Social media consumption is up, meaning more people are online and more content is being created! It’s the perfect time to be using your imagination and creative side to share your story, business or to touch base with your community. However, finding content marketing inspiration can become a struggle after a few posts, so here’s a little inspo from content strategy expert, Carrie Watkins.Continue reading →
Cookies aren’t the only thing you can make in batches. If you’re a small business owner, batching your social media content is a powerful way to save time and get your social media calendar organised. As a freelance writer and digital content manager, batching social media content for my clients has been a total game changer in terms of productivity. It also helps if you’re about to go on a break, and want to set everything up to let it run while you’re kicking back with wine! Below are my personal tips for batching #likeaboss.
What is batching?
Basically, batching is scheduling a set amount of time into your day or week or month to work on the same types of tasks. It’s a great way to keep up to date on regular work and the frequency of batches will vary depending on what the task is. You may choose to batch your social media or a weekly basis and blog content on a monthly basis. Responding to emails would likely be a daily basis.
You block out a chunk of time just to work on that one task. For example, you might decide Tuesday’s from 3pm – 5pm you’ll dedicate to scheduling the next fortnight of social posts.
Benefits of batching social media
Updating your business social accounts is something you’re probably aiming to do daily or every second day. Finding the right image or content to share, drafting a caption and pushing it out to
your different social media accounts each day takes up time. Batching the work allows you to execute your social media strategy more simply and clears your mind of having to think about that task every day for the next 2 weeks, or however long you’ve batched for.
Of course, you can still be spontaneous! If you see some awesome content to share, post it and just move what you had pre-scheduled for the day. It also leaves more time for networking and engaging with your social community once your content is curated and scheduled. Some people even batch work for months in advance, like blocking 3-4 days out to write the next 4 months worth of blog content and schedule them for self-publishing.
Batching is also the opposite of multi-tasking. Multitasking kills productivity and wastes time, continually switching between a bunch of different projects and tasks. Laser focusing on one type of task for even a few hours will save you time in the long run. I write blog content and manage social media for a range of clients in different niches from natural skincare and personal development to investing and move out cleaning. I find when I batch work and focus on just one topic and one client at a time, it speeds up my work rather than continually switching gears back and forth on topics during the day.
Tools to help you batch social media
There are some great scheduling tools out there to make the process of batching content simpler. I personally use Buffer to batch social media posts for clients, it’s a paid tool that allows you to pre-schedule content to be pushed out to various social platforms; Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn and Pinterest.
With Buffer you can share the same posts across all platforms or adjust the content depending on the channel. I also use Schedugram for some Instagram accounts I manage, which has a great visual planning tool. I love that it allows you to layout your posts before scheduling so you can see what the feed will look like. Of course, you don’t need a paid tool if you’re just scheduling Facebook posts, you can do this within your business page for free.
Quick note – I don’t receive any affiliate income from the tools I recommend above.
Other batching tips
- Once you’ve decided when you’re going to get your social scheduling batch-fest on, I have a few more tips that can help you get in the zone:
Unplug from personal social media. Log out of your email and switch off your phone. Culling all distractions during your batching session can really boost your productivity during this time.
- ‘Mini’ batch all the tasks within the process. For example, first, you might find and resize all images, then design any quote or branded posts, followed by locating another type of content to share. Write all captions and then lastly load them all into the sharing platform.
- Set a clear goal. Define what you want to achieve in your batching time. 2 weeks of social media posting? 3 weeks? A month? Get clear on the goal and work to complete it within the timeframe you’ve set for yourself. The great thing about batching is you can apply this method to different areas of your business; blogging, commenting and networking on social media, invoicing, generating new business leads, website maintenance; whatever you like. The power of batching comes from applying focus to one task, so it doesn’t really matter what it is.
I hope these tips help you get onboard with batching your social media, I think you’ll find it’s a real game changer!
Elesha Piper is an Australian freelance writer and digital content manager for solopreneurs and small business owners. She writes on a range of topics from natural skincare and personal development to investing and end of lease cleaning. She’s also a minimalist and lover of fries.
When you’re running a business, there’s no denying how much is involved in the process. From organising insurance, selecting the right staff and building a website, it can all seem very overwhelming, especially if you’ve never dealt with a start-up business before.
If you have a business, one way to start getting discovered in your local area is via your Google Business. This listing that is created directly with Google. If you do a search for a business in your local area, you may see a map and the various businesses placed on the map. This is a part of the Google Business listing. It’s one of the easiest ways for your business to appear on the first page of Google search results when people search for your type of business locally.
Recently, there have been a few different additions to this particular listing, helping you to showcase your business and be found when people do a search for your type of business. With the new features coming into play, optimising your Google Business listing is an important part of being found online.
