We get it. You’re busy! On the long long list of things you have to do in a day, marketing is probably one of your least favorite and often gets lobbed to the end of the todo list.
But successful marketing depends on consistency, and we all know what happens to the tasks at the back of the to-do list. So let’s set up a plan that will allow you to be consistent without causing the dread of staring at a blank screen wondering what to do.
We’ll start today with social media. Yes. The amorphous, ubiquitous, and perpetually misunderstood side of marketing.
It can be a pain to sit down and come up with a single Facebook post let alone creating an entire social media strategy.
Well, what if it only took 20 minutes while you were sipping your morning coffee? Well that’s more manageable right? Today we’re going to outline a process and tools that will help you to do just that.
We’ll cover three components of a social media strategy that will allow you to create a bustling social presence without needing to spend all of your time dinking around in the productivity sucking waste-pool that is Facebook.
Without further ado, our first focal point – curation.
ABC – A – Always, B – Be, C – Curating. Always be curating!
What is curating you ask? Curating is collecting and filtering content from across the web that will interest your ideal clients and allow those ideal clients to interact and share with you, and more importantly, their peers, that are also ideal clients.
Everyone is drinking from a firehose these days, and with so much awful content being spewed into the ether by “marketers” it’s harder than ever to filter out the good stuff. Your goal in this exercise is to be that filter for your ideal clients.
This does two things. First, it distinguishes you as a thought-leader in your space, and second, it makes you the source for all things true and helpful.
Another way to think of your role in all of this is as a magic flower. No, I’m not on some other magical substance writing that. Your goal is to be like the magic flower in Super Mario Brothers.
For the uninitiated (read: those over 40 or under 25), the magic flower turns regular old Italian plumber Mario into Super Mario. Super Mario is bigger, faster, and stronger than his wrench-wielding alter-ego, and he’s also invincible.
Through your carefully curated information, you can make your ideal clients into super heroes. They’ll be more on point with what’s going on in their industry. Able to impress their bosses, their clients, and maybe even their spouses with how in tune they are with the world of [insert ideal client’s industry here]. They might get promoted. They might close that deal. They might get their spouse to stop rolling their eyes (unlikely).
But you see where we’re going with this. By giving your ideal clients those super powers, who do you think they’re going to turn to when they have a problem even their super powers can’t handle? That’s right. You.
So how do we do this?
First we need a way to keep track of the content we find worthy of sharing. The goal is to find something that you have available at any time, because you never know when you’ll come across something you want to share. The best tool is the one you have with you.
For capturing content as it flies past you, we recommend an app called Pocket. Pocket allows you to instantly save the contents of a website while you’re looking at it. They have a great mobile app so you can just quickly “share to Pocket” and the article gets saved for later review. They even have a browser plugin so when you’re come across a good article at your desk or on your laptop, you can quickly save them there. You can find Pocket at http://getpocket.com.
But if Pocket isn’t your thing, Evernote’s web clipper can do a great job as well (though if you use Evernote for other aspects of life/business, it’s a little hard to control the clutter of constantly saving articles). And if you don’t want to learn a new tool, a simple note taking app on your phone or (gasp!) an actual notebook, work just as well. Point being, find a tool that works for you.
So, when you are listening to the news in the morning, scrolling through Facebook or Twitter on your lunch break, etc. always be on the lookout for those magic flower articles.
What do you do once you find one? If you’re using pocket, just save it to Pocket. If not, take down the URL of the story, and then write down the first “take” you had on it. Your thoughts on where it was great or missed the mark slightly, or how it might fit into the bigger picture for your ideal clients.
Then move on, you’re all set.
Now you might be thinking, “Wait, I’m always doing this? I thought you said 20 minutes!” Well, you’re right. You need to be on guard 24/7. But the real benefit is that this takes just a few seconds as you come across great content, and it allows you to do GREAT things in just 20 minutes if you already have a starting point when you sit down each morning.
