The Gist Of This Episode: Have you been struggling to keep ahead of your busy schedule? Here is an insight into a revolutionary system that I implemented to manage everything I have going on and have time for life!
What you will learn:
The benefits of batch processing
How using an editorial calendar can help you with your marketing efforts
How using automation in conjunction with batch processing can help you stay laser-focused and free up time you can use for engagement and interaction with your audience
Hey guys, Rachel Brenke here. Like always I’m going to take a quick bite out of your day to talk to you a little bit about one of the best efficiency and return on investment of my time, money and energy. I absolutely love this topic. I feel like it’s something that’s so simplistic that when I share this one piece of information, my complete secret sauce to how I manage my multiple businesses, recording for the podcast and the five kids and two rescued puppy dogs, people have a light bulb moment and they absolutely love it. It’s not really earth shattering, yet it is. I’m going to tell you, you’re ready for the secret? It is working in batch processing; batching everything that you do. I’m going to walk you guys through exactly how I do that, but just batch processing.
Before we get to that you need to understand what is this, and how do I get prepared for it? What it is is every quarter, because I break down my year into quarters and months, it’s just easier when it comes to taxes, figuring things out and keeping myself on track, which is a feat in of itself. Every quarter I sit down for the very first week or two of the quarter and that’s when I create the majority of my content. That’s when I do all my strategy stuff, that’s when I try to work on my big admin tasks that I need to get done.
Now you know, there’s maintenance things that you have to do throughout the month, you still have to answer emails, you still have to pay team members whether they’re independent contractors or employees. Every month I still have to generate my tax reports to pay my sales tax, et cetera, et cetera, but for the most part every single quarter I try to sit down and do all my content writing, all my podcast recording and anything, if I’m going to write for other blogs, if I’m going to guest appear, that is when I do all my scheduling for that sort of stuff.
How does this look like and why do I do it? I do this because I found myself … I forgot one of the most important things, the whole reason I really even started doing this was to keep me out of the weeds of social media and creation of content so that I could spend more time doing appearances, getting to know my clients, getting to know my audience better. I felt like I was sitting on social media all the time and the true engagement that I needed to have where I was interacting with other influencers, getting to know my audience members, responding to comments were falling through the cracks because I was spending so much trying to figure out what I was going to post for that day.
I felt like I literally was tied to Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and all of those. I got so overwhelmed that I was like, “Oh my gosh, I have to hit all of these because I know that’s where my client avatar is. If I don’t reach these platforms and I don’t do it at the exact time that my research shows, if I don’t do it with the right message, then I am not going to reach them, I’m not going to have a business and my babies are going to go hungry. You guys kind of know or you wouldn’t be hear listening to this podcast.
I found by at the beginning of every quarter, sitting down, and I have hopefully and hopefully you guys have, I try to do this for the year. I try to write a really high level editorial calendar of all the promotions that I want to do, of all the content that I want to give, all things that are going to be leading up to another event that I may be promoting or doing. For example, with back to school coming around in September, August time frame here in the United States, if you’re not in a year-round school, which even if you have year-round school you guys have a mini little summer that you could capitalize upon. A lot of times if you’re working with other entrepreneurs or the kids are going back to school and maybe your target audience is a mom, their time is going to be freeing up.
I’ll look at my calendar when I’m sitting for the year and go, “Okay, August, September is about the time that the client that I’m trying to reach out to, or the customer that I’m trying to get engaged with, that’s about the time that they’re going to have some more time to focus on my marketing message. That’s when I’ll backdate myself and I’ll go, “Okay, August, September, let me go two or three months back so I can start doing the content spin-up through my blog posts, through my email newsletters, through my social media.” That is how, right there it basically tells you, how I schedule that all out.
While it sounds a really cumbersome thing to sit down and plan out the entire year, it really isn’t that difficult if you every quarter take maybe one major event or time, maybe it’s Christmas, maybe it’s Black Friday, maybe you have beginning of the year if you work with other entrepreneurs or helping small businesses. People get excited at the beginning of the year. Maybe you’re a fitness coach and people get excited about their resolutions, New Year’s would be the pinnacle or where you want to gear up to. You want to backdate that three to four months because it takes about that long for content really to get out to your audience and for them to really understand it and to buy into marketing messages.
