3 things every entrepreneur should do on the weekend

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As an entrepreneur I have quickly learned that good working habits don’t start on a Monday and end on a Friday. As entrepreneurs we work longer hours and are fueled by a drive to succeed.  That fuel is what gets us up at the crack of dawn and has us looking at our laptops at the wee hours of the night.

The weekend often becomes an extension of the previous work week or a time to prepare for the week ahead. We don’t need or want rest from our jobs because let’s face it… Entrepreneurs love their job!

Here are 3 things every entrepreneur should do on the weekend:

Plan for the week ahead – The successful entrepreneur doesn’t wait until Monday morning to plan the week. Sunday is the perfect day to sit down and create your list for the upcoming week. After spending time reflecting on the prior week, you will have a good idea of what you need and want to accomplish. Use this time to review upcoming meetings, schedule important tasks, book upcoming meetings and schedule some time to work towards your goals.

Avoid Multi-Tasking – It may be tempting to prep tonight’s dinner while creating your to-do list for the week, but successful people have learned that multi-tasking simply reduces effectiveness and efficiency.  In fact it may end up costing you more time in the end.  Slot time in your calendar for each task and turn off your notifications on your email, phone and social media accounts  while you are completing those tasks (easier said than done).

Keep Your Priorities In Check – Let’s face it, being an entrepreneur is a 24/7 job and we love it, but work- life- balance are 3 words not to dismiss.  Create a check list of what family and life priorities are needed and schedule your “work” time around them. This might mean getting up before the family does to squeeze in some quality work time, or putting in some late evenings. This is where the balance part comes in.

These three weekend habits, if stuck to, are habits that can help increase your productivity and efficiency come Monday morning. As entrepreneurs aren’t we always looking to maximize our efficiency!

Paid vs Organic Social Media

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Back in the day social media marketing was an organic marketing tool with a focus on creating engaging and interesting content that people would want to read. Brands have spent the last few years working diligently in hopes that people would consume and then share their content.

Social Media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram created forums of open conversation and free promotion for brands. It seemed too good to be true (especially for a small business) and maybe it was.

Paid vs Organic

Fast forward 3 years and now we have platforms where brands have created fan bases and loyal followings. They might even feel like they finally have a hang of this whole social media world. The only problem is now these loyal followings aren’t seeing your brands posts in their feeds anymore. Now these platforms that brands have built a marketing strategy around are now limiting when a brands posts will be seen and by whom.

The Days of Paid Social Media are here

The landscape of social media has changed and there is no going back. Brands not only have to continue creating engaging and interesting content but now they must learn how to maneuver through the many paid advertising options.

The strategy your brand created last week, last month or last year will not be as effective today. The question is why?

The answer is somewhat simple.

Social networks have exploded and with millions of users and these same platforms need and want revenue in order to continue offering a free platform for users. These platforms also have a responsibility to their users to deliver content that is relevant to them. With so many users logging in daily,  platforms simply can’t deliver all content to all users.

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The very premise of organic social media is based on “earning” your way into a user’s newsfeeds. Great content that people want to consume being delivered to their feed. In turn those same users share your content helping to increase its engagement. The more users interact with your content the more play it gets. The playing field is fair for all brands or atleast it was.

Paid social media is a whole other beast. Now brands have to create posts that grab people’s attention, stand out among the fierce competition and that fit within the parameters set out by each platform. Paid social media is about positioning your brand in front of a highly targeted audience and in many ways interrupting their daily dose of social media with your brands messaging. To be successful at this tactic you gotta be good and you gotta pay up!

When creating your marketing strategy a brand must have 2 buckets. 1 for organic and 1 for paid. Each approach requires different elements. What remains the same is the need for good content, relevant content and timely content. While the strategies are similar the execution is vastly different.

Things to consider:

  • Develop a paid and organic strategy for your brand
  • Develop content with a compelling call to action (you have limited space to make an impression)
  • Determine who your audience is and what platform they are on
  • Trial and Error – the paid space is new and ever emerging. Try a few different ads and see which performs and delivers results
  • Set a budget – There is no need to break the bank on a social media ad spend. Start small and increase your budget as you see results

 

Why Word-of-Mouth Marketing Works

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Have you ever wondered what your customers say behind your back?
If you polled your customers right now, how many of them do you think refer your brand to their friends?

With social media you can stop wondering and start searching. The answers to these questions are right in front of you. Your customers are sharing their experiences with your brand on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest and so on!

WOMM

Word of mouth marketing (WOMM) is the technique of promoting a product, service or business by soliciting positive comments from satisfied customers. Back in the day a customer would complete a survey or fill out a form to share their good or bad experience.  Now with social media your customers are sharing their feedback, good, bad and ugly on social channels. Customers can create a buzz quicker and with more impact to their social audience.

Now your customers can make an impact on your brand more than most other forms of advertising!

Why does WOMM have more impact than traditional advertising?

* Consumers trust the opinions of others over traditional media.  The referral from a friend or family member is simply more credible than a billboard ad.

*  Consumers want to engage with your brand.  The two-way conversation is the now the norm, it is expected and valued by consumers.  Talk with your consumer online, on social don’t just talk tothem.

* Consumers want to learn about your brand through various channels.  They trust reviews by local bloggers, testimonials from past customers and blog posts where you can showcase your expertise.

*  Consumers want a say in the brands they are buying from. Use WOMM to engage with them, ask them for their opinions. share their ideas and leverage their feedback.

How can your brand leverage WOMM?

* Spend time on social reading your feeds, seeing what consumers are saying about your product.  Don’t be afraid to jump in the conversation. This shows you care.  Just remember not to use social as a forum for customer service. These conversations can be taken off line.

* Reward those consumers who are giving you kudos or engaging with you.  Reward them by following, favoring, retweeting or simply thanking them.  Nothing shows appreciation like acknowledging your consumers.

*Create a hashtag for your brand, one that you use on a regular basis. Your customers will get used to seeing this hashtag and will being using it when they engage with you.  This is an effective way to track consumer chatter about your brand.

*Acknowledge Brand Advocates! Over time you will start to notice a core group of consumers who engage regularly, share your content and promote your brand.  Recognize and reward them with special shout outs, Follow Fridays, coupons and special offers.  These advocates are invaluable to you!

Consumers are talking about your brand every single day. Now you just have to find who they are and where they are talking about you.  Join in the conversation and watch as your WOMM increases with each engagement.