Who do you think you are? Dealing with friends and family on social media

How to handle the critics and turn them into supporters

You started your own business, and have earned some money with it. You want to get more clients, and you know you have to put yourself ‘out there’. But that means being seen. By everyone. Family, friends, ex-colleagues…people on LinkedIn. How do you handle friends and family on social media?

“You are posting too much”, they say.

“I saw your latest video. Do you actually get clients from that?”

“How is business going? You’re on social media a lot”

You feel judged. Watched.

You feel like you’re making a fool of yourself.

friends and family on social media
Photo by cottonbro on Pexels.com

Keep your eyes on the ball: create content for your ideal client

It’s not even just the critical comments from your relatives, there is the inner critic chattering in the background too. The stories in your head telling you that your posts are not good enough, that you look silly, that no one will listen. That the amount of Likes equals how successful you are.

Isn’t exhausting?

I get this too. Apart from the inner critic, who, annoyingly, never ever goes away (sorry to drop that truth bomb here), I too get questions from my husband, my mum, relatives, friends. “Why do you post so much?”, “Why are you sharing so much of yourself?”, “It’s all rather personal, I wouldn’t want strangers to see my face everywhere on the internet.”

But you know what?
They are not your ideal client.

And they are coming from their own reality and perspective.

Most of your close relatives and friends probably have no idea what it takes to start and grow a creative business, because they are in ‘normal’ 9-5 jobs, are not working, or have never been self-employed. They are not meaning to be nasty, they just don’t understand.

friends and family on social media
Photo by cottonbro on Pexels.com

Turn your relatives into cheerleaders

Explain to them that your content is meant for a particular audience, and how it helps to build a relationship and personal brand. That your business posts are not meant for them, but that they are of course welcome to follow you.

Instead, encourage friends and family on social media to become your cheerleaders by explaining how they could actually help you in your business.

Explain to them that it would be very helpful if they could help you spread the word about your business. Ask them if they know anyone who fits your ideal client profile, and perhaps even hand them your business card with details, so they can pass this on when they meet others. They may talk to a friend next week at their coffee morning, whose son or daughter could do with your services.

(Ps, don’t use the words ‘ideal client profile’ – that’s jargon, they’ll glaze over! Explain in clear language what kind of person you help, so they know how to spot them.).

If they are still critical of how you promote yourself online, just thank them for their concern, but smile and trust your own judgement.

They don’t need to follow you after all. Your content is not meant for them. They are also welcome to unfollow you, or snooze you for 30 days on Facebook if they think you are ‘too much’ (by the way, don’t you love that snooze button? Your family probably doesn’t know you sometimes do the same to them 😄).

Keep that in mind.

Create content for that one person you know is your ideal client. Go deeper, be personal, speak to their heart’s desire.

Ignore the voices in your head, ignore the comments from the people close to you. Friends and family on social media are not your target audience.

You are doing the right thing, and you are doing just fine. Keep going, champion!

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