There were 3 biggies that popped out (across lots of different industries, too!):
- Lack of confidence (especially on social media).
- Dealing with negativity (about your product, your service, your biz).
- Feeling like you’re constantly behind.
There’s a lot to unpack here, so I wanna jump right in.
Top 3 Challenges Entrepreneurs Have on Social Media (& How to Overcome Them)
Challenge #1: Lack of confidence on social media.
I get it, putting yourself out in front of your product or service can be scary.
Often it’s easier to just let your product lead so you can shrink into the background.
But it’s gonna be hard to really grow that way.
So, let’s start by releasing the pressure -- the pressure you put on YOURSELF.
Because -- spoiler alert -- you don’t have to be perfect!
You just have to show up. Consistently.
I’m all about authentic connections online, so let me ask… are you authentically perfect?
Unless you’re Keanu Reeves, the answer is probably no. He is, after all, the #internetsboyfriend. (It’s a thing, google it, LOL)
There are a few steps to getting more comfortable being front and center on social.
Step 1: Put yourself in the shoes of your audience.
A few questions to think about here:
- When you’re scrolling through social media, are you picking apart someone’s posts?
- Are you critiquing what they look like or if they seem a little uncomfortable?
- Are you actively thinking, “Oh she looks nervous… I would NEVER want to work with someone who is imperfect!”
- How much time do you actually spend evaluating other people’s content?
- When you’re scrolling, what makes you stop and engage?
I bet you don’t critique every single post you see on social media.
And the ones that do catch your eye, you generally have a positive reaction to.
What I highly recommend you do is spend a little time documenting your own social media habits and your internal narrative and response to posts.
I promise it’ll open your eyes to how the rest of your community likely sees you. It’s usually neutral to positive. (Unless you’re running one of those terrible Fashion Nova ads… yikes.)
I know this is a hard one to get over, but next time you get in your head about showing up online… think back to this and hopefully you’ll feel a little more assured to JUST DO IT.
No one is beating you up in their heads as much as you are, I promise.
Step 2: Lead with your strengths.
Choose content based upon your strengths -- don’t stress over your weaknesses.
For example, maybe you’re a strong writer but super uncomfortable on camera.
There’s no hard and fast rule that says you have to be going Live or recording videos every single day.
If you rock at long-form content, use your blog as your primary content driver. And pull out little pieces to use for social.
Or maybe you love passionately talking about a topic, but you struggle with sounding like yourself when you write. You could start a Clubhouse room or a podcast.
And here’s an idea… if you do want to stretch a little outside of your comfort zone and get into video content, then think of it as practice.
You could start by using Stories.
They go away in 24 hours anyway, so it’s a great place to practice without the risk of returning to cringe-worthy content.
Step 3: Use bite-sized content.
I see people get in their heads about “OMG what do I even talk about? What do I have to say that anyone would even care about?”
That’s lack of confidence pretending to be a content problem.
So think bite-sized.
Social media doesn’t have to be this daunting thing.
You can use other people’s content so long as it applies to your brand.
Quotes are popular.
Memes and gifs? Hugely viral.
In addition to pulling bits of content from your longer-form sources, you can share little bits of your life as it relates to your brand and your biz…like something funny your kid said or a simple recipe using your products. Or a short tutorial!
You don’t even have to show your face if you don’t wanna! LOL
Step 4: Talk to ONE person (your ideal client).
If you really wanna use social to grow your biz, you’ve gotta recognize that you DO have value.
And that there are people out there who WANT to engage with you.
You don’t have to be for everyone.
In fact, you really shouldn’t try to be.
Focus in on your niche… meaning who you can serve with excellence… and try talking to that community as if it were an actual person you’re chatting with online.
You know them… like them… and are super pumped to help them.
So instead of freaking out over what to post for everyone… act like you’re posting to just one person. It’ll feel more personal and relevant that way, which is hugely engaging.
Challenge #2: Handling Negativity.
Ohhhhh the haters.
Those keyboard warriors have been around since AOL was the internet (remember those days? LOL)
So the fact that decades later there are still a bunch of negative nellies online shouldn’t phase ya.
But, there are some best practices for managing negativity online.
Step 1: Actively monitor your comments.
If you aren’t actively monitoring your comments, you completely should.
If you don’t, it’s like staring blankly ahead while someone tries to talk to you. It’s super rude and makes you look out of touch online.
And in this day and age, people aren’t really willing to put up with that kinda shiz..
So tough love time: actively monitor your comments on the daily.
Step 2: Respond quickly.
Social media moves fast and most people expect brands and businesses to respond in real time.
I’d say within 24 hours is the longest you should go without responding, if you’re a small business.
Step 3: Separate legit feedback from the trolls.
Legit negative feedback includes things like:
- Genuine complaints from an unhappy customer.
- A damaged product.
- Bad customer service.
- Incorrect orders.
- A question that comes across as negative or accusatory.
You should 100% respond to these kinds of comments.
The best way to do it is to acknowledge they’re experiencing a problem and that you want to resolve it.
Tell them to direct message you so you can help them personally.
Here’s why this is important...
Your community is watching.
They want to see that you take this feedback seriously and are service-oriented. It shows that you care.
In terms of WHAT you say… I personally like to come from a place of service.
Meaning, acknowledge they’re experiencing an issue… be sincere about it… and apologize.
It can be as simple as “I’m sorry you’re having this problem.”
Now, the second kind of negative comment you’ll probably get is a question… but it may have a negative tone.
“I can’t find . I keep looking online. When will it be back in stock?”
“Why did you stop producing !?”
“How do I return this item?”
“Why don’t you offer in ?”
People don’t really separate social media from the brand.
Meaning, in many companies, they don’t think about the fact that there’s probably an entire social media team that’s completely separate from the customer service team.
