We all want 2016 to be a kick-ass year. So in order to ensure its fabulousness (that’s a word, right?!), we want to provide you with a plan to rock your world of content marketing and social media. To execute an incredible return on your time and investment, you need a strategy—and that’s exactly what this is.
Here are our 4 steps to increased productivity and a successful New Year in online marketing:
That’s right—you need a plan. When managing various accounts, it can get messy, fast. In order to be able to track progress and keep your accounts straight and moving forward, the following steps are recommended:
- Focus on three ideas. For each account, try and decide what the online focus should be. For example, at Fresh + Fit, we try to pinpoint our social media and blog content to these three points of interest: social media marketing, blogging/writing, and the city of Vancouver. Creating content and managing our clients’ social media in the Vancouver area is what we do—so we try to focus on that. It keeps us accountable to what our business is about, and ensures that when guests arrive at our website or Facebook page, the content will be interesting, informative, and above all, predictable in its topics.
- Manage monthly editorial calendars. This literally means planning out the month for each account you manage by filling in event dates, promotions your clients’ businesses may be running, and anything else that the social media posts should convey on behalf of your client.
- Create tangible goals. Working towards set goals helps keep your intentions clear and therefore easier. Goals such as increasing client retention by x-amount, or signing a certain number of new clients per month are helpful to keep you accountable. Without set goals, we don’t know how we’re doing, or what we’re working towards, and this slows down productivity. Aside from business goals, it’s also important to set personal ones.
- Dream BIG. Don’t limit yourself—set both short term and long term goals, and keep them visible. Your short term goals should lead to your long term ones, and your long term ones should be big enough to make you yearn for success and drive you to work towards them. An example of a short term goal might be to sign five new clients within two months; a longer term goal might be to hire two new employees by the end of the year, and an even longer term goal might be to expand your business within five years.
Your short term goals should lead to your long term ones, and your long term ones should be big enough to make you yearn for success and drive you to work towards them.
- Time management. Learning to manage your time and do it well is what sets apart the successful and those who just don’t make it. Wasting time will not help anyone, while learning to manage your work hours wisely will result in greater productivity and an overall happier YOU.
- Don’t cut corners. When we recommend you use your time wisely, we are not talking about cutting corners and thereby producing an inferior result for your clients. Do your job to the best of your ability, and you’ll feel confident about your skills and what you have to offer. (Which is important when you’re your own boss and need to sell yourself to potential clients.) The same goes for your personal life—cutting corners will result in decreased happiness.
- Track your progress. Most social media platforms have built-in tools that allow you to track the progress and productivity of each and every post that you send out. The same goes for blogging, although depending on the site and/or host, you may need to install your own analytics plugin. The point is, you have valuable information at your fingertips, so use it.
- Ask for feedback. There’s nothing wrong with asking your clients or even a fellow blogger/social media maven about your posts and writing. Get some feedback, and consider using it to make what you do stronger. Remember: better results will garner higher client retention and referrals.
- Only take on what you’ll do well. And by this, we mean only accept or source out work that you can really dig your teeth into—don’t take on too much and end up producing inferior results for your client.
Only accept or source out work that you can really dig your teeth into.
- Avoid burnout. Burnout will make you panic, and your life will be (if only temporarily) harder. Avoid burnout by doing what we recommend above: limit yourself to the amount of work you can realistically take on. If you are being pummeled by clients asking for more work to be done, consider hiring out! And don’t feel guilty about turning away work or telling someone no: people would rather find someone who can focus on their projects than hire exhausted help and receive poor execution. (And trust us: they’ll respect you for having the ability to turn away work when you need to.)
- Learn to adjust. As you go along with your year, you’ll notice how you’re able to juggle more efficiently and you’ll recognize what your limitations are. Adjusting your expectations and tweaking your goals is a good thing. You may find you’re capable of much more than you originally thought, or you may hit a wall faster than you had anticipated. Whatever happens, adjust. We all do it.
- Make time for good food. Remember to eat well, and stay hydrated. You’re working in an industry that contributes to flat bums and an increased desire for artificial sugar and a lot of caffeine. Beat the stereotype by chowing down on food that gives you real energy and honest nutrition.
- Spend time with family and friends. This may seem silly to have to write, but work can take over your life if you let it—especially if you’re working from home, and/or for yourself. We totally understand your desire to try and get everything done and learn about how to do it bigger and better, but don’t forget to blow off steam and maintain healthy relationships. These relationships will save you time and time again from yourself—we promise.
- Get up and move your body—often. Again with the flat bums, right? Sitting and working on your laptop for hours on end isn’t good for a body that’s designed to move. Help yourself out by getting up and moving around every hour or so, and if you can fit a quick workout or walk in or even go up and down the stairs a few times in the middle of the day, your body will thank you.
Sitting and working on your laptop for hours on end isn’t good for a body that’s designed to move.
- Work meditation into your daily routine. There are many entrepreneurs who absolutely swear by the positive effects of nightly meditation. (See Russell Simmons‘ number one rule for successful entrepreneurs below!) When you’re gazing at a your computer for hours each and every day, your brain needs to way to quiet itself and power down. Mediation can help—even if it’s only for five minutes just before bed.
- This one is BIG, guys. Sleep is our natural way of recharging, repairing, and sorting out unconscious thoughts and emotions. Think 4-5 hours a night cuts it? No way. You need 7-9 to recharge properly, and anything less will do more harm than good.
So with all of this information, we hope you implement it and have the best and most productive New Year you’ve had yet. Online marketing is fun, and you should have a good time while producing great results for both you and your clients.
Happy New Year! Check out the following video: