I’m a huge fan of Google Plus and I am continually surprised when other people don’t find it as wonderful as I do — or are ready to quickly give up when they don’t see success.
Sometimes people ask me for advice, and I have discovered that they don’t really need tips and tricks. They need a shift in mindset because they have wrong thinking that is holding them back.
Here are the twelve most crippling mental obstacles and my response to each one.
1. My audience is not on Google Plus
So what? Find a new audience among the people that are on Google Plus. This is a new network. Put on your Captain Kirk costume and boldly explore! Plus, your audience might eventually jump on the bandwagon and then you’ll be ready for them.
2. No one in my niche is on Google Plus
Hello. Did you just hear yourself? If that’s true, then you are positioned to be the thought leader in your field on Google Plus. Embrace it! As the pioneer, you set the pace for your niche and you just beat your competition to the top. Congratulations!
3. Google Plus is like Facebook
This is just dead wrong. There are a few basic similarities but when you go any farther than the most surface impression, you will see that Google Plus is far more complex, far more powerful, and far more integrated across the web. To top it off, Google Plus is far more democratic than Facebook. Users have the lion’s share of control over what they see in their streams.
4. I should be able to master Google Plus in a few days
I’ve seen newbies on Google Plus express frustration because they can’t figure it out quickly. Sometimes these complaints come in the first 10 minutes of signing up! Any new platform is confusing at first. Humble yourself under that feeling of discomfort. Embrace your newbie status and look at the challenge as an entertaining puzzle to solve. Ask for help; “Plussers” — even the big names — are always willing to help.
5. Google Plus changes too much
Welcome to the Internet. The only constant is change. Google is quite forward thinking and they are always pushing the envelope. Expect more change and accept that you will always be on a quest to learn more. Fortunately, Google’s changes are usually positive improvements even if they are frustrating in the short-term.
6. Google Plus is for broadcasting my content
If you come to Google Plus solely to show off, drop links, and coax people back to your site, you will probably not find Google Plus a good fit. Those behaviors don’t go too far on Google Plus. Instead, approach it as a place to interact with interesting people around the topics that you are passionate about. Stop looking to gain traffic and look to gain information. There is a wealth of brain stimulating material to be devoured.
7. Google Plus is boring
You aren’t following the right people. Build your circles with fascinating people. If you need help, ask someone cool to share a favorite circle with you.
8. I’m not seeing results on Google Plus
You might not see them on Google Plus, but that doesn’t mean it’s not working for you. Read Google Semantic Search by David Amerland. It will give you the perspective you need to persevere until you do see results.
9. I just don’t get Google Plus
Of course you don’t. It’s complex. You probably don’t understand your wife or your boss either, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t worth having a relationship with. Exert the effort to listen and learn. Enjoy the challenge.
10. I don’t have time for another social media network
Google Plus is the social layer of Google. It is not just another social media network. Do you have time for SEO and content marketing? Then you should make time for Google Plus.
11. I can copy what I do on Facebook (or Pinterest or Twitter) on Google Plus
That probably won’t work. Google Plus is unique, and what works on Facebook or any other platform doesn’t necessarily translate directly over. Observe the people who have lots of followers to see what works.
12. Weird people are circling me
On Google Plus, relationships can be one way, so don’t feel that you have to circle back the weird people who circle you. You may never know why they chose to follow you, but don’t let it bother you. (There are probably lots of weird people who visit your website too.) If they are overtly creepy, stalker-ish or obscene, feel free to block them — but if you are merely confused about why they followed you, don’t stress over it.
As long as you hold onto these erroneous beliefs, you will struggle to make Google Plus work for you. However, once you shift your mindset and banish these twelve damaging ways of thinking, you can be on your way to success with the social layer of Google.
Photo credit: Big Stock Photos