How @ToddVanLuling inadvertently gave us the holy grail of #socialmedia through #BillMurray

Social Media narrated by Bill MurrayConfession:  Groundhog Day with Bill Murray is one of my favorite movies.  Ok, ok – be easy on me.  I realize it’s not Gone With The Wind (never seen it) but it has a line in it that is so fitting for financial professionals that I could never shake it out of my head.  When weatherman Phil Connors (played by Bill Murray) says, “Well, what if there’s no tomorrow?  There wasn’t one today.”  BOOM – and just like that, I loved the movie.

I’ve seen lots of great quotes, videos and other montages on the wisdom, intellect and humor of Bill Murray, but a few months back Todd Van Luling from the Huffington Post wrote an article that was geared for those looking for tips on living an amazing life, but inadvertently gave up the goods on how awesome social media marketing works.  Those lessons were:

  1. Be an individual who also takes care of others.  This is the very best reason for social media to exist and how we should be using it…to take care of others.  Financial professionals true due diligence is about making certain when a client says, “Am I going to be ok?” that they will be or as close to that as it was possible at the time.  This transcends into our social media marketing whether it’s personal or professional too.  Look at how you are posting on Facebook:  are you posting ways to be of service and help others or are you posting negative, derogatory content for others to read?  Look at your answers in LinkedIn groups, are you offering heartfelt advice (which can be a disagreement) or going out of your way to disparage and tear someone down?  As Todd outlines in his article, Bill Murrary reminds, “I think we ought to be personally responsible.” [Click-to-Tweet this!]  Care should be at the very core of our culture in financial services.
  2. Be open to all possibilities.  Look at all opportunities as a possibility.  Someone connecting with you on LinkedIn might be a great center of influence.  Trying out Twitter and learning how to use it (be compliant!) might be a great way to meet new people.  Open yourself up to learning something new and relevant as Bill Murray says, “I try to be available for life to happen to me.”  [Click-to-Tweet this!] Enlist the help of the younger generations.  They are eager to connect with you on a topic they know a lot about and you never know, the old dog might learn some new tricks!
  3. Try not to focus on the bad – stay optimistic.  Maybe long-term care insurance is not getting the best news right now….well, don’t focus on that – instead focus on the opportunities these necessary products bring to families and tell THOSE stories on social media.  Or, I couldn’t tell you how many times I’ve heard advisors start off by saying, “Yeah, because of what happened in 2008…” Guess what?  We all got burned in 2008…move on, look for the silver lining and stop letting those types of thoughts drive your content and conversations.  There is a world of opportunity out there for all of us – let’s discuss those!
  4. R-E-S-P-E-CT.  I know you can’t say that without hearing Aretha Franklin’s iconic voice spelling it out for you!   Respect is a lost art anymore.  Whether it’s the whole You Only Live Once (YOLO) attitudes we run into or the busy-ness of life, respect has fallen through the cracks.  Want to be different online?  Want to be remembered?  Then respect other’s comments.  Respect other’s opinions.  Respect other’s feelings.  Respect other’s differences.  Respect other’s positions.  Respect the people who connect / fan / follow you.  And definitely respect the ones who do not.
  5. Don’t just coast through life.  Automation has become a way for people to take the easy way out of doing the real work, the more than real work out there, and especially the real work in social media.  People send LinkedIn connection requests with the automated language provided.  People have direct messages set to go out when you connect with people on Twitter.  Email solicitations come to you from salespeople who grow aggravated if you don’t respond.  Stop automating and start engaging.  Take the time to do the work and as Bill Murray says, “…be as engaged as you can…”
  6. Be someone at all times.  Every person has a unique value proposition.  It’s important that we be ourselves as much as possible when using social media.  I had an advisor who had a personal Twitter account with a good following.  He decided that he had to open a second Twitter account for his business needs and I strongly advised against it.  I asked him, “Who do you plan to be on the other account?”  He said he wanted to sound more ‘professional’.  But why?  His followers are engaged with his personal account because they really liked him for him.  He eventually realized his personal account was enough and deleted the second account.  You are enough; be just that at all times.
  7. Accept the past, then move on.  No one will do social media correctly when they start.  Absolutely nobody.  Not even Mark Zuckerberg.  You’re going to make mistakes.  Think about your life overall – it hasn’t been perfect, right?  Well, neither will social media marketing.  Gary Vaynerchuk of Vayner Media reminds everyone his book “The Thank You Economy”…“Exxon dumped all its oil in the ocean and people never stopped buying their gas.” Your errors and failures make you human.  It’s ok – get over it.
  8. Just relax.  Just as a massage therapist tells their clients, I remind advisors to just relax.  By relaxing, you open yourself up to better learning, different opportunities and listening at a different perspective.  There is no secret that great leaders recharge their batteries to keep going – the same goes for you and your marketing.  Relaxing makes you better and as Bill Murray says, “The more relaxed you are…the better you are with yourself.” [Click-to-Tweet this!]

Hats off to Bill Murray for being authentic in his words, crazy antics and warm fuzzy feelings.  And an enormous shout out again to Todd Van Luling for his brilliantly packaged thoughts.  Finding great content that I can correlate and make social media marketing easier to understand for others is appreciated – and for that I’m grateful.

Be bigger, better and more BIONIC today!

Sheryl Brown / @BIONICsocialite

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