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Nancy Sheed 5 Social media hacks to save you time

5 Easy Hacks to Cut Your Social Media Time in Half

Save time and still look like a social media superstar

There are two types of social media users. Those who love it and those who consider it a necessary evil. Social media is important but it doesn’t have to take all your time. Here are my go-to shortcuts and hacks that will have you sharing your social media in record time with consistency and ease.

Tip one: Turn off notifications

You do not need an email, ping, and pop-up every time some action is taken on your social media platforms. These notifications are distractions and killing your time for productivity and creativity. You should be in charge of your time, not the other way around.

  • Turn notifications off on your phone (settings tab)
  • Turn them off in settings on computer/laptop as well
  • Turn off all notifications about email list updates, a daily summary will do
  • Schedule specific times to check comments, post and reply

Tip two: Create a portfolio of your social media assets

This includes images, content, hashtags, brand elements, style guide, boilerplate, bios and mission statement info. With everything in one place, you won’t spend hours tracking down all your stuff, every time you want to post on social media. Put it into one easy accessible location. If you don’t have an easy-to-find folder on your computer, then put it in the cloud, so you and your team can access it.

Here are popular apps for storing and retrieving images and information from anywhere:

Tip three: Develop a content calendar or checklist

This is ideal to have so you know what’s coming and you have dates and deadlines built in (free one here, for you!) With a plan in place, you will no longer be scrambling trying to figure out “What will I post today?”

A social media post checklist means you won’t forget anything and it provides you with a process for getting things done and leads to consistency across your platforms, which most certainly leads to better engagement.

Tip four: Batch your content or posting

This is big, so don’t skip it. Use focused blocks of time to knock out multiple versions of the same type of content.

  • Write 3-4 blog posts – then you are done for the month (if you are weekly)
  • Record 3-4 podcasts and schedule them for weekly release
  • Pick a time every week in which you schedule the bulk of your social media posts
  • Use posting tools to help you with your scheduling and management: Hootsuite, Buffer and Sprout Social are a few I like to use

Tip five: Hire someone

I promise, this is not a shameless plug! If you are stuck, uninterested, or truly don’t have the time for this, then figure out what would help you the most, and start there. Don’t waste time on projects that aren’t your “zone of genius.”

If a $20 an hour task is keeping you from doing the $100 or $1000 an hour work, then hiring someone else is a no brainer.

  • Need help organizing everything – hire an assistant (or VA)
  • Need help making things look pretty – hire a designer
  • Need help figuring out what the best content is – hire a strategist
  • Need help with Facebook ads – hire an ad specialist
  • Need help posting it all – hire a social media manager

What’s giving you fits today? Start there. Find out how to batch it, automate it or outsource it. You’ll love seeing these tasks off your to-do list and know they are still happening and helping you grow your audience reach.

Need specific help with these tips, tools or a strategy to make it work? Happy to chat about how I can help. Schedule a clarity call here.

How To Get Unstuck With Your Marketing – A Case Study

While on “holiday” I got to spend some time with a family friend, Jody Wallington, who is gifted make-up artist. She is mid-launch with her business and was feeling good about some things, and feeling stuck about many others.

Here’s how we got her unstuck. I’m sharing with the hope that it helps you too!

Watch:

Listen:

Read:

First we looked at what she had done, and what was already working for her.

• Her website is great and optimized for SEO

• She’s set up for local search in her area and her industry

• The site is mobile responsive (a must)

• She is very clear about how she differentiates herself from her competition

• Jody was also very clear about her target audience

The above list is the place to start. If you don’t know exactly who you are trying to reach, then efforts on social media or other advertising options aren’t likely to help.

Jody’s first big challenge was about all of the tools and resources that had been recommended to her. Hootsuite, Canva, Hashtagify, are all good tools, but she was wondering how to use them and what to actually post and create with these tools.

We backed away from the tools and started with her marketing and social media basics. We worked together to think about getting her “content” strategically organized.

Create 3 Buckets

  1. Bucket One – Content Ideas – what are the top 10-12 questions or answers that your ideal clients need to hear from you? What do you know that everyone wants to know from you? Jody listed several things right away.

• What are best products for someone who has received cancer treatment?

• 5 things women of certain age should never do when wearing make-up

• What to do if you are not exactly light, medium or dark?

These 10-12 items can then easily become blog posts or scheduled themes for content.

  1. Bucket Two – Hashtags and Keywords – these are not necessarily the same, but it’s critical to develop the list of words and phrases that you want to be found for or associated with. This is where tools like Hashtagify can help. Here are some things Jody considered:

• Is she a make-up artist or skincare consultant?

