This article is a guest post by Melanie Deardorff
Sound advice from a man who knew “social”
Everything I learned about how to treat people, I learned from my mom and dad. Everything I learned about how to treat people in the business world, I learned from Dale Carnegie.
More than 20 years ago, I spent almost $2,000 on Dale Carnegie training. I did this at a time when I was self-employed and wanted to improve my public speaking. I don’t remember the exact names of the courses, but I believe one was based on the core principles of the classic book, How to Win Friends and Influence People. The other was for public speaking.
The classes were great, they helped me gain confidence, and I felt satisfaction in knowing I’d invested in myself even when I had almost zero money coming in. Memories of the classes and my encouraging classmates have since faded, but I still find myself quoting Carnegie-isms from my studies. As I researched Carnegie’s quotes for this post, I found I didn’t have them all perfectly memorized – but the spirit was intact. And while Carnegie never tweeted, pinned or posted back in the day, I think he’d agree that the best way to use social media marketing is very complementary to his core values and teachings.
“You can make more friends in two months by becoming interested in other people than you can in two years by trying to get other people interested in you.”
What if you spent the next two months never posting anything on your Facebook, Pinterest or Twitter accounts that mentioned your business? Probably would feel like a huge missed opportunity, right? But what if you spent the next two months focusing more on talking less about yourself? Many social media experts suggest spending just 20% of your time talking about yourself online. While the 80/20 principal wasn’t on Carnegie’s to-do list, he surely would have agreed with the focus being on others.
WWCD (what would Carnegie do) action step: Scroll through your Twitter and Facebook streams for the last two weeks, and see how often you’re promoting other people’s content, retweeting, favoriting, liking, sharing and sending personal acknowledgments about what you read? If your two-week look-back shows it’s been all about you, you’ve got some work to do!
“The only way I can get you to do anything is by giving you what you want.”
What do your fans and followers want from your health and wellness business’ tweets, posts and pins? Chances are they don’t want to be sold to or hear about your latest product offering. They’re on Facebook or Twitter to kill time, catch up with friends, be encouraged, entertained or educated.
WWCD action step: Health and wellness-related businesses are perfect for living out this principle by our ability to help others – encouraging, entertaining and educating every day. We can share info about healthy activities and recipes to try, brighten someone’s day with motivational quotes or behavior-change stories or provide health-related tips and news that inform or offer people new resources and solutions. If we do everything we can to ensure sure we’re offering value to our followers, we can add another “e” word to encourage, entertain and educate – and that’s engagement.
“Remember that a person’s name is, to that person, the sweetest and most important sound in any language.”
This is one of my favorites Carnegie sayings even though I never quite quote it accurately. But I think of it often when I take the extra time to learn how to spell or pronounce a person’s name or when I tag someone online to make sure they see my tweet or post.
WWCD action step: Social media makes this easy because we can @mention someone on most social media platforms. When’s the last time you acknowledged the people on your Facebook page who regularly “like” your posts or leave comments? Give them an @mention or “like” their comment to let them know you appreciate their support and engagement.
“Any fool can criticize, complain, and condemn – and most fools do. But it takes character and self-control to be understanding and forgiving.”
Do you ever get a nasty comment on one of your social accounts or a snarky blog post comment? It’s probably happened at least once to you, and hopefully you’re taking the high road and not snarking back.
WWCD action step: Instead of deleting the comment or blocking the person from doing it again, channel Dale Carnegie and reply with a comment that diffuses the situation and acknowledges the person’s opinion.
“To be interesting, be interested.”
“Talk to someone about themselves and they’ll listen for hours.”
“The world is full of people who are grabbing and self-seeking. So the rare individual who unselfishly tries to serve others has an enormous advantage.”
There’s a similar Carnegie quote to these three that I apparently mangle, because I can’t find it attributed to him online. I always called it, “Show a genuine interest in people.” By using our social media accounts or blogs to regularly give others the stage, we’ll be helping them and can benefit by the lovely ripple effect that happens when we share our platforms.
WWCD action step: If you’re blogging for your health and wellness business, one way you can shine a spotlight on others is to do an interview-style post. I’ve been doing these lately and enjoy featuring health and wellness pros who are doing great things with social media marketing.
These next three are for the health and wellness pros in the Social Media for Health Coaches and Health and Wellness Bloggers Facebook groups who get frustrated about how hard it is to get up to speed on social media. They have other pressing concerns, like trying to start or grow their wellness practices – yet they know they need to have a presence online. Friends, let’s all take Carnegie’s advice by being patient with ourselves, persevering and keep on fighting the good fight!
“Most of the important things in the world have been accomplished by people who have kept on trying when there seemed to be no hope at all.”
“Take a chance! All life is a chance. The man who goes furthest is generally the one who is willing to do and dare.”
“If you believe in what you are doing, then let nothing hold you up in your work. Much of the best work of the world has been done against seeming impossibilities. The thing is to get the work done.”
For information about Dale Carnegie training, visit dalecarnegie.com. To get “social” with Carnegie, check out this Carnegie quotes Pinterest board, like the Carnegie Facebook page or follow @DaleCarnegie on Twitter.
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.