When you run your own business, it’s fairly certain that you’re responsible for everything that helps keep it going. You’ll find yourself as receptionist, cleaner and accountant, and possibly all before you’ve started your actual job.
One of the most important roles a small business owner has is that Head of Marketing and Communications. Especially where a business has a limited (or non-existent) marketing budget, doing your own content marketing and social media well can be what sets you apart.
Here are five top tips for online success
Time your work to perfection. Sometimes will be more successful than others, depending on your target audience. For example, a newsletter timed to hit an in-box on the morning commute might get plenty of readers, whereas fun Facebook content will be better in the early evening. Think about who you’re talking to and what they do.
Obviously, you’re not going to want to spend the whole day waiting until the exact right moment to jump onto Instagram. The answer is to get your hands on a good social media content calendar such as Contentcal.
Focus your efforts. The internet, especially social media platforms, can easily become somewhere that time seems to evaporate, creating nothing but frustration. The trick is to be vigilant and use time management tools to keep track of the minutes.
Plan your work. The best social media and blog content looks effortless but actually is planned to the nth degree. Work out what you need to say to your audience and when – identify your key message and the ways to get that across. What else will you need? Images, copy, quotes, information? You see, there’s quite a lot to doing a simple thing well. A project management tool is essential to break down the job into manageable tasks and to keep tabs on what needs to be done when.
Maintain standards. OK, you can’t afford to pay a professional copywriter, we get that, but you can take care to ensure that everything you write is well written and correctly spelled. Social media management tools that use smart checkers such as Grammarly are your friend in these matters. Be especially careful with headings and subject lines in emails, if they don’t look right the recipient will either delete or scroll on by and your message will be wasted.
Use pictures to, er, paint a picture. An attractive image with the appropriate caption or quote will be so much more eye-catching than boring old text. Get hold of an app where you can manipulate (OK, touch up) your photos and add the words to get your message across. There are dozens to pick from, but Photoshop Express has a great reputation for fixing things, adding filters, making montages and putting things in frames. It’s fun too.
The bottom line is that if you’re smart about it, social media (plus your own content) can take your business right to your customers and potential customers without costing you much or taking over your days.