Keep Calm & Carry On

The post-graduate-business-starting-setting-off-on-your-own-transition-to-real-life phase can, to say the least, get a little crazy. That’s why I have this saying above my desk & repeat the mantra all the time. It really is a life saver.

It’s important not to lose sight of what’s important to you, where you want to go, and the people who mean the most to you.

Don’t worry, everything happens for a reason. So try not to stress & enjoy the ride!

~ Miss Soucie

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Less Statistically IS More

One of the many tired and true arguments in social media is the ‘Quality v. Quantity’ debate. In many cases, with the experts in the industry on the ‘Quality’ side, and the clients on the ‘Quantity’ side.

That’s why it’s nice when there’s real statistics and evidence to back up what so many social media experts try to explain to clients.

So what are the facts? Take a look at some of these statistics from an article by Jeff Bullas on 10 Powerful Tips to Increase Fan Engagement on Facebook:

  • Brands that post 1-2 times a day receives 40% higher engagement than when posting 3+ times a day
  • Brands that post 1-4 times a week receive 71% higher engagement than when posting 5+ posts a week
  • Post with 80 or less characters receive 66% more engagement than those with more characters

From these percentages we can see that people don’t respond well to being bombarded with content day after day, until eventually, they un-Like the brand entirely.

What were some of the other facts that we got from this article? Some helping facts that can improve your brand page engagement:

  • Posts that ask a question generate 2X the amount of engagement than non-question posts (Ask and you shall receive!)
  • Fill in the blank posts generates 9X the amount of engagement than non-fill in the blank posts
  • The best time of day to post is from 8 pm to 7 am in order to receive the most engagement from fans
  • Wednesdays are the best days to post, and engagement drops off on the weekends, so it’s best to get your more critical content out mid-week

So, despite the urge to continue to post excessively, take a step back before you hit the ‘post’ button three, four, five times a day!

Ask yourself, if I were a fan of this page, would I find this information helpful or interesting? Is it relevant to the brand? Does it serve a purpose? If not, re-think it!

Remember: If you don’t have something [with purpose] to say, don’t say it at all.

~ Miss Soucie

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Remote Work Productivity Tips

One of the wonderful aspects of having my own business is that I can work from anywhere. And by anywhere I really mean any city, state, desk or at times, couch. The picture below is the view from my latest office in LA, and yes, it is real life, and I must say, I’m a fan!

For my serious travel bug, the ability to pick up and go and still work is great! For my difficulty focusing at times, it can be difficult. That’s why I wanted to put together a list of tips that help me stay focused and hopefully will be able to help you as well!

1. Set Your Alarm

Although it’s nice to sleep in, it’s best to try to set a goal time to wake up and be at your desk (for me, 7:30 am). Even though you don’t have to be at the office, setting a time to be up will make your day more structured and easier to get everything done that you need to. For me, being up earlier means I also finish my day earlier, which is always a plus!

2. Take Breaks

It’s good to take mental breaks throughout the day to ensure that you remain happy and productive. Try taking a mid-morning trip to your favorite coffee shop, walking outside and getting the mail, walking the dog or just taking a minute to relax. If you need to schedule times to step away from your desk do that, but it’s important to take mental breaks to keep up your productivity.

3. Establish Your Work Area

Establish your work area and get all of the tools and resources that you need to make yourself as effective as possible (whiteboards, sticky notes, pens, planners). It’s important to have an area that is designated just for work in order to maintain your work-time structure. This makes it easier to separate work from your home life also, which for many people can be very difficult.

4. Have Health Snack Food

I am the worst snacker in the world, so it’s really important for me to have healthy snacks that I can munch on throughout the day. Some healthy snack options that I’m a fan of are: Almonds, Apples, Pickles (yes, pickles), Activia Light Yogurts, Grapes, Pretzels, Olives, Hard-Boiled Eggs and lots more! Take a look at this list of these healthy snacks for each craving you might have!

5. Set Expectations with Friends & Family

Some people might see working at home as having unlimited free time to talk, go and do whatever might come up. It’s important to explain to friends and family that during certain hours you need to focus on work.

6. Understand Client Expectations

Part of working at home is that many times you can focus better and get tasks done more quickly and effectively! Set clear deliverables with your clients and understand what they expect. Make sure that all of your work is your best work, but if takes you half the time you expected, don’t feel like you need to fill up the time with random tasks! Do what you do, the best you can, and the most effectively and you and your clients will stay happy!

7. Set Goals

For me, making a list that I can cross off is the best way to stay on track, especially when I’m working at home. Make sure that you understand what you need to get done for the day, week, month, year or for however long, whatever is best for you! Having goals allows you to work towards something, establishing more structure in your work day and creating a feeling of accomplishment when you can cross them off!

8. Exercise

The best way to get rid of the 2 pm haze is by getting a little exercise! If you have a gym nearby or can take a walk or run in your neighborhood, go out and do 30-60 minutes of activity (if you can get away for that long – if not 15 minutes work too!) to re-energize your body. When you come back, you’ll feel refreshed and ready to take on the rest of the work day!

9. Figure Out Your Work Style

Experiment with different methods, times and means of working remote and find out what works best for you! Everyone’s different, so you might need to adjust these tips so that they’re more effective for you! Good luck!

What are some ways that you stay productive while working remotely? 

For some more tips on how to stay productive and effective while working at home, take a look at these helpful tips

~ Miss Soucie

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Business Break-Ups

“To respect the dignity of a relationship also implies accepting the end when it comes.”

