Self-Management

How Do You De-find Yourself?

What lovely question! I’ve been pondering it quite a bit lately as I’ve been working my way through a Emily Freeman’s There Next Right Thing, Jess Connelly’s The Girl For The Job and just started Marie Forleo’s Everything Is Figureoutable. (All books I’m in love with and would highly suggest reading.)

Along with life circumstances, there is a lot to think about! And, answering tough questions about myself isn’t necessarily easy or fun. Knowing when to give myself the benefit of the doubt or readjust to new concepts can be invigorating or dreadfully disappointing.

At every stage of life, there are new lines that need to be discovered and drawn between updated desires, vintage dreams, accomplishments that have created growth in unexpected areas, newly acquired deficits and what is truly reality.

I think the same analysis can be given to a startup or growing business. Answering the hard questions, thinking outside the box, giving credit to doubt, give validity to new viewpoints and the insight to make adjustments. Easier said than done, right?

Here are some questions I have been asking about both personal and professional aspects of defining, redefining, finding and re-finding my life:

What were my childhood dreams? They make look a little different, but are they still alive? How can I give life to them by incorporating growth, normal life changes and present opportunities?

What are the tasks that truly consistently earn my focus? Do they match the interests and skills I desire to improve? Am I being intentional with my time and spend my time in what’s actually important to me?

What story am I communicating to others? Is it consistent? Is it really the story I want to tell?

Do you have a favorite question that you have found to help stretch and grow you personally and professionally? Please share it with me! I’d love to hear from you.

Darla

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©2020 Darla D Hancock, The Social Market, LLC

Beginner's Guide · Blog · Social Media

Tips for Starting a Social Media Campaign

Well, today is the day … “Ditch New Year’s Resolutions Day”.  There is a day for EVERY thing, isn’t there? 

It is no wonder resolutions are broken so quickly … because new habits can’t be formed that quickly!  Hopefully you’ve spent some time reflecting this month and maybe have a “theme”, “word for the year” or “resolution”.  Whatever you call it, planning for newness is the perfect beginning for making change.

In the same way, starting a social media campaign is not much different.  Here are some baby steps to starting:

Decide WHAT it is you want to say and WHO you want to say it to. 

This is a process.  So, first focus on specific types of content you want to represent you or your business.  If you have worked on a Business Model Canvas and/or Pitch Deck, these will be very helpful in refining your voice.

Helpful Tip:  You may have different messages to different audiences within the same platform.  But!  Your mission and voice should remain the same.

COMMIT to your aesthetics and voice.

Hold your horses!!  Before you start posting and creating your digital branding, you’ll want to be sure to create content that looks the same and sounds the same.  It is VERY important to use similar filters on images, fonts and colors (that match/compliment your logo), etc.

Helpful Tip:  Take a couple minutes while watching TV tonight and scroll through accounts you follow.  Make observations about what you like and don’t like… then, use those observations to help create the content you want to represent you.

When creating written content, practice using the same type of phrasing, sense of humor, mission, hashtags, etc.  If you have extra content that may not match your brand, use it in your Facebook/Instagram “stories”, not onto your feed.  This will keep your message consistent and make you more valuable to your followers.

Helpful Tip:  I encourage you to use Canva, if you aren’t already.  It took me years to log on… why did I wait!?!  You can open a FREE account at www.canva.com.  It is simple to create templates that are easy to duplicate similar looking content.

Implement a PLAN.

I suggest creating content for several weeks or a month at a time.  As you are creating images and text, I highly suggest creating a yearly calendar, giving each month a theme that creates movement and interest in your content.  A calendar also will assist in keeping you accountable and reward milestones.

To do this, I document all my content on a spreadsheet.  I’m sure there are specialized apps/platforms to organize content, but I find Google Spreadsheets are convenient and easy to use.  Be sure to record (columns) time, date, type of content, written content, images used and hashtags.  Recording planned and shared content on a spreadsheet/calendar also helps you to be less likely to post too close to each other and/or too much time between posts.

Helpful Tip:  After you have posted for several weeks, you can begin using analytics to determine the most optimal time and day to post or which content to promote.  You will need to create patterns and consistent posting.  Having a calendar or spreadsheet will make these changes easier to implement.

Build a new IDENTITY.

As you build your brand, be sure to connect with others on your platforms.  Share content shared by others (but, not competition) and “mention” influencers in your posts to expand your audience.  This is called “Reputation Management”.

Remember, this process will take time, but you’ll get it.  Just remember, quality over quantity.  (Unless you are on Tik Tok.)  But, always aim to be consistent.

I hope these tips help you in creating a new (and/or improved) social media campaign for your start-up or small business … and help you create some new, beneficial habits that will connect you to a new audience and loyal customers.

Darla

For additional information on forming a new habit, visit developinggoodhabits.com.

 

i ❤ content

©2020 Darla D Hancock, The Social Market, LLC

Blog · Self-Management

Planning for a New Year

The end of each year is a good time for reflecting.  I think it is.  And, as I look back over the years, I think about the many hours I spent as a teenager, preparing schedules before the start of a new school year.  I would create a wake up schedule, bathroom schedule, a getting-ready to-do list, breakfast schedule, etc.

I remember my sister playing along with my attempt to plan… probably not to the extent I did.  We [I] would spend numerous Sunday afternoons leading up to a new school year practicing what the mornings would look like and how they could flow… rehearsing the timing from the alarm to sharing bathroom entrances and exits to putting on shoes before heading out the door.  I anticipated any surprises or unexpected tasks that may come up and re-adjusting the schedule to allow for them.  I’m not sure how many lists or pieces of paper I used working through this annual process.

Now, as an adult, I find myself doing much the same thing, but the beginning of each year.  I don’t repeatedly rehearse it like a stage production anymore, but I do find myself using the NEW START as an opportunity to think about who I am, who I want to be, organize priorities, think about the various commitments an adult has and anticipating new schedules – in much the same way as I did then.

Going into a new year, I typically find myself creating lists that are introspective and I begin the process by reflecting on my personal goals and aspirations.  But, the process is much the same as I start by writing lists like these:

  • I brainstorm any ACCOMPLISHMENTS I can think of for the new year.  I write down as many words as I can think of first, then prioritize to top for the new year.
  • Looking back at through the PREVIOUS YEAR at things I didn’t accomplished and try to think about why they didn’t happen – if they just become insignificant because they were [relative to other things] or because I just didn’t give them the time they deserved.
  • Sometimes I COMPARE the two lists, especially as I find myself struggling to achieve the same thing from year to year and think of ways to prioritize the things that are the most important to me.
  • A THEME for a new year.  After thinking about who and what I want to be moving forward, I think of ONE word that I want to achieve and live by and WRITE it down.

After my New Year’s resolutions and thoughts have been put to paper, then I buy my planner.  I work my prioritized actions into my schedule and I repeat my “word of the year” often.

SIDENOTE:  I have spent a lot of time over the years looking part for the perfect planner.  I know what I like [and what I don’t like] in a store planner and make myself abide by those rules when purchasing.  However, I’m rarely satisfied.  I even spent the last several years studying bullet journaling, thinking that may be a solution.  But, since I typically don’t like writing with a pen and I don’t like the time required, so this obviously is not the right option for me.  This may be the year I create my own planner.  We’ll see.

If you’d like to try this process with me CLICK HERE for a FREE PRINTABLE DOWNLOAD  brainstorming sheet of your own.

Happy planning and HAPPY NEW YEAR,

Darla

Blog · Self-Management

Weigh-In

“Always bear in mind that your own resolution to succeed is more important than any other.” Abraham Lincoln

Today is traditionally a great day to weigh-in… not only a literal [physically] weigh-in to set new exercises and diet aspirations, but the perfect beginning to weigh-in for self-reflection, setting new goals and reflecting on new hope for a New Year.

MY RESOLUTION

“If you flee from the things you fear, there’s no resolution.” Chuck Palahniuk

This year, I am resolving to work on eliminating assumptions and expectations of others (and myself) or at least be more intentional with them.  Not an easy resolution for me.

