Second cup of tea in hand, I’ve always been in my home office for 8.30 am. Or thereabouts.
Back when I was Project Managing a team and was expected to be available in office hours, it was a perfectly acceptable expectation that I was available and at my computer. But I stopped offering that service almost a year ago, I have no ‘time-sensitive’ work to carry out and often write away from my desk (in the garden sometimes, but don’t tell anyone)
Over the last few weeks, I’ve seen lot’s of people reminding me of the benefits of keeping to a routine, and I have no doubts that these are valid points:
Reduces the need to plan
Creates a structure to your day
Develop good habits
Break bad habits
Easier to prioritise
All very valid.
Except, at some point over the last four weeks, I’ve realised that some of the routines and habits I had formed over the previous months and years were no longer serving me. They were making life MORE DIFFICULT. And at the moment, I’m all about making life easier.
The first thing to go was being in the office at 8.30 am.
Leisurely breakfast with my daughter
Battle the queues at the supermarket
Drop shopping off for my parents
Collect a prescription
Go for a run
All of these things were much more important than the false importance I had attached to turning my computer on by 8.30 am at the latest.
Changing my routine has reduced my stress and anxiety, the overwhelm and the feeling that I was somehow failing somebody (me?) if I didn’t sit down to work at 8.30 am.
And the whole change of pace from being in lockdown got me thinking about other habits and routines that I had that were no longer serving me (Because I do like routines )
Is it laziness or a fear of change that keeps us in these routines that no longer serve us?
After the realisation that I didn’t actually have to start work every day at 8.30 am, I began to reassess other habits – finishing at 2 pm, using specific software, methods of carrying out work, carrying out tasks in a particular order. It turns out that a change really can be as good as a rest, and that even a single tweak can totally revitalise your day.
I recently watched a webinar hosted by the marketer Luan Wise, called ‘How to Adapt Your Social Media Activity in Times of Uncertainty’.
The main takeaways from the webinar I have been sharing over the last few weeks in my social media posts.
No-one planned for this, so it’s ok not to know what to do
Don’t stop marketing and posting on social media
Keep yourself visible
It might feel a bit awkward continuing as ‘business as usual’ during these uncertain times. Still, if you are operating as ‘business as usual’ (or even if you aren’t), then it’s best to tweak how you’re marketing yourself on social media. Even if you’re not in a position to continue business as usual, you can still interact and engage on social media and keep building those relationships………and your reputation. Empathise with your clients, and focus on the help that they need now – help and support that is of immediate use to them, even if they may not be in a position to buy at the moment. Everyone is feeling something at the moment, even if we aren’t all feeling the same thing. And tapping into what your potential clients are feeling is vital.
One aspect of your social media that you may want to tone down temporarily is the selling aspect. Of course, you’re still running a business, and you still need to attract new clients. But let’s be sensitive to feelings, to uncertainty and to building relationships that will extend beyond this crisis.
If you’re finding yourself with time on your hands as business has slowed or stopped, then there are a few activities you could carry out to spring clean your social media:
Update your profiles
Create or update your content resources
Research Awareness Days
Understandably, you aren’t sure how to pitch our social media efforts at the moment, as these times are unprecedented. But one thing is for sure. You need to continue something on social media if you want to remain visible and be at the forefront of your clients’ minds now – and when they are ready to buy in the future.
Download my free pdf for 20 prompts of what you could be talking about on social media, or get in touch for some 1-2-1 support to pull together and implement your own social media posts.
No time for all that? I can plan, create and post for you! My packages cover the requirements for most businesses, let’s have a chat about how we could support you.
When you first start your business, your initial investments are usually the bare essentials to get you up and running. But once you’ve been in business a while, how do you make a decision on what investments to make for your business?
Once you start to become more experienced as a business
owner, you will begin to see what you need to move your business forward to
help it grow whether this is software and programmes to streamline processes or
services that can be provided by another person with a different skillset to
yourself. On occasions, you may not even realise that there are programmes or
people who can support you. Speaking to other business owners often highlights
services that they provide or use themselves, that may be of interest to you as
When I started my business, I did it all myself. I created a
logo for myself and set up my website. At the time, I didn’t have the money to
invest in a professional to do these things for me, and I had the time
initially to DIY it. In retrospect, it showed. It was only as my business
developed, and I worked on the impression I wanted to give to potential
clients, that I realised the logo and website I had created were a little
A graphic designer was able to take my ideas and create a professional
logo and business cards I was proud to give out. My web designer was able to
create a professional website in a fraction of the time it was taking me to
make basic amendments to the pages I already had.
These two examples cover the reasons why you might consider investing
in your business:
There’s something you don’t know how to do
There’s something you don’t like doing
There’s something that you can do yourself, but someone
else can do it quicker/better
For me, the graphic designer was able to create a logo that
far exceeded anything I could produce and design business cards that
represented my business well. My web designer can make changes to my website quickly
and has saved me hours trying to work things out, Googling ‘how-to’ and getting
progressively grumpier at my incompetence.
There are a lot of ways you can invest in your business, but
overall the key factors you need to consider for any of them are :
Does it add value to your business?
Does this allow you to better use your time elsewhere?
Does this allow you to better use your skills
Does this progress your business or remove
something from your to-do list?
If your investment ticks one (or even better, more than one)
of these boxes, it could be worth the investment.
There’s a whole host of possibilities to invest in your
business, but here are a few ideas of things I’ve used or considered.
Equipment, laptop etc
Social media support
Can you add to the list?
