6 Ways I Increased Productivity

Do you feel like productivity and motivation are eluding you? That’s exactly what I was struggling with yesterday At times, we all falter and fight with procrastination. What can we do to avoid wasted days? I’ve found a few things that increase my productivity, strengthen my motivation and stimulates my creativity. I’m sure these aren’t new concepts, but now you know me a little better.

1. Routine

I absolutely 100% function at my highest level when I have a daily and weekly routine. This is one thing my husband and I actually agree on! After relocating to Vero Beach, it was hard finding a good rhythm and establishing a daily routine. I was new to the area, working out of my living room and driving the kids to two different schools. Everyday was a battle to get work done and to focus.

Happily, in 2019, I have hammered out a routine that works for me, my kids, my business, and my life. During the week, I get up with the kids, take them to school by 7:45 am, spend about an hour at the gym and head to my new office down the street. I work until the kids get out of school, pick them up, and take them home. I handle whatever kid-related activities they have after school, make dinner around 6:00 or 7:00 pm, pack up my work clothes for the next day, lay out my gym clothes or the morning, spend time with my husband and go to bed around 10:30 or 11:00 pm. If I do this each day, I know I will successful!

2. Get Dressed

My friend recently mentioned that Dr. Oz explained how yoga pants are actually a problem. Hold on! I love my yoga pants too, but hear me out. When we wear comfy, stretchy clothes, comfort clothes, we don’t make the best decisions. We eat a little more than we would if we were wearing tight jeans. Our posture isn’t strong. We’re too comfortable!

The day she told me this was a day I had worn my yoga pants all day and barely accomplished anything. At least for me, feeling dressed and ready to tackle the day, prepares me to do so. From now on, my yoga pants will stay at the gym or at home.

 

3. Health and Self-Care

From skincare to healthy eating habits to fitness, anything and everything related to taking care of myself aids in my success and productivity, because when I feel good, I do well. I’m going into my 37th year, and I’ve made a promise to myself to do what I need to do to take better care of ME. I take care of my children, my husband, my animals (dog, cat, snake, lizard), my friends and my clients, and in order to help them, I need to feel good about myself. Making better, healthier decisions regarding food, fitness, and skincare results in a happier, healthier Nicole.  

 

4. Dedicated Space

This is crucial!!! For months, I “worked” out of my living room at a standing desk. Some days I would work and work and work. When your office is in your living room, it’s easy to just keep going and lose track of time. My husband would get annoyed with me, because I would wake up, head right to the desk and I’d still be there when he got home. Conversely, it can also be extremely difficult to concentrate and focus when your workspace isn’t in a workplace. Maybe this is why I was at my computer longer; it was taking longer to complete the work.

Since January 1st, I have my own dedicated office outside the house with a view and natural light. When I’m in my office, I’m working; I’m focused, unless I’m wearing yoga pants. Even though I take my computer home everyday, 95% of all of my work is done during my set work hours at my office sitting at my desk. While the kids are at school, I run my business, and when it’s time to pick them up, my work is generally done and stays at the office.

 

5. Matching Soundtrack

When I was entrenched in earning my master’s, I found studying and writing in local coffee shops the best location for me. The noise, ambiance and anonymity found there conducive to the task. I need noise! Silence is painful. Today, I match my soundtrack to my task. If I’m working on mindless or autopiloted tasks, an interesting podcast is best. If I’m writing a short story or blog, I use an Amazon Music playlist that suits my mood. If I really need to concentrate or read, I have a perfect instrumental Pandora station.

6. Week Of Tasks

While shopping in Target’s office supply section, I found a pad of weekly sheets each with the days of the week listed at the top of columns. I use this pad each week to list out what needs done. If something isn’t completed on the assigned day, I just draw an arrow to the next. I’m visual and this helps keep everything right in front of me.

 

Well, I hope you found some value in this blog post. I’d love to hear what you’ve found to increase your productivity. Comment or email me with your tips and tricks.  

 

About the author: 

Nicole Pulcini Mason owns and operates a marketing firm serving a select handful of clients. She specializes in Facebook advertising and management, web copy writing, and public relations. With two children in middle school, born 13 months apart, she’s kept guessing as she navigates the preteen years. An Aquarian, Nicole is at home on the beach, in water and under the sun. 

4 Musts to Reach Prospective Travelers on Facebook and Instagram

(Not to be confused with reaching currently traveling users)

“Travel” by fdecomite is licensed under CC BY 2.0

As Facebook and Instagram users scroll through their feeds, they are dreaming of the vacations they want to take. They interact with their friends’ travel photos. They may even follow the destinations they want to visit, and if they’re even more serious, they’re posting and talking about the trip they’re planning. These are all important behaviors to remember, because they can be used to target prospective travelers with Facebook/Instagram ads.

