How do you stay organized?

If you work from home this blog is for you.

​Working from home has many advantages, but there are also many challenges that come with it as well. The biggest challenge is staying organized, especially when you are handling multiple clients.

On a daily basis I receive lots of email and social media requests and keeping everyone straight is like a juggling act. However, it can be done, and there is an accomplishment when it happens.

So how does one stay organized when it comes to social media? How do you know when to post, what to post, and keep it organized so that it stays consistent?

There are many tools to help with organizing social media, one that I use a lot and trust is Hootsuite. Ok, I'm bias I love owls so the Hootsuite platform is cute. But, seriously, Hootsuite is a great tool to use to keep everything organized especially with the scheduler.

I love the fact that you can find posts in your feed that you want to share, you simply copy them and add them into Hootsuite so that you can post them at a later date.  

Hootsuite has now added the Instagram function to the schedule posting which, is a bonus considering you can not schedule posts like you can on Facebook. So, it makes it even more handy because you can set up all your posts for the week in one platform.

So now the question is, how much organization do you need to do have posts go out daily? Well, that all depends but I advise clients to spend 15 minutes a day at the beginning going through their social media feeds and finding information they want to use, liking other peoples posts and engaging with whatever they can. Then take another 15 minutes to put information for the week into Hootsuite. If you can spend 15-30 minutes a day on social media, then you will be able to optimize what you are doing, gaining more followers, and higher reach.

Unfortunately you have to put the work into the social media in order for it to work and gain you the traction you want. But, if you organize your thoughts, your posts and your time you can be successful at harnessing the power of social media.

If you are interested in learning more about any of the social media platforms, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, YouTube or Google my business please feel free to reach out and contact me. I can help with your marketing strategy, and offer one-on-one social media training.

Social media is powerful and it does help to market your business.

A new year, time to think about your social media strategy!

Have you thought about what your strategy is going to be for 2018?

​Social media is an often confusing decision. There are SO many platforms, each one with it's own unique way of getting eyeballs to your product or service.

​Questions I get asked often. Should I have a Facebook page? (some say facebook is dead) What about Twitter? (what's a tweet anyway) Instagram? (do you have good content to post) or the best what about Snapchat- our way through the day.

​And while there are so many options this is how I answer those questions.

​Facebook-EVERYONE should have a Facebook Page...Why, because Facebook pays a lot of money to ensure they rank well on google when people do searches. Do a google search now of any business and see what you find. If they have Facebook page it shows up on the first page. So for that reason alone you need Facebook. Aside from that, if your demographics are between the age of 35-55 years of age then you need to have a Facebook page. Also, with lots of conversation happening on Facebook, you need a page so that people can link you and share your information. Very rarely now, do I see people putting links to business websites on Facebook. Usually it is a personal link to a Facebook account (which you don't want) or a link to the business page. Another bonus-you can share information on Facebook, which is great because you want people sharing your content.

​Twitter-EVERYONE should be on Twitter...Why,  because we are seeing more followers on Twitter now because of the interface. It is easier to find people to follow, which, in turn means they will follow you back (or so you hope) Regardless, the numbers are higher and the best- they have increased how many characters you can have now, doubling to 280. That allows you a bit more information to craft your story. As well, many journalists are using twitter to report on stories so if you are looking for immediate information Twitter is the place to be. Another great feature of Twitter is the hashtag #, this allows you to follow stories that pertain to you, your business or your industry. Hashtags also are perfect for finding the trends like #motivationalmonday or #TBT allowing you to get your message to a larger audience, its a way to target what you want to say. The average Twitter user is 37 years old, something also to keep in mind with messaging. Twitter also allows for Retweets which, is great for getting your content viewed.  We Love Twitter!