• Instead of “bridal parties”, she’s considering “mother of bride” as more her ideal client type

• Hashtags like #lookinggood #feelingfab might be better than #glam or #hot

  1. Bucket Three – Photos/Images – start building a portfolio of images that you can use for blog content, marketing collateral and social media posts.

• Do you have them on hand?

• Can you find them on free or paid photo sites?

• Do you need to create them or set up a photo shoot?

• Do you have a sense of what your branded imagery should look and feel like? (Canva is great for this!)

Creating these three buckets requires effort and research, and literally spending LOTS of time on researching social media and sometimes going down rabbit holes. It might not feel productive at first, but seeing what resonates with you – and recognizing what you audience is paying attention to as well – is a huge help when you start creating your own posts, mages, and content.

Tips for getting started:

  1. Set a realistic schedule and create dedicated (undistracted!) time to do this work.
  1. Figure out a workable system where you are going to track and be able to access this information. (Scraps of paper are not advisable! Think about a cloud based system, so you can)
  1. Start researching influencers or people you admire in your industry and see what is working for them.
  1. Before you start posting all of your great new content, check that all of your online profiles to ensure they are consistent with your brand messaging and images for each platform.

Then we had a bit of an “A-HA” when we working on Jody’s strategy at this point!

While all of the above is critical to appropriately develop your social media and start building content to support your brand, I caution people to realize that this is a marathon vs. race type strategy.

Part of our deep dive planning then turned to developing ideas for FAST TRACK connections and opportunities to get new clients.

Nurture Your Network – Friends, fans and people who already know you can be the best place to start. Find the most direct route to get in front of people who need to refer and recommend your services by letting those in your immediate circle know what you need.

Let them help make introductions and referrals.

LinkedIn – If you don’t appreciate or consider LinkedIn as a critical network for your business building you might want to reconsider.

• This provides a great opportunity to focus on your keywords

• You can start growing your connections

• Connect with influencers or ask for introductions

• It is search-friendly – and has SEO benefits with Google

Start developing an email list and plan to reach your peeps directly in their inbox. I have and could spend hours (watch this space) telling people that building an email list is the most critical thing that they should be doing for their business.

A last word of encouragement:

If promoting yourself and your business feels uncomfortable and icky, like this:

 

via GIPHY

You are not alone. Many people get stuck here. But remember your marketing mindset is an important part of your success. Rather than resisting marketing or continuing to be the world’s best kept secret, it’s time to tackle this head-on.

I challenged Jody (and challenge you) to think about marketing as an extension of service to others. If you can continue to find ways to help people and be of service, and use all of these online tools to do it – then that will be certainly be the most effective marketing you can do!

Are you stuck with your online marketing? I’d love to help you get unstuck, let’s set up a clarity call, so we can get you moving toward marketing success!

Behind the Seens with Nika Stewart

Behind the “Seens” with Nika Stewart of Ghost Tweeting

 

Learn how this social media guru builds trust by going LIVE!

Social media trailblazer, national speaker, and CEO of GhostTweeting.com, Nika Stewart has built a reputation for turning entrepreneurs into social media superstars. Her company builds social communities and helps amplify the visibility of celebrities and those who should be. Recently, Nika has been maximizing her exposure and leveraging her clients’ profiles with the magical power of live-video streaming. Let’s learn more!

What has been a game-changer for growing your audience?

“Well, putting my money where my mouth is and truly walking my talk is what grows my audience. In other words, I use all the Ghost Tweeting tools and programs to expand my visibility, grow my audience, and help me get sales from social media. When I recommend any of our programs, it’s because I know they work!”

What are you favorite social media networks or platforms?

“I love Twitter. The culture fits my style – quick thoughts, fast connections, a way to experiment while sharing information. I have found Twitter to be the best platform for growing Thought Leadership in business.”

What are you doing differently this year to reach more people?

“This year, I’ve personally become more active on LinkedIn. And Ghost Tweeting is being more consistent with email marketing. We’re also adding new ways to get in front of our target audience: videos, live-streaming, webinars, and coaching programs.

This May, my partner and I launched a weekly live web show for entrepreneurs, Small Biz Cafe.”

Nika note: I don’t think anyone should add another network until they are extremely proficient and have built systems on the networks they are currently on. Otherwise everything becomes watered down, and nothing is effective.

What’s your stellar secret in connecting with your peeps?

