It’s summer and in our house that generally means crazy town. My husband and I both telecommute, which is awesome and also a challenge. We both have flexible work environments so we split time during the workday and take turns as parents with our son.
To many people this sounds completely awesome and ideal. And in so many ways it is. What falls apart? Things like extra blog posts, webinars, working out, grocery store visits, you know… life. (I promise I’m getting to the point) And then it struck me, this should be the time of year when we appreciate the glory of summer and instead of freaking out about not getting to every little thing, we get a 10-12 week period of time to change gears. So, let’s embrace it with the following tips that we can apply to work and home:
1. Something is better than nothing:
In reality, this one causes me a lot of anxiety. It makes me feel bad to not go all in. If something is on my list, I want to give it my all. I don’t want to do something 80% of the way; I am not a B- kind of gal. But then I realized, 80% is way better than 0%. So, this summer, get it done as best you can. Plus, you might find that your 80% is all it takes to make the customer pay attention and your clients happy.
2. Smell the roses:
The summer is a perfect opportunity to stop and smell the roses, to slow down. This is the time of year when you should go study your customers, read a book about your industry. Get inspired. You’ll need it come fall when things get really crazy! You could spend time talking with your target audience at the pool or on summer vacation. Study the way people shop. Examine how they use your product. Check these things out. Be a student of your customers.
3. Give the customer a break:
And while we are talking about customers, slow down your social accounts over the summer a bit. Remember, they are not waking up today asking what you are doing on Facebook. They are not chomping at the bit to see your latest photo on Instagram, so, explore a small decrease in content this summer. See what happens…
4. Accept that things will take longer:
Everything slows down in summer. Heck our friends in Europe leave for a month! Meetings are getting scheduled a month out to accommodate vacations and travel and meetings. It’s ok! Accept that everyone else is on some sort of limited schedule this summer. It is not only normal; it’s needed. Take a few breaths yourself and soak in the chaos (or quiet) depending on your particular slow down.
5. Be excited about it:
Once you’ve accepted that things are slowing down…embrace it, be excited and then see #2 and think about all the things you can do during this slow down. Be patient. The social media marketing race is taking a pit stop. It’s totally fine and should be exciting!
6. Use the time wisely:
Unlike Europe, we all take our time off in the summer differently; this is a huge opportunity if you think about it. When it’s quiet in the office and you’re the only one around, this is a wonderful time to start planning for 2015. Use this time to not only plan for your department, but also for your career. Summer is a great time to start setting goals for your future. Evaluating your career needs and wants and then setting into motion the plan to get there.
7. Recycle the good stuff:
In cutting down on content creation, you can also fill these spots with some of your most popular blog posts and memes. Revive some old webinars, put them on Slideshare. Do a best of 2014 to-date post. There are so many things that we can recycle in social that is missed the first time around. And, there are so many ways to expand on successful posts into new content. Recycling is not only good for Mother Earth; it’s good for social, too.
8. Test some new stuff:
We spend a lot of time in marketing working hard to put out the perfect campaign; craft the perfect message. We split test everything. We want it to be perfect. We focus group and test and refine and refine before we launch. Those days are over. Social allows us to co-create with customers. Summer is a great time to test new themes with them on a smaller scale.
How are you coping with the chaos of summer? Did I miss any? Here’s to a great summer of 2014!