Instagram-EVERYONE should be on Instagram. It doesn't matter what you are selling, anyone can turn their business into something visual. It's an opportunity to be creative, and to connect with people on a more picture/video basis. Not to mention, it is easy to get followers on that platform, and currently we are seeing higher numbers on Instagram, over Facebook and Twitter. We love Instagram because you can create great little short videos that actually get noticed, whether you use your phone, an editing system or that fun gadget Boomerang, all make it interesting and people love watching videos.

Photos also work well, but you should be creative with what  you are posting, think about those photos as product photos, professional and good quality. Another bonus is the new #hashtag feature where you can see posts that pertain to your industry. For example in video using #Video I can see all posts that use that hashtag, great way to seek out potential followers and customers. Personally we love Instagram, the only down side is you can share the content, that I am hoping will change soon. Also keep in mind the average age is between 18-35 years of age. I suspect the young ones will move soon to SnapChat. 

​SnapChat-This is a social media platform that I don't have a lot of use for. Because I want my content to stick around for longer than 30 seconds. This platform is designed with the younger user in mind. It's the place to share your life which, sometimes it's a bad thing. The average user of SnapChat is 16-24 year. So if your business is selling to that age group then SnapChat maybe your place. The only thing I do like about SnapChat , is its fun face filter, although Facebook now offers something similar so you can make them off that platform. I am sure as time progresses and people move off Instagram SnapChat will become more popular, but for the right not I wouldn't waste my time on learning or setting it up.

​Because time is important, I would suggest starting with Facebook, then Twitter then setting up Instagram. Once you have those three social networks going look to LinkedIn, Google plus and YouTube. I will cover those ones in my next blog. 

​If you have any questions please send me a message

How Important will Video content become?

Think about this; by 2017 video content on the internet will account for 69%. More than half and only 31% from being 100%.

So what does this mean?

Bottom line; faster internet, and more access to internet is driving the popularity of video. Written content is nice like this blog, however, a video tends to be easier to consume.

Video is usually a solution to a problem. More people turn to video to have their problems answered. The most viewed videos are "how to" videos.

When you produce a video think about your message. The message should reflect the needs of your customers or clients. You are solving their problem. While, there are many great articles, that will touch on their subjects, videos that are fun, interesting and informative give customers and clients what they need. Another consideration is that videos have the ability to be distributed across a multitude of social media platforms.

Recently, Facebook introduced Facebook live, a very easy to use platform that allows you to go live at an event or to provide instant information to your customers. Other platforms include Periscope,Instagram and SnapChat  albeit in a shorter format, but an ability to get your message to your public in a fun and interactive way.

While, written content is important especially on websites because it drives Search Engine Optimization, videos will be what will drive business, because of their ability to tell the story,  introducing the clients to your brand or service and  the ability to build reputations.

If you like what you see and hear, and you are sold.

Video has especially become important in Real Estate marketing. While photos are used on listings, a video is an opportunity for an agent to tell a potential buyer more about the listings, or to provide information that will help tell the story.

​What is your story? Remember a photo is worth a thousands words, but, a video is worth 1.8 million.

Value of Video for your Business!

​There are three reasons why people don't do videos for their business.

  1. ​They are afraid or nervous of the camera.
  2. ​The price.
  3. ​They don't know how to tell their story.

​Rest assured, anyone can produce a video.  Best of all they are cost effective. If you can talk to someone on the phone, or network with people at an event you can make a video.

Pre-planning, a good strategy, and professional content will make you stand out from your competitors.


​Step 1 Breathe

​Step 2 Think about your message, what do you want to tell your potential clients?

​Step 3 Plan but don't over script. Make points but keep it short and easy to understand.

​Step 4 Give me a call

Step 5 Turn on the camera, smile and tell your story.

​Sound simple? Want to learn more?

​Join us on Wednesday April 20th, for my session on "Value of Video for your Business" presented by Dufferin Women in Business. This is a Co-ed event, and will help you build, connect and grow your business.

​For more information or to register


Why Video is Important!

"By 2017, video will account for 69% of all consumer internet traffic, according to Cisco."

