“I’m trying to be nice. But it’s not working.” – 3-year-old
Kids have a disarming innocence that’s their own form of wisdom. Because they’ve yet to be tainted by life, they look at the world with fresh eyes.
Let’s look at how you can bring this childlike approach to marketing.
1. Be Playful
When I asked my 3-year-old what he thought heaven was like, he said, “Everyone drives a monster truck all the time.”
Kids do things just because they’re fun. When did you last do something simply for the sheer joy of it?
When you’re interacting on social media, it shows if you’re having fun. You’ll have a natural charisma that attracts people to you.
Play also means trying new things. And because you’re playing, there’s no such thing as failure. So get creative, don’t be afraid to dream big, and start treating Facebook like it’s a box of Lego bricks.
2. Ask for What You Want
“Jesus, please let me have some more ice cream. Amen.”
Kids are humble by nature because they depend on other people for everything. They don’t have the means to feed themselves, clothe themselves, or house themselves. And if they want something, the only way to get it is to ask.
As we move into adulthood, we become more independent. That’s an important part of growing up, and it’s a great step to take.
But independence doesn’t mean you can do everything yourself. The truth is, we are inter-dependent. We all need help from other people.
If you need help and support of others to rock your business, don’t be shy. Social media lets you connect with almost anyone in the world, so you’ve no excuse for not trying. Drop your pride and reach out. Most people you ask will be happy to help.
3. Take Risks
I tell my 2-year-old that his ears must be tired because they’re not listening, and he responds, “Umm, no, they’re not tired. I think their batteries died.”
Kids learn by taking risks. They see if one approach works, and if it fails, they try something else.
Of course, every risk means something could go wrong. But it also means something could go right. The road to success is paved with the flagstones of failure.
For some reason, as we get older, we become more risk averse.
Yet not taking risks could be the biggest mistake of all.
You can’t be perfect all the time. You never will be. So don’t beat up on yourself when things go wrong. And be willing to try new things. You and your business will only grow if you’re willing to risk being imperfect.
4. Remember to Say Sorry if You Mess Up
“I made a big mess, Mommy. I sorry!”
Taking risks will mean that things go wrong sometimes. It’s part of life.
As they explore the world, kids make all kinds of messes. They might unravel a full roll of toilet paper around your lounge, sprinkle baby powder on your bedroom carpet, or drop their toy cars down the toilet.
But when they find out this isn’t the best idea, they know how to make things right. They say “sorry.”
There’s no shame in admitting you messed up and apologizing. Your customers will respect your honesty and appreciate that you’re upfront with them. Just look at what happened when Buffer said sorry after it was hacked. Talking of being honest…
5. Let Your Natural Charm Shine Through
I was at the bank with my 2-year-old, and the teller asked her how she was doing. She said, “I need some monies.”
Upfront, simple honesty is a rare thing in today’s world. As such, it can be charming and disarming.
The trouble is, we’re scared of being vulnerable and opening up to others.
Learn to let go of your fears and allow your whole personality to shine on social media. The internet isn’t the place to hide behind formal stuffiness. It’s time to get real, to be authentic.
Drop the act and start being yourself. And don’t be afraid to crack a joke or two, either!
6. Get Your Priorities Straight
At the market, my kid said, “Why are you buying beer, Dad? Do you know how much candy we could get with that money?!”
Kids instinctively know what’s important in life. They’re able to follow their inner wisdom and listen to the passion within. In other words, they know what makes them happy, and they’re willing to seek that out.
If they think a ham and jelly sandwich tastes good, that’s what they’ll eat for lunch.
When you’re talking and sharing on social media, don’t just do so out of a desire to get ahead. Listen to your inner wisdom. Share and connect because it matters to you.
As you learn to follow your heart, you’ll find amazing things will grow.
7. Ask Great Questions
At the pool, my little sister asked, “How does that rope stop the deep water from going in the shallow water?”
We recently wrote about why marketers need a beginner’s mind:
Adopting a beginner’s mind means setting aside assumptions and adopting an attitude of openness. The person with beginner’s mind is always willing to learn new things.
As Zen teacher Shunryu Suzuki says: “In the beginner’s mind there are many possibilities, in the expert’s mind there are few.”
One way to find your beginner’s mind is to start asking really obvious questions. Challenge all your assumptions. As you do, you’ll begin to see the world in a new way – which will re-energize everything you do.