If you think step one is dump a whole collection of random photos into a media library and step two is think of what you might like to say next Monday at noon — you’d be wrong.
THE ZONE OF GENIUS (01:57)
Do you ever catch yourself saying things like, “What I’d love to do is,” and “In an ideal world,” or “Wouldn’t it be great?” Are you noticing a physical, mental or metaphorical voice in your gut and your instinct? Get curious about that voice because it’s speaking to you directly and it may be the push that you need to head into a new direction or to notice what you’ve been trying to ignore intentionally. This is super helpful for hard to address business issues like your pricing structure, or deciding on offering one service and taking off another altogether.
“BUT SCHEDULING IS HARD” (05:48)
Why should you bother with scheduling posts? You’re on your phone with your photos anyway, and you can do them one by one in real-time. Yes and No. If you have all day doing posts, then go for it. On the other hand, if you want to be on your phone less and still do quality postings, you need to get organized. Trying to put a headline or a caption clearly and concisely to a picture is no picnic. Finding yourself looking at that blank screen and cursor is hard, even if you’re a regular poster.
Maybe you find it easier to write on your computer vs. your phone’s screen, and words just flow through you when you type on a keyboard. Maybe typing on your phone is the big hindrance that’s holding you back from using your authentic voice.
SCHEDULING AND YOUR AUTHENTIC VOICE (08:04)
Use your daily time allowance for social media activities to further connections with other people, reply to stories, and start conversations. Don’t spend all that time blasting out messages or staring at the blinking cursor. You could be responding to your clients’ comments on your posts, doing research, and building your network in that time. Scheduling can do all that for you without doubling up on the time you need to spend on social media activities.
There are free versions and trial versions of some great apps you can just sit down to and start using straight away. For individuals who have several businesses or post more often, it’s worth purchasing a monthly subscription, which can be as low as $20 per month investment. I personally use Later.
PREDICTABLE IS YOUR NEW BEST FRIEND (09:49)
We all fall into patterns that we see again and again. Do you ever start doing one thing and your focus becomes so intense that you ignore everything else that’s going on? Yep, that’s me too. You’re doing well on one side of your business, say, updating your website, but it’s consuming all of your time, and your weekly newsletter suffers as a result. If you notice and understand your own predictable behaviours, you’ll appreciate the opportunity to schedule something in advance so that while you’re trying to focus on growth on a particular project, the rest of your business doesn’t just fall away. Once you’re done with your current project, you can go back and pick up from a place that kept running for you in the background, rather than pick up from three months ago where you left it.
COMMON MISTAKES PEOPLE MAKE WITH SCHEDULING (12:12)
People go into the scheduling app and click the next week button. They create a new post for Monday at 4pm and then sit there wondering, “What do I want to share this time next week?” or next Tuesday at 6pm, for that matter. They end up uploading their entire gallery of images in no particular order or relevancy.
Don’t make scheduling the bane of your existence and end up dumping content just to get it out.
Before you say you hate scheduling or it just didn’t work for you because you’re not creative in that way, answer this. Did you really do your prep work before even attempting to schedule? Or did you try to just show up and do scheduling without doing your homework? Granted, prep work isn’t sexy or fun, and it seems like a waste of time before the work that you’re most excited to do. If you go into scheduling like a bull in a china shop, you might as well not bother and just go back to doing it all on your phone in real-time. Efficiency is the name of the game. Maximize the time that you spend in your zone of genius. This is where you should be spending most of your time.
Half-hearted efforts don’t work because they’ll never result in authentic opinions. You’ll just spend all of your time obsessing over what photo looks good here or there in your grid – which by the way most people don’t even bother looking up because it’s your actual post that will do all the talking.
WHAT’S YOUR IDEAL RATIO? (14:04)
What do you want people to know about you and your business? This is your spot to explain who you are and what you’re trying to promote. Your ratio of the different things you’re trying to showcase should be intentional. Don’t obsess over it, but pay attention to it. It’s not about ticking boxes for each category. It’s about keeping the big picture in mind. Who are you and what are you trying to promote? Balance your posts to support the big picture. People have a mere few seconds to decide if they’ll follow you based on the overall big picture that you present. They swipe one and a half fingers on the screen, and if your ratio is not what they’re looking for and identify with, they’ll move on.
Pick four to six things to start with. Decide for each how many posts you need to do so that at the end of the week you see the ideal ratio on your grid. If you’re a yoga teacher, have a yoga photo, a personal photo, a photo of your current offering, one on inspiration, one on your podcast, and so on.
HOW OFTEN TO POST? (20:49)
The more, the better. Having said that, if you’ve been hiding in a cave and posting once a week, don’t go crazy and try to post three times a day, five times a week. Be realistic and start off with two posts per week. Once you know the number of weekly posts you’re aiming for, you’ll next need to decide on the duration of the scheduling. Say for two weeks. That’s two posts per week for two weeks. Bam. Four posts.
Create a folder on your phone or desktop and start looking for content. Curating it now will be much easier – you know exactly what you need. Organizing content into folders will make scheduling easier later.
You’ve sorted out your ratio and you know what you want to show.
- Go ahead and open your scheduling app.
- Start adding the four photos that you’ve already put in your folder.
- Now tell your story with words to give your followers a good idea of what you have to offer.
Do this, instead of sitting in front of your entire bank of images for hours on end with a dreadful sinking feeling that makes you give up.
CAPTIONS AND HEADLINES (29:28)
Hopefully, by the time you get to the captions bit, and because you’ve been doing all this prep work, you’ll have at least some ideas for an authentic headline or caption. If you struggle, you can always talk about “Five things people don’t know about you” or “What’s today really like” or “Here’s a behind the scenes photo.” Say it with a story that’s not in the frame, and people will listen.
It’s much easier and less intimidating to intentionally create and post micro-content. Once you’re happy with how your two-week scheduling went, go ahead and double up for the month. You’ll now need TWO of each photo of personal, offering, inspirational, and so on, bringing it to a total of eight for our imaginary yoga poster for her one month trial.
Look around in the app you’re using to discover all the options. Try them all, at least once. Especially make use of the auto-publish feature that will let you post while you’re out walking, for example. Try it. Do you prep-work, add your hashtags and location, tag away, and go about your day.
Like always, start small with a couple of posts per week. Work your way up from there. Feel what it’s like to be intentional with how you share content. Get on a roll and let your message come out naturally and get you where you want to be posting more, three, four, or six times per week. Try different things and implement a base that you can build on.
Stay consistent with your efforts, even if you’re not getting direct sales from your posts right now. Know that you are reaching your audience regularly with relevant content, and you’ve put yourself out there so that people can talk about you and share your content when they know someone who’s looking for someone just like you!
If you’re struggling with figuring out your ratio or your components that should be making up your posts or how they are best communicated visually, send me a message @Laurakelly.co, and I will work with you to trudge through your issues. I mean it.
Episode 83 – A Beginners Guide to Scheduling Your Posts!
This episode dives deep into my system for scheduling posts to maximize your productivity and bust through writer’s block. Spend more time working in your “zone of genius” and less time stringing two crappy captions together and calling it a day.
Learn more about Laura Kelly Coaching Programs: http://coaching.laurakelly.co/