I’m no stranger to the struggle of balancing branding and social media along with everything else. I essentially work two full time jobs in addition to blogging, speaking, family and many other things that I’m involved in. However, I have found that it IS possible to do all of these things and more if you keep a few key points in mind. Before I dive into the tips, there’s one thing to remember: Branding is all about the content you share with others that reflects your experience and values. What I’ve done to help you fit branding into your life today is to share some tips on content creation since that’s really the heart of branding.
Be Real: Share What You Do
Let me first clarify that I am NOT advocating that you talk about what you’re eating or who you hung out with last night, but what I AM suggesting is that your professional life is robust and should be shared. If you think about it, you interact with many people in your professional life. What you talk about with them, what you learn from them and what they do are things that you can share. If they write articles, share them. If they talked to you about a new technology you knew nothing about, do a little research and share that. Instead of sitting down and trying to come up with new content to blog about or tweet, think more strategically about sharing the things you’re already involved in. THIS is being real and sharing what you do and it will save you a lot of time.
It will convey your brand in an authentic and engaging way.
Make Time to Do More
This is always a controversial statement because people already feel so stretched to their limits. I know there are only 24 hours in a day and we need some of them for sleep and relaxation, but there are more effective ways to do nearly everything you do. Do you go to the grocery store and mull around for an hour trying to figure out what to buy? Make a list before you go or, better yet, order the food online and have it delivered to your home. That’s one way to save a lot of time and it doesn’t even cost a lost of money! There are many other ways to speed up your daily activities without spending a dime. When I have to travel somewhere, I’m very strategic about what I can get done. I bring the latest issues of my favorite professional magazines, a new book, emails I need to catch up on, phone calls I need to make and that’s what I do while I travel.
I’m not the kind of person who can just sit down and pound out ten awesome blog entries. It’s not because I don’t have anything to say, but because I need some time to think of the titles and topics. This week, I had a few interesting ideas when on the bus so I emailed them to myself. That made it so much easier when it was time to sit down and write because I had already thought everything out.
Tip: Spend some time going through your day and see which tasks take up more time than they should and which can be eliminated altogether.
Spend Some Time Doing Less
Hopefully you will find more time in your day once you’ve tried to simplify your processes. Once you have some free time, don’t always fill it with more to-dos. Don’t forget to make time for relaxation and entertainment. You’ll find you generate much more content when your mind is at rest. I’ve had many great conversations over lunch that led me to research and write several articles.
Tip: Your down time is just as important as your “up” time so schedule it in if you have to. Everyone deserves a nice glass of wine with friends and a day at the spa every few months!
When in Doubt, Listen and Engage
If you’ve been in a hole focusing on one project for the last week (we’ve all been there) and you don’t really feel like you have any new content to share, don’t forget that it’s fine to listen. Social media is a two-way relationship, so it’s actually a good idea to sit back every once in a while and spend some time reading through the content of your favorite writers.
Tip: Be sure to comment and share your thoughts and who knows — maybe it will stir an idea for a new blog that you can use the next time you’re in a content slump.