Social Media Strategy
Early in the year, I declared publicly that I was so sick of the “Big O.” Overwhelm, that it. (ha! Gotcha!) I love that the two strategies we discussed in the first installment of this series really help to overcome overwhelm – which is one of the biggest enemies of productivity.
Here, I’m sharing two more simple yet effective ways to clear the clutter from your life and find your focus for super-powered productivity.
Strategy 3: Tune Out Distractions: If you’re up to your eyeballs with distractions, then it’s time to say goodbye to all of those bright, shiny technical playthings and other disruptions, and double down for some serious work!
One company experimented with this idea by instituting technology-free Fridays, encouraging employees to turn off all non-essential tech equipment. The resulting improvement in productivity was so impressive that the firm made this event a permanent tradition.
Even if you are a solopreneur, you can follow their example in order to improved productivity. Simply consider building “technology free” or “distraction free” time into your schedule. This can range from moving to a zone in your office or home that is “tech-free” to going old school and (gasp!) turning everything OFF!
If technology is your weakness, consider at the very least unplugging from the internet and turning off your phone for distraction-free work time. Or if you must plug in, write down an internet-specific “to do” list to help you to stay on task or use a timer – most smart phones have them or – again, I love the old-school stuff – you can even use an egg timer from your kitchen. Set the time, be realistic about what you can accomplish in that time, and stick to your guns by staying focused and on-task until the timer runs out.
If chatty coworkers are your challenge, for those who work in groups or open office space, try temporarily relocating to a more remote office space, working from home for the day, or the professional’s equivalent of a sock on the door – putting some ipod headphones in your ears and pretending like you can’t hear people when they ask if you watched Dancing with the Stars last night.
Strategy 4: Single Task Projects & Multitask In Between: According to prevailing corporate group think, multi-tasking is clearly THE BEST way to get anything done. Right?
Cognitive studies have decimated that idea. In fact, one study done by researchers at Stanford University found that hard core “multitaskers” actually fared poorly on cognitive and memory tests that included elements of distraction.
What may be a surprise is that multitasking can often be an inefficient use of time because a divided attention span cuts into a person’s ability to learn and retain information and interferes with their decision-making capacity.
If you find multitasking to be a barrier to progress, consider a paradigm shift that accelerates task completion: first single task — then multitask in-between.
By following the “one thing at a time” rule instead of packing things in, you give yourself more time to focus on what you do best. And by switching to “multitask in between” you can still get other things done. Just know that your work flow will be broken down into more practical, saner intervals.
Consider planning your day around your more pressing tasks, then schedule your less demanding tasks for specific intervals of time. Technology can be a great boon here if used thoughtfully. One small business owner, for example, heavily relies on her Outlook and phone apps to manage details like reminders to make important phone calls. The trick is to make a full stop at what you are actively doing to complete tasks at scheduled times, then return to more pressing matters.
….How’s your productivity battery feeling now? Getting energized? Feeling like you’re getting “in the zone?” Yay – Mission Accomplished – and there’s still more! Add these two powerful (some say magical) strategies for boosting productivity into your daily routine – and check back here soon for the final installment of this series…
As a writer I spend a good large portion of my time…. Writing! No surprise there. But just because I love what I do, and have years of training as a journalist and editor, doesn’t mean that I sit down and – poof! – wonderful copy magically appears. There are many factors that keep me inspired, energized and “in the zone” when I write, of course. For today, though, what’s really been on my mind is a support system we already have, but often falls under the radar. It’s always there, 24-7, and available at a moment’s notice. It’s honest and gives you just what you need when you need it. I’m talking about the wide range of friends, followers, readers and colleagues that we have access to via our social networks.
A network of invested friends and followers is a powerful resource that will boost a writer’s energy, motivation, inspiration and overall quality of content. Sit back and take a look at the diverse connections you have in your life – business networking, social networks online, blogs, newsletters, emails, forums, support groups, masterminds, etc. The list can go on and on. Depending on what your currents needs are, I’m betting you can take a look at all of the networks and connections you enjoy and find just the right group to help you accomplish your next writing goal.
When we are writing for our business or our personal life – for example, working on short stories, books, special reports, how-to guides, cookbooks, or information products – we can all benefit from an energetic, positive, supportive network. Whether it’s your Facebook friends, people who comment on your blog or in-person business or social networking, all of that wonderful group-energy super-boosts your potential as a writer and can only make you better.
Having access to a network of fellow writers, peers, mentors, family and friends allows us to draw strength from their advice and support. Our fellow writers can offer tips and motivation that will help us along the path to success. Colleagues and mentors can give us great insight into how our intended reader will interpret what we write.
>> Not sure what subject is the most important for you to write about in your blog? Check the comments on your past articles – what gained the most excitement, elicited the most passionate responses, prompted the most questions? Take a deeper look at the feedback from people who comment on your blog to best plan the topics you address in the future.
>> Do you have 3 different ideas for ebooks, but not sure which one needs to be written first? Create a survey and post it on your social media, take it to your mastermind or live business networking group. Ask people which subject excited them most. You don’t need to give away that you are writing these books, just pose your questions and ask your community which subject is the most timely, the most urgent and they really need help with. Bingo! Now you’ve got your first ebook idea and you KNOW that there is a need for it.
