Hey my friends! I’m Hayley Hobson and I’m so glad you’re here! Welcome to the Whole You Podcast where I share tips to help women like you implement healthy hacks and habits so you can eat smarter, rest better, and get it ALL done.
Today is a super special episode.
It’s allll about that small biz owner life!
In my recent Your Whole Biz student group, I asked what the biggest challenges were for them in running their biz right now.
There were 3 biggies that popped out…
And they were pretty common across a variety of industries.
So you know they’re important -- and REAL!
If you’ve got a small biz, you’re gonna want to listen up…
...because you might just hear yourself in today’s deep dive.
I’m gonna tell ya how to overcome the top 3 challenges of:
- Lack of confidence (especially on social media)...
- Dealing with negativity…about your product, your service, your biz…
- And time-management… which is my personal fav topic to dig into. The angle we’ll be taking today is about setting expectations for mastering aspects of your biz. Because I see a lot of you out there feeling left behind… like you’re not doing well fast enough.
There’s a lot to unpack here, so I wanna jump right in.
But here’s a quick note on this.
I mentioned that these topics came from my students in the Your Whole Biz course…
And me dropping that little nugget may have thrown you, so I wanna quickly explain what I’m talking about.
Your Whole Biz is my professional business training course that helps small biz owners create a digital extension of their business.
And it literally DOES NOT matter what industry your business is in.
There’s always a digital aspect you could be adding… so you have more freedom, prosperity, and you build a biz that isn’t 100% dependent upon you and your capacity to run it.
Along with the training course comes a private membership group where I host around 24-25 coaching and implementation calls a year.
Yep, you heard that right!
Coaching entrepreneurs to grow and scale their biz online is totally my jam.
Initially I committed to do just 9 calls, but I discovered I love it so much that I’ve added more to my schedule.
Ok, so in one of our most recent coaching calls for Your Whole Biz, these three big challenges were repeated over and over again.
Showing up confidently on social media…
Dealing with naysayers and negativity online…
And feeling like you’re constantly behind...
...Whether that's due to your expectations of where you’re SUPPOSED to be… or if you actually need some time-management help.
So let’s dive right in.
So number 1… Confidence.
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.
There IS a reason he’s the internet’s boyfriend, after all. LOL
So here’s a little exercise for you to think about… and I find it works for a variety of situations, including public speaking.
Put yourself in the shoes of your audience.
When you’re scrolling through social, are you picking apart someone’s posts? Critiquing what they look like or if they seem nervous?
Are you actively thinking, “Oh she looks nervous… I would NEVER want to work with someone who is imperfect!”
Yeah… no. Unlikely, right? LOL
Or are you scrolling through until something makes you stop?
And when you do… what was it that made you stop and engage?
How much time do you actually spend evaluating other people’s content?
I bet what you’ll find is that you DON’T critique every single post you see on social.
And the ones that do catch your eye, you generally have a positive reaction to.
Unless you’re a troll, in which case… don’t be that person.
It’s not a good look and it’s super bad karma.
What I highly recommend you do is spend a little time documenting your own social media habits, including the kind of content that catches your attention.
Not only will this help you come up with ideas of things you can do for your own brand, but it’ll open your eyes to how the rest of your community likely sees you.
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.
Now in terms of confidently putting yourself out there, my hot take on this is to use your strengths.
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 start a Clubhouse room or a podcast, if you’re great at talking passionately about a topic... but writing’s not your thing.
Platforms that are audio-only are great for talkers who aren’t into video.
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.
One more pro tip on this confidence topic to hopefully alleviate some stress about WHAT to post.
Because 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 a 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
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.
I’ll recap these confidence tips real quick before we move on to Challenge #2.
I know I dropped a lot on ya here, so I’ll run it down again briefly.
So to become more confident on social… and STOP hiding behind your product or service…
The first thing to do is to pay attention to how you personally consume social media.
You probably don’t nitpick or hate on other people’s content, so it’s highly unlikely people will choose to spend their time doing that to you regularly.
