One of the hardest things about marketing yourself as an author is making the time for it. Another is being consistent within your life time constraints. I may not be an author, but I’ve been in that place where I’m experiencing a fabulous creative streak and don’t want to let it go. Or that other place where perfecting my craft comes above all else. Or the place I’m most often in where so many responsibilities and concerns encroach in my life leaving the sparest of moments to be productive.
In any of those situations, the least thing you want to do is divert your time and attention to supporting and building up your platform, let alone keeping consistent. For a lot of us, it’s either a chore, or a sure way tot get sucked into social media mayhem for hours. I’ve been on both sides of that more than I care to admit. Still, I have goals to meet and expectations to fill. I have more than just me depending on these efforts, so I had to figure out a way to discipline myself to do it and manage it within my busy and unpredictable life. Here are some of the things I’ve learned along the way.
Your time is precious, so invest it rather than spend it.
1. Treat it like a meal-prep plan:
If you aren’t familiar with meal-prepping, it’s the method of cooking all your meals for the week in one afternoon, packaging it up in individual portions, and stocking them in the fridge so all you have to do during your busy week is reheat one of those portions (if needed) and you are done. This method works for so many things, including web marketing activities.
– Set aside a specific block of time at least once a week. 1-2 hours.
– Have an idea of what you want to accomplish.
– Have your materials ready-for me it’s my notes and a computer.
– Come up with a clear plan of what your are going to do on which days (more about that on this post about content).
– Get your ingredients together and create your posts, craft your words, search for your accompanying images.
- Set aside individual portions
– Schedule your blog post for whatever day you intend it to come out.
– Facebook Pages allow you to schedule posts as well.
– Use a scheduler like Buffer to set up social media posts for your week.
– If your social activity for a given day requires waiting on someone else’s post to share, you’ll have everything ready so the time investment will be minimal.
2. Break it down into small doses
- Use 15 minutes in the morning to check your work-related social media.
- Take a 15 minute break from your other work in the middle of the day and look for fun material you can use, like browsing book related memes, or Pinterest pins.
- Use another 15 minutes in the late afternoon or evening to follow up on work-related social media.
- Limit your tempting social media time to force yourself to be efficient and stay focused.
The more efficiently you use your precious time, the more is left for enjoyment.
1. Be consistent
- The more you engage in these activities, the faster and more efficient you’ll be.
- There’s a lot less thinking involved once a habit is formed.
2. Separate personal and professional
- Use a Facebook page, a professional twitter, a business Pinterest, etc.
- Eliminating overlap between personal and professional eliminates messiness and distractions.
3. Use separate gadgets for your different personas
Avoid mixing up your personal online self with your professional online self by keeping them on different gadgets. Most of us have a computer and a mobile device. I work on my computer and I play on my mobile device. I’m always signed in on the computer under professional log-ins and on my mobile device under my personal accounts.
- It helps keep your two sides cleanly apart.
- It limits what you see on your work space to mostly work-related feeds.
- It trains your mind to switch to work mode when you sit in front of or pick up the ‘work’ gadget.
4. Balance fun work with tough work.
- When you get to that point when your back is aching from hunching over a keyboard, change your posture and take a few minutes to check your web stats.
- When your creative work hits a block, take a moment to relax your mind by researching fun content for future posts.
- In other words, work some marketing time into your overall working time and get it marked off your to-do list instead of having to make extra time for it later in the day.
What are some ways you have come up with to manage your time on your marketing efforts?