Posting What They Want to Visit

As with all marketing, it’s vital to use content which stirs emotions and encourages your audience to envision themselves in it. Instead of talking at them, ask yourself if what you’re sharing is interesting and relevant. Avoid selling and advertising posts. Instead, post interesting content about coveted destinations (parks, cities, museums, landmarks, hotels, etc.) with a video (preferred) or a photo with a link to a mobile friendly webpage on your site. It’s not necessary to have a web page for each destination on post on your page. Instead, you can compile lists in a blog format and include the blog’s url in the post to drive traffic to your site. Additionally, these blogs can be repurposed into free digital downloads or e-books available when a user inputs their email address. It’s a great way to capture an email and build your e-newsletter list.

Photos and Videos!

“Travel” by Rosanetur is licensed under CC BY 2.0

Travel is very visual; put it to work. Photos and videos do not need to be professionally created, and on Facebook and Instagram there’s evidence that amateur photos and videos capture a larger audience. Break out your phone and record a short video, GIF, or Boomerang. Transform your photos into a Ripl or slideshow. All of these count as videos on Facebook and IG.

There are many ways to grow your bank of photos, videos, and content. Repurposing and resharing your clients’ media is a great way to highlight your product genuinely and for free. Clients and guests naturally take photos and videos when they travel. When possible, encourage them to tag your business. This is a fantastic way to garner free advertising and referrals in a genuine way. Keep in mind, it’s important to ask permission before resharing someone’s photo/video/post. This can be done simply by sending them a message.

Harness the Power of Stories

Facebook and Instagram stories are perfect to spotlight travel related businesses (hotels, attractions, travel agencies, destinations, airlines). Many users are spending more time watching stories than they are scrolling through their feeds, and stories aren’t subject to the stringent, finicky algorithm (yet). Once again, visual, genuine content is king. Adding raw, amateur, fun videos and photos to your story will capture the attention of the viewer.

To reach new users who haven’t liked your business, try tagging the location related to the post. Instagram users can find these stories under the Discover tag. Also adding appropriate hashtags and tagging related partners will help your story reach an audience outside of your current fans.

Stories must stay fresh, so posting frequently throughout the day is your best bet at capturing the largest audience. For a great podcast on the dos and don’ts of stories, listen to Casual Fridays’ episode 211, “How to get more views on your Instagram stories” https://casualfridays.com/get-more-views-on-your-instagram-stories/

Advertising to the Right People

“89/365 Mar 30, 2011” by Becca Peterson is licensed under CC BY 2.0

It can be tricky and time consuming to target your Facebook/Instagram ads to people who are planning or hoping to travel. However, Facebook is rolling out a new feature which will make this easier. You can learn about it here: https://www.facebook.com/business/help/1533285223454011

In the meantime, you’ll have to use the old fashioned audience targeting resources. I recommend using and testing each of these audience targeting methods to determine which is best for your company.

Option 1: Create a Lookalike Audience

If your business has an email or client list, you can create a custom Facebook audience in Facebook Business Manager by uploading your current list. Facebook will then find other users like those in your list and will create a “lookalike audience”.  

Option 2: Create an audience based on the clients you have or want

Option 3: Target using behaviors

For example:  Detailed targeting: Behaviors -> Travel -> Family Vacations

Four Ways to Increase Facebook Followers for Free

Many businesses and individuals focus on how many followers or fans they have on Facebook. Even though this number is important, it’s not crucial. At this point in time, you can get greater reach using paid Facebook advertising easier than you can with organic reach. However, it’s still important to invest in acquiring the right fans/followers. The number doesn’t matter as much as the quality does.  Here are four ways to attract the right fans/followers without spending money on ads.

  • Know your followers
    • Facebook provides valuable insights for business pages. Choose Insights from the top level menu on your Facebook page. Then under the right-hand side menu, select People. Facebook provides you demographics on Your Fans, Your Followers, People Reached and People Engaged. Go through each of these groups and pay attention to the breakdown of the ages, sexes, and location. This gives you a good picture of who likes, follows and engages with your page. Based on these demographics, you can target your posts, pictures and tone toward the type of people who follow you. This will help you attract others like them. 
  • Give them what they want
    • Next to the Insights tab in Facebook is one for Publishing Tools. Here you will find a list of your page’s posts with their corresponding reach and clicks/actions. The greater the number of reach and, more importantly, clicks/actions, the more successful a post. You should review this data at least on a monthly basis. Go through all of your posts paying attention to which received higher numbers. After identifying, the top three to five, click on those posts and take note of the type of content. For example, was it a post explaining a new product, a photo celebrating a staff member’s accomplishment, or a community event? Now that you’ve identified the posts with higher engagement and reach, create similar posts. If your audience enjoys hearing about your staff, give them more posts about your staff.
  • Reuse/Recycle
    • After identifying your most successful content, don’t be shy to reuse it. If a post three months ago had great engagement and you’re struggling to create content, feel free to reshare it or recreate it. This is a great opportunity for Throwback Thursdays. Make sure to hashtag it #TBT.
  • Invite people who engage
    • On each post and ad, there is a link telling you how many users liked/reacted to a post. It’s on the far left under the Like button. When you click this, it shows a list of everyone who has liked or reacted to the post. On the right side of this list is a box identifying if the user likes the page or if they need to be invited to like the page. Invite everyone who has liked the post to like your page. These users have already engaged with your content and are more likely to follow your page. Send them a little nudge and invite them.