“I seem to be good at building trust on social media. This comes from consistently sharing value, plus daily engagement. We all need to spend time each day personally reaching out and acknowledging our audience. It’s the only way for people to get to know us, like us, and trust us enough to spend money with us.”

Can you share some stellar stats?

“I have a verified Twitter account with 72K+ followers. I get paying clients from Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter.”

What do you do to disconnect?

“I love spending time with my family. I enjoy walks with my husband, playing games, and watching Doctor Who with my daughter, and reading mysteries. But honestly, coming up with new business programs and marketing ideas is wildly fun for me.”

Want more?

If you want more information about Nika and GhostTweeting, here’s where you can find and follow her: website, Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest.

Check out our Facebook LIVE interview where we get the more “behind the ‘seens'” scoop.

Behind the Seens with The Novel Neighbor

Behind the “Seens” with Holland Saltsman, a neighborly bookstore maven

Find out how Holland Saltsman, owner of The Novel Neighbor book and gift store, became a mini-celebrity with book enthusiasts well beyond her St. Louis neighborhood.

What has been a game-changer for growing your audience? 

We were very lucky because we had a loyal following before we even opened the doors thanks to the success of our Indiegogo fundraising campaign (we raised $20K!) and our advance Facebook outreach. I also believe it was critical that we chose the right community in which to open the store.

More recently though, my “numbers” have increased exponentially, from social media followers to new people coming in the store whenever I am featured on Modern Mrs. Darcy’s website or podcast. It’s amazing – we have actually become a destination for people who have heard about the store when mentioned or interviewed by Anne. So what started as an innocent coffee meeting when I was a “fan girl” has turned into a very strategic relationship.

What are you favorite social media networks or platforms?

Novel Neighbor on Instagram (opens in new tab/window)Initially, we were focused on using Facebook as our primary social media platform – sharing our events and mass quantities of information (articles, lists, and fun community news). We were also using Twitter to engage with authors and influencers and the community.

In the last four months, however, we’ve gotten much more consistent and strategic, and getting more response from Instagram, and are now actually able to sell products, books, and other things right from our Instagram account, so we are really trying to post there on a daily basis.

What are you doing differently this year to reach more people?

Visit the Novel Neighbor (opens in new tab/window)After reviewing the Novel Neighbor website analytics with my SEO expert, Patrick Powers Digital, we decided it was time to make the website work more efficiently, particularly with regard to visibility of and engagement with our EVENTS. We also wanted to optimize LOCAL SEARCH opportunities for being found in the area.  So we have just re-launched with a new look for our website this past month!

What’s your stellar secret in connecting with your peeps?

St. Louis is a strong literary place. We are extremely lucky to have four independent bookstores supported in the area, but we are all very different.  Our most “secret sauce” is that we know KID’S LIT! We have an incredibly strong reputation with the community, with publishers, with authors, and most importantly, with the kids – that we know our stuff in this genre.

Also, I believe we create the unique experience of helping people find the perfect things they didn’t even know they were looking for. We have truly developed a sense of community and engagement, both in person and online, that is consistent for our neighborhood customers. Heck, we are now carrying branded Novel Neighbor stuff (bags, mugs, candles) because our customers were asking for more Novel Neighbor!

Oh yeah – we’re also pretty funny – on the verge of snarky! It works well with the kids (and the adults who still act like kids).

Can you share some stellar stats?

>Indiegogo – Raised $20K
>Facebook – 5,034
>Instagram – 1,932

What do you do to disconnect?

My first and best escape is to TRAVEL whenever I can. It’s getting easier now than it was when I first opened the store. I still love to READ, when it doesn’t feel like homework. It’s also fun for me to GET OUT LOCALLY to support my other community neighbors in their businesses.  And, of course, the odd music festival with my sisters is a pretty good reset too. (Editor’s note: I agree, follow #SaltsmanSisters)

Want more?

If you want more information about Holland and The Novel Neighbor, here’s where you can find and follow her: website, Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.

Also check Holland (and me) out on this recent Facebook Live video from Book Expo:

Should you make the pilgrimage to the store in St. Louis, please let them know that Holland’s big sister Nancy sent you! Also, if you are enjoying this series of “Behind the Seens – How Do They Do It?” let me know in comments and tell me who you would like to learn more about.  I love going behind the “seens”!

Business bucket list

What’s On Your Business Bucket List?

We’ve all been asked the question—probably at a dinner party, “What’s on your bucket list?” Even the most introverted of people usually have some BIG, HUGE item on their bucket list. Risky, against the norm, and FUN!  Why not give your business the same big, lofty goal with a business bucket list?

