Chasing the Dream: Self-marketing for the time-stretched mom
Short on time but need to further your career? Self-marketing is a must. But for busy moms and mompreneurs, it can be a challenge to find the time.
Here's how to market yourself when time is short, without taking time away from your kids.
Your kids need your attention. Your business needs your attention. Your home needs your attention. As a busy mom and mompreneur, finding time for all the things you need to do is hard. But armed with some tactics that work, you can self-market and still have time to break out the Play-doh with the kids.
As a time-stretched mom and business woman, you can't do absolutely everything. Instead, you have to prioritize what you do — and really put your all into it. Start by carving out time in your day to just focus on your efforts. "Designate 15 minutes a day to keep up with your social media outlets. Look for content to tweet or post to your Facebook or LinkedIn page," says Michelle Garrett of Garrett Public Relations.
Also, focus your energy on the self-marketing avenues and techniques that work best for your business. "Pick a few things and do them well. Effective marketing is about creating connections and being part of the conversation. Balancing life and business doesn’t always leave much time for marketing your business. Pick one or two social media outlets and engage, leave the other ones for the burnt-out small business owners," says Donloree Hoffman, a leadership coach, author and bodybuilding hobbyist.
Smart mamas know that keeping a schedule is key to ensuring the kids and you are always in the right place when you are supposed to be. The same applies to your business. "Create and keep a schedule. Decide how many times you want to blog a week, when you’ll read and comment on blogs, what days of the week you’ll do planning, and what hours you are working. When your work day is done, turn off the computer and connect with your family and friends," says Hoffman.
You can even take this a step further by scheduling ahead blog posts so that you aren't in a last-minute time crunch. "Automate! Write blog posts in advance and set them to post at a later date, use email auto-responders, find a Twitter and Facebook app that let you schedule out posts, and find a newsletter system that works for you. Let the automated services do the heavy lifting so you can connect with and help your right people," says Hoffman.
Take advantage of 'free'
You probably don't have the marketing budget of Martha Stewart, but you can still spread your message effectively by taking advantage of digital tools and services that let you spread the word about your mompreneur business for free. "Leverage free services like PR.com or PRLog for free press release distribution, HARO for free media queries, as well as PitchRate, Reporter Connection and SourceBottle. You can serve as a source to reporters, and if you're mentioned, you can blast it out via your social media channels, post it to your site and perhaps send it to customers to increase your credibility," says Garrett.
Make it shine
Whatever time and effort you devote to self-marketing, it's key to make your efforts really work for you. So be bold and stand out. "Give your social media personality. Rather than just blandly announce a new product or service, make sure your tweets and Facebook shares have a personal touch, from behind-the-scenes pics to sharing why you're so excited about the news. And read your own feeds now and then, to make sure you're someone you'd actually want to follow. To save time, schedule your social media shares via a service like HootSuite or TweetDeck," says Liv Lane, a creative entrepreneur and blogger.