Every single day, you make decisions based on your priorities. While true for everyone, for small business owners, prioritization takes on a whole new meaning.
Someone asked a group of women-owned small businesses what the biggest challenge was in owning your own business: for me, it is definitely prioritizing my business, and myself. I often find that working on my own business needs gets pushed to the back burner in favor of making sure I finish client work. Is this wrong? No, but if I’m doing some deep soul searching, there are times it is probably an excuse.
I like putting my clients before my own business. Let’s face it: it isn’t always a whole lot of “fun” to work on your own business. It can be boring and scary and full of things you don’t want to think about a lot. And the flip side of that coin is that it can be exhilarating and exciting and full of possibilities for you to move from ‘dreaming about’ to ‘planning for’ to ‘doing and succeeding’.
I have started to treat my own business like my clients. I have due dates for blog posts (hi there!), social media posts, etc. I write them the same time each month as I do those for my clients, schedule them, etc. If I don’t – they will continue to fall through the cracks. So I’m making strides – but I still can’t say it’s quite enough.
As someone who spends time researching constantly changing trends in social media marketing, I’m here to tell you I don’t do nearly enough with it for my own business. Instagram stories? Can you hear me laughing? (Though I really do need to delegate those to Sunshine…) I know I need to be using stories. I know what to do and how to do it – it is fitting in the time to do it that can be difficult. It is prioritizing one thing over another in my business that trips me up.
Social media is an especially tricky landscape to navigate with priorities because there are so many choices to make. Live video or blog post? Instagram stories or Tweeting from an event? When faced with so many different options, some people fall into the trap of being paralyzed by fear and end up doing nothing at all in lieu of deciding on one over the other.
When it comes to prioritizing social media, here is my best advice:
Determine which activity is going to give you the most bang for your buck. Right now, I want to focus on growing my blog, so I am prioritizing that over videos, stories, and more. I am using it to create evergreen content that I can use on social media in other ways.
Pick one activity you know you can do well, and focus on being consistent with that before adding to it. There is no shame in saying “We only have an Instagram account because I don’t have the time to run both Facebook and Instagram well right now. I plan to branch to Facebook in the future, but want to make sure I’m doing my business justice in one place, first.”
Schedule time to work on social media for your business. You can’t just wing it. Trust me on this, as I have seen so many people think they can just post when they have a few minutes. This leads to inconsistent posting, and poor results.
Take a break to re-evaluate. Strategies need to change over time. You can’t do the same thing you’ve always done and expect it to work forever. Especially not on social media!
Outsource. I’m sure you were expecting this one, but that doesn’t make it any less true! Outsourcing your social media marketing efforts can help take a lot off your plate, allowing you to focus on what you’re really good at doing. Outsourcing doesn’t just apply to social media. Remember that time is money, and you need to be spending your time wisely. If it is something you are better off paying someone else to do – do it!