Building a massive following on social media is one of the most effective ways to promote a business and to increase your profits.
In fact, if you get a big enough following on Instagram, Twitter or Facebook, then this can become a money-making venture in its own right.
With thousands of people hanging off your every word and putting stock in everything you say, a big social media channel will allow you to find sponsors for who will pay you to promote their brands and it can even ‘pre-approve’ you for a book deal!
For business owners, this is a fantastic way to let your customers know about new products and services and to that way drive a ton of traffic to your site.
The only problem is that building a social media channel with a massive following is a slow and painstaking process – or at least it is generally perceived that way.
But what if there was a way you could create a massive social media following without dedicating countless hours to it?
The Wrong Way to do Social Media
The key is not to spend less time on social media marketing (volume is hugely important for social media) but instead to change the way you approach it.
What a lot of marketers will do is to spend their day running their business and then to dedicate a few hours in the evening or at another time during their day to posting content to Twitter or Instagram, or to respond to comments and questions.
This not only wastes time but it also results in a lower quality of social media channel as you’ll be scratching your head trying to think of what new thing to post about, rather than posting because you have something interesting and worthwhile to say!
Incidental Social Media
Instead then, try to think of social media as something that you can simply fit into your usual regime and around your regular schedule.
Social media is supposed to offer some insight into your routine for your followers and to let them feel as though they’re getting to know you – this is especially important for a small business or a personal brand.
Likewise, a good business should always be something that you are passionate about and truly interested in, meaning that you should actually live the lifestyle that you are promoting.
This then is how you are going to find things to post about. This is how you are going to keep adding fresh content – simply by sharing the things that you’re doing.
Let’s say you have a health and fitness business. Hopefully, you are living that lifestyle yourself. That means that you can simply post pictures to Instagram showing your workouts and sharing your tips for the gym. Likewise, it means that you can Tweet about the food you’re having, or share the interesting articles you’re reading on Facebook.
Likewise, if your small business is a highstreet store, then why not share pictures of the team working, of new products or of your reflections on running small businesses?
Video is one of the most underutilized aspects of internet marketing. They say that a picture can tell a thousand words, so just think how many words a video must tell!
Not only can you convey more information through a video though, but it will also be more engaging, more emotive and persuasive and much better at quickly grabbing attention.
Video also gives you a lot of new marketing opportunities – allowing you to build a following for a brand through YouTube, to embed a different kind of media on your website, or to grab attention on a sales page by telling people in person why they should buy your product (oh and letting people get to know you is one more benefit of video marketing).
The only problem? Video can be seen as a bit fiddly and complicated compared to a lot of other forms of marketing and this can make it off-putting as a potential time investment.
So the question is: what shortcuts and strategies can you find to make the process of creating marketing videos that much faster and smoother?
A good place to start is with the hardware. By getting the right camera and the right mic etc., you can save yourself a fair amount of work.
A good camera for video marketing, for instance, should be one that has a flip screen so that you can see yourself in the shot before you hit record. It’s extremely frustrating to film a whole video only to learn the top of your head was cut off!
Also useful, is to find a camera that has a microphone jack or a USB for a microphone such as the Blue Yeti Snowball. This will allow you to record crisp audio directly onto your video, rather than having to record the audio separately and then sync it up.
Getting a decent tripod, lighting rig and boom mic stand can all help too, as they allow you to quickly set things up in a way that will produce the best quality footage.
Two more tips: clap at the start and end of each take and double clap when you get it right. This will make it easier to edit your footage (because you can see the spike in the audio).
Secondly, keep a space in your home with a good backdrop and everything set up ready for filming. Then you just need to step into shot and start recording!
A Quicker Way
Don’t want to go on camera?
Find that this all still takes too long?
Then you could consider making videos as slideshows instead! You can actually save PowerPoint presentations as MPEG files and then simply record over them.
This means you now have no need to record yourself and you can make videos much more quickly.
This type of content is perfect for sales pages too and is something that web users have come to expect on such pages, lending your site an air of professionalism.
If you’re a busy business person looking to start a side business or do some internet marketing for your existing company, then you will be faced with the challenge of trying to get lots of work done in short amounts of time.
Your ability to do this will come down to many things, but one of the most important aspects is just how effective you are at focusing and holding your attention for long periods without interruption.
In other words, you need to be able to sit in front of your computer and write 3,000 words in a row or to spend 2 hours straight responding to emails and chasing links and leads.
Problem is, most of us are not well practised at sustaining our attention in this way and most of us will struggle not to get distracted by TV, games consoles, Facebook or calling friends for a chat.
Fortunately, understanding the way your brain works can help you to get a little more work done.
