  engagement, but it still is that feel good like "oh   I've got so many people and that makes me feel  good," because really we're just all insecure   about everything. Alexis: And that is what it comes down to isn't it?   We all just want that little boost. I think more of  us have seen the influences with   massive follow accounts as well who have launched  businesses, who have worked with brands and   not made sales, and that has become big news a lot  of times, there have been several news stories over   the past year or so, maybe longer actually, that  have been this famous Instagram influencer with   hundreds of thousands of followers has tried to  sell this thing, has opened a business doing this   and nobody bought it, or very few people bought  it, and I think people are starting to realise   that A you can buy followers. And this is something  I didn't realise a lot of people didn't realise   because I have been in social media  for so long that that's just something I knew   happened, and there are so many people who just  don't realise that fake followers are a thing, that   you can buy them. Do not buy followers! My  advice, never ever buy followers, it is a bad plan!   But it is something that people have used in the  past and still do use, you can also buy   essentially fake engagement which is a whole other thing. Doris: But they're not gonna buy your products,   so you need real people behind those  accounts. I've heard a lot about like the bots and   people are getting a lot of bots  that follow their accounts,   but again, that's not the engagement and that's  not creating business for what you're doing. I mean   it's one thing if you're an influencer and all  you're about is the amount of people following you   then that's one thing, but if you're actually  trying to run a business and create an income   and either have products or a service or  something that you actually want people to buy   it doesn't matter if you have 10,000 followers  and half of them are bought or paid for   because that's not going to translate into any income. Alexis: Yeah and I think when I speak to people   it is a combination of that internal  "I need the validation, I am insecure, I need the   validation of the follower numbers, or the likes,  or whatever it is" and also that being compounded   by the generic advice that is out there of "you  need this amount of followers, you need to do this,   you need to do that," that then fuels the you  don't know what you're doing, you don't understand   social media, you need to be doing all these things  that you don't have the time or the energy to do,   and it just comes around in a vicious circle  of like you can't do these things so I don't know   what I'm doing so I'm insecure and I need the  followers to tell me that I am actually okay,   and when people realise that they don't  need to reach every single person on social media   that tends to be like a breakthrough point for  people, because that tends to be why people get   on social media is this idea that I can reach  everybody, I can reach billions of people,   and why do you want to? Most of those  people aren't your people, you know, do you want   to expose yourself to all of  those people, most of whom aren't interested in   what you do, a lot of whom will just disagree  with you on a million different things.  

Doris:

That's not the engagement you're  actually looking for just FYI!

Alexis:

