I’ve been traveling. That’s not a complaint mind you! It’s simply a fact. I’ve spent the better part of the last few months either preparing to go, schlepping cases, squashed into tinier-than-ever airplane seats, losing entire nights of sleep, doing tons of laundry, playing catch-up on work only to repack and do it all again!
And finding it very , very difficult to settle down enough to write a post. Either I can’t focus or I fall asleep on my keyboard!
We’ve all been there. No matter what your reason for taking time off, how to get back to reality after taking time off?
Go easy on yourself. I don’t mean do nothing and sit around and wish for some angels to come in and do your work for you. But if your good friend came to you and said “I am really struggling to get back to work. I am so tired and can’t focus.” What would you say to them?
Would you say: “Get up off your tired ass and get to work, you lazy schlub. Enough excuses, just get it done?”
I doubt it. Yet we are likely to talk to ourselves with just that lack of compassion!
If you take a step back and talk to yourself in a way that you would talk to a friend, I’ll bet you would come up with something like this transition plan.
Traveling has it’s own stresses. Time zone changes, losing sleep, eating and drinking differently, less exercise, lots of stimulation of new things and sights, photos etc. We need to get back to reality in all those areas, as well as work!
Give yourself a transition time, a reasonable transition time. Let’s say 2 weeks. During these 2 weeks, you are allowed to work at a lesser speed. You will get back to your real life, a little each day.
Get the unpacking and laundry and household stuff done, a little each day.
Get to the grocery store and do some cooking – so that you can get back to your eating routine, again a little each day!
Do a little detox and fasting. Drink a lot of water. You will feel better!
Sleep more. For these 2 weeks, get to bed earlier than usual each day. Sleep in if you can.
Take a bath. Read a book. Look at your photos!
And yes, get some work done too, a little each day. Set a timer if you want to make sure you are very focused during the time you work. This way you can accomplish some real work in the short times. This is very important. In order to avoid the trap of “all or nothing syndrome,” we want to get something completed each day. If you succumb to the temptation to keep working, you’re likely to get too tired and unfocused and end up feeling like you did not accomplish anything. [and nagging at yourself more!] Complete a task and move on.
Finally, the transition time is perfect for setting some goals. Take stock of where you are and what you want to do so that as soon as your 2-week transition is over, you can hit the ground running!
That’s what I have been doing. I’ve been transitioning. And I’ve been writing a post on PattTimlin.com about 13 Marketing Mistakes. I’ve been doing a little bit at a time so that I can get it finished without waking up on my keyboard!
What about you?
Whether or not you’ve been traveling, we’ve all just come down from the holidays. It’s January. Time for resolutions and goals. Time for new beginnings and plans.
So here’s a taste of my article on marketing mistakes.
One of the mistakes that small business owners make is having no marketing plan!
When you started your business, you did the research so you so know the people who would be interested in your product. You know that they regularly buy goods and services. You know that it makes more sense to market to those people, the people who want your product, and not to everyone in the world.
Just as you focus your aim on people who want your product, you need to streamline your efforts at how to reach them.
Scattering time, efforts, energies and money will only exhaust you and will probably not give you great results. A marketing plan will give you focus so you will know what you should be going at any given time.
A marketing plan means that every step you take will build on your previous one.
Decide what content to put in front of these people at the various outlets and HOW.
Decide on a publishing calendar for each of your outlets.
Use media outlets appropriately! If you are using social media, be social!
Social media is a great place for you to build your reputation as an authority, as someone to trust. It’s a great place to build brand awareness, your credibility and loyalty. But only if you are using it correctly!
If you only use social media take out an ad and expect people to buy from you, you’re not likely to find success. Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, Pinterest, Flickr, and Instagram are about building conversations. It’s not about one-way communication: see ad, buy product.
If you engage – talk and listen, show your personality, tag and mention others – if you are real, you will develop relationships with people. Those relationships will serve your business well.
Remember the point of the content. What are you trying to accomplish? Pique interest? Inform readers, establish your authority, build trust? Build your email list? Make a sale?
Plan your content. Each piece has a purpose on it’s own and as part of the overall plan.
Are you trying to get new people interested or remind people that you are out there? Use shorter forms: shorter blog posts or social media posts etc.
If the piece is to inform readers and establish authority, use longer form. Articles, eBooks, Long ‘evergreen’ posts on your website, white papers work well.
Mix it up by using photos and videos, print and infographs, even slides – to vary the look of the content.
There’s nothing random. All of your content should work to represent your company and goals. With a plan working in the background, you can make every tweet and post an effective little nugget of content. Every little tweet will be helping to build awareness of you and your product. Every post will be informative and helpful and on target.
Some of your content will have the goal of making sales. If your other content has been informative and cohesive, people will feel more confident buying from you. The ratio of sales content to information content needs to be fairly low to be effective. Again, with a marketing plan in place, you will be right on time when including these!
I hope you’ve found this helpful in setting some goals for your business for the coming year. My timer’s up! If my transition is to be successful, if I am to listen to my own advice … it’s time to move on!
Happy new year!
Patt Timlin is a marketing expert set on sharing her expertise with other online marketers to help them achieve the dream of working online. She is secretly pleased with the surge in content marketing as revenge of the English majors! Entrepreneur, blogger, guide, helper – Patt loves the online world and loves to share it!
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