Hey, guys. Welcome to this episode of The Business Bites Podcast. I have been completely inundated with so many new projects this year that I feel like my hair has been absolutely on fire, but I felt like I needed to pause all of that this evening and take some time to rearrange the schedule just a little bit because I have been receiving a lot of questions from you, guys, from the listeners, asking how I’m able to manage and keep up with everything. If you don’t know who I am or what I do, my name is Rachel Brenke. I have multiple brands that I manage. I’m also a practicing attorney. I have five kids, a husband, and two rescue puppy dogs at home.
Also, I compete in endurance sports triathlon and so forth. All of this, I share with you because it’s all really important and it makes up who I am. In order to do all of this, I have to keep everything balanced. I have to do things that are going to give me the most bang for my buck. This episode, I wanted to basically record to respond to all of the emails that I have been receiving asking how I’m able to do a lot of what I do and maintain such a strong social media presence. I want to go over with you, guys, a couple of things, the tools that I use and how I plan.
Before we dig into all of that, it’s really important that for your social media to work for you, or any action in your business to work for you, you need to have a clear business plan. That’s also built on the back of who your client or customer avatar is. If you, guys, have not listened to other episodes, I want you to refer over to Episode 12: The Magic of a Client Avatar, and Episode 13: Business Planning in 15 Minutes or Less. You can pause this episode, go listen to those, and then come back because I want to share with you, guys, the tools of how I’m able to facilitate and manage all of the social media.
One of the things that I talked about over in Episode 2, which was Crowd Sourcing for Content Creation, that gives me a lot of the source of what you, guys, want to hear. Obviously, like this cast that you’re listening to right now is a result of a lot of the questions that I’ve received from you, guys. I always tell all of the consulting clients that I help with in their business, “Listen because you’re being told whether directly through email, or through client avatars in your general area, or just by looking at the marketplace. You’re being told what information is being needed to put up there. You’re being told what people want to hear from you. You just have to dig in and really listen to that.”
Now, I say all of that because if you don’t do that, all these tips and the tools that I’m getting ready to talk about to help you are going to be a waste of subscription money and time to set up, and they’re not going to be worth anything. They are going to be shouting into empty space with nobody to listen and no one to care. I’m a big proponent of not wasting time, money, and energy in my business. Obviously, don’t have a lot of that since I am going in 500 different directions, and so I had to be very purposeful.
One of the things that I do teach in a lot of these podcasts and through all of my online courses and in-person consultations is my three-to-one rule. I’m going to quickly go over that and then we’re going to dig right in. Basically, when I look at a tool, or a resource, or an action, or a business partnership, whatever it is in my business, whether I am going to engage or buy into that item, I need to decide whether or not it’s really going to benefit me or not, and that’s my three-to-one. I basically am making pros and cons list. I want to have three positives to every one negative.
Now, this is not a hard rule. You can have a really big negative that overtakes the three positive, and then it’s not worth your time. You may need to just put a pin in it and come back to it later because it may not be the time in your business for you. For the most part, when I am greeted with a tool or resource, specifically like for this podcast, these tools that help me to be able to facilitate my social media presence without requiring me to actually physically be in my social media presence. I look to that three-to-one rule, what is going to give me the most benefits?
The things I look for in all of this is, does it fit into my budget accordingly, the functions that it provides, the engagements that I’m going to receive with my audience through it, and how well that I can schedule things. I am a huge, huge, huge proponent of batch creating content, which is why this podcast is a little different because I’m doing it in direct response. Sometimes you just have to break the chain and break the whole process so that you can give the people what they want to hear. For me, and I talk in Episode 9 about getting time for your business and that walks through my entire batch of content creation, the batching that I do in order to put everything out that way, I can get a whole bunch done more effectively at one time. I do the exact same thing with these tools that I’m going to talk about here shortly.
One of the very first things is, I’m going to get right off the bat, it’s when I have images for the website. I’m not going to dig in too much into image licensing and so forth in this episode. That is coming soon. Just know that you need to have the proper rights and proper license for the images on your website. If you take them yourself, that’s great. Then you’ve probably generally have the rights to be able to use them on your own blog or website. If you are purchasing them or downloading them from elsewhere, you need to make sure that you have the proper license for use on a commercial site, because I assume that many of you are here because you’re trying to run a business.
Now, one of the big things that my web guy always gets on to me for is how large my image is, or actually used to. Not anymore because I’m using this tool, but for how large the images are that I have in my website. It takes up a lot of space. It bogs it down. It makes it slow to load. I have been using … Actually, if you guys didn’t know, we own a couple of photography studios. One of the tools that we use over there, I also use for blogging. It’s called BlogStomp, and you can get it at stompsoftware.com.
They’re not paying me to say this. I’m sharing because I absolutely love this product. It actually is cutting so much time out of my workflow. It resizes images quickly. I can put watermarks on it. I can put my logo. I can put my website on it. If I want really quickly, it resizes it, it compresses it without pixelating, or changing the color, or anything like what a lot of programs or software on the market do. I love their customer service and I just love the team over there. That is stompsoftware.com. They have a whole host of other things for photographers, but the BlogStomp program is one that could be used by bloggers or anybody else who’s blogging for any type of business that you have. Especially if you are sharing lots of images, this is a really good way to quickly resize them. Also, you can create collages really quickly with them. I absolutely love it.
The second tool is using CoSchedule. I just actually recently moved over to CoSchedule within the last few months. I was with a couple other programs before, but I had ditched them because I wasn’t receiving the engagement that I needed out of my audience. They were being penalized by different social media platforms, namely Facebook. Even though I had spent all that time to set it up, and schedule it, and create my content in it, it was a … Been that three-to-one. It was a really negative that I was not getting engagement. What was the point in paying for those other systems if people weren’t even getting to see and engage with my social media materials that are going out there?