So it’s your job to wear multiple hats for the people on social.
Most complaints come from real customers who simply want to be heard.
Trolls, on the other hand, just try to stir up trouble.
They’re basically internet jerks. There’s a whole section on how to deal with these bozos below, LOL.
Step 4: Comment publicly, resolve privately.
When you see a legit issue (negative or not), respond publicly and ask them to drop you a DM so you can help them personally.
Once you get them into your DMs, you’ll want to dive more deeply into answering their question or putting them on the right path for a solution.
Let them know you want to help them.
And, be sure to sign your name to the message.
This is a little touch, but it helps remind them that you’re a REAL person on the other side of that keyboard.
They’re more apt to be kind when they realize you’re a real human interacting rather than a faceless brand who’s done them wrong, LOL.
Key takeaway: Seek to resolve the issue to their satisfaction as quickly and thoroughly as possible.
If responding to feedback and DMs starts becoming too much work for you or you notice a pattern in the comments/questions, consider updating your website or social page with frequently asked questions.
Like, if your return policy isn’t clear and that’s what most people are asking about, update this on your website.
Most people search for info on their own before they reach out on social media.
So help them help you by proactively giving info so they can self-serve their way out of a potential negative comment or post.
Step 5: Dealing with trolls.
We’ve allllll seen them.
Go to any news article online and there they are… breeding and feeding off each other. LOL
So what exactly IS a troll?
Hubspot defines them as “people who deliberately provoke others online. By saying inflammatory and offensive things. They live to make people upset and angry.”
Trolls are super annoying… because they love to cause disorder.
In fact, I’ve recently been experiencing some trolls in Clubhouse -- people who have a personal vendetta against specific industries or kinds of rooms. Like, for no good reason.
So if you encounter a comment that’s truly a troll, try to ignore them when possible.
If you ignore them, but their comments start picking up steam and creating a negative vibe to your post or page, you might want to respond.
But, don’t give in to their negative energy. Be calm, but firm.
Like, if this troll is spreading misinformation or outright lies, you can choose to offer the correct info… then move on.
Your followers will see that you’re setting the record straight in a professional manner.
I’d really caution against full-on deleting the comment unless it’s clearly spam. Deleting their comment might set them off even more.
You might consider hiding the comment though.
On most platforms, the rest of your community won’t see the comment anymore, but the troll will still see it.
Which means they won’t know they’ve been hidden!
If this person becomes a permanent troll on your page, you may just wanna bite the bullet and BLOCK them for good.
But make sure this is a real mayhem-making troll, not a dissatisfied customer who has a legit complaint that you don’t wanna hear.
Your community can tell the difference.
Challenge #3: Feeling constantly behind.
Do you feel like you suck at social?
Or even suck at everything. (We’ve all had those days, right?)
If you feel like you’re constantly behind, it’s important to start with identifying the root cause.
Is it because you actually are having some time management problems?
Or are you setting the wrong expectations for yourself?
If it’s the first one, well then you need to start diving into all of my time- and task-management content.
I cover these kinds of productivity hacks all the time… so you can manage your schedule better through the power of time blocks and organizing your calendar more effectively.
But if it’s the second option that’s making you mad at yourself (and therefore mad at social media), we’re gonna address that right now.
Step 1: Take a chill pill, babe.
What I mean is… give yourself a break!
Social media is a skill.
And guess what… it’s a skill that’s changing all the freaking time. Like, on the daily.
Of course you feel behind all the time!
What was current when you started reading this article is now probably out of date somewhere.
So acknowledge that this is going to happen to you all.the.time.
You can’t change how fast it goes, but you can change your response to it.
Step 2: Pick 1-2 platforms to focus on.
Social media overwhelm is real.
This is why I recommend picking 1-2 platforms as your PRIMARY channels.
You absolutely do not need to be on all of them… especially when you’re starting out.
To truly master a skill, you need to hone it.
I mean, imagine if you went to your first yoga class and at the end of the session you were like “Why am I not perfect at this yet?”
It’s literally been… a minute. LOL
You gotta focus in on a couple platforms and truly master them… through practice, consistency, and committing to an experimentation mindset.
Imagine you wanted to get good at yoga, Pilates, kickboxing, Zumba, and hip hop dance all at the same time.
Not gonna happen.
But if you chose one, got good at it, and then added another one to learn… well that’s much easier, isn’t it?
It’s literally the same thing with social media.
This is how you apply my productivity hack of habit stacking to social media for your biz.
You can’t spread yourself too thin. You’ll go insane. LOL
I can virtually guarantee that you’re gonna feel like you suck at social if you keep trying to get good at everything all at once.
Step 3: Learn from others.
Like I said, social media moves lightning fast.
We’re all learning something new every single day.
And it’s totally ok to learn from others!
No one is judging you that you don’t know the up-to-the-minute details on every social media platform…
Unless you have an 11-year-old daughter who’s on her way to creating a Slime empire using TikTok as her marketing platform.
Not naming names here… but…
(I kid, I kid, I’m super proud of her entrepreneurial spirit!)
I know I covered A LOT today, so if you wanna grab all of these hacks and tips…
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And yes, there’s a ton of marketing info inside the course… including social media.
So, my friends, I want to leave you with this.
You CAN do this.
You CAN grow your biz online…
And you CAN overcome the three big challenges entrepreneurs face, so you’re able to:
- Feel comfortable putting yourself out there for your biz.
- Handle pushback, negative feedback, or those yucky trolls on social.
- Feel solid that you got this!
You just need to approach social media from a new perspective and most of all…
...give yourself a friggin break.
Stop beating yourself up.
Show up, be authentic, and engage meaningfully.
That’s all it takes.
I’ll see ya online.