But like they're not your people and it's totally okay to let go of the idea that   I have to be seen by everybody, I have to be  in front of everybody on social media, and say   these are the kind of people that I want to work  with, these are the kind of people who my stuff   can help, that my stuff will resonate with, these  are the people I want to be in a community with,   and to focus on reaching those people, because how  you do that is very very very different to how   you go viral, to how you reach everybody on social  media, and if you can sort of flip the switch in   your brain that says "I want to reach absolutely  everybody and do everything perfectly and be   this perfect social media person" to "I want to use  social media to reach the people that are actually   going to be interested in what I do and who I  actually want to spend time with and get to know,"   that can really really help to also shift a lot  of the problems that come with thinking that you   have to have this amount of followers and this  amount of posts and all of that kind of thing,   because you start thinking more about creating  content and engaging for your people rather   than for the algorithm, and that is ultimately  what's going to make the difference. Because   social media is made up of people, like there's  bots on it that's a different conversation, but it is like, there are people out there  who want to follow you, who want to comment on your   stuff, who want to buy your stuff,. They're  actual people with whole lives and ideas   and passions and things that they want to talk  about, and if you are creating content for them   they will find it and they will  comment on it and they will follow you   because they're interested in it, because they're  your people, and that is when you start to make   sales because you're reaching the right people.  Doris: Yeah I think it really really changes if   you're wanting to create a community that  you can engage in and that you resonate with,   that makes a big difference versus I need  so many followers and then that'll turn into an   income and I'll be an influencer or whatever, it's a definite different mindset   versus oh I need all these people to  validate who I am versus I want to create a   community and a community space so that I can  engage with people that resonate with me and I can also see how it also changes how  you want to create your content differently   because you want to be more authentic than versus  going on creating these perfect social media   posts that will resonate with so many  different people and they look so pretty   but it's not targeted towards the community that  you're actually looking for. And that makes a big difference even, like I think there  has been a switch and even in my head I'm like   oh yeah, because that is the target  actually, like I don't want 10,000 followers, I just   want to create a community of people who I  resonate with and that they resonate with me, and that makes a big difference  as to how you think about posting   because then it's not oh I have  to create this perfect content   and it's going to take three hours or whatever to  create it for this one post, and then I want to do   two posts every day, I mean that's like  six hours of work just for social media   posts, that's crazy and you're not even  doing what you actually want to be doing. Yeah yeah, and I think the other thing is there  are people who, because we talk a lot,   especially like holistic business spaces,  about sort of creating a community, bringing   a community around you, and there are a lot of  people who don't want to be sort of the hub of   the community, they don't want to be creating the  community they want to be a part of a community,   and I do want to also say that engagement  is far more important than creating content,   and I bang this drum all day every day but it  really really is, and that also means that if   you are somebody who doesn't want to  be the the leader of a community, or   to be the the main person, or one of the sort  of top five in that community or whatever, you   don't want to be a thought leader if you will, you  can still use social media effectively for your   business just by being an active member  of the community that is already there,   and if that means that you spend much much much  more time engaging and you put up like one post   a month that is like "here are the dates that I am  available for work next month," and the rest of your   social media time is just posting on other  people's content, replying to people, chatting   in the DMs, engaging in Facebook groups,  joining in Twitter chats, stuff like that,   that is fine because ultimately it really is  about community, and this is something that   has been very lost in the marketing  talk around social media is that like I say,   they are people on social media you know, you  are a person, I am a person, the people following   us are real people, and it is a community, that's  how it is. You are building relationships   and so you don't have to be churning out content  and being like the go-to person in that way   to build a reputation on social media, you  can definitely do that just by   being helpful, being involved in the  community, supporting other people,   sharing your knowledge in other ways, that kind  of thing so that people know your name, they see   you around, they know what you do, they can direct  people if they want to recommend you to your own   social profiles where there is sparse posting  of various different things so that there is information there for people, but  you don't have to become a content creator   or an influencer or whatever else to  use social media for your business.  

Doris:

Yeah I almost feel like some of the businesses  that aren't putting out a lot of content,   I feel that I'm like "oh they're actually doing  other work, they're just not sharing it but they're actually like having a life and they're  doing other things" and I find that interesting too   because then it's like oh but so then you're doing  all these other things. But I think there's a blend of that, of putting out some content  probably so people can see what you're doing   but then not posting you know two or three  times a day because if you're doing that then   you're not actually doing the other work   and when businesses do that it almost   makes me feel oh they have a a team to do that,  like that's not just them, like you just don't   do that on your own, like then you've hired other  people just to manage that social media content.  

Alexis:

Yeah and I think as well that that plays into  the relationship that people, like customers, have   with brands as well, because there is quite a large  and growing percentage of people who want to buy   from small businesses and a lot of them will think,  like you're saying, oh they have this   perfectly curated Instagram feed or whatever,  they're doing all the right things on social media,   they must have a team, they're not really a  small business, I'd rather support    a one-person band who is doing it all  themselves where I will have more of a difference.   And that's not to say that if your brand is sort  of very polished and very organised, and I know a lot of VAs do very well with the super organised, super professional social media   profiles, and a lot of that is because that's  what people are buying, they are looking   for somebody who is super organised and knows what  they're doing and can plan and sort everything out.   So it is also about knowing your brand and  your audience, and there is definitely a place   for people who whose brand is "I am on it all the  time," but that's not everybody by any stretch, so   it really comes down to just knowing  your audience and listening to them.

Doris:

Yeah and but you know the  hardest part is, like you said before,   when you start being authentic and  you're putting those posts out then the   people who resonate with you will find you, but  when you're starting out it's hard to   feel like that's actually going to happen because  it feels like oh I've got 10 followers and I'm   never going to get over that, like that's as big as  I'm going to get and those are all people I know!

