Blogging

Batch Days

 
Social Media Batch Days - Batch days, hands down, are my saving grace when it comes to blogging, social media, email marketing and my damn sanity just to name a few!   There are only 24 hours in a day. And guess what? Unfortunately, no matter how hard you may try, this will never change. If you can’t add more time to your day (can you imagine how tired and grumpy we would all be?!), the next best solution is to become more efficient with our time and make the most out of our workdays.
 

Batch Days 

You may or may not have heard the term “batching” within your creative niche, but either way, it should be serving as a key component in the behind the scenes of your business. 

Batch days, hands down, are my saving grace when it comes to blogging, social media, email marketing and my damn sanity just to name a few! 

There are only 24 hours in a day. And guess what? Unfortunately, no matter how hard you may try, this will never change. If you can’t add more time to your day (can you imagine how tired and grumpy we would all be?!), the next best solution is to become more efficient with our time and make the most out of our workdays.

I don’t know about you, but whenever I try to multitask like a MoFo, 9 times out of 10 - absolutely nothing gets completed. I’ve just created 102,938 new projects with the hopes of one day finishing at least a handful.

So what does a batch day look like for a CREATIVE BUSINESS OWNER?

I would suggest setting aside 1 day a month for each of the following areas until you become a...

 
 

Master Batcher

(That sounds totally badass btw…)

Social Media Content Creation

Social media is the bane of most of our existences, there is no doubt about that. But I have found a few tried and true ways to make it just a little bit easier to bang out! 

How to plan a batch day like a boss

Come up with a theme for the month and surround your content around that. Start by asking yourself the question: what do I LOVE to talk about with my clients? What am I an expert in? If I had to give an impromptu talk in front of a bunch of ideal clients, what topic would I choose to talk about? 

For a planner, this could look like:

  1. Wedding Themes
  2. Color Palettes
  3. Details
  4. Do’s and Don’ts
  5. Rehearsal Dinners
  6. Budget

Once you have come up with at least 12 areas you love talking about, pat yourself on the back. You just came up with 12 months worth of content themes. Now, grab yourself a calendar or my personal fave, the Content Planner, and at least for the next 3 months, label what each month’s topic is going to be. Focus ALL of your social media posts for the month around this ONE topic. 

So let’s take Wedding Themes for example. It could break down to something like:

  1. How to choose the theme that is right for you
  2. Classic theme elements
  3. Rustic theme elements
  4. Garden theme elements
  5. How to incorporate your theme into the details

Once you have come up with the different aspects of the main theme, those are going to be what you post about. 

You also need to know how many times you plan on posting to each platform each month. The key here is consistency. Start small. Maybe you post 2x/week to your FB page, and 2x/week to Instagram. That means you would need to come up with 16 NEW posts, right?

WRONG!!! 

In an ideal world, yes, come up with 16 brand spanking new social media posts. But who the hell has time for that when we are wearing all the hats and juggling all the things, right?!

That’s why you are only going to create 8 posts and recycle them. 

You will write copy for 8 posts, then you will make sure you post them in alternating order. I would suggest finding 16 new images though - because it is less likely that someone will recognize the same verbiage, but they will probably recognize the same photo.

Let me show you an example of a month's schedule for posting social media content:

  • Post 1 - Instagram 1/1/2018, Facebook 1/17/2018
  • Post 2 - Instagram 1/23/2018, Facebook 1/11/2018
  • Post 3 - Instagram 1/20/2018, Facebook 1/29/2018
  • Post 4 - Instagram 1/9/2018, Facebook 1/4/2018
  • Post 5 - Instagram 1/12/2018, Facebook 1/15/2018
  • Post 6 - Instagram 1/17/2018, Facebook 1/22/2018
  • Post 7 - Instagram 1/22/2018, Facebook 1/28/2018
  • Post 8 - Instagram 1/30/2018, Facebook 1/31/2018

Make sense? The key here is to use the same copy for both posts, but use different images for Instagram and Facebook. 

In that calendar of yours, make sure that you note when and where you are posting for the month. 