It’s easy to slip into the day-to-day activities of running a business. It’s also easy to avoid doing anything “risky”. Remember, with risk can come reward.

Things to add to your business bucket list:

What BIG idea do you have – written down somewhere, maybe on a Post-it note?

Is it:

  • an idea for an online course?
  • writing a book?
  • speaking?
  • taking a class or going to a conference?
  • doing a video?
  • getting a new website?
  • starting a blog?
  • hiring an assistant?

It’s time to dust off that “someday” note and figure out how to achieve this goal. You’ve written it down for a reason. Map it out.

Often, our big ideas don’t come to fruition because they get stuck somewhere right after, “Wow, what if I (fill in amazing idea)?  Oh, that’s going to be hard to do…”  As soon as you realize the scope of the project, procrastination and doubt kick in.

Here’s a tip:  Work backwards!

Fast forward to the end result and write that down. Here’s an example:

“Standing on stage presenting a Ted Talk”
What has to happen just before that to make it happen?

“Write an amazing Ted Talk Presentation”
Go back one more step…

“Apply to be a TED Talk speaker”
Keep going until you get to the very first step. You have mapped out the high-level to-do’s that will get you on stage giving the biggest presentation of your career!  It’s not so scary when you have it laid out!

Put yourself out there

At the top of many people’s business bucket list is figuring out how to get out, connect, and tell their story. What’s the best way for you to personally get in front of your audience? How can you create that human-to-human connection?

People follow and buy from someone they trust. How can you step out of the automated, bot-world and build trust and make a difference in your customers’ lives?

It’s time to shine

Live streaming video has become the fastest way to connect with an audience, share wisdom, and give the world a better idea of who you are.

It can be uncomfortable to think about being live on camera for everyone to see. Do it.  Put yourself out there and try it. There is nothing to lose! You can always delete it.

It’s not easy at first, but over time, it will not feel as difficult. Chances are, your peers or competitors are doing it, so if anything, use that as motivator!

What to talk about on video (or podcast, if you are really camera shy):

  1. What questions does your ideal client ask you all the time?
  2. What’s trending in your industry that your audience would want to know about? Is there a new app that’s hot? An exciting update to a program? A delicious new recipe that they must try?
  3. People LOVE rants: Is there something in your industry that bothers you? Can you offer your own viewpoints on the topic? Example: “Everyone says eating fats is bad, but there are good fats your body needs.”
  4. Lessons learned: Did you experience something in business that taught you a valuable lesson? Share it.
  5. Latest book you’ve read.
  6. Anything that lights you up that you feel you need to share.

TIPS When Starting:

  • Put on the DND (do not disturb!) when recording.
  • Write up some bullet points to talk about and stick in a place you can see it. You’ll much more at ease if you have those reminders there.
  • Internet connection matters. If you are in a low cell area, the connection will probably cut in and out. Test if first.
  • Use a tripod if you can, to keep the camera/phone stable, and consider a good quality mic.
  • Don’t stress too much about hair and make-up.

Is it time for a break?

When was the last time you took a day off? I mean, a REAL day off. Running a business can take over your life. There is no 9-5 when it’s your own business… it’s constant: days, late nights, weekends, holidays.

It feels constant because we are managing everything alone. It’s hard to take time for ourselves when the whole business relies on us. Why not put some more “you” time on your business bucket list?

Take a look at your systems and operations. List answers to the following:

  1. Things I LOVE doing
  2. Things I HATE doing
  3. Things that ONLY I can do (this is your special magic)

Look at the list. The goal is to have “things you love doing” and “things only you can do” overlap. The things you hate doing should be hired out, to get those energy drains off of your to-do list. You will be far more successful (and happy) if you can focus on just what you love and are amazing at. Tasks you dread doing will only drag you down and suck up valuable time.

Change feels uncomfortable

Just like skydiving, change and stepping out of our comfort zones sounds great at first, but stepping to the edge of the plane is terrifying.

Pick one of the list items above or something from the top of your “business bucket list” and start there. First, become the master of delegating, then go out and get that book deal. Or hire that VA so you can take the vacation you’ve dreamed of.

Whatever it may be, reach for those goals. Dream a little bit bigger. Share some ideas/items from your business bucket list in the comments below. You got this—and your life and work will be all the better for it!

Stuck on how to move forward and take your next big step? Let’s schedule a clarity call, and maybe I can help you cross an item off your business bucket list!.

image credit Samantha Sophia