Ensure you have created a listing
One thing that many people don’t do is create a Google Business listing in the first place. Creating one is simple and is just like registering your business with a directory such as the Yellow Pages. Head to https://business.google.com/ and do a search for your business. If it’s listed, claim it and claim ownership of the business. If you’ve acquired the business and it is already registered by someone else, you may need to wait 7 days to claim it back off the previous manager. You may need to validate your listing with Google, which requires sending a code via postcard to the business.
Update your details
Once you have claimed the business, it’s time to start optimising. The key here is to ensure everything is up to date. Something as simple as your opening hours can help potential customers know when you’re open. It’s never fun to see a business is open only to head to their store and it’s closed, all because the opening times were listed incorrectly on Google. Make sure your address details are up to date and people can contact you with the right phone number. We all know how annoying it is to ring the wrong phone number, for personal or business reasons (and how embarrassing it can be to explain that you’ve called the wrong number. Ick!)
A new feature added to the Google Business listing is highlights. Generally, you can add specific highlights to your listing that apply to your business. One such highlight is one added by Google named “women-led”. It’s designed to showcase a business that is led by women and helps you to find businesses that are run by other women, too. Be sure to add it to your listing! It’s always great to see strong women running their business, so why not make a point of it?
No matter what business you’re in, adding a list of services can help other people understand what you do. If you own a day spa, services might include facials, massages and therapies. If you run an internet marketing business, you may include copywriting services, website building, and so on. Whatever service you’re offering, be sure to add a great description of what you can offer and a price if applicable.
Add a description
Your description is a great way to let the world know what you do, who you’re doing it for and why. It’s also a great way to add some excellent copy and provide a call to action to get people to contact you. Whether you want more people in your door, people to call or want some online enquiries, explain in this section what you have to offer and how to get in touch.
Get creative: This is also a good opportunity to show off a little bit of your personality. Create a description that not only tells people what you do, but what sets you apart from your competitors. Whether you regularly donate to charity, have funky wallpaper in your store or your hair colour matches your shoes, whatever it is, don’t be afraid to include these interesting perks about your business!
Provide some great photos
People love to see who you are and what your business is all about! If you can, provide and upload some photos to share on your listing. Team photos work well to show people who they’re contacting, but if you’re a one-woman-band, some photos of your interior is also a nice touch. Not relevant to you? Even some simple, nice-looking stock images can work. Depending on your business, you can upload some great images to show a little bit of personality. Adding regular photos also helps your business listing tremendously.
Get creative: Take a photo of customers in your store, your favourite item for sale or even some great images of your team. If all else fails, upload an image of your business logo to help improve your branding.
Posts via Google Business are like short social posts to help people who find you on Google to read about your latest news. Whether you have a special offer, a sale or just want to let everyone know about a great new blog post on your website, here’s an opportunity to do so. You can add a post with an image and include a button to head to your website or blog page. Whatever it is you want to share, this is a great place to post it. Just note that these posts don’t last forever and become greyed out after approximately 7 days. Therefore, this makes them a great opportunity for short promotions and news updates.
Get creative: Tell people online about something interesting that happened at your business or perhaps share the news of a new client. Whatever it is, don’t be afraid to add a splash of who you are and write in a conversational tone if it’s appropriate to your business.
Attend to reviews
If you’ve just started your listing, chances are there won’t be any reviews. However, after some time, you may find people start to add reviews on your listing about your business. Of course, you will want 5-star ratings all round. But, there will come a time when people give you a bad rating when they may have a not-so-nice experience. If this happens, the best way to deal with it is to address the concern.
You can respond to reviews in your listing and offer support where it’s needed. Your rater might find they change their tune or they may remain unsatisfied. Either way, by responding to the review, you can show other searchers online that you’ve made an effort to address an issue and you are actively trying to help.
A Google Business listing is something that many business owners forget about or don’t understand the potential it has to create more traffic for your website. With regular updates and attention to some of the boring bits on this listing, you’ll be able to help people find you, find out more about how amazing you are and get people onto your website to find out more about you.
Valerie Inkersole is the owner of online marketing and SEO agency, Ink Marketing. She has been involved in the world of SEO and content creation for over 5 years and aims to provide businesses with the knowledge and skills to succeed online. She’s passionate about helping small businesses and empowering women to reach their goals.
We all have an Instagram account. Chances are you either check it too much, or you have absolutely no idea how everyone is so addicted to it and how it can actually work in your favour.
My Instagram is exactly what it should be – a reflection of me. It’s a combination of my life, my work and the things that I love. For some it is simply business, and for others it may seem like another platform for self-indulgence. But for many of us, consciously or not, it is much more than that.
With the right attitude, a good Instagram session can also provide you with some pretty good perspective. These are 5 life lessons I learned while scrolling through Instagram feeds!
Knowledge is Power
Education is the process of discovering something we were previously unaware of. The more we learn, the more we know – I’m sure it’s not an unfamiliar process. I’m also positive I am not the only one that has come across something I was previously unaware of, simply by scrolling through my Instagram feed.
