Avoid This Hidden Trap

Facebook. LinkedIn. Twitter. Pinterest. Flickr. Tumblr.

Social media has changed our personal and professional lives. On the good side, being a social media whiz offers many lucrative opportunities for both beginning and veteran copywriters.

On the negative side …

Social media can be a mega time-sucker. These sites I mentioned are just six out of 250 sites listed on Wikipedia … and the article says the list is not complete!

That’s 250 opportunities to lose valuable time, unless you seize control of social media rather than letting it seize control of you.

Learn from a veteran …

Pam Foster – an outstanding and very successful copywriter who’s presented many times at AWAI’s annual Bootcamp – tells it best. Here’s a question she posed in our Circle of Success blog …

“Sadly, my addiction is Social Media – LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, BizNik. So many people swear by social media for generating leads. It has worked for me, a little. So how does one stay current and efficient on Social Media sites without having them erode productivity? Would love some advice.”

Pam is an established copywriter asking for advice. If she’s having issues controlling social media in her life, then this is a real, widespread concern.

I’m not going to give you something like “10 steps to control social media addiction” here. The answer is really quite simple and is contained within Pam’s question.

The self-serving side of social media …

Social media is all the rage right now. Many new copywriters dedicate a huge amount of time to social media. They think it’s a magical door through which tons of offers will flow – if only they can get enough links … enough friends … enough connections … and enough videos posted.

Don’t get me wrong, social media really is an important part of self-promotion. However, it’s only one small part. As Pam says, “It has worked for me … a little.”

The key to controlling social media is judgment. Your judgment.

Look at the various options available to you in social media and decide which two or three feel like they’ll work best for you. For instance, when I finally woke up to the potential social media holds, I decided to complete my LinkedIn information and make it current.

What got me moving was getting an unsolicited testimonial from a client posted there. Suddenly I realized the value it held for me. I spent two hours doing the updating. Then I linked to a few other key people in my career.

That’s pretty much all I’ve done in social media in regard to my professional career. When someone tries to link to me, I might spend three minutes checking out the connection and its value to me. If I think it may be worth linking, I do so. If not, I don’t.

This approach sounds harsh and self-serving. Tough. It helps me control social media.

The answer comes from you …

My advice to you is to follow this model. Don’t get caught up in a wave of outside enthusiasm about any career-boosting strategy. Study it carefully. Decide for yourself – and with the advice of a few close associates whom you trust and who provide models for success – whether you stand to gain from adopting the strategy.

Then limit the amount of time you initially put into using social media until you get solid indications that it’s working for you.

If you use social media socially – like I do for my Rotary Club – then never go on to social media during your work time. NEVER. Even if you plan to spend just two minutes checking Facebook, you and I both know that two minutes all too easily becomes two hours.

Social media is a tool. Just like your website. Or self-promotional letters. Or cold calling. It’s not a magic catapult that miraculously thrusts you into success. Use it right, and it will help.

Use it incorrectly, and you’re undermining your quest for success.

Here are my last words on social media: If it feels like you’re spending too much time on it, you are. If you feel it’s keeping you from doing some good, old-fashioned client contacting, it is.

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Published: April 14, 2014

1 Response to “Avoid This Hidden Trap”

  1. Thank you for this information. For someone getting into the copywriting busines,but not new with the social media, this is very useful.

    Guest (Magida Najjar)

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