If you’re a student or employee or stay-at-home parent, you already have a lot on your plate. Between homework, clocking in, or chasing a toddler around the house while desperately trying to keep both the kid and the house clean (story of my life), how would you even begin to focus on getting your blog, business, or brand off the ground and in the faces of those it might interest?
Off-load! Off-loading so can make your life SO much easier. By simply letting someone or something else handle a task that even takes up just a half-hour of your day can relieve you of so much unwanted stress. Here are some tips and tools to help you reclaim your time.
Of course, I’m going to mention this. Almost everyone has a logo. If they don’t they’re likely thinking about getting one. Not everyone has the funds to pay for that ridiculously badass custom logo. A free option is just to make it yourself! This can be tricky because of the use of images and textures with a copyright or lack of a commercial-use license. Luckily, there are a lot of stock photo websites that offer images for free, like rawpixel (referral link) and Pixabay. If you have the right software, you can manipulate images you download from these sites and make it your own. However, be sure to read the fine print. Some sites do have restrictions on how images and other elements can be used. Google also offers free fonts that you can download and use for almost anything! However, if you don’t have software to handle those components, you can head over to my shop. Tangible Designs offers pre-made logos at a low-cost and a fairly quick turnaround time.
Social Media Post Creation
Scrolling through social media feeds of other brands can be mesmerizing. Color schemes, feed themes, and multi-post images can truly attract interest. But how do you incorporate this type of cohesion for your own brand? Canva is a great site for creating stunning social media graphics for every platform. They have free and low-cost options sure to fit everyone’s budget. You can even add social media templates to give your feed a visual melody. If you’re not creative or have even less time to create content, check out sites like WeHeartIt or scroll through Instagram for images. Just be sure to credit the artist you got it from with a simple tag or link to their account. Not doing so would be stealing and that’s rude af.
Social Media Scheduling
Yay! You have content to post! Now when to schedule it… I’ve seen a lot of articles that talk about the “best times to post on social media sites” and I’m not buying it. You won’t figure this out until you start posting and viewing all of your analytics. Instead, use a scheduler to handle that heavy load for you like Hootsuite and Buffer. Both start out completely free but do come with limitations. For example, you can only connect up to 3 social media accounts and schedule up to 30 posts at a time on Hootsuite (that’s ten posts for each site roughly). It’s not really a bad deal if you don’t have that many posts that you feel need to be scheduled. You can still use Hootsuite to post immediate updates that don’t count towards your 30 scheduled post limit, which is especially great if you want to post to multiple platforms. Buffer has a lot of these same options and the choice ultimately comes down to the interface and smaller features each platform has (Buffer has autocomplete hashtags, which blew my mind). If you’re only on Facebook, just use the scheduled post feature built-in (only on business pages)! Why use third-party if you don’t need to?
Update: I’ve recently started using TailWind and I really like it! It’s super efficient and easy to use. Best of all, you can use it to supplement your other social networks that you may not have added to your Buffer or Hootsuite (such as Pinterest). You should DEFINITELY check it out!
Recruit a Friend
I’m going to go more in-depth about this later, but networking ACROSS is super important. This doesn’t have to be a full, funded collaboration and it doesn’t have to be someone you don’t know. Got a friend with photo editing/design software? Ask if they can make a social media graphic for you (and pay them to do it. Again, not doing so would be rude unless they offer. More on this later.). Just need some help writing a blog post because you’re stuck? Have a friend help or pay someone to do it for you! I realize this costs money and I’m not trying to insinuate that you need to make it rain to get your brand going. I needed two blog posts written for a company whose social media accounts I manage. I didn’t have the time to research the topic with the other 40 million things I had to do for a campaign that was quickly approaching. I got in touch with a friend and he gave me the email address of the person that he commissions for blogs when he doesn’t have the time. You know how much she charged me for two blogs? TWELVE DOLLARS ALTOGETHER I realize that I was getting paid for the other work I was putting in and so I could basically expense that, but $6 for a blog wasn’t bad at all. The point is, there is talent all around you and I’m sure that someone won’t mind helping you out. Just be sure to be crystal clear about what you need and your budget, and don’t be demanding. Being rude really isn’t the wave.
Start Asking for Help – Publicly
Listen, I’m the last person to harp on someone for not requesting assistance because I usually don’t until I’m a big ball of stress crying in the corner because I’m overwhelmed. Closed mouths don’t get fed and all that. DON’T BE LIKE ME, OKAY? Ask for help. It feels embarrassing but you aren’t a superhero (yet, darling). Anyone who wants to see you miserable must need the company. There is not one single person who wouldn’t be willing to offer you some assistance. I’m not talking about asking artists or writers for free work because, for a lot of creators, time is money. But if you need guidance for how to do something in WordPress and you can’t find it online or if you’re wondering what the dimension of Twitter’s header pic is (it’s 1500px by 500px, bee tee dubs), or if you want to know what the web host will work best for what you need, just ask. If you don’t get the answer, don’t blame yourself! Social media platforms have all done some weird mess to their feeds so someone likely didn’t see it. Use a hashtag to get your question visible to the masses or ask someone in a Facebook group that you’re in. Plus, what if someone else has the same question and they can’t word it as eloquently as you do? You never know who you’re helping by asking for help.
Building a brand, business, or blog can be time-consuming or hard, but remember that it doesn’t have to be. Take on what you can and off-load what you can’t.