​Those statistics should speak for themselves. That's a lot of business being done because someone watched a video.

​Did you know that every minute, that's every 60 seconds of every day, over 300 hours of video is uploaded to YouTube; more video than any network. Videos are assessable around the world and can be enjoyed and watched at any time. If you are a Direct Marketing business, consider that you can make a training video and it can be assessed at anytime anywhere in the world.

Mobile devices account for 40% of all video watched and of those 40%; 92% of those are shared to social media networks.

When it comes to potential reach, video is peerless. YouTube receives more than one billion unique visitors every month – that's more than any other channel, apart from Facebook. Video can give you access to all this. Video done well can give you a slice of it. What other form of content can do the same?

It is a known fact that websites with video embedded onto their front page, attract and keep customers longer on their page.

​Because I love statistics; Visitors love Video-only 20% will read plain text but 80% will watch a video…best part you will keep people on your site 2 minutes longer.

​More stats to support the importance of video. Video stimulates senses 72 hours after you read or hear something, you will be able to recall ONLY 10% of it, but 72 hours watching a video you will be able to recall 58% of it.

​So what are you waiting for?

​Get out the camera, smile, and tell us your story. If all else fails, give us a call, we love to bring your ideas to life.

How to stay focused when self-employed.

Recently, I became self-employed working as a social media manager and video producer. This new career; was a job in line with a position I held at an organization last year, but now something I do for clients of small businesses. It is great to have the freedom some days of having lunch with friends, or networking for business opportunities. So from that perspective there is no complaint.

However, being self-employed and working from home is a very challenging job. It requires the skills of organization, diligence and perseverance. Your income is not consistence, and projects have a variety of deadlines, not to mention come and go like the weather.

So how do you stay focused? That is probably the million dollar question, and there are motivational speakers I’m sure that could answer that. Setting goals for the day or the week are key to keeping on track to accomplish your work load. There is nothing wrong with sleeping in until 9 am if you wish, but you it might mean you work until 6 pm or sometimes later.

I find my most creative moments happen after 7pm. I’m not sure why that is. But it is around that time I get my second wind and I have the best clarity. So for me it is not unusual to work while the rest of the house falls asleep at 10 pm.

What is perfect about this new arrangement, is the work I do does not have a set time or location. For instance, in retail the store opens at 9 am someone has to be there to greet the customers, the store closes at 9 pm someone has to be there to lock up.

As a social media manager who works from home, the internet is always open. Posts can be scheduled, weeks in advance, research and planning can be done while the rest of the world sleeps, and if you are fortunate enough, and some of this work could be done in your pajamas or at the beach.

Does this sound like a dream job? Some day’s it is, and there other days when it is lonely working away, with only the sound of the furnace going off and on. So this where it gets tricky. It is easy to fall into the procrastination mode. So how do self-employed home businesses stay focused?

By planning. Each week I get out my calendar and chart my destiny for the week. I make sure that I start with the most pressing projects so I ensure deadlines are met, and then I schedule meetings and coffee breaks. That’s right coffee breaks. These are used as a two-fold method. It allows me to get my favourite cup of coffee at the café, and give me a chance to meet with other liked-minded individuals to discuss the day’s events. It gives me a reason to leave the house and something to look forward to.

Because most of my work is done on a computer, talking to clients is usually done through a text or an email. Some day’s that works well especially when I am in the middle of a video edit and need my concentration. Other days it gets kind of lonely not talking to anyone other than the dog.

Working from home is not for everyone. There are some who can become so engrossed in their work they don’t even notice they have been there for two hours. And there are the creative people like me who work then have to walk away to regroup and then come back. Sometimes I don’t come back for a few hours, and honestly that is a good way to ensure that content is accurate.

If you are able to be organized, diligent and perseverant, working from home provides you with the perfect mix of social, work and family time.

While writing this blog, I was able to cook my family dinner, and download a video for a client, while wearing my PJ’s, well not really but comfy clothes.