Introducing the Salience Network
You are constantly switching your attention and changing from one thing to another. Sometimes this is conscious, while other times it is a kind of knee-jerk reaction that your body does for you – such as when you hear a noise or notice movement.
Our ability to change and hold our own attention is called ‘executive attention’ according to psychologists and is controlled by the ‘dorsal attention network’ (our conscious attention) and our ‘ventral attention network’.
To decide what is important, the brain defers to another specific region called the ‘salience network’. Our salience network meanwhile responds primarily to biological signals that are tied to our most basic survival needs – things like hunger, fear, surprise, and curiosity are what drive us.
Using This Information
So, what does this have to do with the busy internet marketer? Well, it shows you how you can regain control over your brain.
First: avoid signals that will steal attention away from your focus and remember that many of these are biologically driven. That means you need to avoid sudden loud noises in your environment, movement or flashing lights. Likewise, though, it also means that you need to avoid feelings of discomfort, of being the wrong temperature or of being hungry. All of these things will appear to be more ‘salient’ as far as your brain is concerned.
The other tip is to try and remind yourself why you are doing the things you are doing and to find that emotional drive. It’s not easy for the brain to think of typing as being highly important, which is why it’s so easy to get distracted. Your job is to remind yourself then what typing really means: it means eventually having access to all the resources you could possibly want, to feelings of success and reward and to the freedom to go wherever you want.
Keep your eye on the prize and always remind yourself why the thing you are doing is so important.
Why Working Non-Stop Doesn’t Lead To Your Best Work
Many people get the idea that performing their best work on projects and tasks requires them to work non-stop on it, outside of possibly a quick bite to eat and maybe sleeping for a few hours. However, employing such a practice in completing your projects and tasks will likely lead to lower-quality work and damage your profitability, credibility, and reputation.
When you go with a “work at all costs” mentality to get your tasks and projects done, you suffer physically, mentally, emotionally, and socially. If all you’re doing is working non-stop, you are taking time away from eating healthy, working out, spending time with family and friends, doing leisurely activities, and getting enough sleep. All of these missing factors will likely lead to a reduction in your work quality because you need to have a well-balanced life to continue producing work at a high level.
If you stop eating meals, you don’t get the proper nutrition you need to stay healthy and focused on your work. If you don’t exercise regularly, your health will suffer, both physically and mentally, leading to a decline in your work quality. If you stop spending time with family and friends, you’re likely to become bored with your work and lose focus because work is all that you’re doing. If you stop doing leisurely activities, you’ll become even more bored with your work, lose focus, and even become resentful of your work because it is all that you are doing. If you don’t get enough sleep, you won’t be able to focus enough on your work to make it of high-enough quality to where it stands out and gets you noticed by your employers, your peers, your customers, and/or your target markets.
Living a balanced life where work is part of it, not all of it, is key to producing your best-quality work. Being dedicated to your work and your business is a good thing; being obsessive about it to where you exclude and neglect everything is not. You will suffer damage physically, mentally, emotionally, and/or socially from neglecting other areas of your life to focus more on your work, and your work quality will suffer over time. In addition, you won’t be happy with working all of the time and doing nothing else, so much so that you may even resent your work. Therefore, having a healthy balance of work and other aspects of life is key to producing your best work on a consistent basis.
How To Make Efficient Work Fun
In order to succeed in today’s fast-paced, content-driven world, you need to be efficient at creating high-quality work, information, and products. This means that you can’t be taking longer than is necessary to complete tasks and projects at a high-quality level. If you take longer than is necessary, you won’t be able to produce as much as you could, thereby negatively impacting your profitability and even your credibility and reputation. However, being able to work efficiently all of the time can be challenging for many, due to the constant struggle. How can one continue to work efficiently for long periods of time?
One good way to ensure you can work efficiently for long periods of time is to make that work fun. You may be wondering, “How do I make efficient work fun?” You can make efficient work fun by challenging yourself to continue producing work at a high-quality level AND doing it as efficiently and quickly as possible. You can challenge yourself to continue becoming faster and better at producing high-quality work in a short period of time.
Keep track of the amount of time you are spending on each task of a project and see where you are doing well and where you can improve. See what tasks are slowing you down to where you are not as efficient and work to improve those areas. Think about what is causing you to slow down when you do certain tasks – is it just that you’re not that proficient with them and you need to improve your skill to complete them or is your mind wandering while you are doing them, causing you to slow down? Figure out whether it’s a skill-based issue or a focus-based issue that is causing you to slow down and work to improve that area to improve your overall time in completing projects.
