Lessons Learned Trying to Navigate Social Media
Most 5 year olds know more about computer technology than I do. It’s not that I’m unwilling to learn or that I’m stupid. It just hasn’t been a priority until now. I’ve watched young children pick up the latest smart phone and navigate through various apps. They don’t even blink. So, how difficult can it be? Plenty, if you’re like me.
I grew up in a small village in the West of Ireland. There were no televisions. The closest thing to technology was a public telephone. In order to make a call you had to crank the handle on the side and wait for the operator to pick up. At least that was the way it was supposed to work. In our case the operator was the local post mistress. Depending on her mood, or the time of day, she might or might not pick up.
Fast forward some fifty plus years. I’m shifting the focus of my sales management coaching business from one-on-one to more on-line group coaching. My clients are no longer local. Potentially they can be anywhere in the world. So I began searching for someone to help me navigate the jungle that is social media marketing. Shouldn’t be too difficult, one would think. Seems like everyone I know live and breathe on their smart phones. They’re busy dealing with Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, Pinterest and platforms I’ve never heard of. Surely someone could explain the basics to me?
Nope! Either they didn’t know or they were too busy. No worries. Even I have learned how to use Google to search for help. I spent hours on research and, even paid for a few webinars on developing the platforms I thought I needed. I learned steps I never would have believed possible, but finally concluded that it would take me forever to master the basic computer skills that any 5 year old knows. I had a choice: either spend all my time screwing around with this stuff, and not get any real work done, or hire someone to teach me.
I asked around and got directed to the local Community College. From there I was referred to a person at one of the nearby Economic Development Councils. Supposedly this person had a whole roster of young people, skilled in social media marketing, and available at a reasonable hourly rate. Great! Unfortunately this person doesn’t return phone calls. Again, not to worry. I’d try the other local Economic Development Council. Same deal. Silly me. The telephone must be obsolete. Perhaps Economic Development Council means something different in this part of the country?
Long story short I found www.Upwork.com and within minutes had at least 20 qualified candidates. I hired one. So far so good … getting the work done and even learning a thing or two. There is a slight challenge with different time zones but it’s not as big a barrier as trying to deal with local bureaucrats. They don’t even seem to know what day it is.
A few lessons learned:
- Even an old dog can learn new tricks. It sometimes takes a bit longer.
- If at first you don’t succeed, try, and try again, until you do.
- The fact that someone has a title and a job description doesn’t always mean they read it, or feel obligated to live up to it.
- Nothing is impossible when you really want it.
- The world is full of resources. You just have to find them.
- If you’re in sales, or you run any kind of business, or business service, return your phone calls. If you can’t do that, find something else to do.
Oliver Connolly coaches and mentors sales managers. Look for his online programs at http://www.clevelstrategic.com. More details in the next month.