Creating a social media strategy for the Solopreneur
Contributed by Ali Goldfield of ADR Social Media Development
As a social media coach, I understand how critical social media can be to promoting your small business, creating an online presence and engaging with your audience. I know that in order to grow my business, I must learn where my clients are online and continue to engage with them in an honest and trustworthy way to earn their respect and repeat business.
As a Solopreneur, however, I recognize how difficult it is to try to organize my time, both on and offline, and do it all on my own. Early on in my career as a social media coach, I’ve had to create a plan to follow that will allow me to “do it all” without neglecting anyone, including myself. So how do I manage to accomplish all that I need to do for my clients without neglecting my own social media strategy and other business needs? I’ve learned how to juggle. And while there are always times in a week that something will come along and through me for a loop, I find that with these simple steps, I’m (usually) able to stay on top of things:
- Set goals for the week: On Monday morning, after the hustle and bustle of the weekend, I will always sit down and look over what I have to do during a one-week period. I set out the goals I want to accomplish and try to prioritize the tasks that need doing.
- Set goals for each day: Similarly, each morning with my coffee (or a tall low-fat eggnog tazo chai latte) I set out the goals I have for the day. If I know what I have to do that day, I can budget my social media time accordingly.
- Budget your time online: This step can be tricky, especially if you’re like me and often get sidetracked online. If you begin to have dedicated online times, it gets easier to be disciplined when surfing or exploring online.
- Use the tools available to you: I usually start my day with 30 minutes of social media “buffering.” Filling up the tools I use for scheduling tweets and posts for both my clients and myself. Being familiar with the different social network etiquette help a great deal. For example, knowing that I can post every hour on Twitter but only twice a day on Facebook is key with scheduling and setting goals.
- Allot an hour a day for reading blogs, posts and articles: In my opinion, I think that one of the most important steps in any social media strategy, or any business strategy in general, is reading and gleaning as much information as you can from the vast amounts online. It helps with focus and it definitely helps with writer’s block. I keep a notepad beside me as I read to jot down blog ideas and the Delicious button on hand to bookmark interesting sites.
- Time to blog: One of the most time consuming part of my day is blogging, and while I have set times that I like to sit down and write, if truth be told, there are times I have to stop the car and jot down some ideas before I forget them. I encourage all Solopreneurs to begin to think in terms of blogging for business. Take in all you see and do as you go about your day and work it into blog posts. By moving to this way of thinking, you are more likely to have an abundance of ideas rather than a deficit.
- Scheduling time to relax: As a Solopreneur, it is critical to know when to shut it off. It’s easy to burn out and get frustrated with all the things that need to be done. I find it necessary to schedule time for lunches, pampering and just “time-off” to relax and enjoy life.
While it’s never easy to think that we must do it all, and do it well, if we can learn how to organize our time both on and offline, it is possible to get the maximum benefits of our social media strategy. Setting weekly and daily goals, making use of the tools available, scheduling time to read and write, organizing our time online and making time to relax can all help in creating a plan that works for us and allows us to be at our most productive.
What type of social media strategy works for you?
Ali Goldfield is a social media consultant at ADR Social Media Development offering a wide range of social media, training and small business consulting services. You can also find her on Facebook, LinkedIn and follow her on Twitter.