Although this is a personal goal, I can see how working on these aspects could cross over to client relationships.   If this is a similar resolution to yours, or you’re interested in integrating this into your business model, THIS article by Maddie Cary has a great perspective on understanding expectations of clients.

BALANCE

“Working is one of the most dangerous forms of procrastination.” Gretchen Rubin

Since today is additionally is “Commitment Day”, I challenge you to look at your personal resolutions and recognize if they additionally apply to your business.  Commit to resolving not only balance work-life, but to be conscious of how/when you work.

Sometimes, working isn’t a matter of being productive or intentional… but a tool to consciously [or subconsciously] devert attention from tasks or projects as an avoidance tool.  Commit to weigh-in today and be intentional in planning a balanced New Year, personally and professionally.

So… what’s your weigh-in?  Are you a resolve maker?  Share with me!

From my social market to yours, I wish you a prosperous and Happy New Year!

Darla

Entrepreneur · Life Learner · Self-Management · The Imbedded Mogul

One Barrier Letter

This year,  I have been gifting myself with a couple good reads and by spending time with my Audible App.  Recently, the book, If You Only Knew: My Unlikely, Unavoidable Story of Becoming Free by Jamie Ivey was shared with me and I am eating it up.

Today, as I was listening to Jamie narrate Chapter 4.  She was reminiscing about required reading books in school. Not books she read as a child, but revisiting unread and avoided reads as an adult.
She shared her perspective about the book The Scarlet Letter. Although she initially focused on the literal interpretation and spiritual applications this book provides, I couldn’t but wonder how many business owners carry, choose and wear symbolic letters.
Undoubtedly, entrepreneurship is a gift of daily doing what one loves most. But, with that gift, comes unwrapped debts… those things one doesn’t enjoy, things one doesn’t have time to do or tasks that one may be incapable of achieving.

FOOD FOR THOUGHT

What would your letter be?  That task, ability or skill that holds you back from performing or growing your business in the way you’d like?
S-Sales
A-Accounting
M-Marketing
B-Blogging
A-Accounts Receivables
E-Email
O-Organization
C-Client Retention

“You think you own that letter, but the truth is it owns you.” Jamie Ivey

As it is a daily choice to get out of bed, have a positive outlook, eat healthy foods… it is a daily decision to acknowledge that letter that may seem to overwhelm you or defeat you.  Let me ask you…
  1. What is your letter and what does it represent?
  2. How will you wear your letter?
  3. Will that letter leave a first impression…. a lasting impression?
  4. How can you define that letter today, instead of allowing it to define you?
Certainly a lot of life learning here!!  Thank you Jamie Ivey for your inspiration and encouragement to look at those things that often take over, without authority or knowledge that it has taken over our identity, relationships, potential and desired success.
I hope you’ve been inspired today,
Your Imbedded Mogul,
Darla
Do you want to examine what your barrier letters may be?  Check out the Business Model Canvas.
Additional inspiration:
“Disappointments are inevitable; discouragement is a choice.”  Habakkuk 3:17-9
“Trusting God means looking beyond what we can see to what God sees.” II Kings 6:17
“Our intimacy with God -His highest priority for our lives- determines the impact of our lives.” Genesis 1:26
Blog · Life Learner · The Imbedded Mogul

The Perspective from a Back Seat Driver

I’ve had a little practice – at being a backseat driver.  This is because I have a sixteen-year-old that likes driving… a lot.  And, I have a thirteen-year-old who loves sitting in the front seat beside her older sister.  (Yes, that puts me, mom, in the back seat.  I don’t mind.  These moments will soon pass and, now that I can, I’m happy to give up my front seat for a spectator seat once and a while.)

Tonight as I rode in the backseat, instead of directing and redirecting, I was actually able to close my eyes and relax.  Although, this moment only lasted for about twenty-seconds (max).  As I listened to busy conversations and watched their interactions, I found it interesting how my daughters’ interaction and experience reflect how I see my partnership with my clients.  Here is what my twenty-seconds of observation and application brought to me:

THE OBSERVATION

My sixteen-year-old recently acquired her driver’s license and loves the freedom and independence that driving gives her.  My thirteen-year-old loves sitting in the front seat while her older sister drives.  You can tell that she respects her older sister and looks up to her.  She wants to join in the independence and be apart of the new experience.

