Pin. Repin. Post. Comment. Share. Like. Follow. Tweet. Link. Connect. Friend (the verb version). Hashtag. Blog. SEO. Original content. Backlink. It seems to never end, all of these things you have to understand and do. It's hard. And overwhelming. And exhausting. Just. So. Much. To. Learn. There's always something else, the next thing, the next step.
When you think you've mastered one thing, another thing crops up. Shopify sends you an article reminding you of the CRUCIAL importance of having a dynamic YouTube page. "Noooooo!" You literally yell out loud even though you're alone at your dining room table. You want to pull your hair out and scream. Because over the past month you've been spending all your time on Pinterest...and you finally get it! You're finally starting to find your rhythm, you're gaining some traction, and even beginning to enjoy it. You feel like a boss, like you're some sort of warrior who took on a wild beast (Pinterest, in this case), and you tamed that beast (sort of). Then, BOOM. You're hit with something totally new that you hadn't thought of, but is absolutely pivotal or your business will FAIL. You want to just delete Shopify's latest email (which contains searingly important advice that can't be ignored, as was true of the last three emails you received from them), but you know you can't delete it...nor do you honestly want to. Because ultimately you want to take on the next beast, even though you will likely be injured in the battle process. Each of these proverbial battles, the learning of a new tool, the taking-on of a new task, is one step closer to making your company a really-and-truly profitable business with a loyal following and a customer base who genuinely love your product. So you prepare yourself for the next battle, which is exhausting, but necessary. So yes, you can spend all your time agonizing about these things, all the STUFF you have to do to even survive the next month (let alone become profitable)...or you can just slowly, methodically, and intelligently move forward with your work. It's back-breaking work, but it's all part of the journey and it cannot be overlooked. The rewards will be invaluable. This is what running a start-up business is all about. Rolling with the punches. Re-tooling when you need to. Constantly re-evaluating what you're doing. And learning all the new terminology and methodology that you need to, even if it means just sitting by yourself at a table and TEACHING yourself, little by little.
And do you know what? You know deep down you should be thankful for all this overwhelming work you have. Yes, I said thankful, even after all that griping I did in the last two paragraphs. Thankful for all the craziness the internet and social media is throwing at you and forcing your cluttered and fried brain to figure out. Because ten years ago, even FIVE years ago, none (or a whole lot less) of this was available to small business owners. The only way you could truly sell your new product was via an "old fashioned" brick and mortar store-- a building with four walls. (Wait, what? You had to actually have a physical structure that customers visit to sell a product?). These days, people can make MILLIONS, simply selling items, even just selling IDEAS and NOTIONS, online. These days, customers may never even speak to the person from whom they're buying a product. This is how it works now...and it's really an amazing development in the business world. But it requires a whole lot of solitary, extended-gratification grunt work. You don't see the fruits of your labor in any concrete way for months, even years. You just have to BELIEVE and TRUST that it's happening. Because if you're doing the work, it's happening.
You can't give up, you won't give up. Because all of these little movements you're making alone at home, pinning and linking and commenting and blogging and friending and liking and tweeting and googling, are actually pushing you forward in ways that you don't see. It's really quite remarkable. So, you small business owner, you start-up starter, you courageous newcomer to the social media business world-- persevere! If you believe in your product, your company, your vision, your mission, your ideals, you will find your audience, your base, your people. If you build it, they will come...even if you never truly see the concrete building itself.