What Cobra Kai Can Teach Business Owners About Social Media

Back in 1984, I took the movie, “The Karate Kid” very seriously. 

I didn’t care if the storyline was predictable or if the karate wasn’t real karate. All that mattered was… wax on, wax off.

Sand the floor.

Paint the fence.

Sweep the leg.

Daniel Larusso was from New Jersey. Johnny Lawrence rode a motorcycle. There was kicking and punching. But most importantly, there were valuable lessons to be learned. 

Now that “The Karate Kid” has been resurrected as the Netflix series, “Cobra Kai”, I like to think I’m still learning about life (and business!) from these characters, more than 30 years later.

Here are 3 things “Cobra Kai” can teach business owners about social media…

1. Don’t Try to Be Everything to Everyone on Social Media

“Cobra Kai” kicks off with the unlikely protagonist, Johnny Lawrence, trying to reopen a defunct karate dojo.

He’s off to a bad start, as his teachings don’t seem to hold relevance in a modern, progressive society.

Johnny’s stuck in 1984 and many feel his approach is outdated.

Nevertheless, Johnny doesn’t flinch. He stays true to his business and personal brand, despite initial push-back. Eventually, he finds a niche.

As it turns out, there IS a need for his often controversial, old school tactics. Who knew?

What’s more, his consistency and commitment to his message make him credible to a very specific audience. 

In social media terms, he doesn’t initially have many followers, but he has high engagement and high conversion. Aligned audience growth will follow.

An all-too-common mistake that businesses make when they launch a social media campaign is they try to appeal to an audience that is too large and too diverse. The number of followers is more important to them than the quality of followers.

This is a dead-end strategy. 

If you try to be all things to all people, you will dilute your message and convince/convert no one.

If you attract followers you can’t help, or who won’t pay for your product or service, you won’t grow your business.

Stay in your lane. Focus on your ideal client and what you can do to help them. The rest don’t matter.

2. Don’t Be Afraid to Start Small on Social Media

Before long, Johnny is betrayed and loses his dojo. 

Unable to pay rent for a proper location, he resorts to starting a NEW dojo, Eagle Fang (do eagles have fangs?) in a public park.

Johnny is a resourceful sensei. Throughout the series, he teaches his students in cement trucks, warehouses, and wooded areas. These are all chaotic choices, no doubt for dramatic/comedic effect, but there’s a valuable lesson here.

If you and your business are new to social media marketing, do not be afraid to start small.

You do NOT have to invest a lot to get your company’s social media presence off the ground.

You do not have to get a fancy website and blog launched right away. You don’t have to splurge on Facebook and Instagram ads. And, you do not have to hire a professional production team to shoot your social media videos. At least not right away!

Seriously, it is okay to start small and build up as you get the hang of things.

In fact, it is wise to test your content before you go all-in and invest heavily in your company’s social media strategy.

Because, if you launch into a social media strategy that is overwhelming from the get-go, chances are, you won’t stick to it. And, if you don’t stick to it, it won’t work.

Pick one social media platform, and master it. Once you’re comfortable, add on another platform. Then another. When you’re ready, repurpose your content into marketing emails. Produce a lead magnet to help you grow your email list. Record videos on your phone and start posting those as well. Take one step at a time.

If you’re new to blogging but your website isn’t up to par yet, start with a free blog on WordPress, Medium, or LinkedIn. You can always upgrade later, when you’re ready. Just start!

If you’d like some help blogging for business, you can download my ebook, “How to Blog Like An Entrepreneur” for FREE here.

There are many inexpensive tools that can help you with managing your social media and online presence, and many of them have free versions you can cut your teeth on.

Did you know you could use Publer to schedule your social media posts across many different platforms, including: Instagram, Facebook, Google, LinkedIn, and Twitter? Try Publer for free here.

For a low monthly fee, Canva Pro provides templates, stock photos, and stock videos that you can use to create social media content.

Constant Contact provides templates to create beautiful-looking emails and landing pages. It can also help you grow and manage your email lists. Sign up here to try Constant Contact.

Rev is a great tool that will generate transcripts and subtitles from your videos and audio files. Sign up for Rev at this link.

You don’t need to invest a ton of money when launching a business or a social media campaign. You need a strategy, and a willingness to learn some basic tools.

3. Hire a Social Media Manager So You Can Focus on Your Business

Johnny is a grown man stuck in 1984.

He listens to hair metal, drives a muscle car, and wears head bands and Ray Bans.

Nothing wrong here. However…

He struggles with change, and his grasp on social media marketing for his dojo business is less than intuitive.

He finds social media overwhelming and cumbersome. His students quickly figure this out, and they take the reins.

This frees up Johnny to run his business and manage his personal life.

If you need a social media manager to help you create content for your company, oversee your online strategy, and get your social media campaign underway, get in touch!