I remember the first time I heard the concept of going viral. An associate told me that you create a piece of content, put it on a social media platform, and wait for it to go viral. It sounded intriguing at the time, and straightforward. Well, I’m still waiting.

When it comes to social media advice, there’s no shortage of ‘experts’ telling us how to make social media work in our business. There are literally millions of people trying to get small businesses off the ground and looking for advice on how to engage potential clients through social media channels.

I must admit that sometimes I get disheartened by what I see. For example, I get discouraged when I see a social media expert on YouTube telling me how he got a million eyeballs looking at his latest piece of content. I try to create high quality, original content and I feel good if a few hundred eyeballs see what I’m putting out.

But this article is not about me having a rant about who gets the most views. The message I want to get across is that the social media gurus may teach a simple process, but it’s not easy to do. It’s not easy to create a piece of content and see it go viral. And it’s not easy to build a passionate team of followers on social media.

The social media heroes we admire began where (almost) anyone begins – with an idea, tentative first steps, and a very small audience. At the start, they made their share of mistakes. They spent hours producing content that no-one seemed to watch. They wondered if anyone was out there who cared.

But they pushed through. They kept creating content and addressed real issues that their target audience struggle with. And, bit by bit, their audience found them.

So, what’s the main point here? We need a goal – yes. We need to be clear about our main messages – yes. We need to know our audience – yes. And we also need to persist in doing the little things that make it all come together and work.

Going viral sounds great, but a successful business (or a career) is built by doing all those not-so-glamorous things that need to be done each day. It may be writing great copy or a powerful script, toiling away on video editing, or a thousand other things that create the magic. And it has to come out of our ability to focus, to push through when it gets frustrating or boring, and to stay optimistic about what we’re doing.

Maybe you and I will never go viral. Or maybe that’s a nice bonus we might get occasionally. But, more importantly, we can choose to do all those little things that matter most. So, let’s roll up our sleeves and give it our best shot. What do you say?

Written by Dr Steve Barlow

Steve Barlow
Author: Steve Barlow

Steve heads up The Change Gym. He is a change readiness specialist. You can contact him at steve@thechangegym.com.