Now, open up Dropbox or Google Drive, and create a new folder and title it that month’s theme. Find as many photos as you can that relate to that theme whether they are stock images or professional images from past weddings. OR you can just keep a running folder of any and all images you think you might want to use in the future and pull from that (precisely what I do). 

 
 
Tip #1: Always be sure to tag the person that took the photo if it is someone other than yourself. It is the kind thing to do, but you also may be surprised to find that that person ends up sharing your post as well. 

The reason why I suggest a cloud-based app like Dropbox or Drive is because then if you need to, you can easily post from your phone if need be since you will know exactly which photos you want to use and have easy access to them. 

You could REALLY go to town and do multiple months worth of posts this way. Maybe you do it once every 6 months. How AMAZING would that be to only have to worry about figuring out what the hell to say on social media only twice a year!!!! 


Blogging

I won’t lie, back in the day I would have rather gone to the gynecologist for an annual exam than sit down to write a blog post. Now that I finally have a system in place that works for me, I am proud to say that I would MUCH RATHER blog than go get probed.

Any. Damn. Day.

The secret to my newfound blogging success is two-fold:

  1. I keep a running list of blog post ideas in my biz notebook that I bring with me everywhere
  2. I draft my post ideas as outlines so instead of looking at a blinking cursor, I am able to just fill in the blanks. 

Let’s be totally honest with each other for a second: even if you are the world’s best writer, you don’t always feel in the mood to be creative and write a masterpiece, right? Well, WHEN the mood strikes and you are in that creative zone, USE it to your advantage!! Bang out a couple of posts and then schedule those puppies out in advance! 

In Canva, find a blog template that fits your brand. When you are done writing a blog post, head over there, create a new page, and whip that sucker up within 5 minutes flat. 

Tip #2: Maybe you are better at speaking your ideas than actually typing them out? No problem! Use the voice dictation feature on your computer or phone to turn your words into the blog post of the century! 

Don’t have a type to text feature? Record an audio file and then upload it to Temi - my favorite (and cheap!) audio to text transcription service. 

Tip #3: Check out the blogging hack that is changing the game for hundreds of creatives.

Like with most things, people become paralyzed by the sheer amount of things we as creative business owners are tasked with doing. Once you break the tasks into bite-size pieces, the once daunting thought of blogging isn’t so bad anymore. It is when you remain in the mindset that everything you create has to have the Midas touch that you begin to self-sabotage.

 
Create 6 month's of social media content in 1 day
 

JUST WRITE THE DAMN POST!

People will find more value in what you put out in the world to see than pick it apart because you forgot to add this bullet point or you chose the wrong image. 

So, my little Master Batchers in training, it's time to go be free and to create your little hearts out! 



My Best Kept Blogging Secret That Eliminates HOURS a Week From My Workflow

For all my little blogging babies, it is time to grow up!

Does the thought of blogging make you want to just Netflix and chill the rest of the day? I was the same way before I figured out this ingenious way of making the client do 90% of the blogging work for me. That's right. THE CLIENT IS DOING THE LEGWORK FOR YOU!

We have all heard the importance of blogging regularly and consistently for SEO and showing up in search results, yada yada yada... That is great, grand, wonderful and all, BUT WHO THE HELL HAS TIME FOR THAT! I'm sorry, but I know I don't! 

It used to be the bane of my existence. Truly. The thought of having to be all kinds of eloquent with my words and witty while showing off my bride and grooms' engagement sessions or wedding days was friggen exhausting. Let alone the time it actually would take to PUBLISH a post. That shit takes way too much of my time. 

Everybody in the creative industry is always saying you need to, "Work smarter, not harder." Yeah, that is great and all but most days it is a struggle to even stay on task for more than 15 minutes, let alone be smart about the way I work. Am I right!?

Then I had an epiphany. I spent the rest of my workday making sure I would never have to consciously think about blogging ever ever EVER AGAIN!

So it is time for me to finally let you in on a GINORMOUS secret on how you, too, can get back those hours and do better things like watch a marathon of the Golden Girls on Hulu and not shower for a day or two. 

Are you ready?!

You need to implement blogging questionnaires into your client workflow! 

