When I speak before various groups, I tell them to blog at least 3 times a week and spend at least 30 minutes a day managing social media marketing plans. And that’s after you’ve built a following which takes even more time and effort for at least the first month! The response I usually get is…
“Where do I find the time?”
“There’s not enough time in the day to run my business never mind doing social media!”
Unfortunately, if you’re going do social media, you have do it correctly. Otherwise, you’ll waste your valuable time, your reputation will suffer and you won’t get results you want. Furthermore, if you don’t spend the time upfront building your social media presence and following, it’s going to take you longer to start seeing results.
Yes, Social Media is free to use, but it takes Sweat Equity.
Time Management Tips
You need time to plan, learn how to use the networks properly, create and curate content and actually participate, engage, and build relationships with your potential customers.
A friend gave me Dave Ramsey’s book, EntreLeadership and the chapter on Time Management was exactly what I needed! (Yes, I, too, need to find more time in the day!)
Here’s how you need to prioritize or divide up the tasks of your day. Believe me, it works! I used this chart for a couple of months and when I got a new to-do task, I looked to see where it fell. It’s amazing how much can be done later or delegated. After a while, I got used to it. See, time management is a skill. Therefore, the more you do it, the better you’ll get at it.
Quadrant 1: Items are things like putting out fires, customer service issues, strict deadlines and anything to keep clients happy.
Q 4: These are just as easy – basically time wasters like checking your personal social media. That’s why it’s important to keep personal and business separate. (I can show you how to do that!)
Q 3: This one gets tricky as some urgent items can seem important. Having your email program open while you’re trying to work can make some emails seem urgent but their not. Close your email program till you’re done and then go and check your emails. Same thing with the phone. I turn my phone upside down and put it on buzz while I’m working. When I take a break, then I’ll see if someone’s called.
If someone needs to reach you, they’ll leave a message. Don’t bother calling someone back because they called you and you see their number in your “missed calls” and they didn’t leave a message — it’s probably a telemarketer.
Ask yourself – will doing this help me reach my goals?
Q 2: is important but not urgent. What falls in here are things like eating, sleeping, drinking plenty of water, exercise, education, reading, catching up with industry news, managing finances, taking breaks so you don’t overwork yourself, etc. If you put these off for too long, they’ll move to quad 1 and become urgent.
Most smartphones these days have the ability to take notes, setup to-dos and reminders. I use my calendar, reminders and a simple project management program to keep myself sane. I’ve started actually blocking time in my calendar, and setting reminders, to do work and keep certain days for outside meetings.
I also try to schedule outside meetings near each other. If I’m going to be in the the East Valley for an event, I can stop and see a potential client in Tempe or Scottsdale on the way back. Schedule errands the same way too.
Another important thing is to have a day of rest.
Six days you shall labor and do all your work, but the seventh day is a sabbath to the Lord your God. On it you shall not do any work, neither you, nor your son or daughter, nor your male or female servant, nor your animals, nor any foreigner residing in your towns. For in six days the Lord made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, but he rested on the seventh day. Therefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and made it holy. Exodus 20:9-11
God rested on the 7th day so you should too. Your “Sabbath” can be any day of the week as long as you use it to rest. Overworking yourself will only make you sick, then you’ll be no good to anybody.
If you fail to plan, you plan to fail!
The good thing is that once you learn how to use the free, time-saving tools, and get used to the platforms, it takes less time to do what you need to do. For instance, with the LinkedIn App on your phone, you can check messages, connection requests and say happy birthday or congrats to contacts in 10-15 minutes a day — from anywhere!
Every business has down times. Use these times to record a short video message, schedule out related articles from trusted sources or comment and share tweets and posts to help you build relationships with potential customers and referral sources.
Again, it takes a lot of sweat equity up front to plan, get organized, learn how to use the tools and actually do what you need to do to reach your target audicence. As for learning, check out the SCORE Workshops and all the FREE Resources available. Most of the tools and platforms have tutorials. Don't think that you can just start using a new tool, without learning how it works first. No, that is a waste of time. Take time to learn how it works and it can help you save time in the long-run.
A SCORE Mentor can help guide you through the challenges and obstacles that you will encouter as a small business owner.