I’d been a social media manager and marketing assistant for almost two years before I came up with the concept of sacred social media. It was two years of long hours, demanding work and an online world that kept on changing (normally around the same time that I thought I had finally worked it all out). I was tired and burnt out from it all but also inspired... because I knew that deep within that there was another way to do this.
It didn’t have to be so hard. It didn’t have to be exhausting. Social media could feel really, really good!
So I started to explore different ways of working with my clients. I embraced a sustainable approach to social media. And I amped up the way that I showed up in my business and on social media (making sure that my cup was filled before I poured into others). And then it came to me: sacred social media!
Sacred social media was the answer to three main problems that I was experiencing in my business.
The problems were:
I was a social media manager without a social media presence that made me really proud
I spent so much time speaking in my clients' voice that I lost my own unique expression
I was so tired from client work that I had no drive or creativity for my own business
Perhaps you can relate? Perhaps that’s exactly how you’re feeling right now? Don’t worry, I’ve been there and I know that there is another way. So here is my sacred social media guide for virtual assistants and social media managers.
Explore a more sustainable way
Sacred social media might feel very far from the way you’re using social media right now. But I want you know that it all starts here with sustainability. I don’t want any of these steps to be another thing that you add to your ever-expanding to-do list. That’s not what sacred social media is about. So to avoid the overwhelm, I’m going to get you to start by exploring a more sustainable way of using social media.
As a virtual assistant or social media manager, I doubt you have the capacity to take a social media detox or to unplug for large periods of time. So this is where boundaries come in.
Setting sustainable social media boundaries consists of two main steps:
1. Check in with your social media activity: This step is all about checking in with the way that you’re currently using and feeling about social media. My favourite tool to help you do this is Moment which tells you exactly how much time you spend on your phone (it’s scary but very insightful). This step isn’t about making any changes, we’re just becoming aware of where we are at and what our habits are. For example, after using this app for a couple of weeks I realised that spending more than two hours on my phone each day wasn’t feeling good. Once I knew this, I was able to enforce some boundaries (spoiler alert: this is the next step). If you don’t want to download the app then start to get more curious about the way you’re using social media. Ask yourself: Why am I using social media right now? What is my intention? And how is it making me feel?
2. Creating and enforcing boundaries: Once you have checked in, it’s time to set some boundaries about the way you’re showing up on social media. For example, limiting your time on social media, only using social media during certain times of the day and having set social media free times. It’s also a good idea to communicate these boundaries to clients too. For example: I used to tell clients that I only posted social media updates for them at certain times of the day. This was a simple boundary with a huge impact as I stopped feeling like I was spending all day on social media.
Get clear on your vision
As a social media manager, I spent a lot of time helping my clients achieve their dreams and goals. I loved this, and always felt so inspired by my clients, but I started to lose touch with my own dreams and visions. So I set out to prioritise my own dreams and started by setting social media goals. This might sound simple enough but when was the last time you set a social media goal for yourself? One that you wrote down, worked towards and tracked progress on? If you’re anything like me then setting goals for yourself was put on the non-essential list. But you can’t create sacred social media if you don’t have a goal so let’s get dreaming!
Here are some questions to help you to set sacred social media goals:
What do you most want to achieve in your business?
What’s the best thing that could happen on your social media?
How can social media help you to achieve your business goals?
Can you break that into your own short-term social media goal?
Ramp up the connection
I don’t know about you but I always felt like being a social media manager was a lonely job. Don’t get me wrong, I love working from home and having that independence but I missed the genuine connection. I was using social media as a tool for consuming, searching for beautiful regrams and researching ideas for clients but I forgot that social media was also an incredible platform for connection. I was so caught up in building followers and likes for my clients that I forgot to take a moment and actually read the comments.
Around the same time, I was getting really fed up with all of the terrible tactics that people were using for 'social media success’. And yes I’m looking at you, auto-comment bots! Surely there were better and more impactful way of approaching social media connection? Then I realised sacred social media wasn't about numbers or followers, it was about growing a community of people who really, truly care about you and your business. I call these people your soul tribe and it’s made up of three main groups of people: your social media followers, your ideal clients and customers and the people who have worked with you/do work with you/want to work with you. And when someone fits into all three groups of people then they’re a true member of the soul tribe!