I moved over to CoSchedule. I’ve seen a great increase in engagement. I don’t have the full numbers here. Actually, that would be a good podcast all by itself to do. I have seen great engagement, especially on Facebook which is, as you guys know, a big battleground for competing against other voices in the same space. What I love about CoSchedule is that three main things. One, they also connect with Buffer. If you’re already using a Buffer-type system, they connect with them really easily, a lot of great functions. You essentially have the two in one. They have templates that apply when you publish a post. I use this on my podcast once.
What I’ll do is I will batch create my podcasts ahead of time and then schedule them. By creating a template in CoSchedule and already having that applied when I set my posts for scheduling, when it publishes, it will auto-apply this preset template. What I mean by that is, say for my template, I want on the data, the post publishes on WordPress, it will share that out. Fantastic. Awesome. That goes right out to my Facebook, Twitter, whatever I assign it to. Then, say in seven days, I wanted to send out a specific tweet. I can set up that template and automatically applies, and always takes some screenshots over at rachelbrenke.com/epi23, along with the transcript for you.
Out of these, I think the third function that they have is what really drew to me to them. The engagement obviously was a big one, but they recently released something called ReQueue. Again, I’m not getting paid by them to say this. I’m showing this because it’s what I’m currently using, and currently love, and seeing great return from. ReQueue essentially allows for an endless library, so to speak. When it goes through so much of that template, like I just talked about, and goes through all the steps, you can have, “What’s ReQueue?” and it will re-queue all of those again for you.
This is especially helpful for Twitter where there’s … You can post on Twitter 15 times a day and people are hardly even going to blink an eye. Whereas if you do that over on Facebook, they’re probably like, “Huh, she posts quite a bit.” I definitely find the ReQueue as very beneficial for Twitter, but it is great to have because I can get that content again in front of my audience without necessarily having to recreate new content all the time. That was another positive. Those three were the connection with Buffer, the engagement that also came along with that, as well as the templates that can apply. When you schedule for posting, I don’t have to physically go in and do it, as well as ReQueue.
The next two tools that I have for you, guys, connect with this as well. I use Planoly for Instagram, and then If This Then That, ifttt.com, for automating the rest of everything else. CoSchedule really just focuses on the blog content itself. It’s going to get it out to Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, LinkedIn. They also have an Instagram function as well now. It also can go Facebook groups. I definitely use CoSchedule for Facebook groups. That will be another episode that I’ll do for you on the importance of a community for your audience or customers.
Anyhow, what I really like to use for scheduling my social media from Instagram, which is a very visual based feed now. It’s where everyone seems to be gravitating for, my client avatars. What I will do is I will sit down at the beginning of every quarter and schedule all my images and my captions into Planoly. What’s so great about the program is that you can also drag and drop, so you can see what it’s visually going to look like before you post it on to Instagram. Now, yes, you do still have to have the app on your phone. You still have to swipe to post.
Honestly, that’s way, way, way easier than having to sit down everyday and [handjam 00:12:06] a new caption and a new picture and try to plan what you’re going to do. It makes it so nice. I know at 9:30 a.m. that I’m going to get a notification and I just swipe it, post it, done. The good thing with that, too, is Instagram essentially has become … For my regular social media postings, Instagram has become the top. We’re at the top of the tree here. Then, I use If This Then That. There’s also Zapier and other programs out there, but I’ve been using If This Then That for a while and it works very well.
From there, I have these applets which are essentially recipes. I will say, “If Instagram posts or when Instagram posts, then I want you to post it to Facebook, Twitter,” et cetera. You can choose post it as an image, post it as a caption, whatever you choose for it to be. There’s a whole bunch of different functions. That way, I am essentially scheduling visual content for my audience that … This is visual content meaning like the business analogies that I like to post on my Instagram, not necessarily my blog post. Those two different kinds. There’s a distinction there for you.
I start with the Instagram. I get it all scheduled on Planoly. Then, If This Then That takes care of it. I’m really only scheduling one social media setup and then it all drips out. Same way with CoSchedule, I’m scheduling my podcast in WordPress, and then CoSchedule template is essentially automating and posting it all out for me. Those are the two main lines of social media that I’m trying to hit up. Again, those tools were the BlogStomp for images, for resizing. CoSchedule for your post. Planoly for your Instagram. Then, If This Then That is a lifesaver. Actually, there’s way more than the social stuff with If This Then That. You can check it out. There’s all sorts of things you can set up. If you have an automated thermostat at home, you can set it so it says, “If I leave this location, turn my thermostat to X, Y, and Z.” There’s all sorts of fun, nerdy, geeky stuff over there that you can check out.
I hope this gives you, guys, a little bit more clarity. I hope it didn’t make it more overwhelming. It really is really easy. I focus on the WordPress side in getting that scheduled and posted, which then CoSchedule takes the reigns and gets it all scheduled for me. Then, on the visual social media side, I start with Instagram with Planoly, and If This Then That takes care of all the other platforms for me as well. Hope this helps you, guys. See if it fits into your business and go ahead and shoot me an email or let me know whatever you think about any of these systems, or if you have any other recommendations because I’m always on the hunt for other ones as well. Again, if you want to check out any of the other podcasts or this transcript, it’s rachelbrenke.com/epi23.
Rachel Brenke is a lawyer, author and business consultant. She is currently helping professionals all over the world initiate, strategize and implement strategic business and marketing plans through various mediums of consulting resources and legal direction.
Hi, I’m Rachel Brenke
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