– Andre P. Brink

The last few weeks have been hectic to say the least, with one of the main reasons being that one of the business ventures I was involved in unfortunately took a turn for the not-so-positive.

I had been working with Company X (to remain unnamed) over the last three to four months, courting them in the way that many amateur social media managers do, with hours upon hours of free work and consultations.

  • Mistake #1: Don’t Chase Hesitant Clients: Just because a company seems like a great fit at the time, don’t chase them around the globe trying to convince them they should work with you. When social media managers are starting out, it’s tempting to do so, but understand your time-cost/benefits ratio and make sure you’re not putting yourself in the red.

Finally, Company X decided to sign on for a social media management agreement with me based on a very clearly outlined strategy and deliverables. My hourly rate had risen over the 3 months Company X took to deliberate, yet I still decided to work for less than half my hourly rate, out of charity and desire to work with the company.

  • Mistake #2: Know What You’re Worth: If you have other clients that are willing to pay the hourly rate that you want, don’t take on extra projects that are not worth your time. If a company that you quoted a few months ago comes back around and your rate has risen, explain the situation and if they really want to work with you and respect your time, they’ll make it work. If not, be happy you ended the relationship there.

During the first week of execution on the strategy I had put together, it was clear that the team I would be working with (who were not the same people I had been communicating with over the last few months) would be overly demanding and practically impossible to please.

  • Mistake #3: Trust Your Gut (As Usual): If a client seems difficult, finicky, overly exasperating, or any other frustrating adjective, evaluate (again) the time-cost/benefits ratio and decide if the project is worth your time. There are other clients out there, it’s important to find those who appreciate and respect you and your work.

During our week one touch-base call, my skills, capabilities, integrity and dedication were all put on the chopping block, despite the clearly set (and met) benchmarks and deliverables. Now, does that seem right? I didn’t think so.

  • Solution: Business Break-Up Time: After the very disrespectful meeting, I decided to email the woman that I had been working back and forth with over the last few months and explain the situation. In a professional manner, I made clear that the current working situation would not be sustainable unless we made changes in the arrangement. After speaking later on the phone, we both felt it was best to finish out the week and end the relationship early.

Was the situation slightly uncomfortable at times? Yes. But I also learned a lot about handling difficult clients and what signs to look for next time.

~ Miss Soucie

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Do As I Say, Not As I Do

Who are you more likely to take workout advice from?

  • Option A: The person that you see at the gym everyday who works hard and is in good shape?
  • Option B: The person that someone who comes dressed in fancy workout clothes but just watches and tells other people what to do?

It’s very much the same concept when you decide whom to trust with your digital marketing.

Have you seen companies that claim to be a leader in the digital space but when you go and look at their website or social media pages, you see little or nothing? This is something that is happening more and more.

Digital marketing specialists who don’t practice what they preach, and how will a company know if something works if they haven’t tried it?

Here are some things to look for when deciding who you want to manage your digital and social media:

Does the company have a Twitter account or Facebook page?

If they do, do they update it frequently or is it sporadic? Is the content on there relevant or does it seem like spam? These are details to pay attention to because it can give insight as to what the company finds appropriate when it comes to managing your social media.

What is your impression of their website?

A companies website is their holy grail, the be-all-end-all. When you come to a company’s website you should be able to easily find what you’re looking for without having to jump around. If the website looks unorganized or unprofessional, this might be a sign that their company is also.

What if they don’t have a website or they’re a start-up?

With the job market the way it is, many people are setting off on their own to start their own business (which I’m also currently doing.) Because of this, they might not have a website at all. With freelancers or people that are starting out, check out their LinkedIn, Twitter and other social media platforms to see if they have the credentials to be making important decisions in your digital marketing.

Something seems weird about this company…

Trust your gut. If you feel like the company you’re talking to is feeding you lines, ask them to explain further or do some research on your own. It never hurts to get other opinions about what a company is suggesting, no matter how thrilling and experienced they might sound.

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The Start-Up

“You don’t have to be great to start, but you have to start to be great”
– Joe Sabah

This quote is something that I had to truly embrace after graduating from college a short three months ago. After my dream of being part of Teach for America was shattered, I had to figure out a new plan.

Well, three months later, I’ve found out why my initial plan didn’t work; it’s because I was meant to do something else. I was meant to start my own business and start my own path in the professional world.

In order to get to this point, there were some very important lessons that I had to learn and begin to implement immediately.

Here are some of those lessons:

  • Learn Humility – No matter what you did in college or what you’ve done up to this point, there’s always something more to learn and someone who’s more experienced than you are.
  • Ask For Help – This is one that I’m still struggling with, but it is so incredibly important. It never hurts to ask, to learn or to hear another point of view.
  • Go For It – No one ever got anywhere by doing something 50% of the time. If you want something, go for it. Do everything & anything to get where you want to go.
  • Find Your Passion – Don’t do something because it seems like the best bet. Figure out what makes you happy. Try a vision board, writing in a diary or just thinking. What makes you tick?
  • Positive Vibes – Think positively and be around those people who support you in what you do and don’t exert negative vibes! You don’t need that.
  • Confidence – Always remember that there’s only one you, and that you can do anything you put your mind to. Have faith in yourself and it will all come together.

Start today. Don’t put off figuring out what makes you happy! Ready, set, go!

 ~ Miss Soucie

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