Disconnect, but stay online

June 3, 2019

Being active on the internet is HARD WORK. And in spite of the common adage, “hard work pays off” — when online this isn’t always the case. For all the work you put in, all that hard labour may have no results.

No likes.

No progress.

So, you log off and stop sharing. Bad times.

Log Off. But KEEP Sharing

Sometimes disconnecting can be amazingly helpful to your mental fortitude. Even if it’s only on specific platforms. But you should never stop sharing, or turn your back on an audience you’ve built. I myself found that actively using and sharing things on Twitter created little to no value for me, other than inciting arguments with overly sensitive people who would rather spend their time crying about things than getting work done. But that’s life I suppose, some people will never be happy.

In light of this, it’s important you carefully select the networks you actively engage in when spreading your message online, and balance that against where your audience actually is. I stopped engaging on Twitter and feel much better as a result. That unplugging gave me much more mental calmness.

I can still share there by queuing up my Tweets in advance to share my work. But consuming there just wasn’t for me.

Personally, I think the best route is to pick a single platform or subsection of a community that you resonate with the most and enjoy spending time on and focusing solely on that. Sure, there’s value in multiple platforms, but you can schedule content now, and don’t even need to be active in those places you find just sap your time and energy.

Once you find that place you find value in, and your ideal audience hang out, tailor everything for them and just redistribute or repurpose things for other networks where those people are, but maybe you don’t want to dedicate time yourself.

Tools like Buffer and other scheduling tools allow you to syndicate that content elsewhere effectively from your primary source.

Find Your Base

One of the biggest pitfalls people trip into when sharing online is to try and get a variety of content out across multiple platforms.

This is a recipe for disaster.

Instead, pick one place a bunch of the people you seek to help hang out, and set up shop there. For me, this place is Medium, and it’s why I’m sharing here every day (or more than once a day) now. But honestly, it can be any platform, all of them will have a pocket that serves those you are looking for. The problem comes when you don’t pick one, or try to pick them all. You sit constantly analysing things, rather than getting moving.

When you’re thinking about who to target to build your audience, you don’t focus on everyone. Because doing so will mean that your message becomes muddy and unrefined.

When you target everyone. You target no one.

It’s the same with platforms. When you try and write individually tailored pieces for each place you’ll share, you get overwhelmed. It’s too much to do at once. If you actually want to have an impact and stand out, you’ve got to always be showing up in the same places. Over and over again. So you become familiar.

When you find the place you’re happy to get things out there, take advantage and build up a consistent cadence in that place. Discover what works for you, and makes you feel authentic, and then tie it to the goals, dreams and aspirations of the people you’re hoping to help and make your customers. Find those people you can help and show them the way forwards. Stop being so nervous.

If you’re nervous or get worried at the thought of sharing, it’s because your mentality is wrong. You’re worrying too much. Or remembering false teaching forced upon you in your life journey.

Forget the bullshit from the past and your own misconceptions.

Find your base. Show up. And do so over and over again.

Design Your Systems

Everything is easier when you have a script. A series of tasks to follow and always have to hand, so you’re never lost.

Try to keep these processes as trackable and straightforward as possible. Keep things to small loops you can repeat over and over, then improve when you have results.

Here’s the system I use for my content and social media, feel free to steal it, adapt it, or take it as inspiration when putting together your own.

My Content Cycle:

  1. I’m regularly writing down ideas for articles in a big ol’ list. When it’s time to create (which for me is multiple times a day now), I just dip into that pool, pick something out and after making sure it will fit with my audience, I get to work on the outline. If I’m struggling for ideas. I’ll go read or listen to an audiobook until some new ideas strike me, then I add those to that master list too.
  2. I create in an incredibly frantic way, usually working and refining multiple articles and ideas at once. This may seem unproductive or lacking in focus, but in action bouncing around many trains of thought means I always have something else to go work on if I get blocked on a piece. In practice, my writing process is pretty simple: I write down a set of bullet points I want to cover, then dump my thoughts onto the page, then refine until it feels ready.
  3. Deciding when a post is “done” can be hard. You can sit and pour over every single element in detail, endlessly editing and tweaking. To combat this, I try to only proof once after reaching a point where all the points I’d written down are covered and fleshed out. For my editing, I use Grammarly and make sure to set the editing goals correctly, so I always get the best and most relevant suggestions.
  4. Once those final checks are done, it’s time for launch. First up, I’ll share on my newsletter, which I publish every day like everything else. The day after the newsletter, I share on my own website, and then finally get things out on Medium, two days after it hits my newsletter. By syndicating content through this process, I increase the number of potential touch points with the people I’m hoping to help.
  5. It doesn’t end there though, just like any launch online: You’ve got to get out there and find people who could be interested and get your work in front of them. You should have a list of these places to hand, and if not, go do some research on the places, groups and communities you can become a part of to gain access to more of your demographic.
  6. As a part of this process, it’s essential to be reminded to set expectations. Unlike with goals, where you should aim as high as possible, when sharing your work online, you should set your expectations low, REAL LOW. In doing this, you’ll never be disappointed when something you work on doesn’t have the impact you “expect”. Remember that consistency and cumulation are the primary keys here. Expecting immediate results is unreasonable. There’s no such thing as an overnight success.
  7. Repeat – Over and over and over and over…

Following a process like this where you’re always creating, sharing and improving means you get the most mileage possible from your ideas and are continually taking action to develop your work and share more. Further building your power.

It’s important to note that every step in the cycle is essential. Don’t go skipping parts and then start complaining when you don’t get the results you expect. The most commonly overlooked aspect when sharing your work online is the promotional and sharing part, people seem to still subscribe to the outdated mentality of “if I build it, they will come” – They won’t. You’ve got to go and get them.

So share often. Keep sharing until people tell you to stop. Then share more.

Understand not everyone in your demographic has seen it. And because of that, there’s still customers, readers and users out there that you could be showing value to, and building a relationship with.

Just keep going. Push through the blocks.

Nothing Happens Immediately

Some appear online and share for a few weeks, then moan when they aren’t at the level of Gary Vee in that brief period. So they stop, instead of staying the course.

But you’d never give up like that, would you?

Good.

Every occasion you feel like giving up is an opportunity to grow. Break through those barriers of resistance and weakness, and become a better person and creator as a result.

There will be detractors, doubters and people who say you’re doing it wrong, but ignore them and keep going. To be honest, 95% of the opinions you’ll get will be of absolutely no help at all. Because they will be from that vocal minority of people too insecure about sharing themselves. And if they aren’t in your audience, the people you seek to help, screw em. Focus on those you can actually assist, instead of getting caught up or bogged down by those who can’t help you grow.

The era you’ve been born into is filled with opportunity. Your grandparents and even your parents didn’t have access to the things you do now. So take advantage and get your ideas out there, create more opportunities and stay on track with your content.

It’s easy to get stressed or anxious, worry about what others think. But I promise, no one is as critical as you. If you can get past your own limits and boundaries for the better of yourself, no one will even notice or think about what you had to surmount. They’ll just envy you and wonder how you share so much.

You share so much because you’re only connecting in the places that grow and help you. If you ever feel bad about yourself or your work, try unplugging from those networks that limit you. Take a break and rediscover the things that make you passionate; then share them with the world.

Get started today. What’s stopping you?

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