THE APPLICATION

My clients drive their businesses.  They know where they are going.  They have practiced and done their due-diligence that allows them to grow their passions.  I, on the other hand, get asked to sit in the passenger’s seat and go for the ride!  I know what buttons I can be responsible for (my thirteen-year-old is especially fond of the radio).  I can adjust the temperature and direct conversation if needed.  I point out things that I observe in passing that the driver may not have seen because their attention is on the road.  My purpose for taking the trip may be different, but we are going the same direction and my presence contributes greatly to the ride.

That’s my weekly tidbit! 

I hope you are inspired to look at situations as an opportunity to see how you fit into your leadership or professional role.  By the way, tonight I also noticed that my thirteen-year-old holds on to the grab-handle above the door window.  I’m not sure why, but I like to think she is excited about being along for the ride!

Hold on, enjoy your ride and have a productive week!

Darla

TWEET:  Backseat driver takes a front seat in creating strategic and branded communication for clients. @darladhancock #SocialMarket #ContentComposer

IMAGE (not my daughters) by Free Photos CC

Beginner's Guide · Blog · Branding · Marketing · Social Media

Beginner’s Guide: A Tip for Maximizing Your Own Social Media Platforms

When building your social media platforms, you may enjoy creating your own content or connecting with your audience.  Or, you may despise social media and avoid it all together!!  I’m here to tell you that you may have more resources than you think to get started.

Do you relate to one of these situations?

  • You don’t consider marketing (or social media) your skill set
  • You don’t have the time to invest in an active platform
  • You are a one-man show
  • You have an associate or employees, but they aren’t able to handle a marketing/social media campaign

Well, if you related to any of those situations above, this post will be a great resource for recognizing your best skill set and consider sharing tasks with employees, interns or volunteers.  Or, outsourcing to a specialized freelance curator – like me!

TIP!  To begin branding your company on a social media platform, manage what you can successfully contribute to your social media platform, then build a team around you fill in the rest!

Content Marketing as a whole can be an overwhelming and very time-consuming process.  So, I have broken down some skills and tasks into 4 categories… take a look at how these skills can be to integrated and matched with skillsets to help build active social media platforms:

SKILL:  Writing

“Content Curator”

  • Researching and following other companies, blogs, social media platforms and monitoring trending topics your target audience would tend to follow
  • Share other content that your audience would be interested in
  • Share information about your company, like:  links to website, blog, podcasts, etc.

SKILL:  Design

“Content Creator”

  • Create images that communicate your company’s brand, voice, and purpose
  • Create images that your audience will want to share
  • Create images such as:  memes, GIFs, quotes, videos or infographics

SKILL:  Networking

“Community Manager”

  • Use social media as a tool for “customer service”
  • Use social media to engage with the audience by interacting directly through actions like:  following, liking, retweeting, replying, commenting and direct messaging
  • Return the favor of a sharing content your audience posts/tweets with your audience
  • Mention influencers and followers
  • Encourage followers to share your content

SKILL:  Leadership or Organizational Skills

“Social Media Manager”

  • Create profiles on platforms
  • Strategize as to what content is best to post and when
  • Analyze your online audience and know who they are
  • Develop hashtags and keywords – and use them consistently in content

REMEMBER!!!  The reason your company needs to create creative, consistent and relevant social media platforms is to connect with your digital audience and develop relationships with them.  Obviously, the main objective of investing time and money in content/managing platforms is to promote your brand… but, if this is the message you are sending, your platforms will not grow.

I hope this simplification of Content Marketing (social media) allows you to start (or continue) work on growing your social market in the best way that fits you!  Start doing the one thing that matches your skillset the most, then share the others!

Enjoy the journey!!

Darla

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©2017 Darla D Hancock, The Social Market, LLC

TWEET:  4 tips for utilizing your talent to maximize management of your company’s #socialmedia. #contentcomposer @DARLADHANCOCK