The idea of running your own small business is so dreamy, isn’t it?
Finally, you get to be the boss! You can make your own hours. Do what you want. Be successful. Feel AMAZING.
Of course, when you have a business, you’re not just the boss. You’re also the sales department. You’re the marketing director. You keep the books and manage inventory. You make calls and fill the calendar. You probably live at the post office. And you almost definitely fall asleep every night running through tomorrow’s to-do list.
Once your business starts to grow, you can begin to share the load. But for a while, all hats sit firmly atop your head. So, what’s an entrepreneur to do?
Say it with us:
– Koofr (@KoofrNet) November 14, 2015
See him? That little turtle? He’s not our turtle. We didn’t spend hours training him how to ride a skateboard. We never took his photo. And it wasn’t us who added the text and made it a motivational meme. Someone else did that, and yet here he is! On our blog, making you smile and doing a bit of work for us.
Social media has become an essential connection point in business. It’s where many of us find customers, build relationships, promote new offerings and get the word out. But it also comes with pressure to stay relevant and be present – ALL. THE. TIME. When the going gets tough, you might not always have time to create beautiful, custom images to share on Facebook, Instagram or Pinterest.
And that’s OK.
There’s already an endless supply of creative, expressive, poignant, inspiring work online, and it’s ripe for the picking. When you’re too busy to start from scratch, it’s OK to leverage someone else’s content to engage with your own customers, friends and followers.
Actually, it’s more than OK. It’s GENIUS! Adding other voices to your social platforms makes your brand feel more relevant. They’re not just lending you their work, they’re letting you borrow their credibility – and that’s something worth sharing. Then when your business grows down the line you would look into some PPC that could help you reach your audience. These ads can feed into your online content on social media to create cohesion in your brand through all digital channels to clearly express your brand well to your audience.
But there’s a big difference between borrowing… and stealing. So, how do you safely leverage another person’s or brand’s content without stepping on any toes?
When in doubt, share directly from the source. This is ALWAYS allowed – that’s why you often see share buttons on Facebook, websites and most blogs. They automatically link back to wherever the content originated, so using them is the fastest way to borrow someone else’s work and include proper attribution. Plus, when you share directly to your own business page, you can add your own description and even a link to your website. If you’d like help citing a website, the attached blog contains nearly everything you need to know about linking back to sources online.
When you read or see something you love that’s worth sharing, even if it’s outside the core scope of your business, share it! Not everything you post on social media needs to be about selling a product. Include variation, like inspirational articles or lifestyle photos, to help build more authentic relationships with your followers.
Your business might benefit from utilizing the services of a social media account manager who can help grow your Instagram and even drive sales.
Nope, we didn’t create this one either. They did. Use the share function on Pinterest, Instagram, or Facebook to get the word out! Just tell the world it’s theirs, not yours.
Ask for permission.
Love an image that relates to your brand, or features a product you sell? Reach out on social media and ask if you can use it! Even when you do get permission, be sure to credit the content creator in your post. Who knows? It might be the beginning of a wonderful collaboration, and at minimum you’ll have a new contact in the biz. This kind of social sharing – you scratch my back, I’ll scratch yours – happens a lot among Scentsy Consultants. They know that a rising tide lifts all boats!
Isn’t this an inspiring quote? Thanks, @jitneysjourneys (And JFK.)
Sometimes the image you see or the article you read isn’t quite right to share, but it inspires you. Use it! Take the high notes and write your own melody. Love a particular line of motivational writing or storytelling? Include it in your own post with a direct quote – just be sure to give credit where it’s due. Adore how someone else styled a product for a photo? Create your own scene and snap your own picture. In this instance, there’s no need to give someone attribution – it’s your work. But it might not hurt to reach out and say thanks, just because!
If social media sharing isn’t your marketing BFF yet, it’s time to start getting friendly. Not only is it a great way to meet people where they are – just about everyone lives on Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest these days – it’s also a largely free, time-saving marketing tool for your business.
You’re only one person. And maintaining a breakneck pace is a great way to have a total breakdown. Don’t be afraid to take any free help you can get. When there’s no time to create, share!