Here are some ways that you can ramp up the connection and grow your soul tribe:
Connecting with your social media followers: Want to explore deeper connection with your social media followers? Open up the conversation and ask people to engage with you. This could mean asking people’s opinions on an Insta-Story or doing a Q&A Facebook Live video (I find video a really great way to encourage deeper connection). Work out how you most desire to connect with people and give them the opportunity to engage with you.
Connecting with your ideal clients and customers: Do you know who your ideal clients and customers are? Do you know where they’re hanging out? Or perhaps what brands and businesses they love? Or what communities they’re a part of? Use social media to find where they’re hanging out and connect with them there.
Connecting with people who have worked with you/do work with you/want to work with you: This is a great opportunity to use social media to connect with people who have worked with you or currently work with you. For example, you could make sure to connect and engage with your clients on social media by messaging them with inspiration, commenting on their posts and tagging them in relevant information. When it comes to people who would want to work with you (e.g. people who have enquired but aren’t quite ready to work with you just yet), you can also use social media to nurture the relationship and connect on a deeper level.
Tap into your own truth
I’ve spent the majority of my time as a social media manager speaking in other people’s voices. Fair enough, this was my job but it wasn’t the only part of my business. I had my own ideas. I had my own projects. And I had my own authentic expression. And I knew that if I could tap into that then I’d be able to help more and more people with my work - not just the people that I directly worked with.
It was in exploring my own truth that I came to realise my desire for sacred social media and created an online program that outlined my own approach to social media. And while it was scary to finally speak up and share my truth, I was lucky enough to watch how speaking my truth allowed me to connect so much more deeply with my clients.
Wondering how you can start to tap into your own truth? Here is my favourite (and really easy) way of starting:
Grab out a piece of paper and write the words ‘I believe…’
Finish the sentence with the first thing that pops into your mind.
Continue writing the sentence and going deeper and deeper and deeper.
Keep going until you feel like you’ve struck gold.
What have you come up with? How can you explore those truths more deeply? How can you weave those ideas through your social media?
Commit to creative exploration
You know what I really love about using social media? It’s such an incredible platform to explore, experiment and test things out. There are always new features being rolled out. Always new inspiration and ideas to implement. And always ways to go deeper and deeper and deeper.
So as a virtual assistant and social media manager, using social media can teach you so many skills and ideas that you can then implement with your clients (it really is a win-win!)
But before you commit to creative exploration (because it will take up some time and energy), I want you to think about the way that you use social media now. Are you a creator? Or a consumer? Do you spend more time on social media creating your own content or do you spend more time on social media consuming others?
I know there was a stage where I was 99% consumer and 1% creator. And I don’t know about you but I’m not okay with that. I want to contribute. I want a voice. I want to leave a legacy.
Do you want that too? Then you’ll definitely have to commit to creativity over consumption.
And once you’ve committed to creative exploration, start by creating a list of the things you’d like to explore on social media.
Here are some things you might like to explore:
Learn how to take beautiful flat-lay images
Become a master at Insta-Stories
Start experimenting with different hashtags
Test out paid Facebook advertising
Teach yourself how to make gorgeous graphics
Not only do these ideas allow you to be creative but they also teach you skills that can enhance your experience with clients too!
Want to know more about creativity and content on social media? You will love this blog post here!
Prioritise your presence
Now this might be sounding all fun and games to you but how do you actually step up and find time to make it happen? I know you’re busy, me too!
But the only way to make this all happen and to really experience sacred social media is to prioritise your own presence.
For me, this meant that Monday was always a client-free day where I could create all of the things that I wanted to create before diving into client work. I have tried to make client-free days on a Friday but by the time I got there, I was always too exhausted to even think about my own business.
So now, I prioritise my own business and schedule my social media on a Monday before diving into client work. Even now that I don’t work as a social media manager, I’m still in the habit of doing my work before working with coaching clients.
I don’t love the word ‘celebration’ and whenever I say it, I always imagine balloons and streamers and dorky party hats. But celebration isn’t necessarily a party. Celebration is recognition. Recognition for you. And all that you do and create. That might look like a party for you but for me, it’s quiet moments where I look back on what I’ve created and say: “Good job!"
It’s simply taking a moment to appreciate the things that I do - without whizzing forward to the ‘next thing’ and the ‘next thing’ and the ‘next thing’.
And so I don’t want you to put any pressure on yourself to do all of this, right now. Instead, I want you to look at all that you create - whether it’s for you or for your clients and say “Good job!"
Because what you’re creating in the world matters and every little action you take, adds up to create your marvellous legacy!