Updated: Mar 3
Stop feeling like you need to be on every social platform and don’t try to be everything to everyone.
There’s lots of social pressure these days. It feels like every marketing article says you need to be on this, that, and those platforms...especially those platforms. The next one says you should start blogging because it’ll boost traffic. The one after that says that podcasts are where you need to be. Everyone’s got a side gig, everyone’s an entrepreneur, and everyone needs to be in front of the world via the internet. Well, I’m here to tell you that you don’t NEED to do any of those things.
You are one person. You do not need to be in all places at once.You should be focusing on your business and how to grow as an entrepreneur. Don’t add stressful tasks to your life that won’t move your needle forward on the success gauge.
It’s never wise to try and be too many things. I’ve talked about this in another blog post and I’ll mention it here again. People like to call themselves a “Jack of all trades.” What everyone forgets to tack on is the rest of that saying - “master of none.”
It’s best to stay in your lane and improve your skillset, this will help you leap ahead of your competition because you can master the skills they are looking to purchase. Too many branches and services can muddy your brand and turn your ideal client off.
I’m going to give you four simple tips that will help you focus on providing content to the world that people will care about and how to get in front of people that care. With any luck, you’ll build up a reputable content library that will eventually help you pull in customers even as you build face-to-face relationships.
Pick Your Best Performing Platform
Take some time to look at the analytics of the platforms you post to on behalf of your business. This could be any social media site, search-based platforms like Pinterest, articles in your blog or on a platform such as LinkedIn or Medium, or possibly something newer like Clubhouse. Look at what you're posting, your best performing posts, the number of people you reach, and the amount of interaction.
Now, don’t be discouraged if your interactions are low or almost non-existent. It’s well known in the marketing community that major social companies have switched from promoting the most popular and relevant content to promoting mostly paid, sponsored content. Even people that follow your business might not see your posts pop up in their feeds. But there are some free clicks out there yet. You just have to be consistent and they will come.
According to Causely.com, only about 10% of your total followers actually get to see your posts. Stupid, right?
Back to those analytics! Compare your likes, follows, and interactions with the time you spend developing the content. Are you getting back what you put in? No? Then switch lanes and develop a new plan. Choose your best performing site and focus your energy on it. Do you have more than one channel that is performing well? Is your blog doing well because you post regularly to Pinterest?
Focus on what you can realistically handle and the rest will fall into place. Once you start seeing the results you want, then maybe consider diving back into another platform. But, remember, be realistic.
Plan Your Monthly Content
I am a big fan of calendars. I like taking an hour to jot down all my content ideas for the upcoming month. Take stock of what you have going on this month. How much time do you have each day to post? Will you be posting daily or every other day? How many times each month will you release a new How To video or blog post? Whatever schedule you decide to follow, stick to it! Regularity will help your audience know when to look for you. And if you need to take a break for a few days or weeks, post about it. Make sure your audience knows you haven’t dropped off the face of the earth.
Now it’s time to fill up your posting schedule. Is there an event you can promote or a national holiday? How about a thematic day of the week, for example “product Tuesday” is the only day of the week you are allowed to post about your products. You can use something like NationalDayCalendar.com to help you find odd holidays to fill in dates without much going on.
I created a spreadsheet that I use to plan and create content for each of the accounts I run. This is an example of how I fill in each cell to make sure my content is consistent.
Try out scheduling software. This can help you build out a month's worth of posts within a couple of hours and schedule them. Try platforms like Hootsuite or Metigy, they can post to Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and Instagram - though the free versions only allow you to connect to so many accounts before you have to pay for more connections.
If you’re focusing on Facebook and Instagram, the overlords at Facebook have developed a free scheduling platform called Creator Studio. It works fairly intuitively and it works best if you only have one business connected (I have around 10 accounts linked in my Creator Studio and it can get a bit messy at times).
Make Time For Face to Face
I’ll be the first to admit it, I hate tooting my own horn. But you are your biggest ambassador. Don’t rely on others to make your referrals. Get out there and refer yourself! You’d be surprised what types of business relationships you can build from simple conversations with members of your community. You might feel like you’re talking about yourself too much, but they wouldn’t be listening if they weren’t interested. Plus, it gives you the chance to hand out that wad of business cards burning a hole in your pocket/purse.
This is a mock-up of a business card I designed for a client of mine.
Contact your local chamber of commerce and find out what type of networking events are held. Don’t just look at your town’s chamber, search for business organizations in surrounding cities. Get active in the community because they need volunteers, trust me. Not only will it get you noticed, but it’ll also build some goodwill toward your business.
Find groups online and participate. There are millions of Facebook groups out there for just about any topic under the sun. Join a few and take part in the conversations. This advice might seem counterintuitive because almost all of these groups will have a rule that you cannot sell your service or products within the group unless specifically asked.
But you didn’t join in to say “hey look what I can do, buy from me!” You're in these groups to answer questions, have conversations, and learn from others. If you sound knowledgeable and don’t come across as gimmicky then you might just capture a few clients.
Revisit Your Client List
One of the best and most important sources of business is your current client list. Dig back through your invoices and touch base with your current and former clients. This can allow you to restart a dying relationship or strengthen a current one. A happy customer is more likely to continue doing work with you if you keep a good stream of contact. Also, you’ll be saving yourself time because you don’t have to attract and nurture new/unknown leads.
Have you just wrapped up a project? Wait a couple of weeks and send a follow-up email with a survey? Ask about client satisfaction, what products they would be interested in for the future, and if they would write a review for your website or Google My Business profile. The information gathered here is invaluable and can be used to improve and market your business.
In conclusion, we’re all facing stress so why add to it with unnecessary tasks? I’m not saying that each of the platforms out there doesn't have merit or that they don’t make an impact. I’m simply asking you to choose the best way to spend your time - what little of it there is!