I know…the photo I used today is a little bright and obnoxious compared to my normal photos. That was done intentionally, however, because that photo shows exactly how I used to feel when it came to marketing my work. There are few things in life that terrify me more than the interstate. Add the interstate to the dark and traffic, and I’m going to have a panic attack, not knowing which way to go and being too scared to do much of anything but stay in the same lane, going the same speed, until I can find a giant gap and get out of dodge.
It doesn’t have to be like that, though.
As a small business person, blogger, or social media person of any kind, it can be hard to keep everything straight. I personally have the blog, an Etsy shop, and currently maintain the social media presence for five different organizations, blogs, or businesses (one of those being mine). This means that, every day, I have five organizations to promote, a blog to run, orders to make and ship, a shop to maintain, on top of all the networks and teams that I either run or participate in. Oh, and I’m in school and have four kids. The easiest part of my life? My husband, hands down. He’s a minimal maintenance kind of guy.
If you’re like me and your wheels are constantly spinning trying to remember or keep up with it all, no solution seems to encompass everything. If you find one program you love, it’s always missing something. Always. So I’m going to tell you what I do, and how I keep up with things. It may work for you, it may not. I highly suggest you try the social media schedule, though – I’ve had amazing results!
My blog gets the least amount of attention from me, here lately, because I’ve been working on a senior thesis. My normal schedule, however, is to sit down two nights a week and do all of my blog posts at once. I normally post 4-5 times a week, but those are pre-scheduled. On weeks I only have 1 or 2 posts, I go ahead and write another one to keep on the back-burner for a later date when I may be busy. I then schedule those to post later via the Facebook preschedule function, Hootsuite, Buffer, or whatever app the company I am working with prefers. SO
1. Blog twice a week, multiple posts at once.
2. Schedule posts ahead of time
3. Schedule promotions on Facebook and Twitter for after posts go live (obviously, but I forget this one sometimes)
Facebook – 20 minutes, tops.
Facebook is easy, provided you don’t get sucked in. Don’t get sucked into Facebook! (I do, all the time)
1. Go check on updates from any work-related groups – respond to a couple posts and interact.
2. Schedule posts via Facebook preschedule function for support threads in those groups.
3. Respond to fan comments and messages
4. Schedule my own posts via Facebook preschedule function (or, Hootsuite, if you use that)
Twitter – 15 minutes
1. Respond to interactions
2. Favorite five tweets
3. Follow 5-10 people related to your field (or, potential customers)
4. Retweet 5 tweets
5. Schedule Tweets in Hoosuite
Twitter Tip: If you have Klout, and use the Klout app on Chrome, you can see people’s Klout scores right in the Twitter feed. Never, ever ignore or disregard people because they have lower Klout scores, but this is a great way to make sure you’re spending some time reaching up as well. Interacting with people who have higher Klout scores increases Klout. For those who don’t care much about Klout, interacting with these people means your tweets are more likely to be viewed because they have a larger influence or more interactive following (though, not necessarily a large number of fans – 1000′s of fans doesn’t mean people are actually paying attention!)
Newsletter – 30 minutes
1. Write once a week (or, once a month)
Pinterest – 5 minutes (Don’t get lost on Pinterest, either!!)
1. Check repins and make mental note of what is working and what isn’t
2. Repin 5 things
3. Follow three new people
4. Leave. Quickly.
1.Favorite/Heart five photos
2. Follow three new people
3. Upload as you wish. Seriously. The great thing about Instagram is that you can see the people behind the business, blog, or organization. Don’t feel the need to fake it. If you don’t have something to photograph, don’t. You’d be surprised the little things that garner a lot of attention, though.
Etsy – 20 minutes, also tops
1. Return customer emails
2. Check on expired listings
3. Return favorites and follows
4. Favorite 5 items, Follow 1-3 people
5. Respond to your team(s)
6. Add new orders to ‘to-do’ list
7. Print shipping labels and invoices
1. Carry your camera or cell phone everywhere you go. Keep an eye out for interesting patterns, sunsets, and scenes that you could potentially use for a background on an image. Seriously. I stop and take photos of the ground or flat sides of buildings all the time because they’ll make a pretty background for a meme.
2. Sit down once a week and edit. I do all of my editing at once – for blog posts, reviews, Facebook posts, memes, Listing updates, etc. I do this, for some reason, on Friday nights or during Walking Dead on Sundays. I use Lightroom for product photos, and PicMonkey for all collages, memes, and other photos. PicMonkey is free, online, and ridiculously easy to use. I can create a meme in minutes.
Now, about this whole prescheduling thing – my social media time in the morning takes much less time than listed because I don’t generally have to tweet/post anything. Every few days, I sit down and schedule out ALL of my Tweets and Posts (and the tweets and posts for my contracts) at once, in Hootsuite. My morning time on social media is really just time to check up and interact a bit.
Social media is social – don’t forget that part and just blast things out to people!
Etsy is the very last thing I check in the morning, because I go straight from printing shipping labels to working. I immediately create the packaging, and then create the item. Backwards, I know, but it works for me – I have that empty, ready-to-ship package just sitting there staring at me and it keeps me motivated to fill them and ship them out.
For life-stuff, I use something called Cozi. When I run out of something, I add it right to the shopping list in Cozi via my app. I keep a running grocery list, plan my meals there. Cozi is very easy to work, and you can even schedule in repeated events (like, visitation weekends), which was a huge bonus for me! I have classes two days a week and, on those days, all orders go into my ‘to-do’ list on Cozi for the following day. All of my assignments go straight from my syllabus into Cozi at the beginning of the year. There are even different colored tabs to keep up with different people, so my husband can add his schedule in there, too.
Keeping up with all the different tasks that running a business involves can be tough. But, once you have a streamlined process and routine down, it becomes much easier!
Do you have any questions or tips about blogging, Etsy, or scheduling?