What has been the most worthwhile investment you have made
in your business?
Social media posting shouldn’t be something you just do when
Your social media content should be planned, and that plan should be part of an overall marketing strategy that pulls together your different marketing avenues and strengthens them.
Using social media to successfully position yourself as an expert or go-to person in your field will ensure that potential clients think of you when they need the product or service you provide. Keep yourself at the forefront of their mind with frequent and relevant posts – consistency is the key.
A lot of clients ask me: How do I plan what to post?
These are the key steps I take every month with my own, and
my client’s social media :
1/ Identify specific goals
Do I have a goal this month? Or a particular topic I want to cover? Is there an event I want to promote or a particular message I want to get across? What do I want to promote? (remember the 80:20 ratio of content to selling)
2/ Research & plan
Incorporating any goals from 1/ and any awareness days for the month along with any relevant hashtags, as well as general hashtags for use on Twitter and Instagram (and lesser extent on Facebook) into a daily plan of content. Remember to include shares of any relevant articles you may have read, quotes or sayings that resonate with your audience, and plenty of content to share your expertise with your fans.
3/ Write the posts
Flesh out the full post content from the plan, using your research from 2/, source images to use and create graphics if appropriate. Remember that your posts need to be informative and include a Call To Action most of the time.
It is much more time-effective to bulk post if you can. I use a scheduling tool to post ahead of time for all of my clients, and directly into Facebook using their own scheduling system. There is a great satisfaction (and reassurance) to knowing that you’ve got a few weeks of posts sorted!
5/ Be social
Once you’ve got those daily posts sorted, you can add in some Facebook Lives or ad-hoc posts to keep your content lively and interesting. and make sure your fans can see what you’ve been up to. Make sure that you interact with your fans too, and ensure that any comments on posts are monitored and replied to if necessary. Regular posting will increase your organic post reach, and interacting with others will also help that. Tagging other people (only if relevant though) is also a great way to increase your post reach!
I had my a-ha! Moment listening to ‘Start With Why’
audiobook whilst driving down the M1 from Rotherham. My brand had been forming,
evolving if you will, yet I knew I wasn’t quite there. The missing link came to
me somewhere north of Tibshelf services. From that moment, I had my clarity and
everything changed – including how I presented myself.
This got me thinking in a lot more detail about my own
social media, and what I needed to do to ensure that my messages were
translated well to potential clients. The clarity was just the first step. But
once I was clear on where I was headed, my social media needed to have a subtle
change to reflect this.
I took advice on my writing, I learnt a little more about
basic design elements, I swotted up on social media in general and started to
immerse myself in the things I needed to develop my business – the practical
tips, potential future collaborations and surrounded myself with positive,
But mainly, I took away a few key questions to ask myself about how I present myself online, which also carry over really well to how I present my clients on social media, and how you can also present yourself well on social media too.
Frequency and quality
What are you posting, and how often?
What do people see of your offering, your service or product?
How often are they seeing it?
Are your posts relevant to your product or service?
Are you creating engagement?
Are you posting when your fans are online?
Recognising your brand
What do people see of your brand?
Are you seen to be an expert?
How are you portraying yourself – are you approachable, professional, friendly? You will need to be sure of your branding to keep this consistent.
Are you adding value?
What do people see of your expertise?
Are you sharing knowledge and expertise with potential clients?
Do they see you as a go-to person in your field?
Are you providing your own content and sharing interesting articles relevant to your field?
The one other crucial way to ensure that you’re seen in your best light on social media is to ensure that you are in fact social – the more social you are, the more your posts will be seen by others. Interact with your followers and ensure that you are also interacting with others. Most crucially, frequent posting will help your organic reach so make sure that you’re posting on a regular basis.
Once you’re happy with your overall social media plan – frequency and types of post – then the key is to keep doing the same. Keep an eye on your insights to make any tweaks, experiment a little, and don’t be afraid to try something new.
If keeping up with social media is just ‘too much’, get in touch and let’s have a chat. You can find out a little more about my Social Media Management packages here.
Sarah is 44, a divorcee with 3 children. She also runs the
busiest take-away restaurant in Goromonzi, Zimbabwe.
I never thought I would feel a connection with someone in Zimbabwe, but having built my own business from scratch I can empathise to some extent with Sarah. I was lucky enough to have the means to fund my own business, but that isn’t the situation with Sarah and countless others. Lend With Care appeals to me because they offer a communal loan solution to entrepreneurs in developing countries. With her loan from Lend With Care, Sarah is hoping to buy meat and wooden plates and to add diversity to her business by baking cakes.
It’s a simple enough concept, individuals lend £15 to a microfinance institution via Lend With Care, until the cost of individual loans is met through contributions from multiple people. As the loan is then paid back, so are you.]
The value of £15
£15 is such an insignificant amount to me, but the loan itself is so important for Sarah.
Of course, charitable giving can take place in other forms and a lot closer to home – giving time for local causes is also an option. After spending a few hours on a few Saturdays helping my Interior Designer friend Andrea with a refurb of a domestic violence refuge, I lost little more than a few hours but know that I’ve contributed someway into helping someone else along the line. The refurbishment is going to transform a beautiful but tired Victorian building into a welcoming sanctuary for those fleeing abuse.
And that feeling doesn’t have to be limited to helping
charities. There is always some way that you can be kinder every day – It can be replicated by just being a good
friend, lending a hand to a neighbour or even being helpful to a complete
stranger. No-one is out for a trophy
here, but word has it that the more you give, the more you receive.
And that sounds like a win/win situation all round.