If you are a wedding photographer, you typically get 2 blog posts per client assuming you do engagement photos for them, right? Instead of trying to find out all the crazy little details like how the couple met or when they first kissed or when they first rolled around in the sheets together, send them a form to fill out asking all the questions you would normally need to know. Then, you have all the information you need to draft up your post! Hell, the majority of the time I will format my posts to be like a Q+A series so all I have to do on my end is LITERALLY copy and paste their answers and throw a handful of photos into the mix. What would have taken you possibly hours to write and put on your wordsmith hat to be a creative little author just took you all of maybe 20 minutes, 10 minutes if you have all their photos set and ready to go in a folder on your desktop. That's right. 10 MINUTES FOR A BLOG POST!!!!!! 

BOOM! Cue the damn confetti for DAYS!

DOWNLOAD MY FAVORITE TOOLS FOR AUTOMATING AND STREAMLINING YOUR CREATIVE BUSINES

Take a minute if you need to sit down because I know your mind was probably just officially blown. Now don't be too hard on yourself that you didn't think of this yourself before. We all have dumb days, weeks and even years. No but really, at least you know it now! 

 
 

Want to know the best part of this all?? You can legitimately not even have to click a button or think about sending a questionnaire to your next client as long as you have a CRM program like my all-time fave, Dubsado. You can set up a workflow to run that will automatically email your client a questionnaire on whatever date you choose. Now if THAT isn't all kinds of rainbows and unicorns, I don't know what is!! 

 
 

If you are thinking to yourself, well shit, that's a great idea but I don't have half a brain cell left with the start of the season and can't possibly think about putting one more thing on my to-do -- THINK AGAIN! Girl (or boy), I've gotchu. You can swipe the exact forms I use from The Shop



10 Tools Every Wedding Creative Needs on Their Desktop

 
 

Have you ever felt like there just isn't enough time in the day for the number of things you need to do in and for your business? 

Want to know the secret to at least looking like you have your shit together? 

We all get caught up in the hustle, but what we tend to forget is that we don't need to focus all of our precious time and energy on EVERY individual task in our businesses.

Instead, we need to streamline as much of our business as possible.

I've created a list of some of the same tools I use to automate my own business below:


*All links with an * next to them are affiliate links. Rest assured, I only recommend products that we love ourselves and that we think you’ll love too!

Dubsado

Instead of using separate tools for invoicing, forms and contracts, Dubsado allows you to do it all from one system. Send reminders, questionnaires and everything else... all from one place. All on autopilot. ALL THE CONFETTI!

Annette’s Contract Templates*

Need an ironclad contract made by a professional lawyer? Annette Stepanian, Attorney At Law, has incredible contract templates available for all creatives.  

Color Story

ColorStory

This is the program I use to edit my photos for social media. Instead of filtering your photos to look all the same, A Color Story focuses on creating fresh, colorful photos with professional editing tools and techniques. 

Infusionsoft*

This is the tool I use to send weekly newsletters, create sales funnels and create email courses. It’s a little pricier than other newsletter tools but it’s well worth the price. Infusionsoft helps you to capture more leads, improve conversion rates, master e-commerce, manage your sales process, and saves you more time. 

Clickfunnels

If you are looking to build your marketing funnels, there is no comparison to Clickfunnels. An absolute necessity if you plan on making passive income through evergreen programs. 

Thinkific*

Thinkific is the all-in-one platform for independent experts and entrepreneurs to create, market and sell online courses. 

Fluid

You can create an app out of any website so that you aren’t tempted to start surfing the inter web in your browser!

Dark Sky

A favorite amongst photographers, this app tells you exactly when the rain will start or stop, right where you're standing.

MySpeed

This app allows you to watch video as much as five times faster. Watch instructional or training videos faster without the “chipmunk voice effect.” Power through training material in 1/2 or even 1/5 of the time.

Waze

Search for locations, view real-time traffic updates and get turn-by-turn directions using the fastest possible route, based on Waze's real-time map data.

In a hurry and want to download the PDF to look at later?

Click the image below!

 
 

To view my ongoing updated list of resources, visit my Favorite Resource page.