Ask the Advisor is a weekly PaySimple column featuring reader-submitted small business questions answered by our panel of business professionals. If you would like to submit a question, or become a PaySimple business advisor, please read the information at the bottom of this article.
This week’s question is answered by Rachel Vermeal, digital marketing strategy & communication consultant and the Marketing and Membership Manager for Colorado Mountain Club.
“I’m a one person department and I already juggle too many projects. Where do I find the time to managing social media and a blog?”
Being a one-person marketing shop is very common in start-ups and nonprofits, so basic organization and tools that streamline process are essential. Many of the tools that will help us accomplish this are right on our computers or easily accessible with free web-based tools. Here are 4 steps to get you on your way to taming that jungle of content.
Step 1. Make a plan
At the beginning of the month, make a monthly communications plan. You will need 8 hours of uninterrupted time. Plan this into the first Monday or Tuesday of the month – and stick to it. Include everything – social media, blog posts, advertising, PR, new marketing initiatives – but be sure to set clear priorities.
Step 2. Make a schedule and enter it into a calendar
Outlook and iCal can be used as content management tools and you don’t need to buy them if they are already on your computer. Calendars continue to be a great space to keep specifics for content – and when located on your computer you can search through past events/tasks. I use the colored, tagging system and shared calendar option to keep things in order and to help keep the communications plan collaborative. You will hear this referred to as an “editorial calendar”. I am dedicated to my editorial calendars (I might have 5-8 going for various projects) and I always keep them up-to-date.
Step 3. Use automated processes or scheduling tools
Did you know that there are tools that can publish a post about a recent blog entry directly to Twitter or Facebook? Or that you can pre-schedule many monthly social media posts? Finding tools that do double or triple duty saves you time. For automation, many blogging platforms offer a widget or tool that connects to other social media platforms. For content management of social media posts, web-based services like Sprout Social or Hootsuite offer basic plans that are free or low-cost. And they create a one-stop dashboard to make it easy to schedule and track social media postings for Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.
Step 4. Stick to your schedule
The first month or two will be adjusting to your new workflow, and I know it is daunting. But stick to your plan. It will work and you will notice how it will create efficient ways to tackle your jungle of communications.
To contact Rachel, please email her at: rachel(at)makestuffcreative(dot)com
About the Advisor
As a marketing consultant, Rachel is dedicated to helping organizations harness the traditional and digital tools of the ever-changing scene of outreach and marketing communications. A mix of techie geek and creative problemsolver, she specializes in digital marketing strategies and knows how to get creative with tight budgets. Her strategic marketing background and customer/donor engagement knowledge has helped dozens of local and national organizations meet their communication goals. www.makestuffcreative.com
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