I have started going for walks in the morning, it wasn't easy at first. Hearing that alarm go off at 6am and literally dragging my sorry carcass out of bed, still half asleep.

Trying not to stumble into anything and wake the rest of the house up.

Then stepping outside into the blinding sun, shuffling along. As I cut through the park, admiring the swans, their heads tucked into their downy backs. Then up and across the bridge over to the seafront to begin my long walk. It takes me about 45 minutes to get into the groove and I’m a bit grumpy first thing so I don’t get many hello's out to the joggers or people walking their dogs going the other way.

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But as the podcast or audiobook I’m listening to starts to filter through and my blood begins to circulate around my body, I slowly and surely begin to wake up.

I begin to notice things around me, the smell of the sea air, the sun on my face, the distant sound of waves crashing on the shore. I begin to interact with people around me, a cheeky smile here, a nod there and even the odd "hello" if I’m feeling brave enough.

By the time I get home, I feel refreshed and energised, ready to tackle the day and I'm losing weight and my mind is alight with ideas.

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It wasn't always this easy though. I had to embed that habit. I have been listening to atomic habits by James Clear (a truly extraordinary book). In it he says.

"habits are the compound interest of self-improvement".

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That’s exactly what social media is. You reap the rewards from the long tail. It’s supposed to be hard, you want the easy fix of someone else creating content for you because you want the easy way out.

The long game and all the juice comes out the other end, once you have embedded the habit of posting and interacting and showing up everyday.

He says there is a four stage pattern to this -

  1. Cue. A piece of information that suggests there’s a reward to be found, like the smell of a cookie or a dark room waiting to light up.
  2. Craving. The motivation to change something to get the reward, like tasting the delicious cookie or being able to see.
  3. Response. Whatever thought or action you need to take to get to the reward.
  4. Reward. The satisfying feeling you get from the change, along with the lesson whether to do it again or not.

With social the cue is speaking to potential leads.

The craving is a huge increase in revenue.

The response is actually creating content. 

The reward is more conversations through the interaction on your content (those likes and comments which will get you speaking to the people you need to, to generate revenue).

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LinkedIn’s SSI score (social selling index) tells us that we need to do 4 things.

1. Establish your professional brand

- How complete and filled out your profile is and how positioned you are as a thought leader in your space.

  • Make sure all of your LinkedIn profile sections are filled in.
  • Make the most out of multimedia and add rich content on your profile such as videos and presentations and add them to your featured section. Maybe even through in the odd gif to attract attention.
  • Aim to increase your endorsements and recommendations. Social proof is everything.
  • Publish long-form posts (articles) natively on LinkedIn.

2. Find the right people

- (through content, on their content and primarily through the search function on LinkedIn).

  • Regular and advanced LinkedIn searches.
  • LinkedIn groups.
  • LinkedIn Sales Navigator to find your leads through job change alerts, prospects similar to your existing customers, the "posted on LinkedIn" search filter, and more and basic search.

3. Engage with insights

- This LinkedIn SSI pillar measures your engagement – in terms of shares, likes, and comments your posts are receiving. LinkedIn describe this as "Discover and share valuable information to initiate or maintain a relationship."

4. Build relationships

- LinkedIn defines this SSI pillar as strengthening your network by finding and establishing trust with decision-makers and other thought leaders in your niche.

Once you start to embed these habits across the board and get the fundamentals right you’ll start to unlock more conversations with the people you need to.

The hardest part is starting.

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Then maintaining that system through habit formation. Which takes time and discipline.

Once you begin down this path the rewards are huge. Like a walk along a coastline early in the morning, you start to notice things. Just small things at first, all around you, which inform your decisions and then ultimately change you.

It might be hiring opportunities from people that now want to come and work for you through seeing your content. It could be new pipeline from that account you have been trying to talk to for months and they saw your pictures of the dog and you started a conversation with them. It could be positioning your team as thought leaders through your technical content and (most importantly) it could be holding onto the staff you have by creating a sense of purpose across your team and letting them discover who they are through their content and story.

The point is we are in control of all of it, because we are here and showing up.

See social doesn’t just allow you to grow your business, it enriches you because of what you share, who you hang out with and what you’re made of and that can be the most beautiful and rewarding experience you’ll ever have. As a business owner and human.

As Robert Murier says

"One small step can change your life - Robert Murier"

So what are you waiting for, get out of bed, stick those shoes on and take that first step out of the front door into social!

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