I was nervous. It took me 4 months to set foot inside “the Box”. I finally tricked myself into starting by sending a Facebook message declaring I’d stop by tomorrow (so I couldn’t put it off until “tomorrow” yet again the next morning).
I'm talking about CrossFit and I LOVED it. The coach was totally approachable, the community was friendly and best of all, it took all the guesswork out of working out. I’m just over a month in (so hardly an expert!) but I’m already kicking myself for not trying it sooner.
And I realized last week that CrossFit and social media have a lot in common:
- The unknown can be scary or intimidating (but it’s all in your head so just get started already!)
- You have to do it to really understand what makes it special
- Super-supportive community just waiting to get to know you and cheer you on
- Once you establish a routine, it becomes second-nature
- You’ll find yourself advocating for it to anyone who will listen
- 6 months or a year from now you’ll wish you had started today : )
But beyond these similarities, how can CrossFit help you strengthen your social media content?
I show up at my CrossFit Box and one of the coaches runs us through a complete workout: warm-up, technique work (like getting proper form for a particular lift or learning a new skill), the WOD (workout of the day) and then cool-down with abs and stretching. I’m in and out in about an hour and I know I’ll always get a great workout, see friendly faces and have the benefit of some expert advice.
These three aspects (the structure, the community and the coaching) are what keep me coming back and are, I think, a big part of why CrossFit is becoming so popular. I realized these same principles can be used to strengthen more than muscles–we can use them to strengthen our businesses and our social media content.
Systems and structure in business help us take a set of steps in a repeatable way so we can do it faster and with greater consistency (and we don’t waste time guessing at the next step or reinventing the wheel every time!). I find the more systems I put in place, the easier it is to run my business and the more time I have to work on the big-picture projects.
(If you want some systems nitty-gritty Jenny Shih is a systems master and she dishes on some great client intake and tracking systems on the ACE podcast this week. And Leah Kalamakis shared the ins-and-outs of her client intake process in this brilliant, super-detailed post over at The Freelance to Freedom Project.)
CrossFit makes my workout a system. In this case someone else designed it, but just like any good system in my business, all I have to do is show up and follow it and it gets me the results it was designed for.
The foundation of a great social media presence is consistent, high-quality content. Yes, it’s about relationships but it’s much easier to make connections when you are sharing content worth talking about. (Just think about how much easier it is to connect with someone at cocktail party who is sharing an interesting story vs. someone who is just standing there without saying a word.)
And the great news is you can systemize your social media content! If you set aside an hour a week or 4 hours a month to use the 4 Pillars of Great Social Media Content to batch write post and then get them scheduled, you’ll free up oodles of time and head-space in your business.
The reason you spend so much time on Facebook is because you know people there, and they know you! Your friends cheer you on when you succeed and pick you up when you are down (I hope!).
I went to a gym in Montreal for years and hardly knew any of the other people who worked out there. (Maybe that was my fault but I always felt like it was awkward to have real conversations when you are working out and no one there seemed to invite them.)
CrossFit, on the other hand, makes your workout a team activity. Everyone does the same (or similar) Workout of the Day (WOD) and there is a sense of both friendly competition and supportive camaraderie. (In fact during one of the WODs last week we were told we couldn’t let our kettlebell ever touch the ground. The punishment: 20 burpees–for the person to our left! So we were all encouraging each other to hold on no matter what!)
This type of friendly peer-pressure and support is super powerful. I think it’s a big reason why the CrossFit community is so tight. It’s also why so many business owners, especially solopreneurs, are part of mastermind or accountability groups.
Social media is an opportunity for this kind of community writ large: all you have to do is find (or create!) those spaces where you feel supported and comfortable. Because then you’ll want to come back again and again, you'll come across tons of great social media content to share AND you’ll be making great connections with potential clients, partners and friends. (Need somewhere to start? A couple of my favourite places for solopreneurs: Rebecca Tracey’s Uncaged Lifers and The Freelance to Freedom Project community)
It’s no secret that the right coaching has made (and is making!) all the difference for me in my business. I am a HUGE DIY-er (this website is case-in-point!). Googling for answers or learning from products like BSchool is awesome but there really is no substitute for personal attention and support. You get there faster, with less stress AND you are confident you are making the right decision for you and your business.
When it comes to fitness, I’ve followed a hodge podge of exercise programs from magazines, books and websites in the past. I’ve done the couch-to-5K and trained for my first triathlon by following a program from Runners World. And while those programs got me to the finish line, I had to put A LOT of time into tweaking them for me, googling to figure out whether doing it this way or that was better (or even made a difference!).
It is SUCH a weight off my mind to stop looking for that next program. To stop googling youtube videos on the proper form for this exercise. To just show up, have an expert walk me through the technique, supervise and correct me and lay out exactly what I have to do.
As part of the Make it Work Live retreat, I learned the technique from the best (Jenny Shih, Kendrick Shope and Bev Barnes), got personal feedback and answers to specific-to-me-questions and left with a big business checklist of exactly what I needed to next in my business. A-mah-zing.
This is also exactly what I do for my clients’ social media content in my new Rock-Solid Strategy Sessions: I teach you the technique, give you feedback and tweak it for your business and then lay out exactly what you need to do to fill your Facebook Page or Twitter account with brilliant content your audience will love for the next month. (Not to mention the accountability to make that actually happen!)
I’d love to hear from you!
Where are you struggling currently in your business? How can you build in some structure, community or coaching to make it stronger?