Oh, hello there, December. It's been a while. You came faster than expected. You also arrived with snow and cold weather in Iowa. While I love you, I also love sunlight, and you don't have nearly enough of that. I'll forgive you because you are filled with new holiday ads to love, twinkling lights, and time with my family, which is my favorite thing.
December can be a tough month for small business owners. We are trying to get ready for the end of the year while still maintaining our business for one final month. If you're in retail, it means holiday sales, team members who need time off, your own personal obligations for the holidays. It's a lot and typically creeps up on me and jumps out like a creepy Santa Claus Jack-in-a-Box. It did that again this year, especially with how late Thanksgiving was.
There's good news, though! We can survive this month; it's just going to take extra planning, diligence, and probably a massive to-do list, so we don't forget everything. Okay, so I don't forget everything.
First things first, your December Hashtag Holidays list. Click here to download it and have it handy. It will help you get as much of your social media content prepared now so you can enjoy things like Christmas morning with your family instead of thinking about what you should be posting on Instagram. Or better yet, so you aren't contacting your marketing person on Christmas morning asking if you should be posting something. Trust me when I say your marketing person loves you, just not at 9:00 AM on Christmas morning. I've gotten these texts. I plan everything out in advance as you've read about in previous blogs, so my clients should know to look there but without fail, I will get text messages on holidays. I reply to them but none of us what to send them or receive them so plan in advance. You'll thank yourself Christmas morning while enjoying your coffee.
Now that you have the master list sit down with a highlighter and pick out a few of them that you can work into your schedule. Think about what you'll need. National Ninja Day, for example, might require a photo to be taken in advance. Last year I called upon my sister-in-law to save the day for Ninja Day. My little nephew LOVES LEGO Ninjago and was more than willing to pull his Halloween costume out again. Isn't he just the cutest?
You'll want to also look at your specials December and add them into the mix too. For example, most Decembers, I add a bonus to my Initial Social Media Consultation, which is free if you didn't know. Anything scheduled before December 20th, my last day before I take two weeks off to spend with my family for holidays, includes a free content calendar template for 2020. That does include meetings scheduled for January as I block off the week before I go on vacation to prepare for vacation and don't take meetings. If that sounds like a winner to you and you haven't already taken advantage of my free initial consultation, click here and get one on the schedule.
My Initial Consultations are a stress-free way to meet with a social media professional without feeling like you have to hire them or fork over a ton of cash. We go into the one-hour meeting with a few goals in mind:
Most importantly, meet each other face-to-face and learn about each other as humans and not just email addresses or handles on social. There are so many people who offer the same services that I do or similar services. It's important to click with the person doing your social media marketing.
Discuss your goals with social media. Whether it's brand awareness, advocacy, or advertising, it's essential to know what your end goal is. No one has the same goal, even if they think they do.We analyze what you're currently doing; knowing what has worked in the past and what didn't work is a huge part of crafting the right social media presence.
We talk about the challenges that you face with social media and the solutions that exist to help solve those problems. It could be something as small as not having the time to have the presence you want to have. While we all wish our businesses could get viral success overnight, that's not realistic, knowing what is helps to set the right expectations.
We finish off the meeting, talking about what I can do to help. Whether it is providing training to you or an employee, doing consulting on a larger project, developing a social media calendar that you execute, assisting with platform management, or it might even referring you to another expert to get you the right help.
My goal is first and foremost to get everyone to a place where they feel confident with their social media. There are a lot of small business owners who take pride in managing their own social media. There are also those that just lack the time to do it. There are ways that I can be of service to either. Whether it's training, planning, or management, I offer services that can help every business owner meet their goals. I also know a lot of people who provide services that may be better tailored to your needs. If you're looking heavily into digital advertising or email marketing, I may not be your girl, but I guarantee I know someone who is. I have built a vast network of digital marketing professionals, so if I am not the right answer, I can connect you with the person who is the answer for you.
The other part of December that business owners start to focus on is 2020. We all finish setting our goals for next year — the next thing we want to accomplish with our business, what will inspire us for the next year, and how we plan on taking over the world. This month I have a few blogs planned that might will give you a glimpse into my process.
The December Social Strategy Series blog will come out in a few weeks and will focus on planning for 2020. I'll be working on my own goals and plans for 2020, so you just might get a sneak peek into what is in store for HeyGiud. You'll also get to witness me be hard on myself for the goals I set for 2019 and didn't accomplish. I am always willing to be open about the realities of running my business. Failure is a huge part of success. There are goals I set this year that I didn't accomplish, analyzing why and figuring out how to achieve them in 2020 or if they aren't the right goal is an important part of being honest with myself and with you. If you have questions, you want to see answered in this blog, submit them to me via email at email@example.com.
I mentioned earlier that I will be taking time off starting on December 21st and won't be returning to "the office" until January. I'll have a blog that explains just how I do that. Being able to set your social media up so you can take time away is vitally important. Disconnecting is a massive part of my self-care. My job is 24/7/365 (or 366 if it's 2020) I have to have plans in place so that I can take time away. Being on social media all day every day is not healthy for anyone, even someone like me. I'll give you my tips on how I plan to be gone for a vacation when it comes to something that requires the instant response of social media.
I wish you all a happy, productive, and successful December. May you close out 2019 having accomplished all of the goals you set for yourself, and if you didn't, I hope you look at them critically and that you are gentle with yourself. We so often set goals that are lofty and forget that it takes time to get there. The process of reaching our goals and achieving our dreams isn't a straight line.