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The Best Social Media Advice You Never Hear

The Best Social Media Advice You Never Hear

Ever find yourself thinking you should create a new Facebook page for your business – even though you already have one?

Or considering opening a new Twitter account – when you’ve got one to update already?

Or maybe even starting a new blog – when you’re already struggling to grow the one you’ve got?

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We’re told time and time again that we need to create an all-inclusive social media strategy, that we need to embrace all the latest tools. But today I’m here with a different kind of social media advice. I’m here to tell you to use FEWER social media networks.

Use social media LESS? What?!

Once you recognize the benefits of social media – once you see how much traffic it drives to your website and customers it attracts to your brand – it’s easy to get sucked into the more-is-better mindset. A Twitter account for your dog! Your business! Your book and even a character in your book! Before you know it, you’ve got five handles to manage.

Yet this symptom of trying to be everywhere, on every social platform, is actually working against you.

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Sometimes we get so caught up in the social media frenzy that we lose sight of whether these tools are actually helping us reach our true goals. Rather than interacting on certain social media platforms to sell books, create a community or raise awareness of our cause, most of us do it because we think we have to.

More is not necessarily better. In most cases, if you have too many online profiles — especially more than one on the same platform — your online personalities will compete against each other. That means if you’re really smart, you’ll find a way to combine those interests under one blog or handle.

Because if you’re spending time on a Facebook page that’s growing so slowly it isn’t helping you reach your business goals, you’d be better off taking that time and using it on, say, Twitter, or whatever tool works best for you.

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In other words, stuff the “be everywhere” approach and choose one or two or three that will work for you.

How I’ve successfully used this approach

I struggled with this when I started my own business. I didn’t want a separate website for Socialexis, and I couldn’t visualize how I would integrate that content onto my blog.

Would my readers, who were used to coming to me for information on writing and travel, want to read about social media? Would they lose interest if I added another seemingly unrelated log to the fire?

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Turns out my readers did want to read about social media experiences, and my blog continues to grow. Why? Because most of my readers and customers visit my blog and purchase my products, for MY thoughts, MY insight, MY knowledge.

Of course, the brand of YOU has to be valuable or entertaining, or it won’t catch on. It has to be relatable and personable. But if the umbrella topic is you and your products and posts are infused with your voice, it makes sense to have only one blog or social media handle even if you have a variety of interests.

Here are some of the other benefits of sticking to fewer accounts:

  1. Diversity makes you interesting. Writing about several different topics makes you more interesting and more diverse. If if you’re blogging in the bull’s eye of your topic, what you’re saying has probably already been said before, maybe a million times. Instead, blog around the fringes, blending that topic with other ideas, adding a personal story with your voice. Your diverse interests make you more relatable and more interesting, and that will separate you from the millions of voices out there.
  2. You’re no longer competing against yourself. If you segment your audience within one channel, you’re essentially working against yourself. But by bringing everyone to same party, you’ve got a much bigger, more effective platform. I’ve already built up a community on my blog, so why not use that to my advantage when it comes to my social media business, too?
  3. It creates less work for you. Having fewer accounts means less work for you, which means you can put more energy into ONE account or blog, which means you’re more likely to succeed. And that’s what we’re going for at the of the day: success.

What social media profile can you ditch TODAY, so you can spend more time focusing on what really matters?

Featured photo credit:  hand with social media icons via Shutterstock

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Last Updated on January 21, 2020

What Is Creativity? We All Have It, and Need It

What Is Creativity? We All Have It, and Need It

Do you think of yourself as a creative person? Do you play the drums or do watercolor paintings? Perhaps compose songs or direct plays? Can you even relate to any of these so called ‘creative’ experiences? Growing up, did you ever have that ‘artistic’ sibling or friend who excelled in drawing, playing instruments or literature? And you maybe wondered why you can’t even compose a birthday card greeting–or that drawing stick figures is the furthest you’ll ever get to drawing a family portrait. Many people have this common assumption that creativity is an inborn talent; only a special group of people are inherently creative, and everyone else just unfortunately does not have that special ability. You either have that creative flair or instinct, or you don’t. But, this is far from the truth! So what is creativity?

