Back in the day, when I was a school teacher, there were times when I’d be trying to get my students to interact, ask questions, and be involved in the lesson that I was trying to teach, but all they did was put their heads down or have a glazed look in their eyes.
And you know, what? When that happened, I had some choices to make.
I could get annoyed, blame them, and push for what I wanted the lesson to look like.
I could ask myself, What else could be going on here?
It turned out that many of those days, the kids were either hungry, dealing with stuff at home, not feeling well, or just tired.
It was in those moments that I needed to get curious, show compassion, and change my approach.
I needed to set aside my own agenda and meet my people where they were at.
And when I did, those were the days that I had a lot more connection with the kids.
All it took was a simple, Hey, how are you guys doing?
Either they just needed to be listened to, and we could carry on, or I would say, You know what? Let's do something else.
I’d change things up completely and just do something restful like read them a story or some other activity.
So, why am I talking about this in a blog post for business owners?
Because if you’re a business owner, and you’re trying to reach your audience through social media—posts, videos, a Facebook group—and you’re not getting much interaction, maybe your people are going through something.
Maybe they're tired.
Maybe they’re going through something in their personal lives.
Maybe they don't want to interact about business because they're discouraged about their business.
That third one is exactly what happened in my own Facebook group—a group for business owners centered around running a business.
Here’s what happened:
I started noticing that the engagement in the group was going down. And I had a choice to make.
I could get angry that people weren’t engaging with my posts and start pushing them to interact.
I could ask questions.
So I decided to get curious and did a post in the group that said, How are you feeling about your business? Post a GIF in the comments!
Well, sure enough, people's responses were mostly discouragement, nervousness or feeling cautious about moving forward in their businesses. They definitely weren’t excited about how things were going, and that’s why they weren’t engaging.
Aren’t you glad I didn’t jump to conclusions and take things personally?
As business owners, we can't just decide that people aren’t engaging because they don't like our stuff, that they're purposely holding out on us, or that they’re not interested in us or what we have to say.
Often, it's not about you at all.
So if this is happening to you, instead of getting angry, get curious! And find out what else might be going on.
Now, if you DO ask, and you still don’t get any responses, that’s okay. Sometimes when people are going through a hard time, they might not feel like talking about it.
If that’s the case, just start experimenting with different approaches to see what sticks.
And if you STILL get no responses? That’s okay too! It still doesn’t necessarily mean you’re doing anything wrong, and it’s okay to turn your focus onto a completely different platform if you’re not enjoying the current one anymore.
Don't be afraid to change things up in your approach to meet your people where they’re at.
I’m going to be applying these very things in my own Facebook group, Coffee Chats. Instead of focusing on business-related posts, I'm going to experiment with focusing on mostly connection-centered posts. I’m hoping this will meet my audience where they’re at in needing connection and friendship more than business chats.
If you're a woman trying to build an online business and you could use some community, come on over and check it out here!
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Hi, I’m Kendall! I'm a freelance proofreader and social media graphics creator. I started this blog to highlight the lives of women in business to inspire others, but now I also use it to share business tips and resources for women who want to build their business in a heart-centered way.