Focused Daily Monitoring for Social Media

I strongly encourage clients to spend 10-15 minutes each day to monitor their social media accounts. This can be challenging if you don't stay focused. It's so easy to get distracted by what's going on in social media and especially in your personal timeline on Facebook. Stay focused on your purpose to monitor your business accounts and be determined not to get sidetracked.

You can do it! I've timed myself more than once and I spend 10-15 minutes every morning doing this focused daily monitoring on my social media for business accounts. Later in the day I can spend time on my personal accounts.

My Daily Monitoring Routine

I did all this today in just under 9 minutes:

  • Log in to Instagram to check my business account
    1. Check notifications - new likes, comments, messages, new followers
    2. Respond to any comments, messages, new followers
    3. Review and like a few appropriate posts by others
  • Log in to LinkedIn
    1. Check notifications & messages
    2. Respond to any comments, messages, new network connections
    3. Review and like a few appropriate posts by others
  • Log in to Twitter
    1. Check notifications & messages
    2. Follow back as appropriate anyone new who has followed me
    3. Follow at least 5 new profiles
    4. Respond to any comments, messages
    5. Check my lists and like and retweet a few appropriate tweets by others
  • Log in to Facebook to check my business account
    1. Check notifications & messages
    2. Respond to any comments, messages, new connections
    3. Review and like a few appropriate posts by others

The process usually does only take me about 10 minutes each morning. Sometimes a bit longer if there are comments on articles I've posted or group discussions I'm participating in.

For each account, I check only my business accounts. I check my personal accounts later in the day.

I'm happy to answer any question you have about using social media if you'd like to leave it in the comments below. You can also schedule a consultation with me here.

Schedule (#2 of 6 Tools to Get You Writing)

#2 of 6 tools to get you writing instead of whimpering in the fetal position on the closet floor.

Every February thousands of songwriters converge on February Writing Album Month. FAWM founder Burr Settles lives by the Jack London quote which has always been part of FAWM culture: "You can't wait for inspiration. You have to go after it with a club."

To many artists it seems nonsensical to sit down and intentionally crank out 14 songs in 28 days.

That's not creativity; that's just work. they say.

Seven years of participation taught me otherwise.

… more … "Schedule (#2 of 6 Tools to Get You Writing)"

6 Tools to Get You Writing

Resistance the AmygdalaAny time we try to create, we face Resistance. The memory of past failures, ridicule, pain, stored in our unconscious, rise up to protect us from being hurt again. If you've ever tried to will yourself to stop being hungry or tired, you know your conscious mind doesn't hold a candle to the power of the unconscious.

Rather than a frontal assault, Resistance requires circumvention. Make the bully irrelevant.

Here are six tools my clients and friends have found effective in combating writer's block, fear, Resistance, the lizard brain; whatever you like to call it.
… more … "6 Tools to Get You Writing"

Time for a Break!

Yes, it's Saturday. No, I did not write this post today. I scheduled it a day or two ahead of time. Since my goal is to have a blog post every day this month, I need to schedule some ahead of time. And I don't think any of you will really mind.

Today I say it's time for a break. It's Saturday and though we entrepreneurs often use our weekends to work in our business, once in a while we need to take some time for ourselves in order to rejuvenate. So I'm going to spend some time today with my six-year old outside raking leaves.

What will you do today?

Effective Time Management: Set Realistic Expectations

When I first started working as a virtual assistant and had just the one client, time management wasn't much of an issue. When the client clled or emailed requesting a task to be done, I could immediately jump right on it and within minutes or an hour, depending on the task, I could let the client know the task was complete.

As my client base grew to two, three and more, it was still fairly easy to immediately handle an incoming task. Not only were clients impressed by the quick turn around time, they now had the expectation that anytime they called or emailed, their task would get done - immediately.

Now, I do want each of my clients to feel special and important. They need to know that when they send me a task it will get done in a timely manner. But is it realistic that each task will always be done immediately? Of course not! The expectations I set at the beginning of my business were not realistic and did not allow for the growth to 20 plus clients. Time management now became an issue. Imagine if even six clients called or emailed within a fifteen-minute period and requested a task and they each needed it within the hour! What if I was already in the middle of handling an urgent task needed within the hour? It just is not feasible to think that each client could get their task handled immediately.

As my business has grown, I've adjusted my work flow procedures and my client's expectations. They still expect a timely response and quick turn around. It's just a more realistic expectation. Instead of having to learn this the hard way for yourselves, here are suggestions, based on my experience, for effective time management and setting realistic expectations.

1. Decide early on what your working hours will be and include the information in your contract. Recently my clients were informed that my working hours are 10-12 am and 1-4 pm (PST) Monday through Thursday and that Fridays are for administrative tasks. This allows me one day to handling billing and bookkeeping and prepare the plan for the following week. This helps me be more productive.

2. Create an email policy and inform your clients. I just instituted a new email policy as follows: Another step in effectively managing my time is to respond to emails at 10 am, 1 pm and 3:30 pm. Should your matter require more immediate attention, please call my cell (XXX) xxx-xxxx. Thank you for your understanding.

3. Make sure you clearly inform your clients of your turn around time. My clients know I will respond within 24 hours to their request, excluding weekends. My response will indicate when I expect their project or task to be completed. If for any reason it becomes necessary to extend the timeframe, let the client know as soon as possible.

I recently informed my clients of my new work flow procedures and timely responses to emails and other requests. Each has responded in a positive manner, understanding the need for managing time effectively and still promptly handling their projects.  Some of their responses are:  "Love the new schedule!  Thanks for letting me know." "I certainly will honor your new schedule and hours."

What have you done to manage your time effectively and how do you set realistic expectations?