Just a little patience…. yeah, yeah, yeah

Really, it is not that difficult…

I have been promoting social media basics for the past two years and have come to find that so many great minds, especially c level and executive types, are so extremely confused and distraught with social platforms and current tools, they shut down when it comes to getting social. The simplest technology such as Skype is overlooked by so many.

The delivery is key…

I find great pleasure in working with 50+ year olds and introducing them to the ever evolving world of social media. What I have learned over time is to take baby steps when explaining how tools and platforms work. Start with the very basics. The importance of a profile, what a blog is, how to engage, not to self promote, give, give, give… these are lessons that should be learned before advancing to any strategy.

I never knew it was that easy…

Several months ago I worked with a c level exec who was tops in his field and recognized on a national level. He was completely turned off and shut down when it came to anything social media. I let him vent… and vent… and vent. What I discovered was nobody ever took the time when explaining social media to him. Nobody took the time to ask him, “do you understand?” You gotta Dr Seuss it…..

Finally, a light bulb goes off…

The first task I took on with this exec was to teach him Skype. Sure he had a profile that someone created for him, but he had no clue on how to use it. With lots of patience and using the delivery as if he was in pre school, he slowly began understanding the usefulness of Skype and the many applications he could employ. I distinctly remember our first video connection. His wife was in the background and I could hear her shouting how clear the connection was. Now he talks with his clients in the orient exclusively using Skype.

Enable the great minds with today’s tools…

Next I taught him what a blog was. How to find and speak to his audience. Keywords, outbound/inbound links, how to title a blog etc… Quality content just oozed from this exec as his creative juices started flowing. With a little help titling his first post and a few suggestions on how to get his friends and colleagues to comment, he found his topic all over the fist page of google.

You can’t have a strategy without understanding the basics…

I taught my executive friend two things – Skype and how to construct a blog. What I really did was enable a great mind to craft a strategy. There was no slick selling on my part. I didn’t get into any advanced techniques. I showed him two simple things.

The lesson here is before any strategic decisions are made at any level, mom and pop business, soloprenuer, c level executive, fortune 500 company… you MUST have a basic understanding of social media and today’s tools first. Stop relying on salespeople who claim they are gurus to sell you a certain halo and promise you results. Understand the basics and learn the launguage. Talk the talk before you walk the walk. It’s really not that hard.

Happy engaging…….

7 Responses

  1. Janet @ The Natural Networker
    Janet @ The Natural Networker August 3, 2011 at 11:29 am | | Reply

    Lewis, aloha. What great advice. If you don’t begin with the basics as you did, everything else is a jumble. No wonder people are so frustrated! Those of us who use social media regularly have a tendency to forget what it is why like when we began.

    This sentence of yours says it all:

    “What I really did was enable a great mind to craft a strategy.”

    Lewis, you showed him the canvas that he could paint. You also let him know that he could change the “colors” whenever he wanted; it is not just one way.

    Best wishes for a terrific day. Aloha. Janet

  2. Jeremy Powers
    Jeremy Powers August 3, 2011 at 1:25 pm | | Reply

    I am seeing much of the same issue Lewis. It all boils down to fear of failure. Owners and executives are like the rest of us, they hate to appear foolish.

    Nobody enjoys feeling like everyone else knows more.

    Helping people find confidence with the platforms is the first step toward positive business results.

  3. Arnie Hansma
    Arnie Hansma August 4, 2011 at 4:46 am | | Reply

    Great piece of advice.
    I still find it somewhat difficult, but have chosen to follow certain dedicated contributors. This allowed for me to use it like reading the newspaper, thus making it part of my routine.
    Thanks for the insight and of course the help,

  4. Klaudia
    Klaudia August 6, 2011 at 12:34 am | | Reply

    I agree, it’s so important to start from the basics or at least make sure we are “at the same page” with people we are working with.

  5. Bruce Sallan
    Bruce Sallan December 6, 2011 at 10:38 pm | | Reply

    I just had my first paying client…to teach Social Media. He was in his late 60’s and so eager to learn. It was really fun. I don’t intend to do this much, but the occasional open-minded, excited-to-learn individual is cool. That’s how it worked with me. I was quite close-minded but after a YEAR paying a SM coach, I really got it and haven’t looked back yet!

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