Remembering this fact should help get you out of your head…
...and have you putting on your brave girl pants to show up for your community.
The second tip is to utilize your strengths.
If you’re a strong writer, focus on long form content (like a blog) that gets repurposed on social.
If you’re comfortable on camera, use that format often. Make it fun and appealing to your community.
If you’re rather talk and not be seen, choose a platform like Clubhouse as one of your main social channels and repurpose that material across your other ones.
So for example, I’ll share my Clubhouse rooms on Instagram to get people to join me over there.
And, I’ll take what I talked about on Clubhouse that day and create a post or a Story recapping what I covered.
And the final hack to feel more confident on social is to think bite-sized.
I already mentioned repurposing content, so when I say bite-sized, I mean short and specific.
You can also utilize other people’s content (like a gif, meme, or quote) so long as it relates to your brand and appeals to your community.
Ok… that’s the lack of confidence challenge being checked off the list.
On to Challenge #2: Negativity.
Ohhhhh the haters.
Here’s what I’ll tell ya…
Those keyboard warriors have been around since AOL was the internet.
Like… the WHOLE internet, 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 the negativity in your social space.
The first step is to separate the legit complaints or requests from help from the negative feedback from the trolls.
Let’s start with legit issues.
These could be genuine complaints from an unhappy customer.
Maybe a damaged product, bad customer service, or incorrect orders.
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.
Once you have that person in your DMs, seek to resolve the issue to their satisfaction as quickly and thoroughly as possible.
9 times out of 10 the person complaining is actually a good customer…
...it’s rare that you get someone super shady who takes the time and effort to complain online and DM you about it.
Oh, and 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, right?
Now the second kind of comment you may get is a question.
When will something be back in stock?
Why did you stop producing… whatever product they’re looking for.
How do I return this item?
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.
So let’s go back to those negative comments…
Once you get them into your DMs, you’ll want to dive more deeply into resolving their question or putting them on the right path for a solution.
One more little personal take on this…
People HATE being passed around.
It’s really frustrating to someone who is already frustrated.
So instead of telling them they have to fill out this big long form online, see if there are ways to speed-up the process on YOUR side.
Like asking for the email address associated with the order… then YOU look it up and verify the order info.
Don’t make them spend their time digging for receipts or invoices. It just causes more irritation, which reflects badly on your brand…
Now, taking this extra step is a tiny bit more work on your side, but it makes a huge difference in how people relate to your brand.
When companies make people jump through hoops, it shows they’re not really current on what people expect.
I mean, look at Starbucks.
A-level customer service.
They make it crazy easy to resolve your issues when you reach out to them.
If responding to feedback and DMs starts becoming too much work for you…
….and the nature of the inquiries are things that would help everyone…
...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.
If you offer shipping, and people keep asking you about that, make sure it’s front and center online.
Most people search for info on their own before they reach out on social.
So help them help YOU by proactively giving info so they can self-serve their way out of a potential negative comment or post.
Now, let’s talk about the 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.
Like I said, trolls live to create chaos and fuel negativity.
So 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!
Ok so those are the 3 most common types of negative feedback on social:
- The unhappy customer with a legit concern…
- The person with a question -- which can sometimes come across as negative or accusatory…
- And the outright troll.
Next, let’s talk about HOW to respond, ok?
First, try to respond as quickly as possible.
Social media moves fast and most people expect brands and businesses to respond in real time.
Or at least within 24 hours, if you’re a smaller biz.
The second part of this tip is something I mentioned a moment ago.
And that’s to respond PUBLICLY… and direct them to connect with you PRIVATELY.
In other words, to slide into your DMs where you can offer more 1:1 attention.
In terms of WHAT you say… I personally like to come from a place of service.
Meaning, acknowledge that they’re experiencing an issue… being sincere about it… and apologizing.
It can be as simple as “I’m sorry you’re having this problem.”
Next, 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.
On the flipside of this, I’m going to recommend that you also respond to POSITIVE comments.
The happy people should feel just as loved and attended to as the unhappy ones.
