This article is a guest post by Melanie Deardorff
Has anyone ever said “guilt is good” (I know I’ve heard “greed is good”)? Probably not … but I do believe some health coaches and wellness pros feel guilty when they think about the social media marketing they’re doing for their health and wellness businesses. It could be good guilt (one that motivates) or bad guilt (one that frustrates).
For me, my social media marketing guilt is two-fold:
- When I started my blog in 2014, I intended to post three times a week. It was my own personal-best number, based on conversations with a business coach and also just a gut feeling I had. But after keeping up with that schedule for a mere two weeks, I realized it was taking too much time away from other things I wanted to do with my business (not to mention my personal life). So I decided to cut back to two posts a week.
- I carry Google+ guilt, too, because I know I should be using it to promote my business on another channel that is NOT Facebook.
“Guilty pressure” – social media and your wellness business
I wondered if other health and wellness pros actively using social media feel the same and whether they think the guilt is good or bad. I recently started following personal trainer Denny Krahe on Twitter and asked for his thoughts on the topic. Here’s what he shared:
I don’t feel guilty very often in terms of social media and the different media platforms that I am using to grow my business. While I’m not as active on some fronts as I would like to be (Pinterest, LinkedIn, and G+ specifically), instead of feeling guilty I focus on the things that I am doing and providing as much value as possible on those platforms and to my audience. While I’d love to be everywhere, I’m more focused on providing quality content in the spaces I am currently active in.
Time online can compete with in-person marketing
LA-based health coach Alyson Roux and I are participating in a Sprouted Content blog challenge, and I’ve seen her do a great job of keeping up with the group’s goals to blog three times a week. Alyson, who is also going to graduate school right now and is super-busy growing her business, responded with this:
My guilt centers around not having enough time and being on the platforms with which I’m the least familiar (LinkedIn, Google+). And now I’m starting to feel as though I should have a Tumblr page. While I’ve made headway on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest (which I barely use because entertainment-industry professionals, my target market, aren’t on there), my blog, Instagram and my soon-to-be YouTube channel, I can’t even imagine adding more platforms to manage.
My other struggle is that all of my clients have come from in-person marketing methods, and it seems as though the digital sphere is barely making a dent in my business. Social media marketing is so much work, and I’d much rather focus on client support – the actual coaching work. In fact, I have guilt when I spend too much of my day on marketing instead of catching up on journal articles and client-support materials.
— Alyson Roux, certified health coach in Los Angeles, CA (photo credit: Jim Kane Photography)
“Compare and despair syndrome” – social media guilt’s BFF
Laura Madden, a holistic lifestyle and fitness coach and one of the members of Social Media for Health Coaches Facebook group, is another person I chatted with about social media guilt … and here’s her take on things:
I dealt with guilt and the “compare and despair syndrome” early on in my coaching work, as I began learning that I needed to put myself out there and be visible in order to be influential and gain a following. I struggled with a great deal of self-consciousness around this and feared being exposed, vulnerable and transparent. I was preoccupied with feelings of insignificance compared to others and that I would never measure up, so ‘what’s the point anyway.’ Once I dove in and started contributing on social media, I got a lot of positive feedback, which gave me confidence to start promoting my work in a bigger way.
Today I really enjoy the exposure, PR and visibility on social media, which is why I have made that the focus of my coaching work. I will admit that I still struggle with pangs of self-consciousness that my content is not as good as it could be, though I trust I am doing the best I can. I’ve set very high standards for myself, which can be both good and bad. As I tell my clients, the remedy I use to get myself out of this mind-game is to turn the focus back again to those I serve. I am doing this to give and serve – not to fear and stay small.
— Laura Madden, holistic lifestyle and fitness coach in Minneapolis, MN
Let go of social media guilt for your wellness business
I pinged one of my health coach friends Jennifer Tremblay, whom I first met on Facebook last year when we were both enrolled in the Institute of Integrative Nutrition, about this topic and asked if social media causes her any guilt. Here’s what she told me:
Yes, I do suffer from “The Guilts!” I often set my expectations too high for posting every day on Facebook and Twitter, as well as getting up to speed and getting the most out of Pinterest and Instagram. And then instead of giving myself credit for what I do accomplish, I beat myself up for what I don’t. While the threat of feeling guilty can be motivating in the short-run, I’m pretty sure its overall effects are negative and I need to be kinder and more accepting of myself. As a coach, it’s definitely a ‘Do as I say, not as I do’ example.
— Jennifer Tremblay, certified health coach with Empowering Health in Charlotte, NC
So … as for me and my guilt, here’s where I am today:
- I won’t feel guilty about doing just two posts a week. Instead, I’ll feel excited that I started blogging this year and will commend myself for keeping a focus on it each week.
- I’m calling my G+ guilt the good kind and will use it to motivate me to begin experimenting with this social media channel. I’ll keep you posted on how it goes – and probably via an upcoming blog post!
Melanie Deardorff is a veteran marketer whose focus has been digital and social media marketing since 2009. Based in the U.S. Midwest but transitioning to more of a digital nomad (work from wherever) lifestyle, Melanie partners with companies of all sizes and industries, including nonprofits. A special passion of hers is helping small companies, including health and wellness-focused businesses, stand out and be authentic online.