Happy Monday, friends! Today I’m dishing on one topic that totally fires me! In a past blog post about limiting my social media use to better make use of my time and stop scrolling through my various feeds like a zombie, a sweet gal named Jo had a left an awesome and insightful comment that went a little like this:
This is such a great post, I totally agree and I need to do this. I have one small (HUGE) concern. I recently launched my business and I’m using social media as my main way of marketing my business. Is it a matter of scheduling posts and checking them every couple of days or once a week? How do I work on getting my business out there when I’m not checking social media?
When you’re new to anything you feel passionate about, it’s hard to have boundaries and even harder to feel like you’re ever giving enough ______ (time, effort, money, love, attention, insert whatever it is you feel your new thing needs to succeed). Without boundaries, eventually your efforts turn into a vicious circle because you’re always trying to outdo yourself. This creates misery and exhaustion and in some cases a bit of envy for what it ‘looks’ like others have going on. I can relate! Really. So let me share this little no so secret, secret with you.
The not so secret is that we ALL deal with overwhelm and distractions. These snags happen at any stage of entrepreneurship regardless of staff size, years in business, number of social media followers, personal changes and experiences like kids, and the list goes on. If a business is truly doing well and by general standards is successful, it’s going to feel like you’re always in the building stages. Because you are! While the logistical struggles I faced five years ago when I first started coordinating events are different than the ones I face now as I fly cross country to tackle big events and massive floral orders, the struggles are still there. They’ve just changed as my business has. I think some call this ‘growing pains’. I’m sure those who have been in business even longer than me face struggles proportionate to their experience level and business model too. While experience as a business owner results in increased knowledge it doesn’t translate to perfect operating conditions.
So here are some of my tips for using social media to build your business without going crazy (been there):
Create a Social Media Calendar Most large blogs have some sort of editorial calendar they adhere to, the same way an editorial team at a magazine lays out their next issue. This takes a bit of work and self discipline to stick to but it will guarantee you have a plan to follow. Grab one of those oversized calendars from Staples and at the end of each month, brainstorm when and what you are going to blog/share/do in the upcoming four weeks. Or start with two weeks if four is too much. Write down those topics, along with post dates and how you’ll share those items across your social media channels. Then start to preblog the content on your back end, so when those dates come, all you’ll need to do is proof-read and publish your posts! If you don’t blog (which I think you should but I can write about that later) then try to follow this system with your social media accounts. Ashley Brooke Designs is a great example of this. She shares three times a day on her IG account to reach three different demographics based on three time zones and to ensure she has three chances to hit her various audiences each day. Does this system work for me? Nope. But for ABD it’s a brilliant strategy and works like a charm for her brand. Your social media calendar should reflect your brand, your mission and what’s actually going to find that balance between promoting your business and not causing you unnecessary stress.
Quality Over Quantity When I was a gymnast in the NCAA, by my senior year I was on the outside in the best shape of my life, but on the inside just hanging on by a thread. Three back fractures, a newly repaired shoulder labrium, stress fractures in my shins, taped ankles, wrist guards and the list goes on. Each day at the gym felt like a walk onto the battlefield and both my coaches and I knew we had to be smart about the amount of wear and tear put on my body in practice to ensure I was at my best to compete and pull my weight with the team. During our competitive season, I remember walking into practice each day (which just to give you an idea, our practices were four hours a day, five days a week, and some days included morning lifts and cardio) but I remember coming in to practice and while we were all given a work out schedule to adhere to for the day, some of us were given the option to pick what we could commit to. Most conversations with my coach went like so:
Kathie: ‘Rhi, the assignment is 5 stuck vaults today and the fifth must be above a 9.8. How do you feel today?’
Rhi: ‘I’m a bit sore from weights yesterday and while my back is alright my shins are rough.’
Kathie: ‘What can you commit to?’
Rhi: ‘I can give two solid vaults, if one of those first two are above a 9.8 can I call it good?’
Kathie: ‘Great, you can use the remainder of practice to do some light cardio and conditioning.’
And if you want to read a bit more on how that approach helped me athletic wise, you’ll like this.
This quality over quantity approach is one of the biggest lessons I learned in college which funny enough, I now apply to most aspects of my life (quality pieces of decor in my home versus a million tchotchkes, quality time with my husband twice a week versus sitting in front of the television together every night with our phones in hand, 5 to 7 incredible weddings a year over 20 that leave me feeling frazzled and unfulfilled). When I blog or post on social media, I try to take a similar approach. I’d rather put up an impactful post that feels genuine and honest to my audience even just ONCE a week, than a crappy photo with no purpose every single day that may entice my audience to question how much time I’m spending online versus doing my actual work or a post that again, doesn’t tie back in with my core brand or mission.
Get Creative With Sharing Social media is no doubt a great and in most cases, free way to market your business. If you’re not currently using social media for your business and your a business or service catering to millennia, get on it! But the marketing opportunities and advertising strategies available to you don’t stop there. Being proactive about getting reviews from past clients for either your website or your profiles on wedding vendor sites, staying up to date on your website text and about me photos, networking with new professionals and being a kind and inquisitive colleague, serving your clientele better, and actually keeping your head down and focusing on your actual craft (versus talking about it all over IG and facebook) are all different forms of marketing and advertising your services and products. Get creative about the way you share and in turn you’ll become a better advocate for your own brand without feeling like a slave to your phone.
And if you absolutely have to use your social media on a daily basis for the existence of your business that’s great too! This is about what works for YOU not the business that has 100k followers or 400 comments on their latest facebook post. That’s comparing apples to oranges in the creative field. It’s not about questioning the business who chooses not to have an instagram account or the one who takes breaks from their accounts for a while (like me!). Numbers don’t always indicate success in the bank. And not every business is out to make six figures. Everyone has their unique plan that works for them and a very personal definition of success.
Further, if you’re needing help with managing your social media content you can look into apps like CoSchedule, Postso.com, and Hootsuite to help with your efforts! When it comes to blogging, both blogger and wordpress allow you to schedule your posts so they automatically go live when you want. There are really so many awesome and user friendly resources these days for creatives and business owners to help make your life a bit easier while striving to reach your professional and personal goals. Again, find the ones that work for you.
How do you use your social media accounts? What works for YOU? Share below if you’d like!
Happy Monday! Xoxo