Today, my solo cup is filled with Mundane Tasks.
A day filled with the things that must be done but aren't fun to do. Payroll taxes, reporting, paying bills, reconciling bank statements, cleaning the office, filing, throwing away unneeded notes and such - or general housekeeping. It was mundane, but necessary. And the good news is that I won't have to do most of these things again for another month. Yes! It's a Thursday that feels like a Monday, but one day closer to Friday. Another Yes!
Aside from my far from exciting day, I did rediscover an app that I had used a couple of times in the past called Evernote. It's fantastic for my To Do lists and is also considerate enough to send me reminders as scheduled. Frankly, I'm not sure why I stopped using it and think I may have found a new best friend.
Really, it's that far from exciting.
Remember, you and you alone are responsible for maintaining your energy. Give up blaming, complaining and excuse making, and keep taking action in the direction of your goals - however mundane or lofty they may be. -Jack Canfield
Today, my solo cup is filled with Social Media Goal Planning.
Spent a couple hours on the phone today with a client hashing out new goals for their social platforms. We reviewed each channel and paved the content drivers (what makes the brand unique and how the company voice will articulate) so that their social strategy is more refined and better positioned. We looked at the growth in followers and likes over the last several months, discussed best practices in utilizing analytics, detailed ways to expand the targeted audience and drive traffic to our website, and brainstormed on methods to improve post engagement. We also established clear short term goals. I love this because we begin with the end in mind and it's easily measurable. Often times, clients suggest goals that are too high level and that makes my job less fulfilling. The reason for this is that when goals are too broad, they don't really merit success in my book.
For example, if a social media goal is to setup a Facebook page and gain an infinite number of likes in as little time as possible but don't have a specific number in mind, a date to review, and tactics to qualify followers, then you are just spinning your wheels aimlessly. Be SMART!
Here is an example of a goal we established for Twitter:
•Grow our Twitter following by 10% (incrementally each month) by targeting our established key industry influencers, and their respective followers. Our first review will be June 30, 2015 and we currently have 590 followers.
What are your thoughts on its' specificity?
Today, my solo cup is filled with Low Energy.
You know what kind of day I'm having without my writing another word, don't you? Low energy days (a.k.a. ramifications of holiday weekend over-indulgence) are challenging. We've all had them and I am still on a mission to figure out the best remedy to overcome them in the least amount of time. I've tried exercising first thing in the morning, eating a high protein breakfast, sleeping a bit longer and sitting outside with a cup of strong coffee, and have yet to find a surefire solution. While reflecting on this quest, it struck me that maybe there isn't one way to replenish and that sometimes these days are just necessary and part of the process. If you don't have the so-so days, you won't know the difference between a day that is off the charts productive, right? Ok, I may be reaching here a bit but I have decided to find peace in my few days a year that aren't as productive or executed with focus and clarity. Tomorrow is a new day!
Today, my solo cup is filled with Roly Poly bugs.
Spent a lot of time today editing a blog post for a client. The article got me thinking a lot about my childhood and the things we did when I was a kid. Felt an immediate connection as the author wrote about building forts in the woods and finding roly poly bugs under tree logs. All of course to demonstrate how his backyard was a place of great discovery and lead into the importance of hands-on, investigation-based learning for K-8 science students. But for me, a real story that resonated with my inner child.
The timing couldn't have been better since I am heading down to Ozark, Alabama (the place where I grew up), next Saturday. This is where I had many great adventures as a kid and I'm looking forward to seeing the mounds of red clay and indulging in some good ole' southern hospitality. The coincidence of the client's approach made the editing experience enjoyable and natural. In addition, provided another stepping stone to getting to know the people that I am working for.
Today, my solo cup is filled with Team Spirit.
Left the office early to go to a baseball game with my daughter. She is a forthcoming Junior at Valparaiso University and a few hours ago marked the beginning of the 2015 Horizon League Baseball Championship Central. As a Valpo athlete (volleyball) herself, she has lots of school spirit and desire to support all the sports teams (and possibly a favorable eye on one particular baseball player). Although the crazy Chicago weather had us huddled under a blanket, the victorious inning succession kept us warm and smiling. With a final score of 8-0, Valpo is on their way to Round 2 against UIC tomorrow.
Being a part of a team, especially a winning team, is rewarding and an important part of life. It's one thing I truly miss working solo out of our home office. Although I get the luxury of making my own schedule each day, and attending baseball games on a whim, I miss the hi-fives and team enthusiasm when things are going well. But, I press on and take vicariously when I can (even if that means chasing the mascot down for a picture) .
Today, my solo cup is filled with Social Listening.
As a social media manager, a good part of my time is spent on social listening. Discovering key influencers for a client's industry, and then listening to the interactions to best determine how we might become a part of the conversation or unveil ways to differentiate our messaging from the rest is what it's all about. My tactics are pretty straight-forward and entail using Lists on Twitter to capture those that I am particularly interested in, and receiving a notification for each that I've starred every time they post. This gives me direct access to what's important to those that are important to us and filters the news feeds effectively. In addition, I use HootSuite to manage all of my client's platforms and determine the best streams to add to the homepage to stay on top of what is being posted that has a direct impact on a client's business. Paramount, of course, is ensuring that the brands we represent are aware of what is being said about them - or reputation management. This is all part of the equation to being a successful social media manager and I'm learning more every day.
Here's a great summary I extracted from a Social Media Examiner article, "Listening is one of the most essential life skills—a building block of interpersonal relationships. But it’s hard work because true listening requires you to respond to every interaction—no one likes to be ignored."
And now, I invite you to share your tactics with social listening. What do you find works best for you?
Today, my solo cup is filled with Community.
I have stumbled upon a really neat concept within my local area and am eager to share. It's called 25N and is essentially a place of business that I can rent a permanent or flexible workspace from on a monthly basis and reap the benefits of BEING AROUND PEOPLE - again. It's a nifty collaborative environment for entrepreneurs (solo), small businesses, virtual employees, and corporate teams, and I am touring the building this week. I am excited about the convenience to my home office as well as the "free" trial offer to discover if this is a good fit for me. The pricing structure is very competitive and extremely flexible with a variety of workspace options. I'll report back once I've toured and decided. In the meantime, please share what you know.
Do you or have you worked in a similar "Co-Op" environment? What are your thoughts on such a concept? Looking for some positive feedback on the collaborative benefits, or simply the increase in productivity that being around other professionals may have had for you.
Christina, our President & Director of Content, loves to write about anything. The only thing missing is the assignment. Just give her a topic and she's off - to stimulate her word generator and exercise her research skills to deliver content that is entertaining, relevant, and timely.