You probably already know where you want to get to in your business. You may already have a roadmap to get there. But there’s one thing that keeps coming up time and again when I talk to business owners. Many of you are trying to figure out how to fit all this social media stuff into the day to day operations of your business. You’ve got all the information, but are completely overwhelmed and have no idea where to begin.

I can and do spend time with some of you, helping to build your social strategy and ensuring it is in alignment with your business goals. I can give you all sorts of information and pointers and links. I can completely overwhelm you with things to do and learn and figure out. And you can take all that information, go back to your office energized and ready to take on the online world….and then life takes over. You never quite get around to working on your plan any further. You see this social media stuff as Mount Everest, and you’re barely at Base Camp. So you put it off, and put it off. 6 months go by and you’re even further behind than you were before. And that plan we worked on months ago continues to gather dust, while technology whizzes by you at lightning speed.

Sound familiar?

Procrastination is the single biggest reason why people don’t move forward with their social media plans. Procrastination is a funny beast. To really understand its nature, it helps to look at the things you don’t procrastinate on. Let’s say you’re super confident in something. It’s easy to be able to sit down and do that thing, and do it well. It’s likely how you built your business, right? By using those skills you’ve worked so hard to master. What may be difficult for others is easy for you. Now take something that you may not be so confident in….like social media. And you will come up with a million ways to put it off.

Understanding how to solve a problem like procrastination means understanding what causes it. And what causes procrastination is lack of information and confidence. Most of us get the information part right. It’s why we take courses, workshops, webinars. But where we fall short is, we don’t develop confidence in the thing we’ve learned.

There are two sides to learning something new. There’s learning it, and then applying that learning. Where the problem happens, especially when it comes to building a social media plan, is in the application. You can read all the books in the world on a topic, spend hundreds of dollars on courses, workshops and webinars, but until you actually TRY it, you’re never going to get to the point of feeling confident enough to stop procrastinating.

The solution to procrastination is to TRY stuff. But try what? You’re already overwhelmed. You’ve got all these books and blogs and plans and things, and they all say different stuff. There’s new things coming out all the time. You can’t possibly keep up.

But you don’t have to try it all at once. Nope. Just try one thing. After a while, that thing won’t be so scary. You’ll become more confident. And then you can stop procrastinating on that piece. Then tackle the next thing. To help you along in this, here’s short list of “one things” to try:

  • Go hang out at http://search.twitter.com. Spend some time searching on topics of interest. Get to know the syntax of Twitter. Don’t know what a RT is? Google will tell you.
  • Create an account at http://www.google.com/reader. Click “Add a Subscription”. Search on topics of interest. Click subscribe. Change the way you find information by having it delivered to you instead.
  • Set up a Page on Facebook just so you can see how it works. Actually walking through the process and filling out all the information makes it less scary. Then you can slowly start to build upon that page you’ve created.
  • Complete your Google Profile. It doesn’t take a long time, but will give you another way to be found. And don’t panic about not being in Google + yet, you’ve got some time. But if you’re feeling like trying something new, send me an email at sue [at] jestercreative.com to request an invite.
  • Grab a blank piece of paper or computer screen. Write down one sentence each for 5 things you would like tell people about something you care about. That list will be the titles of your first 5 blog posts. Now go write one of them.

The point is, you don’t have to do everything at once. You can just try one thing from the list, and play with that for a while. Get comfortable. Then, go back to your social media plan. And see how much more sense it all makes now.

[photo by Cliph]