“If it’s your job to eat a frog, it’s best to do it first thing in the morning. And if it’s your job to eat two frogs, it’s best to eat the biggest one first.” – Mark Twain
Motivational speaker and writer Brian Tracy elevated Mark Twain’s “Eat the Frog” quote to technology stardom in Tracy’s book of the same title. No matter the author, the sentiment packs a punch. When you face any daunting mission, tackle the hardest task first, and what comes next feels easy, or at least easier.
At ProResource, our clients often say they just don’t have room in their day for professional social media.
“I’m afraid it will be a drain on my time.”
Or, “I need to focus on my client work.”
Maybe even, “It’s just not for me.”
Let me ask, could LinkedIn be your professional frog? What will tempt you to take a bite?
Your frog recipe smells and tastes different from other dishes (sorry, I couldn’t resist the culinary comparison). We find our executives ask us to help them solve many of the same challenges. Lucky for you, there are ways to cook the social media frog (I can’t help myself) and make it slightly more palatable (can’t stop, won’t stop).
Defeat Your Personal Inertia
Don’t let your concerns about social media keep you from using LinkedIn at all.
For some, the decision to immediately confront hardest tasks comes easily. But if you’re like me and crave smaller victories to build upon, that’s okay. Acknowledge the challenges you see in social media, preparedness is crucial to success.
To jumpstart your LinkedIn presence, make time three days a week, for just five minutes, and scroll through your LinkedIn news feed. Watch, listen, and learn, before you even think about what you might post. When you’re ready, offer likes, and make comments, before you spring into the big leagues, with original posts of your own.
If you like a BHAG (big, hairy, and amphibious goal), consider demonstrating your thought leadership with an original blog post, called a LinkedIn article. Articles can be as short as 500 words, and a post once a quarter keeps your long-form content fresh.
An Authentic Voice
Reservations about the leap into social media often boil down to tone. At ProResource, we work with intelligent and dynamic executives who share a common pain point – they struggle to tell their story, online.
It takes balance. No one wants to sound boastful. Yet, resist the urge to hide your accomplishments under a lily pad. Your social media profile is a place to differentiate yourself and explain to your audience why they should work with you.
Whether it’s the LinkedIn About section, or work experience entries, highlight the skills and knowledge which comprise your unique selling proposition. Emphasize collaboration and team work, and avoid superfluous adjectives.
An authentic voice also means speaking from the heart – it’s time to let go of the third-person narrative. We all appreciate a creative executive bio, but that format belongs on a corporate website, not on your social media profiles. Stick with a first-person voice.
Hold Yourself Accountable
While frogs often prefer solitude, you shouldn’t approach social media on your own.
Find a co-worker or colleague already active on social, or like you, ready to dip their toes in the water. Check in with each other on a regular basis and share your social goals. Accountability and feedback help you fine tune your strategy and ensure you stay engaged.
And here’s an area where ProResource is prepared to help. We hold free, weekly office hours with our social media coaches, where you can get answers to your LinkedIn questions and feedback on your profile.
Our webinars explore ways LinkedIn can help you pursue professional goals, like searching for a job, expanding your network, or landing a board position.
I should note, I’m a vegetarian, so no actual frogs were eaten for this blog post. But in all seriousness, let’s debunk the culture of reluctance around professional social media. Make 2021 your year of no more excuses and build your personal brand on social media.
You have a job to do, eat the frog.