Carefully gauging the reactions and comments from readers of our blogs, articles, social media, etc, can help us fine-tune our writing and ensure that we are providing the right kind of insight, instruction or support via our content. And don’t forget the foundation of any network or support group – our friends and family. Bless them all, they will always love and support us, even when we might get discouraged or feel burned out. Especially then!
I love sharing my thoughts with other writers – and hearing their opinions as well. I invite you to email, comment or post your writing thoughts, dilemmas, triumphs and more to me and I’ll be sure to offer the support that I can. No matter what, keep going and remember that you’re doing the “Write” thing for you!
Video blog today – sharing several ideas to help you when you’re facing writer’s block, not sure what to write or share via video and need a little brainstorm. One video – 90 seconds – and at least FOUR good ideas that you can use for social media, blogs, newsletters, your YouTube channel and more. Oh – and a tip from me about one of my favorite business support tools that I cannot live without in my own business. It’s free, its amazing and it has allowed me to connect with my team, educate my clients, share presentations and even fix my mother’s computer. I’m not kidding, it’s that great. Check it out and let me know what your favorite tips are after you watch the video. Thanks!!
Here’s the problem: Most readers are already so soaked to the core with information, they’ve developed the skill of being choosy. No one has time to waste with repetitive emails or content that lacks a strong and valuable message.
If you want to avoid falling into the trap of so-so writing and ensure that your copy is worthy of grabbing your reader’s attention, I’m here for you. During my career for nearly two decades as a journalist for the Los Angeles Times, my time as the Editor in Chief of an international magazine and as founder of Captivating Copy, I’ve learned the do’s and don’ts that will bring your writing to life.
1. Be purposeful: Think Anti-Fluff. If your copy is so full of fluff that you could pet it, it’s time for a redo. You owe your readers at least that. Identify your target audience and make your writing relevant to their needs. Do you want to inform or entertain, or do you want your readers to think, feel, or take action on something? By putting your audience in the front seat you’ll be better prepared to steer your content to capture their interest.
2. Be original: Give same-ol, same-ol the ax! Attention-getting headlines, highlights and intros are king. Start immediately with refreshing copy that sets you apart. Start your lead paragraph with a unique expression, a fun metaphor or story, or an eye-popping fact to pique curiosity. Then crown your marketing masterpiece with a punchy headline that includes a benefit, and you’re reeling in your audience. (See my headline here for an example)
3. Be real: Use natural language and avoid “The 3 O’s” – Overstating, Overblown and Overly formal. I say this cautiously because you also don’t want to “dumb down” your writing either. Simply stated, write like the intelligent, articulate being you are, but avoid the peril of calling a spade an “excavation instrument” when a “spade” will do.
4. Be upbeat: Stay positive, and use lively verbs and dynamic wording that expresses your passion. In other words, show some enthusiasm! Remember, you’re persuading readers. Unleash the passion within by trading out stale wording for energizing “trigger words” that excite the mind and invoke a sensory experience or emotion. Replacing mundane language with robust wording should be your preferred way to produce phenomenal copy.
To get a feel for it, try this exercise: reread this article and highlight wording that evokes energy or emotion. Check a few against your thesaurus for equivalent power words. Then Google the term, “marketing copy” for more examples. Reading enhances writing, and this is a fun way to get a feel for trigger words.
5. Be brief: Voltaire said, “The best way to be boring is to leave nothing out.” Write tight. Don’t ramble. Use short words, sentences and paragraphs (see #7). State your main idea and supporting statements, but most of all– Get. To. The. Point.
6. Be clear: Edit for meaning and clarity. ALWAYS check spelling and grammar and make sure your writing “flows.” Does it make sense? Is it on message? Are there abrupt changes in thought just begging for a good transition? You may have great ideas, but if your content isn’t clear you may lose readers.
7. Be space wise: Think Feng Shui. Does your written copy look endless? If it wearies the eyes, take it apart! Unleash the flow of energy by breaking up your copy to ensure plenty of white space. Attractive spacing means “easy on the eyes,” and that will make your readers breath a collective sigh of relief.
Today’s readers have more data than ever coming at them than they know what to do with it. Your audience only has a minimal time to choose if you are IN or OUT. Make sure your writing is a keeper – and keeps your audience’s attention.
Seriously, I’m all about multitasking. And when it comes to social media, you definitely have to have a few tricks up your sleeve that help you to multitask your content across several platforms. There are quite a few third-party programs out there and ways to do this, but for this post I wanted to share one of the easiest ways to ensure that the content you write for Facebook – you know, those really great posts on your business page? – can be automatically shared directly to your Twitter account. No extra buttons, no copy-paste-repeat. Just 60 seconds of setup time and BOOM, time on your hands, baby. Love it!
Here’s how you do it:
- Login to Facebook
- Open a second browser or window tab and login to your Twitter account
- Click on the link https://www.facebook.com/twitter/ and make sure that Facebook is connecting to the account that you intend to connect.
- Edit any settings that you wish to change like Status Updates, Photos, Video Links, Notes and Events.
- Click on the Link to Twitter button.
That’s it! Your Facebook will now automatically post to your Twitter account whenever you post on your connected Facebook profile.