Alexis:

I think that is where being  involved in the community comes in   because people will find you, again though  it is a slow process. If you are willing   to go out there and find your community on  those platforms, whichever platform you're on,   to find them via hashtags, via Facebook groups,  find the people in your industry who you   look up to and you respect and follow them  and get involved in their communities,   that is when you will see faster growth  because you are putting yourself out there and   people will come to you if you've left a comment,  somebody's asked a question say in one of their   own social media posts and you leave a comment  that's like "oh well here's how I've dealt with   this issue when I had it," people are likely to,  not just the person who made the post but the   other people who see the comments, are likely to  hop over and be like "oh you seem like a really   lovely person, you're offering really interesting advice that was really helpful,   what are you up to? Do I want to follow you?" And  so a lot of it is being prepared to put yourself   out there in that way, in sort of a community  support way, and it always interests me because   so many people I speak to hate  the idea of putting themselves out there   but it's always about creating the content, it's  always about putting themselves out there on   their own social media, and I think you can put  yourself out there just as a community member,   that will that will make a big difference, and  that's generally, not always but generally, that   is less scary to people because they feel  like well I'm just helping people, I can do that.    I can just go and chat to people, yeah, I can do that!  Doris: It's like just having a conversation   with someone face to face but now you're  doing it on another social media media post and so that's definitely less scary, I can see, than  having to create the content and putting yourself   out there because again, I think really  boils down to so many people are insecure. It seems   like there's only a little amount of people  who are actually not insecure and most people are   insecure, and you're the awkward kid in  high school or in social situations so   it's hard for people to put themselves out  there because you're expecting a lot of pushback   when in reality I think there's less pushback,  but I think we just have that, we carry that   fear that there's going to be pushback, or  someone's going to say something against me, but when you're posting on someone  else's content then it's more of a conversation   like you would have with someone else,  it's less "oh I'm trying to come across   as the authority figure" and now I'm just  having a conversation with someone else. Yeah exactly and I think as well when  it comes to, because you were saying that sort of   the scrolling and the engagement can also be a  time suck and it absolutely can, and I think one   of the best ways to do it is to either put it in  your diary or calendar, however you   work your organisation of your day, so that you say  like I'm gonna do half an hour of engagement here   on this platform, or I'm gonna do an hour here, so  it's actually one of the tasks that you are doing   in any given day because I think a hole a lot of  people fall into is very much this sort of   oh I need to do social media engagement  but it's not actually on their to-do list,   it's not actually in that planner,   so then it's oh well I'm going to make a cup   of tea and I'm going to scroll on Instagram  and then I've lost half an hour.

Doris:

Or half a day! Alexis: Now it's gone cold again. Or you sit down in the evening  after your work day to wind down   and then you start doing engagement and stuff,  whereas if you put it actually in   as a this is a task, this is a business task that I  am going to engage. Obviously slightly different if   you are just using it for your your personal sort  of socialising although I would still recommend   putting it in your planner as like "socialise  on social media" or whatever because then   partly your brain sees that and is like, okay, I  have this set time to do this, it's no longer a   this is something I do when I have nothing  else to do, it's a this is something I do at   these set points and there is an actual reason  and an outcome that I'm looking for. And an end point when you stop because otherwise your 30 minutes ends up being 90 minutes and because your brain's not engaged to where it's   going to stop, you're just like "I'll just keep  scrolling" but then if you put it on as like   a task to do, and I like how you mentioned even  if you aren't in a business but you put it on   like you're just giving yourself those boundaries  of I'm going to do this for 30 minutes, I'll set   a timer or whatever's going to trigger me to  be like "okay I'm done," and then you can put it   down and walk away, because that's the hard part  is people haven't created boundaries and I've   seen where people completely just go off social  media because they're like "I can't handle it," or they're fully engaged in it, and it's hard  to find that medium space where you're not   completely disengaging from social media or  you're in head first of doing it all the time.  

