Building a social media presence is much more a marathon than a sprint. There’s plenty of content to develop, place and promote, and there are lots of relationships to build.
Running a marathon requires physical endurance and much more mental endurance than most people think.
I ran two marathons, so I speak from personal experience. I’m crossing the 1985 NYC Marathon finish line in the picture below. Months or years of difficult and sometimes painful training lead up to the day of the big race.
In the present article, I’m suggesting that you adopt the mindset of a marathoner. Commit to do whatever is necessary to succeed, and pace yourself, so that you don’t injure yourself or get burned out during the process. This principle is behind most great achievements.
I love the way my running coach Bob Glover puts it, “Start off slow and taper down.” Bob’s mantra counters our natural tendency to come “out of the gate” at full speed and keep running — our human egos at work.
How does all this translate into long-term social media success?
Here are seven ideas to help you develop the mindset of a marathoner:
- Make a serious commitment to do whatever is required to attain your social media or web marketing goals. This is an absolute prerequisite.
- Find your “Bob Glover.” I had more than one coach on my way to becoming a chess champion and teachers to help me learn cello and Talmud. I have mentors now and plan to have more mentors in the future. Get yourself a mentor. As I now like to say, “The ultimate shortcut is doing it right the first time.”
- Don’t wait until the conditions are perfect for launching your campaign. I’ll always remember what I heard Mike Litman say, “You don’t have to get it right. You just have to get it going”.
- Join one networking site at a time and take time to master it. Social networking sites can be intimidating at first. Learn a new feature, practice it, and go on to the next.
- Start out blogging once a week. It’s hard to begin, especially if, like me, you’re not a professional writer. You can increase your posting frequency later.
- Realize that there’s a steep social media learning curve. Do not quit. So many people join Twitter or Facebook or begin blogging and quit shortly thereafter. They expected to sprint a 100-yard* dash, not to run a marathon.
- Don’t forget about the “social” in social media. Get to know a lot of people and have a blast!
I invite you to subscribe to this blog and to share your ideas below.
*A unit of length equal to 0.9144 meters, something that even our British friends across the pond can find quaint.
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