Discovering a new clothing boutique or coffee shop in your area, or that someone you know has a new significant other may not seem overly important in the scheme of things. However, it is a great reminder that knowledge can be gained in so many ways, and there are endless ways to fuel your curiostiy and learn more about the people, places and businesses that you follow. Pay attention to those around you and what they are telling you. You never know what you might learn or what connection it might spark.
In both Instagram and the real world – greater knowledge will always lead to greater options.
Creating Inspiration Is Awesome
When you post a quote or image that is #relevant, and your followers think so too… That’s a win!
Many people on Instagram, whether you know them or not, are going through the same stages of life as you. It’s undoubtedly a part of why you are drawn to follow each other and connect with such a powerful community.
The feeling you get when someone comments that your post made their day, made them laugh, inspired them? It’s awesome. It reminds you that giving feels great and that sharing what you are passionate about is important.
Seek and You Shall Find
I am sure I’m not the only one to notice that when you are in need of a bit of advice, a push in the right direction, some inspiration or simply to be reminded that you are not alone… Instagram has some. The newsfeed has a magical ability to produce the quote you need or the image you desire, at exactly the right point in time. This could well be that we naturally follow people in similar situations to us, or people that we look to for inspiration – but either way, it is a pleasant reminder that if you care about it enough, something will show you the way and it will always work out in the end.
Get out there and put your effort into whatever it is you care about, and the answers will come to you. Knock, and it will be opened for you. Ask, and it shall be given to you. Seek, and you shall find.
Play to Your Strengths
Something that is so important to remember when indulging in a scrolling session is that Instagram feeds are not a true depiction of life – they are highlight reels.
No one is going to willingly post photos of the times their life isn’t super amazing and fun and successful. Why would you? Those times are for you to reflect, build on, or just have a break. Don’t lose sight of what’s important to you, and when things are amazing and fun and successful, don’t be afraid to share!
In life and in Instagram, you’ve got to play the game to a certain extent. Make that highlight reel your own. Play to your strengths and you can’t lose, there are no wrong answers!
Comparison is Counterproductive
Particularly for the ladies out there, scrolling through your Instagram feed is often an endless stream of beautiful women. People modelling clothes, in tropical destinations in a swimsuit, fitness models, hugely successful business women – on Instagram these days, it’s almost inevitable.
You have two choices. You can scroll through enviously and wish you looked like them- had their lives, their bodies, their fans. Or, you can admire their lives and their success and their beauty, at no expense of your own. Someone else’s success or beauty is not the absence of your own.
Don’t compare your life – appreciate everything you are and everything you have. The only person you need to compare yourself to is the person you were yesterday, and if you focus on building on that, it will always be productive.
Kate Dinning is a PR Consultant – a professional story teller – with a keen interest in Personal Branding, and the changing landscape of Social and Digital Media. She is a lover of good coffee and good conversation, and one of those people that just refers to everything as an ‘adventure’. Follow her adventures here: @katedinning
Social media propels a comparison culture where we measure our success, self-worth and happiness through likes, emojis and comments. We measure, liken, contrast and mould our entire lives around comparison.
As humans, we all make comparisons. Perhaps more so now than ever. Our world is governed by digital media. Social media constantly shows the highlight reels of people’s lives, masking fears and self-doubt. Comparisons can be a motivation executioner when they keep you from working towards your goals. You scroll through your feed and draw assumptions that others are further ahead.
Social media is neither good or bad. It’s our use of social media and the meanings we derive from it that can either be helpful or harmful. Obsessive Comparison Disorder is real, active and spreading in our social media driven world.
Comparison has reached new global heights. Global thinking perpetuates the need for people to brand themselves in the best light possible. Studies support the extensive use of Facebook has been linked to many unhealthy mental conditions. Ted Roosevelt captured it well when he said that “comparison is the thief of joy”.
Gone are the days waiting to draw comparison at the 20-year reunion. Social media has reduced the time span to give you direct access to comparing yourself with everyone within a single moment.
Every day people are trying to pull off a dazzling, filtered, edited pictures of a life being lived. Sorry to wake you up from the dream. It isn’t real. When we buy into the illusion of the perfection, obsessive comparison disorder has just amplified – “Why can’t my relationship look like the couple snuggling together watching the sunset? Why could I never be wealthy like them? Why can’t l have all the good fortune like Zoe and have her body?”
This adventure creates a distorted view of all the things you don’t have to live this incredible life. It robs you of all the beauty that is in front of you – the people, the experiences and self-love. It blocks you of real conversations, prevents you from living and experiencing life, isolates you to the point that you ghost write your existence to experience a false sense of being alive.