So give positive comments at least a heart or a like to show that you saw their note.
You can also try responding with something like “Thank you” or an emoji, if you don’t have time for a super personal response.
Ok so that wraps up Challenge #2: which is dealing with negative feedback online.
Now the third big challenge biz owners have is feeling like they SUCK at social.
Or sometimes… suck at EVERYTHING.
We’ve all had those days, right?
Now, this feeling like you suck at social seems simple, but it’s actually a bit of a tricky situation… because there could be a few reasons behind it.
If you’re someone who feels like they’re constantly behind, it’s important to start with the root cause of this feeling.
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.
The first hack I want to offer you if you feel left behind because you’re not as good at social media as you think you SHOULD be is…
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 listening to this podcast 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.
This is totally 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.
As you build your success, you’ll want to start bringing on some help…
...and if social is killing it for your biz, that’s probably where you want to put a little extra assistance with managing all.the.things.
Here’s why this is helpful.
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
And since we’re in the gym state of mind, let’s build this out a little bit more to explain how I see people sometimes approach social…
...especially excited newbie entrepreneurs who’ve discovered social media as a new biz toy.
So you’re at the gym, right?
And the gym as a bunch of classes.
You can take yoga.
And a hip hop class!
This is kinda like the range of options for social media.
You’re looking at this list of classes… and you decide that you’re gonna do ALL OF THEM.
So you start taking the classes and are frustrated to find that you’re not really getting good at ANY of them.
I bet you can quickly understand why…
You’re doing too many and not often enough.
If you focus on getting good at Pilates and your hip hop class, you’re going to do them consistently.
Those are the two you pick when you decide to take class a few times a week.
And guess what?
You’ll master those skills way faster than if you spread yourself thin trying to be good at 6-7 different things.
It’s literally the same thing with social media.
You can’t spread yourself too thin. You’ll go insane. LOL
Well, maybe some days you’ll feel insane…
...but 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.
Actually, you can apply my habit stacking technique to mastering social media for your biz.
With habit stacking, you focus on creating ONE new habit… just one.
Once you get good at that and you’re ready for more, then you add a second habit on top of it.
Because as you know, if you try to overhaul everything all at once, odds are you’re gonna give up on it quickly.
Too much, too soon.
It totally applies with getting good with social media for your biz.
So again, remember that social media moves 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 business using TikTok as her marketing platform.
Not naming names here… but… you know. LOL
So if you feel behind all the time on social, take a look at why that is.
Do you need a time-management shakeup?
Or are you trying to keep up with the joneses… maybe by being spread too thin.
It’s totally ok to pare back and focus your efforts where it makes sense… and where your community is.
Recently I got hacked on Twitter… SO ANNOYING.
And yes, it sucks. And yes, I lost YEARS worth of content and followers there…
But it’s not my primary platform anymore, so… shrug.
I HAVE Twitter but it’s not where the bulk of my peeps are.
I focus my efforts primarily on Clubhouse and Instagram… Facebook too for my community interactions.
And I happen to enjoy making fun videos on TikTok... but Clubhouse and Instagram are my bread and vegan butter these days.
So does that help?
I hope it does.
I know I covered A LOT today… so if you wanna grab all of these hacks and tips… and get even MORE in-depth info on how to build and grow your biz online…
You’re gonna want to check out my Your Whole Biz course that I mentioned at the top of the show.
Not only is this a professional business training course, but there are live Q+A sessions happening all year long for people who enroll.
Which means you get to ask all your burning questions… in real time.
Plus get loads of biz-building instruction, templates, and downloads to get you rockin’ your biz online super quickly.
And yes, there’s a ton of marketing info inside the course… including social media.
BUT… you’re gonna want to sign up soon because the price is going up to nearly $2500 on May 1st.
So now’s your chance to get it at the lowest rate this year… $1497.
Ok, 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...
- You can handle pushback, negative feedback, or those yucky trolls on social…
- And you can 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.
Have a good week, my friends…
I’ll see ya online.