The Solo Entrepreneur's Guide to Social Media Time Management
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The Solo Entrepreneur's Guide to Social Media Time Management

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“Look, I’d love to be involved more in social media, but the reality is that I don’t have enough time in the day and I don’t have enough people helping me. So what am I supposed to do?” Small......

“Look, I’d love to be involved more in social media, but the reality is that I don’t have enough time in the day and I don’t have enough people helping me. So what am I supposed to do?” Small business entrepreneurs are faced with this dilemma every day. For some, the answer may be to outsource functions of telling their story online through content marketing. But for others, that may not be an option due to budget constraints or other factors. That means it’s back on them to make it happen. Here's how they can do it.

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  • 1. The Solo Entrepreneur’s Guideto Social Media Time Management
  • 2. “Look, I’d love to be involved more in social media, butthe reality is that I don’t have enough time in the day andI don’t have enough people helping me.So what am I supposed to do?”
  • 3. Small business entrepreneurs are facedwith this dilemma every day.For some, the answer may be to outsource functionsof telling their story online through contentmarketing. But for others, that may not be an optiondue to budget constraints or other factors.That means it’s back on them to make it happen.
  • 4. 1. “I Have No Time.”
  • 5. “I Have No Time.”In fact, you probably do. It’s justthat you’re just looking at thegigantic picture of how you’re goingto pull all it together rather thanbreaking this challenge down intosmaller chunks.Let’s start with what’s important.Your vision.
  • 6. “I Have No Time.”It’s not about being on Facebook or Twitter orLinkedIn or YouTube. Or anything else. Yet.Many businesses tend to think tacticallybefore they think about the bigger picturestrategically.Namely, what’s the problem you’re tryingto solve?How are you planning on being helpful?And how can you do it without resorting toblatantly selling your product or service?
  • 7. “I Have No Time.”That’s right. You’re an expert whojust happens to also have somethingto sell at your disposal. Lead withthe sell and you’re in trouble fromthe get-go.It’s not about your stuff.It’s about how what you know canhelp them address their challengeright now.Then and only then will you gaincontinued entry into their lives.
  • 8. 2. “How do you get to 10,000 followers like some of thesepeople? I can’t do that.”
  • 9. “How do you get to 10,000followers like some of thesepeople?I can’t do that.”Who cares? Do you want to talk up a vanity stat or do you want to better yourchances of getting in the door?If the latter, think smaller - about your audience.If we drilled down to think about the 10-15 companies we really wanted to getinto, we’d stand a better chance of understanding what makes them tick. We’dstudy them harder on a more 1-to-1 level rather than as a field to enter in anExcel spreadsheet.
  • 10. 3.“OK, but how do I know who to contact? That takes time.”
  • 11. “OK, but how do I know who tocontact? That takes time.”Think about the decision makers who traditionally sit at the table when making a final call about yourproduct or service. There’s rarely just one.Couldn’t we use the advanced version of LinkedIn (which won’t break the bank) to learn more aboutwho these people are faster? We could create search criteria around characteristics such as:The Groups they belong toKeywordsGeographic location and radiusTitles of seniorityFunctionCompany Size
  • 12. 4.“How am I supposed to stay up to speed onwhat’s new with them?”
  • 13. “How am I supposed to stay up tospeed on what’s new with them?”There are tools like Google Alerts that you can set up around their names andthe company name that can tell you just that. Like when someone gets apromotion. Or leaves the company. Or the company buys another company.Or moves to bigger headquarters. Or releases a new product into themarketplace.These are some of the examples of what author Jill Konrath of books such asSnap Selling refers to as “trigger events.” When you recognize that trigger eventfaster, you have to insert your proposition into that event faster. Impossible?Not when tools such as these are giving you a head start by cluing you into thenews faster.
  • 14. 5. “Fine. But this bloggingstuff...what am I going to write about?”
  • 15. “Fine. But this blogging stuff...whatam I going to write about?”You can start by using the Google Keyword Tool to discover the words andphrases used in association with your business or your competitors’ business.I find this enlightening because unlike the marketing speak we’re often guiltyof using within our own walls, people searching for us use Plain English. Andthat helps us craft better content around the way they talk.
  • 16. 6. “I still hear the partwhere I’m coming up with ideas from scratch.”
  • 17. “I still hear the part where I’mcoming up with ideas fromscratch.”Do you read blogs that are relevant to your industry that you enjoy?Subscribe to them through RSS feeds or e-mail subscriptions.Refer to sources like LinkedIn Today and Mashable (or local businessessources - we in Chicago have Crain’s Chicago Business), which give you anarray of “hot button” newsworthy topics you can potentially provide your owntake on that’s different than the one provided.Keeping them organized through a tool like Google Reader enables you to get astream of information on popular conversations to inspire thought rather thanyou sitting in front of a blank screen, wondering what you should write about.
  • 18. 7.“But putting content on all these differentchannels is going to be such a pain.”
  • 19. “But putting content on all thesechannels is going to be such apain.”Entrepreneurs often forget the power of repurposing content to “slice and dice” it in different ways.Let’s say you write 1 blog post. That blog post can then fuel a variety of formats.You can create a video based on it for YouTube.You can take a portion of it, put it in an eNewsletter and have it jump to your blog for the rest of thearticle.You can pull a provocative sentence out of it with a link back to the blog and put it on Twitter or LinkedIn.You can post images from the post on Pinterest, which then links back to the full post.And that’s just a sampling. 1 post can go a long way.
  • 20. Train like a Marathoner.These are far from the only ways to inject more time back into your day forsocial media, but they’re a healthy start. It may be cliche to say, but contentcreation is a matter of pacing - which means it’s more of a marathon thansprint. It’s a slow build to get consistently stronger, but before long, you mayfind it’s easier than you thought and even – yes – fun.If you have other ideas, tools and tricks that have helped you stay on top ofyour social media execution as a solo entrepreneur, we’d love to hear them.Write to Dan@Chicagobrander.com or tweet us at @DanOnBranding.
  • 21. Dan Gershenson is the CEO of Caliber Brand Strategy + Content Marketing, where he writes on behalf ofentrepreneurs and agencies that have no time, support staff or both to create great online content, from blogs andeNewsletters to website pages and social media channel posts.His Chicago-based firm helps brands tell better stories online and leverage their point of difference “so they cancrush their competitors with it.” A veteran of the Advertising and Marketing industry for over 17 years,Gershenson is frequently asked to speak and teach content marketing concepts to businesses, non-profits andassociations.
  • 22. www.BuildTheBrandWithin.com773.677.6043 / Dan@ChicagoBrander.com