You can reward yourself when you perform high-quality work in a short period of time, especially when you complete a project even faster than you anticipated. You can treat yourself to extra time off, spending time with family and/or friends, doing a leisurely activity, buying an item you’ve been wanting, etc.
This is how you can make efficient work fun- treat it as a challenge to get more high-quality work done in less time. Keep track of how long it takes you to complete tasks and projects and identify areas where you slow down. Reward yourself when you perform as well or better-than-expected and continue to improve the pace that you work so that you can produce more high-quality work in short periods of time for maximum profitability.
There is a big difference between working hard and working at something you love. When you love what you do, how long or how hard you work at it does not come into play.
When you have fun doing what you love, time stands still and in some cases, almost does not exist.
Are you working at something you love?
There are many different types of distractions that can have a negative effect on your work and how efficient you are. In this article, we look at those you can control and those you cannot.
Identifying the distractions that are currently having a negative effect on you, will provide you with the opportunity to do something about it.
Types of Distractions You Can’t Control
In virtually any line of work, you have distractions that you must overcome. An entrepreneur will especially have distractions that he/she will have to overcome. Some of these distractions are ones that you cannot control but still must find a way to overcome them.
For instance, if you have a family, especially with children, you cannot directly control what they do with their time. Sure, as a parent, you can set ground rules on what they can or cannot do, but like anyone with free will, they can choose what they want to do, including not following the rules.
This means that they can make noise, such as playing loud music, and other distractions that can hinder your concentration and focus on your work. Additionally, there may be times when your spouse wants to run the vacuum cleaner or other equipment to clean the house; obviously, you have to take time to keep your house clean and tidy, and this often involves noise.
So, what as an entrepreneur who works from home can you do? Well, you can talk to your family about how important a quiet environment is to your work and find a way for all to be satisfied with the arrangements you set up regarding work and noise. In addition, you can use earbuds or cotton balls to help cut out the noise that is made and that is unavoidable.
If you have pets, they may also make noise to wear earbuds or cotton balls can help to cut out the noise as well. Additionally, it may be wise to keep them out of your work area if possible, then spend some time with them on your work breaks and when you are not working.
Other distractions that are out of your control include neighbors working in the yard (such as cutting their lawn, trimming hedges, etc.) and your landline phone ringing. In both cases, using earbuds or cotton balls can do much to reduce the noise and keep your concentration level high on your work. If you use an answering machine on your landline phone, you may wish to turn the volume down or even to mute so that you don’t hear any messages that are left on your answering machine.
Some distractions you can’t directly control, but you can find ways to overcome them. Whether it’s talking to your spouse and/or children about the importance of a quiet environment, keeping pets out of your work area, and using earbuds or cotton balls to help reduce or eliminate noise you can’t avoid, even distractions you can’t control can be overcome so you can keep your focus on your work and produce the highest-quality work in the shortest time possible.
Types Of Distractions You Can Control
In virtually any line of work, you have distractions that you must overcome. An entrepreneur will especially have distractions that he/she will have to overcome. Some of these distractions are ones you can definitely control.
In this day and age of social media, virtually everyone is on Facebook and even other social media networks (Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, etc.) constantly. These sites will continuously have new content being posted from all of the users on these networks, and these networks are configured to alert you instantly whenever there is new content available on the network.
It’s human nature to want to know what is going on with family, friends, and/or fans/followers on social media networks. Therefore, whenever you get a notification that you have new content posted or a new friend request, you want to check what it is or who it is.
Unfortunately, this will take your focus away from your work. Thus, you have the ability to not log onto your social media accounts while you are working on tasks and projects. Leave your social media accounts to your breaks during work and/or when you are not working; let your family, friends, fans, and followers know this policy so that they understand why you don’t respond to their content as they post it.
A similar approach can be employed with your email accounts as well, such as Gmail and/or Hotmail. Both of these email accounts give you notifications of when new mail arrives or when a person wants to chat with you. You can stay logged out of those accounts when you are working, or you can choose to be logged in and mute or deactivate the notification features of when you receive new email or a new chat request. It would be wise to keep the window behind your work or minimized on your taskbar (if you are working on a computer) to ensure your focus remains on your work, not on your email account.
Turning the notifications and ringer off of your mobile phone is another distraction you can control. This way, you stay focused on your work and not lose concentration on what you are trying to accomplish.
Therefore, the distractions listed above are ones you can definitely control to keep them from slowing you down when you are completing tasks and projects. It is up to you to take the initiative and stop these distractions from happening so you can produce the best-quality work you can as efficiently as possible.
Take the time to identify the distractions you come across on a daily basis so that you can determine what is having a negative effect on you. Then put actions in place to prevent this from happening in future.