Can I Be Creative?

The fact is, that everyone has an innate creative ability. Despite what most people may think, creativity is a skill that everyone can learn and hone on. It’s a skill with huge leverage that allows you to generate enormous amounts of value from relatively little input. How is that so? You’ll have to start by expanding your definition of creativity. Ironically, you have to be creative and ‘think out of the box’ with the definition! Creativity at its heart, is being able to see things in a way that others cannot. It’s a skill that helps you find new perspectives to create new possibilities and solutions to different problems. So, if you encounter different challenges and problems that need solving on a regular basis, then creativity is an invaluable skill to have.Let’s say, for example, that you work in sales. Having creativity will help you to look for new ways to approach and reach out to potential customers. Or perhaps you’re a teacher. In this role you have to constantly look for new ways to deliver your message and educate your students.

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How Creativity Works

Let me break another misconception about creativity, which is that it’s only used to create completely “new” or “original” things. Again, this is far from the truth. Because nothing is ever completely new or original. Everything, including works of art, doesn’t come from nothing. Everything derives from some sort of inspiration. That means that creativity works by connecting things together in order to derive new meaning or value.From this perspective, you can see a lot of creativity in action. In technology, Apple combines traditional computers with design and aesthetics to create new ways to use digital products. In music, a musician may be inspired by various styles of music, instruments and rhythms to create an entirely new type of song. All of these examples are about connecting different ideas, finding common ground amongst the differences, and creating a completely new idea out of them.

What Really Is Creativity?

Creativity Needs an Intention

Another misconception about the creative process is that you can just be in a general “creative” state. Real creativity isn’t about coming up with “eureka!” moments for random ideas. Instead, to be truly creative, you need to have a direction. You have to ask yourself this question: “What problem am I trying to solve?” Only by knowing the answer to this question can you start flexing your creativity muscles. Often times, the idea of creativity is associated with the ‘Right’ brain, with intuition and imagination. Hence a lot of focus is placed on the ‘Right’ brain when it comes to creativity. But, to get the most out of creativity, you need to utilize both sides of your brain–Right and Left–which means using the analytical and logical part of your brain, too. This may sound surprising to you, but creativity has a lot to do with problem solving. And, problem solving inherently involves logic and analysis. So instead of throwing out the ‘Left’ brain, full creativity needs them to work in unison. For example, when you’re looking for new ideas, your ‘Left’ brain will guide you to a place of focus, which is based on your objective behind the ideas you’re searching for. The ‘Right’ brain then guides you to gather and explore based on your current focus. And when you decide to try out these new ideas, your ‘Right’ brain will give you novel solutions outside of the ones you already know. Your ‘Left’ brain then helps you evaluate and tune the solutions to work better in practice. So, logic and creativity actually work hand in hand, and not one at the expense of the other.

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Creativity Is a Skill

At the end of the day, creativity is a skill. It’s not some innate or natural born talent that some have over others. What this means is that creativity and innovation can be practiced and improved upon systematically.A skill can be learned and practiced by applying your strongest learning styles. Want to know what your learning style is? Try this test. A skill can be measured and improved through a Feedback Loop, and can be continuously upgraded over time by regular practice. Through regular practice, your creativity goes through different stages of proficiency. This means that you can become more and more creative! If you never thought that creativity was relevant to you, or that you don’t have a knack for being creative… think again! You can use creativity in any aspect of your life. In fact you should use it, as it will allow you to to break through your usual loop, get you out of your comfort zone, and inspire you to grow and try new things. Creativity will definitely give you an edge when you’re trying to solve a problem or come up with new solutions.

Start Connecting the Dots

Excited to start honing your creativity? Here at Lifehack, we’ve got a wealth of knowledge to help you get started. We understand that creativity is a matter of connecting things together in order to derive new meaning or value. So, if you want to learn how to start connecting the dots, check out these tips:

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Featured photo credit: rawpixel via unsplash.com

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