The reality is people continue to showcase the best aspects of their life onto social media. We emphasize the best versions to hide the real version. We get drawn into the illusion and begin to question our individual accomplishments, appearances and behaviours. Even though consciously we recognize how this is illogical we are drawn to the emotional responses like a moth to a flame. Emotion trumps our sense of logic.
Comparison becomes a dark hole. A battle that you will never win. Let’s rewire our thinking by changing our practices to source a way out. Couple this with practice, self-compassion and positive self-talk to recalibrate the internal comparison monster by becoming the architect of your life and adopting 10 strategies to break the habit of comparison with others. Take the first step.
Invest in horse blinkers, they work
Cut your social media time in half by taking regular breaks and removing the opportunity to play victim. When you think about a horse carrying a carriage, horses are always wearing blinders to prevent them from being distracted or freaked out by peripheral noise. The horse focuses on the moment, here and now to the exclusion of anything else. Imagine what would happen if we reinvested all our energy from comparing ourselves to others to staying in our own lane.
It’s time for an inner revolution
As a leader, be clear about your values, beliefs and strengths. Know who you are and what you stand for. When you realize the power of focusing on your inside team, you build empowering beliefs and your positive impact on others and in business multiples. Always leverage your strengths and amplify your unique DNA.
Mirror, mirror on the wall, who is the fairest of them all
Social media has become the toxic mirror. Selfies have taken over due to the array of applications to alter bodies in pictures, a bit of a nip and tuck to become prettier, thinner and hotter, apply filters to refine our features or cover up some of perceived flaws and imperfections. We touch up, tone up, cover up and all with a swipe of a finger. All this provides is an illusion of control. It’s time to let it go.
Comparing apples with oranges
How do you find someone with the exact same goals and priorities as you to make a meaningful comparison? You can’t. Where you are in life today is because of your choices, decisions and action that you have taken. You can’t compare with someone 20 years ahead or before you.
Let’s flip the switch
What if there was nothing wrong with comparison? We know in business competitor analysis is conducted strategically to determine strengths, areas of development within the market and uncover strategies that will provide you with a distinct advantage. It creates a platform to adjust actions. At times, leaders in business make decisions not to create change but to stay the same. Maintaining their superior self-image becomes the priority.
Even more than that, what if comparison was used by a leader to stay passive because they were so invested in judgement of others to avoid living their own life. Sometimes it’s easier to externalize then perhaps take responsibility for ourselves.
AA Philosophy – admit that you cannot control your addiction
Comparisons feeds self-image. When we are insecure, our self-esteem is compromised and our self-work depleted. We engage in comparison as it becomes a habit. When you recognize your comparison is an addiction, then you embrace taking the first step on embarking on a sense of freedom, cutting the cords of not being good enough and ceasing from using comparison as a substitute.
What would we do with our time if we stopped comparing?
How much time and effort do we invest in the ‘why’? Why am I not like them, why couldn’t I do the same, why am I not successful? What if we focused our energy on our growth, development and purpose? Focus on following our own path and conspiring to do what’s right for you.
Life is not a competition
When we share other’s successes, our vibration rises. I’m not talking about “woo-woo”, I’m referring to when you close the gap from where you are to where you want to be. When we appreciate things no matter how big or small. Living with gratitude allows you to see the true essence of life and even more than that, the true essence of you and comparison is not an option. When you find new ways to collaborate with others, we see ourselves as equal. We let go of the need to compare and our energy flows to something bigger than ourselves.
Plugging in and out
Before we condemn social media outright, there is research to suggest benefits to being plugged in such as cultivating a positive sense of self through our profiles and gaining social support through our networks.
We also know that peace happens when you unplug. The constant pressure and expectation to remain digitally plugged in is taking its toll. We live a life constantly wired to social media to the detriment of our quality of life, health and wellbeing. We hear stories of addiction, cyberbullying and comprised emotional wellbeing.
It is time to consider usage in moderation and proceed with caution. Perhaps a digital detox occasionally, to stay grounded is a fabulous self-investment. Leaders, stop investing in comparing yourself to others. Stop focusing on how you measure up to others and invest all your energy on being the best version of you.
Angela Kambouris is a highly-valued leadership coach and business leader having spent over 20 years in the field of vulnerability and trauma. She is super-passionate about unlocking human potential to deliver extraordinary results and has spoken on stages and worked with thousands of people in the areas of self-development, leadership, mindset, human behavior and business. She has master-minded with leaders and expert authorities in personal development and business all over the world.
With many social media platforms available to businesses at the moment, it can be difficult to figure out which ones are worth focusing on.
By identifying which platforms will generate the most engagement and conversions, you’ll be able to save huge amounts of time and resources. Rather than trying to maintain a consistent presence on every single platform out there, why not focus your time and energy on curating content and imagery for the ones that will serve your business best.
Here’s a breakdown of the top social platforms on the scene to help you figure out which social media platforms will boost your business.Continue reading →