I’ve recently started playing golf. Now, I’m pretty terrible, but I can’t help but look forward to heading out every weekend to play. Of course, being the professional loser that I am, I am always thinking about social media. My father (NOT Jon) jokingly suggested that I write a post comparing social media to golf, and I said…ok.
Golf Terms. If you don’t understand something.
Here are some lessons that golf can teach you about business and social media:
1. A hole in one is HIGHLY unlikely, especially when first starting out. No one gets a hole in one when they’re starting out, and even the more experienced golfers consider themselves lucky to get one.
Social Media: For those that jump into the social media space, and get frustrated when you can’t seem to build a huge community around your brand…relax. It takes time, and most things won’t “click” the way you think it will.
2. The driving range will only teach you so much. Practice makes perfect and the range is a great way to work on your swing. The golf course, however is a completely different game. It might be intimidating, but you have to get out there if you’re really going to learn the game.
Social Media: Get your hands dirty! You can read blogs and watch from your seat all you want. True, it will teach you a lot, but if you actually want to learn the ins and outs of the space, you HAVE to get out there and just do it! You can’t be afraid to jump in, which leads to the next point…
3. Sometimes Often, you will shank the ball. You might even whiff completely! You’ll spend some time in the rough, looking for your ball. Some people might even scoff and laugh at you. But guess what? They all learned the same way you did.
Social Media: Be ready to make mistakes. If you plan on doing everything right, you might as well quit now. The key is what you learn from those mistakes, and how you move forward afterward.
4. A tree might block the way. It may be best to shoot sideways, or even backwards, to get the ball back on the fairway rather than shoot through the trees for the green.
Social Media: Remember to occasionally stop and look at what you’re doing. Is it working? Do you need to pivot, or even take a couple steps backwards in order to reach that final goal? It’s okay if you tried something that didn’t work. It’s not okay if you don’t realize that it’s not working.
5. You have to look good to play good. This is my friend Jon’s line, when I asked him if having golf shoes actually help at all. Pretty self explanatory.
Social Media: Compare this to having a strong personal brand. In both cases, it’s not true that it will necessarily make you better at what you do, but it certainly makes you look like you know what you’re doing.
6. A teacher makes things a lot easier. Golf is a TOUGH sport. There are a lot of things to remember and the littlest pointers can really help you improve your swing.
Social media: Get a mentor.
7. The tough part is stringing good shots together. Want to know what’s frustrating? Driving a ball 250 yards down the center of the fairway, and taking 6 more swings to finish the hole.
Social media: You may have built up a lot of buzz about your video, or wrote a killer blog post. Unless you’re able to leverage those numbers and tie it to the end goal (money), it doesn’t matter how well you started off.
Alright I’ll stop. Great now I want to play golf again…