Now that you’ve brainstormed ideas to help your customers, prospects, distributors and followers – and, no doubt, put them into practice with a few great posts geared toward HELPing them in their daily lives – we’re going to get into the next letter of the handy acronym we introduced in the last blog: HIRE.
Inspiration: it’s a big word that often motivates even bigger actions. Think about the last time you were hit with a bit of inspiration; what did you do?
Perhaps you saw a Bible verse that you’ve read a million times, but this time it really lit a fire within your heart and prompted you to sign up to lead your church’s latest charity drive.
Or, maybe you saw a quote about kindness on Facebook or Instagram that struck you and stuck with you all day, so much so that you paid for the purchase of the person behind you at Starbucks.
Or, perhaps you were scrolling through Instagram or Pinterest and saw an image of a perfectly organized pantry and thought, “That’s it; I’m tackling THAT mess, once and for all!”
What do all of these have in common? You were inspired to act; to do something you hadn’t planned on doing until you were motivated to do so.
How does inspiration build trust? Well, how do you feel about the people that inspire you? You probably have positive feelings about them, right?
You enjoy talking with or otherwise communicating with them because every interaction makes you feel great; like you could take on the world. These positive feelings are essential in building trust.
The dictionary defines inspiration as, “the process of being mentally stimulated to do or feel something, especially to do something creative.”
You can be inspired to do anything: volunteer in your community, plan your family’s Christmas dinner menu….in October or design the perfect hand-knitted scarf your daughter will love.
We feel transformed by inspiration because it encourages us to do more than we thought we could and may even set us on a new path altogether!
What are you inspired by?
Inspiration is often subjective; meaning that the very thing you find inspirational may not have the same impact on someone else. However, in general, inspiration can fall into the following categories.
Nature has been a common source of inspiration for millennia. People gaze up at the bright stars on a crisp, clear night and feel the immenseness of the universe or they view an expansive mountain vista and feel the hand of a higher power at work. Nature has inspired writers, poets, photographers, and more.
Apply nature to your social media posts:
Have you taken any photos of nature that inspire you? It could be the first flower of spring last year, a shot you took from the window of the airplane on your last trip or a photo you took on our last visit to a National Park.
Are you nervous about your photo-taking skills? The camera of your smartphone may rival that of a more expensive camera.
When you walk your dog, take a hike with the family or go on a road trip, take a moment to look around at your natural surroundings and snap a few photos of what you see – flowers in bloom, the landscape, leaves changing on a tree, etc.
Then, upload them to Facebook and Instagram and explain why you’re so inspired by the image. You’re bound to inspire someone else!
You can also go online and download free stock photos of landscapes, flowers, and other natural scenes; however, be sure to give the photographer credit for the photo, if necessary.
Who isn’t inspired by a great quote? You know the ones you hear or read that may evoke a physical response, whether you tear up or the hair stands up at the base of your neck (in a good way; not in a horror movie way).
They’re the quotes that stick with you; ones you think of during all phases of life, from the happy times to the challenges.
Find your voice and inspire others to find theirs.
Apply quotes to your social media posts:
What quotes inspire you? They could be from beloved books you’ve read or sayings you heard from a parent or teacher when you were growing up.
They could also be something you heard in a movie or on television. Spend a quiet moment writing them down in a notebook, using the internet to double check that you got it right.
If nothing springs to mind, go online and type “Inspirational quotes” into the search bar. You’ll get pages upon pages of lists of great quotes.
Pick a dozen or so that really stand out to you. Are they quotes that you’d like to live by or would use to motivate your children and loved ones?
Are they quotes you want to remember when life hands you a steaming bag of doo-doo? Copy and paste them into a word processing document on your computer or smartphone and save them to post on your social media sites.
Stories are another common source of inspiration, whether the stories are our own or the stories of people who have overcome incredible odds to survive or thrive.
Life isn’t easy for any of us. When we share our stories, we provide a powerful point of connection with others who have faced similar challenges and obstacles.
We think, “if they can beat the odds, so can I,” whether it’s training for a marathon after spending decades as a couch potato or handling a tough cancer diagnosis.
Stories give us hope in the future.
Apply stories to your social media posts:
Have you faced a challenge in your life and lived to tell the tale? Often, we don’t think that our own stories are extraordinary; we view them as just a part of life.
However, if you shared it with others, they may just marvel and be inspired by what you’ve overcome. If you’re comfortable sharing your story with others, by all means, do so.
It takes courage to open up and be so vulnerable; however, you may find it can help and inspire others along their journeys in life.
Even if you’re not facing a major challenge right now, you can still find inspiration in the stories of others.
For example, you don’t need to have been burned over 90% of your body to find inspiration in John O’Leary, who overcame those burns and learned to view life differently as a result. He now shares his story from stage and in best-selling books.
You don’t have to be a runner, or even an athlete, to be inspired by legendary middle distance runner Steve Prefontaine, who as a result of being too short to play football and basketball, took up cross-country running and realized he had a knack for it.
He honed his talent through hard work and dedication and used his leadership skills to inspire other runners, even those he competed against. He famously said, “To give anything less than your best is to sacrifice a gift” and “Somebody may beat me, but they are going to have to bleed to do it.”
Repeat those quotes the next time you’re feeling unmotivated to tackle the next challenge. Who knows, you may feel a surge of motivation.
What to avoid: Negativity
At a time when the media and social media can be so negative, many people seek solace in the uplifting content they find.
Aim to be the person posting the positive, inspirational content that soothes your followers instead of posting negative rants all the time.
Now, there is a place for rants, but only if there can be an inspiring lesson out of it. For example, if you received really bad service at your favorite restaurant or shop, post about it only if you can temper it with a positive lesson.
By all means, explain the scenario, but spend more time sharing that it made you more empathetic to your customers. The post will seem less like a negative rant and more like a learning experience your followers can learn from as well.
So, what inspires you?
Chances are if it inspires you it’ll inspire others, too! Once again, it’s list time.
Compile a list of people, things, quotes, etc. that inspire you. It could be the photographs or paintings of your favorite artist, the life story of your favorite celebrity, photos from your favorite place or people in your life who really inspire you.
Next, write down why you find them so inspirational. Do you admire the courage or vulnerability of a loved one or celebrity?
Do you relate to the sentiment behind the quote or story? What you find so striking is likely what others are struck by as well.
Tap into that commonality! It’ll help you relate to and inspire others as well.
If you’d like a bit of inspiration, be sure to check out the Teamzy Instagram page for motivational quotes and videos. Since it’s updated frequently, there’s likely a great new inspirational quote in your feed right now.
So we’ve covered Help and Inspire; in the next post, we’ll get into relationships.
Specifically, how to connect with and share pieces of our lives with our followers on social media to gain trust.