Having a full time job while starting a business can be exciting. You have the revenue to fund your rent and bills, so you don’t put so much pressure on having to make enough money right away. However, it can also be extremely tiring.
It can be hard to see the endless list of to-dos that you have, the projects that you want to work on, and then go online and see the thousands of businesses constantly posting, creating new content, and seemingly making six figures. When will you have time to do it all?
Model is Michelle Barrow from That Grandma Life.
I feel you. Seriously. It is hard to balance the two…oh and also have a life, because make sure to remember, you life is not just your work. While your business is important to you and so is your job, it is important to have a life outside of it- whether that is reading on the couch in front of a heating lamp (totally me) or going out to concerts.
However, the big question is, how to do this and still consistently produce content and projects that matter to you and matter to those that support your business? The answer, is planning.
Planning can be something that excites you or something you do begrudgingly, but I promise you that it will help with any anxiety you have about what you should do, what piece of content you should create, and whether you are even doing anything right.
I will say before getting into it, it will take time. I often hear that people admire me or my clients based on how easily they can manage everything. While everyone is definitely killing it, we all have our hurdles and it didn’t start out that way. I remember when I first started working with a particular client of mine, we were hurriedly working to get images taken the same month and sometimes week that they needed to be out. We had to rush to plan, to shoot, and to edit. It all felt so stressful, but one month we shot two months of content (and were exhausted) but then we were ahead! While that might not make sense for you, (maybe you should just start with next month’s planning) understand that this whole thing is a process so it’ll take time to get where you want to be.
Fun mural photos for Uncustomary.org for social media and just plain fun!
So, how do I plan my projects and marketing efforts?
I write down what project I have been excited to create. What I am super jazzed about?
- What main money maker do I want for this month?
- Is there anything else that I truly want to create that my audience really wants?
You will notice that I mention things that you really want to create, because I believe it is noticeable when you create things that are just for the likes and to just throw out a blog post willy nilly (haha I love that saying). People react to you, the genuine you. Also, what fun is it if you are never doing work that you love? Isn’t that why you started this whole thing in the first place?
Mural found when shooting the Love Wall in Washington D.C.
Okay, so now that you have your projects planned….now it is time to plan the things you can do to support them and break them down into tasks. I love using Asana for that, since I can set due dates and when I complete a task, a colorful rainbow creature flies across my screen. Plus, it is just so darn useful.
Putting due dates on specific tasks keeps me organized, but most importantly, keeps me from feeling overwhelmed when I know there are huge projects I have to do and a million little tasks. I know I will get them done by the due date because I am doing each task on the date specified.
Write down the tasks that need to be completed. Examples are:
- What admin things need to be done?
- What blog posts and emails needs to be sent to support the projects and revenue makers for this month? Hint: make them related to the projects above.
- Are you going to offer any freebies such as downloads that are related to your projects to grow your email list? (There are some months that I create a lot of these and some that I don’t and just reuse, do what you feel like you can do and don’t beat yourself up about it!)
- What images do you want to post to social media or need to have for your projects or social media? Make a list by using the downloadable planning printable I made for you here!
I would recommend that you start with a small list of things, maybe even just one big project for the month and 1-2 blog posts with one freebie. As you understand how much you can get done when working and having a life, you can add or subtract. Remember, this is a marathon, not a sprint.
Product images are great for social media, to help show off your products but also to help tell a story online.
As you go through the planning month after month you will realize what works and what you hate doing. It should adapt to your business and where you want to go. Have a huge release coming? You may need to ramp up some marketing and content creation, but if you have a slow month you could use that for more admin details and ….yes more planning.
What do you currently do to organize your small business? Let’s share tips!