Just like Veruca in Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, most people getting started in social media want results immediately.  They want it NOW! They want to post a couple of blog posts and see thousands of visitors start rolling in on their website.  Sadly, that is not usually the case.  Sometimes it feels like you’re blogging or posting into thin air and nobody knows you exist.

Most of the popular bloggers all had a similar experience when they started out.  They all struggled with finding their voice, getting an audience, and being heard.  But they all have one thing in common.  They stuck it out.  They were patient, even when it felt like no one was listening.

It’s easy to read successful and popular bloggers and say to yourself, “I’m never going to get there.”  One of my favorite quotes of all times is by Jon Acuff who says, “Don’t compare your beginning to someone else’s middle.”  It takes perseverance and patience.

Here are some tips on being patient with your social media efforts.

Set Reasonable Goals
When you first start, don’t set goals like, “I’ll have 1000 people circle me in a month” or “I’ll get 500 page likes a week.”  Set a manageable goal such as, “I will post one new blog post a week” or “I will comment on a new post five times a week.”

Celebrate The Small Victories
When you hit those reasonable goals – celebrate!  Share them with friends who will encourage you.  Nothing will take the wind out of your sails faster than telling a friend, “I posted a new post every Tuesday this month and now have 10 new subscribers to my newsletter!” and have them say, “Really, is that all?”  Make sure you have someone who will enjoy these victories with you.

Schedule A Time To Be Active
Depending on your goals figure out how much time is reasonable to work on social media and when that time is over, walk away!  Don’t let notifications, Facebook messages, or other instant messages distract you from other tasks you may have.  If necessary, turn them off!

Value Relationships Not Numbers
It’s better to have a 100 people who value your thoughts, post comments and engage, then 1000 casual followers who never interact with you.  Enjoy people who are engaging with you! Deepen those friendships.  Share their comments and help each other online.  There’s a reason why it’s called a social network.

Be Consistent But Don’t Beat Yourself Up
Remember that old saying that it takes saying or doing something seven times to remember it?  The same is true in social media.  You have to solve a problem or provide value many times before you start to see results. So try to be consistent. If you are going to try to post a new blog post every two weeks, make the best effort to try to do that.  But if your son has a soccer game and you miss a deadline, don’t beat yourself up.  What’s ultimately more important?  Strive to learn from your mistakes and adjust your processes to handle blips in your schedule.

Just like in the video above, being patient can be hard and even sometimes painful.  We want success now.  Will you be the one to cram the marshmallow of social media into your mouth and say, “Well, I tried?” Or will you be the one who struggles, who shows up, who perseveres knowing down the road people will trust in your authority and expertise?
Will you eat the marshmallow or wait for something better?