Doing It All?

People ask me all the time how I get everything done. How do I paint, and do all of the marketing? Most folks think that my husband or someone else must be doing it for me. That is not true, but I am happy to say that now I have finally hired a virtual assistant. This will eventually help me get somewhere around 40 more hours a month to paint. But for now, I would like to share a few tips with you that can help you get your media communication manageable. 

Often I teach a smart art marketing class. One of the things we talk about is sending a newsletter, blog post, and social media. Just keeping up with those things alone seems like it can be a full-time job. The trick is to do it in small bites. This post, for example, was dictated using my iPhone as I drove down the road. I used the phone's voice recording system, to input this into a program called Notes. Then I emailed the note to myself to be copied and pasted here in this blog post. All I had left to do was a little editing where Siri does not understand something I said, or my thoughts are not complete, and add a picture or two. Now I can schedule this blog post to go out anytime I would like. I will probably save it a for a few days. 

 Once I have a new blog post ready, the next thing I might do is put together a quarterly newsletter. I can gather information and put it in my Evernote file or in Dropbox. Those programs work differently, but either one would do for this particular part of the project. Things I would put in there might be photos that need to be included in the newsletter, notes that I dictate on my phone about upcoming events or awards. Also,at this point I will make a note about those things that will require a URL for the readers to link to. For instance, I have a new workshop which I will include a little bit about in the newsletter with a link to my website. The note reminds me to make sure that the website is up-to-date and copies the link so that when I put the newsletter together I don't have to go searching. Doing these things a little at a time is a time saver. So now I have a new blog post and a folder full of things for a newsletter. 

Next, I want to make sure to set my announcements as a post on my Facebook professional page to tease people that a new blog post and newsletter will be going out soon. This is also linked to my Twitter account so that this one post on Facebook will also post to Twitter.  Twitter is linked to LinkedIn so you get the picture how many of those social networks you are on, can be linked.  As long as they don't go in a complete circle, you are fine. In other words, you don't want Facebook to link to Twitter, and Twitter to be linked to LinkedIn, and LinkedIn to be linked to Facebook. It would go around in circles all day long. I can even pre-schedule when I want the post on Facebook.  I can schedule ahead of time whenever I have a moment. Now that I have some dominoes set up, it's easy for the blog post to go out and the email to be scheduled.   

Finally, through iContact, the newsletter is schedule to go out with a link to the new blog post and it links to all of the other announcements to be shared. This can go out immediately, or be pre-scheduled for a future day and time. If I choose, it will post directly to Facebook (or Twitter or Linkedin) automatically. So if I choose for it to post to Facebook, as I mentioned before, Facebook will post to Twitter, and automatically shorten the URL for me. Twitter then posts to LinkedIn. Twitter will also post on Pinterest and choose a photo from the newsletter. Having all of my supporting documents and URLs ready to go helps me manage all of these things. So instead of this post and the newsletter taking up an entire day, I can put the whole thing together and push over first domino to get things going, in about 30 minutes. That leaves a lot more time to paint. 

Obviously, getting in a routine like this takes a little time. Eventually, it becomes a habit and doesn't seem so overwhelming. So here is a quick recap of tips: 

  • Set up blog by dictating into phone. 
  • Add photos to a central place for newsletter either Dropbox or Evernote. 
  • Make notes either in the Notes program or in Evernote of things you would like in the newsletter. 
  • Preset URLs
  • Review the list to make it as brief as possible. 
  • Cut, paste, drop, and schedule the e-blast. 
The recent promotion I had for the DVD was a real test of this working. I was without a phone much of the time & this was going on without me. But everything fell into place, with the help of my new assistant, and there were only a few hiccups.