This next part is where we get into the meat and potatoes. The 20 minute social media habit.
Habits are super powerful when it comes to compounding the returns on your time investment. That’s our goal, to layer up little marketing habits that set you up for that month down the road where you’re suddenly turning away clients because you’re too busy, or thinking about hiring that associate to handle the workload.
So let’s commit to it, right now. Let’s commit to 5 week days in a row of curating and scheduling social media each morning. Then we’ll revisit. Figure out what isn’t working, make tweaks and commit to another five days. Rinse. Repeat.
Here’s the 20 minute morning routine.
First 5 Minutes – (Gasp!) Original Posts
Original posts are always the hardest. But we don’t want to derail the process because we have writer’s block. Give yourself 5 minutes to come up with an original post or two or three. But stop after 5 minutes, and don’t beat yourself up if you can’t think of anything. That’s why we have that hopper full of curated content, so you don’t always have to be on your A-game. The juices will start to flow over time, so don’t get hung up here.
Next 10 Minutes – Queue up Curated Content
Next, dig into your treasure trove of curated content, and pick out three or four posts that you can share. Use a tool like Hootsuite or Buffer to create posts on Twitter or Facebook or LinkedIn. Link to the articles, write in your “take” as the post content, and then get ready to schedule those posts.
Last 5 Minutes – Scheduling for Long Term Success
The powerful part of this plan isn’t necessarily that you’re generating social media posts every day, it’s actually that you’re going to be generating social media posts for weeks or months in the future. To the point that there will be a morning in the future where you’ll sit down and realize you already have two or three posts ready to go for the day.
So here’s how we schedule them.
First, you need to decide how “evergreen” the content is. Once you figure out which bucket this falls into, follow the scheduling guidelines below.
This content is usually only good for one, maybe two days. Think – a comment on a big supreme court ruling, an announcement of a new staff member, or a comment about a the latest corporation to screw up, etc. For these posts, we suggest scheduling the post to go out on each of your various channels today. Post once on Facebook and LinkedIn, and consider posting two or three times on Twitter.
This content is something that is useful now, and likely for the next few weeks or months. For example, an article about this year’s trends in industry X, how a certain technology is affecting Y, etc. For these posts, I’d schedule one post for today on each of your channels, then create posts for each channel that are 4, 14, 30, and 60 days out. Note, those numbers aren’t set in stone, but rather ball park values. The idea being to keep the posting going but at larger and larger intervals until you think the article won’t be relevant any more.
These are the holy grail. They’re the articles that keep on giving, and they’re rarer than one might think. These articles are the ones that will be as useful today as they will be in five years. For example, with attorneys, these might be articles that relate to handling common situations that ideal clients might not know about. They might be articles about how to think about a particular issue. And sometimes they come in the form of an article so good that you couldn’t imagine someone covering the topic more completely (like, for example, a 1500 word lesson on how to do your social media in just 20 minutes 🙂
For these posts, schedule out as many as you can forever. For example, post one today, and then repeat monthly or bi monthly for the next year. Basically, for as long as you can go before your 20 minutes runs out.
And that’s it. If you follow this plan for even a month, you’ll find that your social media hopper is filled out for weeks and months into the future. Your facebook page will no longer be a dormant ghost-town where we promoted that one blog post we wrote 2 years ago. Your twitter account will start to accumulate followers. You’ll start to hear the phrase “oh I saw you posted about that a few weeks ago” at random networking events from people you’ve never met before. You’ll get a referral and when you ask who it’s from, it’ll be from a person you’ve never met, and when you Google them, you’ll see that they’ve been following you for a few months on Twitter.
In short, you’ll start to see why social media can be a real benefit to your firm, and you’ll laugh at the big firms that don’t get why.
Finally, reach out to use here at AmazeLaw. Tell us how this is working for you. Suggest tweaks. Let us know when you get that superfan client that you realize has been stalking you just a little too creepily on Facebook.