I share all that to say there’s the answer. If you just have four quarters and it takes three to four months to really spin up and truly get someone engaged and understanding and buying into your content, product, service, whatever it is, that is really only four major ideas that you need to come up with for the year. Four, that’s it. If you guys are listening to this podcast I’m fairly certain you have more than four ideas. I’m not saying you can’t do more than four, you can reduce your timeline, shorten them up, be a little bit more aggressive, but bare minimum you’re looking at four.
When I have four quarters coming up and four ideas, I already know when I sit down for that first week of the quarter, which it can either be for the quarter that’s right there or you can work a quarter ahead, depending on how ambitious you are with your writing and your blogging and your newsletters and your social media posts, but that’s when I schedule everything so that I have more time to spend actually one on one interacting with the people that I’m trying to reach. I was spending so much time before so worried and stressed, “Got to get the babies down for a nap,” because I didn’t have help at the time. “I’ve got to get them down so that I can write this blog post, then I can get it out because I’m committed that I’m going to get it out today and it has to be out this week because I’m promoting next week.”
That stress is completely alleviated, if you spend your time writing all your blog posts at one time you’re going to be a lot more focused, you’re going to have better quality content. I say blog post but that can be social media posts and newsletters as well. You’re going to be a lot more focused, you’ll have it done, and let me tell you you not only will save time because you’ll have already foreplanned everything out, you’ll be a lot more laser focused, your message will be clear, but you’ll also not feel like you’re in the administrative weeds of content creation all the time.
Now I spend that first quarter, I batch do everything that I need to do for the quarter. I get it all ready, and the great thing is guys, we are in a world right now where almost everything can be automated. You can set it up to publish to your WordPress blog and it automatically drips through your social media. You can have it all setup and co-schedule on one of those other online scheduling applications to run through and push to your audience at a certain time. You can set all this up ahead of time so you’re not having to go and press the button every day, so that every day when you’re getting on social media you’re spending more time engaging and getting to know your audience.
You’re actually able to respond to comments, which not only is going to increase their confidence in you so they’re more likely to buy from you, they feel like they have more attention from you, but also is going to increase your engagements for all those scheduled posts that you’ve scheduled for them to be seen, because that’s how the algorithms work, the more interaction engagement you have the more likely they’re going to be seen. But if you’re spending all your time in the weeds of content creation you don’t have time for engagement, it’s a complete Catch-22, you’re not going to be able to get it to be seen then you’re going to get frustrated, then you’re going to give up.
My challenge to you guys with this is to try to commit to this batch processing, just give me one quarter. No matter when you’re listening to this podcast I want you to think from now, it doesn’t have to be the actual quarter of the year. It could be the three to four months that are sitting right ahead of you. I want you to go ahead and look at something, a couple of things that you could promote in that time line, and I want you to add in, fill it in with the content and social media posts that you need to do, get out a social media calendar, which actually you know what? I’m going to go ahead and throw an editorial calendar template onto the show notes, rachelbrenke.com/pod. That way you guys can go ahead and download it and you can hand write it, you can also do on the computer but I really strongly recommend writing things out so you can see the year, see the quarter and everything. You can scratch it out, you can move things around and then you can input it online.
I really encourage you guys to commit to doing this. I want you to try for an entire quarter and then come back to me and let me know how much freer you feel, the better return that you’re going to have on your time and your investment of your energy into different things. Honestly when I started doing this process I almost felt like I was cheating at first because I was like, “Oh my gosh, it’s all done for the quarter, what do I do for three months? I have nothing to write.” That’s not true, then you can go to the next level of probably your backup to-do list, instead of having to work on that immediate to-do list or the content creation, you’ve got your backup to-do list of reaching out to business partners, reaching out to influencers, asking for reviews of your book, or trying to network a local chamber of commerce event.
You’ll have more time to attend that will further your education, further your professional reputation, things that probably have sat on this back burner for years because now you’re going to be freed up to feel and have the time to commit the energy and the attention to these other areas. That is it. I want you guys to go over to rachelbrenke.com/pod. You’re going to go to this episode, check out the template I have available, I’m also going to list a couple of my favorite scheduling resources. That way you guys can direct link and check out the ones that are available to you.
Everyone’s got a different dashboard, all these tools do, and their functions may be different for each of you. I’ll go ahead and throw my recommendation in there, to show what I’m currently using at the time, which may change down the line because tools change, algorithm change, so I don’t want to commit to that in this transcript. I’ll keep that episode transcript page updated so you guys are abreast of the most advanced, up to date and best recommendation that I can give you. Now it’s time to go. Commit, batch all your content, batch your social media. Thanks for joining today’s episode of The Business Bites.
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.