The other day, my Business Partner, Adam Gray wrote an excellent blog about how people approach social media.  Tactically. 

They, look for free stuff on the internet, then they might hire a person for "hints and tips" or maybe a "masterclass".  I was just on a call with people that had hired a Linkedin expert in the US for "Hint and Tips" for their sales team.  The Linkedin expert did a two hour session.  I asked them, "what happened after that two hour session?"  

The answer "nothing".

The problem with social media is you cannot get "a little bit pregnant".  All of these courses exploit people's ignorance.

Social Media is binary, it's either 1 or 0.  It's either yes or know.

So what is 1 x 1 x 1x 0 ?

It's zero ..... people think if you put in 70% of the effort you get 70% of the result.  It's not, 70% of the effort creates zero of the result.  Like a jigsaw, it's not all complete until you put all the pieces in.  A jigsaw that is 70% complete, is 70% complete. 

Adam sums it up nicely with this blog.

Why 99% of social sellers quit in the Valley of Despair

"The valley of despair is part of the journey from “start to success.” It’s a well known concept, it’s that place in the middle where most people quit, not just in social media but in most elements of live and business.

The route to success is usually broken-down into 5 discrete stages:

Phase 1: Uninformed Optimism. We all begin with a dream on social media like anywhere else in business and life.  This dream is typically this is what encourages us to embark on the social journey “if I deploy these skills and processes I will be more visible, more credible and sell more”… "

The first time I rolled out social selling corporately, we assumed that people something will make the salespeople more money they will instantly do it.  It's not, back to Adam's blog ....

"that’s a pretty compelling reason to want to be active on social media and it is achievable for anyone if they want it badly enough and have the staying power.

But it’s not just social media, we see this everywhere and it is this pot of gold at the end of the rainbow which creates the dream, the desire and the motivation to begin. But beginning is the easy part. Selling the dream is the easy part. Like the “earn $100/hour working part time from your own home” or “invest in cryptocurrency and make 30x your money back in 10 days for doing nothing.” 

If you are foolish enough to believe that;

  1. there is such a thing as a free lunch, and
  2. it’s easy but you’ll be the only one doing it,

then you deserve to fail. 

Every facet of being successful requires hard work and commitment if you think it’s going to be easy…you’re wrong.

Phase 2: Informed Pessimism. This is where the “no such thing as a free lunch” reality starts to bite. In our training programme, this is where you start to write your profile and explore who you are and what’s special about you. It’s hard. It’s outside your comfort zone. Many people won’t or can’t take the leap of faith (and bravery) that is required to get the ball rolling and there’s a realisation that the execution of some of this is much harder than you thought it was going to be.

The dream that you would turn-up and everything would just fall into place crumbles. This is where the work begins. It’s a period of learning, developing and putting gin to action what you usually suspected you might need to do.

Phase 3: The Valley of Despair. This lasts for longer than you want. It’s where you have created a great profile and you are now down in the daily grind of “doing stuff.” Publishing, messaging, engaging…day after day, week after week, month after month. If you think it will take 4 weeks it’ll take 8, if you think 6 months it’ll be a year…it drags on and on and on and on. You MUST remember why you are doing this. You must remain focused on the prize. 

The more you do and the more you step outside your comfort zone the quicker you will see success. If you publish one piece per day for 3 weeks DON’T STOP…keep going it’s only a matter of time.

It is this period where the relentlessness of doing new stuff starts to take its toll. Whether that’s going to the gym (where the reality of what you need to do in order to achieve that perfectly sculpted physique) or winning a big contract this is where the reality of what you need to do collides with the dream of what you’re going to get.

“Timing, perseverance, and ten years of trying will eventually make you look like an overnight success.” Biz Sone (Co-founder Twitter)

Phase 4: Informed Optimism. You’ve had a win. You have arranged some meetings, forecasted some business or even signed a deal. This is dangerous territory because you think you’ve arrived. You haven’t. Lots of people fall a this final hurdle.

We once worked with a company and one of their salespeople used social techniques to increase business in a key account they ran. 250% sales uplift in just 6 weeks. Amazing. However…they didn’t do the same thing in their other 5 accounts they thought “I’ve done it…I’ve arrived” but they hadn’t so they slipped-back into the valley of despair and eventually gave up.

Phase 5: Success and Fulfilment. This is nirvana. This is where your social activity has become part of your daily routine, you are posting and engaging and messaging every single day and this is the backbone of your marketing, prospecting and sales methodology. You are there. You are a ninja.

Never quit. Everyone can be successful.

So, this is a shout-out to those people we have worked with, at DLAignite and our clients who have successfully passed through the valley of despair and are either at success…or very nearly there.

Well done to you all. You know who you are…

It’s a tough journey but nothing is quite like it!

Where Do We Go From Here?

Just give me, or one of the DLA Ignite team and hour of your time and we can walk you through what we are doing for other companies.  No hard sell, just take you through what other companies are doing to transform, how they are getting competitive advantage and how they have made their way over the burning bridge. 

Please contact me here or one of the DLA Ignite team here, so please pick one of our industry experts or one of our experts in your geographical locality.  Our website is here.