Do you have digital fear of missing out (FOMO)?
It’s easy to develop. You can get sucked down the online rabbit hole and feel like you have to be everywhere at once. Your business has no hope otherwise, right?
Don’t believe the hype. You can be selective with your online presence and still build your business.
Here’s some quick tips on fighting the FOMO and not spreading yourself too thin online.
Admit you are a feed obsessive. And move on
Do you keep notifications on for everything and stay glued to your phone? Are you afraid if you look away you will miss an opportunity?
You might be a feed obsessive.
I’ve been there. I’ve spent late nights scrolling through online updates from dodgy freelancing sites. Refreshing the screen one more time, just in case my dream opportunity is posted and I lost it in the 30 seconds I hadn’t looked.
This kind of FOMO is bigger than the web. Its drilling down to good old imposter syndrome. I’m about to be uncovered as a copywriter fraud! I will never get a proper job again! I will be stuck rewriting plagiarised product descriptions for a Belarus startup for $3 an hour!
Getting over it
You can get over this type of FOMO in a couple of stages:
- keep reading the feeds but pull back from commenting or following up everything
- get away from the screens, even for an hour a day
- use the do not disturb function on your phone. I schedule mine to go into DND mode every night, and then sometimes set it up during the day when I’m knee deep in a writing project.
Choose how and when to get involved
Real people, your family, colleagues, and randoms you met in a toilet line 3 years ago may all be your *friends* online. But you get to choose how to interact and how involved to get.
When you are part of business groups, there will be varying levels of expertise and experience across the members. You may see basic questions that can make you feel a tad sorry for the poster.
Don’t. Everyone starts somewhere, and you don’t need to solve everyone’s problems. Make a comment and choose to help out when you can, but don’t feel the need to comment on everything you see. We’ll all get sick of you anyway.
Don’t worry you are leaving someone hanging if you don’t respond when you know something that could help. Trust me, there’s always someone who will throw their 2 cents worth on just about anything. Cool your jets. The world will keep turning if you aren’t the one to comment and try to help.
Let the FOMO go. Don’t reply to every post you see where you think someone needs your service and you could upsell them. Start from the basic premise of being a human being who likes social interaction, and let connection happen organically. Crazy simple.
Shake off the haters (and the genuinely misunderstood)
Sarcasm, tone (and highbrow copywriter wit such as mine *ahem*) doesn’t always translate online.
And look, some people are just effing rude. No getting around it. The online world is no different from life – I genuinely believe most people are inherently good and quite normal.
But some people have as little social etiquette online as they probably do in person. For example, I recently answered a question in a group page asking about a particular app. I don’t tend to post much outside the confines of my safe space groups (more on that soon).
I posted a brief, supportive comment and a link to a page. The original poster replied that I hadn’t answered her question and the information wasn’t helpful. No worries. Next time, just ignore my post or give it an obligatory like without a comment.
That is a very minor example, just remember not everyone has social skills IRL or cyberspace. You don’t get to be passive aggressive and put a smiley emoji at the end.
Fight the FOMO. Don’t get engaged in an argument. Turn off notifications for the post. Bye Felicia!
You don’t need 57 social media accounts to promote your business
You don’t have to be everywhere. My advice is to pick 1 or 2 social channels and focus in on those. Get really good at those 2. But don’t die in a ditch over it.
For bigger businesses, you are building a brand, engaging with audiences on their own terms, content marketing to audience segments and all that jazz.
For smaller business, especially with a local target market only, social media (and even websites) can simply be a reassurance for clients. Yes, my business is real and I am not going to steal your money. If I try to, you can shame me on social media. It’s a genuine reassurance in this day and age of digital character assassination.
Handle your Facebook group choices with care
So many Facebook groups, so little time.
FOMO can set in hard here. I recommend picking some groups you will commit to read regularly and engage with. Try to find the groups which make you feel supported, engage you with useful content, and make you want to post sometimes yourself.
I have 2 or 3 FB groups in particular that are my safe space groups. There is little judgement, an exchange of ideas, lots of laughs and a support base. Two of my best value groups are part of paid subscriptions and courses. Sometimes you just get what you pay for.
Put your FOMO aside and look at your list of groups. If you belong to 38 groups and never engage in most of them except for a sticky beak, try using that Leave Group button. You won’t even notice being gone, and it’s one less piece of digital FOMO to manage.
Don’t smother yourself in information
Don’t subscribe to every newsletter, try to read every blog, and listen to every podcast. Treat them like friends, you can spend time with all of them. Some will be with you for a lifetime, some for a season.
Just like my FB groups, I commit to 1 or 2 podcasts a week. And some weeks none at all. You don’t have to keep up with what everyone else is doing, or says they’re doing.
The FOMO cure here is simple: if you really have the time to listen to every podcast someone recommends is a must listen – you aren’t working hard enough.
I admit I am terrible for keeping things ‘just in case’. I have a folder in my email called STUFF TO READ ONE DAY *SIGH*. I wish I was kidding. I am an obsessive saver of articles, links, resources. And then every now and again I go into the folder and let myself keep 5 things.
I don’t get the same FOMO, because I know those articles and links and resources all still exist on the big interweb somewhere. I’ll track you down my pretties…