Alexis:

Yeah absolutely and I do think it  helps to have that idea of what you   want to achieve. So if it is business then maybe  it's I want to leave a certain amount of comments,   or I want to make sure that I engage in these  specific groups, or I am going to make sure I'm   talking to people who are talking about these  specific topics in different places. And if it's   for personal use you can still do the same thing  because you can still say right, well    I want to talk about, if it's something so  you're worried about you can say I want to   find a group or a community or whatever that is  talking about this thing that I'm worried about   so I can share that, because it's still a  community in the same way that you might go to   a physical location to connect with  people and chat about something,   you can do that online, it is ultimately the  same thing, there are different factors at play   but you can still choose to do that and say well,  this is something that I'm really passionate about,   I'm going to find some groups, some hashtags and  twitter chats that are talking about this thing   and I'm going to involve myself in that community  because it's something that I'm really interested   in, and to see it as a way of socialising in  the same way that you might say I am going to go   to the cafe for this book club, for example,  to engage in social media in that same way   can really really help. Doris: Yeah and again you're changing your mindset and you're reframing it as I'm not just scrolling like now I have an intention and I'm engaging as a community   and not just mindlessly scrolling, and I think that  makes a big difference too because you're changing   how you're viewing it and how you're engaging  in social media and that makes a big difference. Yeah it really comes down  to mindset and making the choice. Making the choice and saying in  advance this is how I want to use it,  this is what I want to achieve with it,  and then actioning that in whatever way   makes sense to you, and for some people it won't be  putting it in their calendar it will be   some other way, you know  how your brain works, but finding a way that ties into that where you can say right, okay,  I want to use it in this way, this is how I'm going   to achieve that. Doris: Right and that would change  how people feel about social media because it has lent itself to disengagement and  people feeling so isolated, but if you change   how you're actually engaging in social media then  you're engaging in more of a community mindset   or a community space versus I'm just scrolling and  I'm not as engaging, I'm just more observing   but now I feel isolated because I'm just sitting  on my couch, I'm not actually interacting with   people, but if you change that mind frame  of I'm going to go into these spaces and look   for these spaces where I feel like I'm part of a  community, that would definitely change how people   view and feel about social media  because then it is just like   going somewhere for a book club, or a  community centre, or something where   you're feeling part of your community, a part  of a community instead of feeling so isolated.   Yeah exactly. Do you feel more  like you can now go off onto social media   and have a little bit more control  over how you use it maybe?

Doris:

Yeah, I feel. You know for my personal social media  I've created more boundaries about using it and I think with my business social media I've  almost disengaged from it because I haven't   figured out how to do it and I had gotten  really caught up into oh you have to have these   perfect posts, and you have to do it every whenever, and now it feels more like I could do   it organically and have more of a plan to  do it instead of well I'm just going to not do it.   Because I've kind of gotten  to that point where I just   I don't want to look like I'm  not professional enough I guess is really   kind of the the mindset, and so I have disengaged  from it. I've got some posts up there   but I haven't been engaging and really it's that  change of mindset of we'll just do it organically   and just post what you're doing, or post about what  you're doing and like people will come to   you, you'll find those followers and to engage  on, like you said, finding people that you like or   that you look up to and engaging on their posts as  well to then get people engaging in with   your own social media accounts, so I definitely  feel a lot better about it. 

Alexis:

Good, good, good! I am very glad, hopefully there have been some action  steps that people listening can take as well.  

Doris:

Yes and I think it's common, it's either you're all in or you're like wait a minute,   I don't know how to do this and so I'm maybe  not gonna do it because it's hard to find that   medium ground of this is what I'm going to do  and, like you had said, like look at the long term,   look at the long game of it versus I need to have  so many new followers every month,   it's you're looking at the long game of how to  engage your community and build a community versus   I just need so many followers, it's how do I build  a community, and a community that engages with me   instead of that instant gratification of  oh I've got so many followers and this is great   because that's not necessarily going  to hold you up in the long game,   and I think that those are definitely different  mindsets than I think a lot of people have.

Alexis:

Yeah. So if people listening would like to come  in and boost your follow count where can they find you? 

Doris:

So on Instagram I am at HealersMoonLLC and  on Facebook it's the same, I'm at Healers Moon LLC.

Alexis:

Very good, I will drop the links in  the show notes so people can find you   very very easily. It has been  really lovely chatting to you and   I am absolutely certain that this is  going to resonate with a lot of people.

Doris:

Yes thank you Alexis, I'm super happy  to have been on your podcast with you.

Hawke:

If you want more regular reminders  to find your own way to use social media,   follow Alexis on your social platform of  choice, all the links will be in the show notes.   Until next time, be a human.