If you’d like help with social media management or Facebook advertising, Reach Brand Management is an affordable solution. For new clients, get three months of ad management or social media management for 50% off! Email us now to take advantage of this opportunity. Nicole@ReachBrandManagement.com

 

Why hire a professional social media expert for your business?

1. Because you should do what you’re good at.

analytics-2697949_640We all have our mix of knowledge, skills and abilities. It’s what makes us successful. Whether you’re a sales person, business manager, local business owner or are self-employed, there’s a reason you get paid to do what you do. And you’re business deserves your full attention.

When your attention is split between doing your job and handling social media, both lose out. Your business has lost your dedicated attention to your responsibilities, and your business social media is usually becomes a burden or afterthought. Avoid neglecting your job and/or your business’ social media. Hire a social media expert.  

2. For the same reason you hire a plumber, architect, or financial planner: their skills and expertise. 

plumber-2547297_640Social media isn’t just a pastime for social media marketers; it’s their livelihood. Staying up to date on the best practices, tools and techniques of social media management and marketing is a full-time job. Professional social media users are constant learners, and they know the most current trends for making social media work for your company.

3. To save money.

twitter-292994_640It’s imperative to a successful business to reduce waste, and wasted time is wasted money. Splitting your or an employee’s time between their key responsibilities and the management of social media will generally squander their time. Social media, when done correctly, is very time consuming. Social media management requires the creation of content, posting of material, monitoring and responding to the audience, the creation and implementation of advertising, and monitoring insights and results. It’s a job in-and-of-itself.  

4. Because your customers deserve it.

board-2897044_640If quality customer service is an integral component of your business, then the use of a dedicated social media manager is crucial. They are monitoring social media near constantly, making them incredibly responsive, so when clients or potential clients reach out, they can respond immediately. No more will a message go unnoticed or a comment unacknowledged.

Furthermore, a social media manager will decode the analytics to determine what your audience wants in order to give them more of what they want to see, keeping them engaged. Content should not solely be posted because that’s what the business wants to put out. Content should be a balance between what the company wants to communicate and what the audience likes to see. A pro social media marketer will know how to appease both parties.

5. Because using and working in Facebook Business Manager is terrible!

graph-3033203_640In order to reach your fans and followers, it is a requirement for your page to spend some advertising dollars with Facebook. And if you want those dollars not to be a complete waste, using Facebook Business Manager is a must. It isn’t the easiest, most intuitive system to work in, but a professional knows how to make it work for your business. As an added bonus, Business Manager can provide you with valuable insights into the results of your advertising and your business website analytics.

You, as an individual, have a brand: Control It!

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By Nicole Pulcini Mason

Branding isn’t just for businesses and groups. You, as an individual, have a brand. It may not be as publicized and as defined and what we commonly think of as branding, but your image and reputation is your brand. It’s how others see you, what you value, and your perspective or beliefs.

In today’s environment, defining, managing, and controlling your personal brand is critical. We pump so much out into the digital landscape, it’s easy for friends, businesses, colleagues and groups to find out about our opinions, family, career, and past. Even if they aren’t actively searching for you, your smart phone, apps and websites utilize data to automatically suggest applicable connections and content to you. For example, if you attend and check-in on Facebook at a chamber event, Facebook may automatically begin suggesting new “friends” to you who were also at that event. So these people you just met are already seeing your Facebook profile. Is your Facebook profile ready for business associates to peruse or do you have some embarrassing photos still posted publicly? This is just one of thousands of scenarios where controlling and managing your personal brand is important.

I amHaving a strong personal brand will influence the opinion others have of you, and it can help you land a new job, connect with a new client, or many other positive repercussions. On the flip side, if your brand is weak, non-existent, inconsistent, or unprofessional, you could be passed up for a promotion, loose an account or miss an important connection.

How do you define and manage your personal brand?

  1. Define Your Two Personas

0726171444First, start by defining what your personal brand is versus your professional brand. This can be as simple as making a list of characteristics for each, as pictured in the example. It’s okay if aspects of yourself end up under both columns. If you’d like to take this exercise a step further, write a short paragraph describing each persona. This will come in handy later.

Some individuals will have more overlap than others. I find this commonly among realtors. In many cases, they are their brand, some even using their face almost like a logo.

  1. Establishing Your Goals

0726171456Adding onto the first step, create a new header labeled, “Goals”. Now, list what your goals are for each persona. Look back at the words you chose for your personal brand. What do you want to accomplish related to those? What are your personal goals for the next year and next five years? Do you want to reconnect with those you grew up with? Do you want to raise awareness for a cause you believe in?

Now do the same for your professional persona. What do you want to accomplish professionally? Do you want a promotion, new job, or to start your own business? Do you want to be recognized publicly? Do you want to build your clientele? What can your professional persona bring you?

Knowing these are invaluable. It will help you choose or create content for each persona.

  1. Target Your Audience

Now that you know who you are and what you want, you can match your personas to the right social media outlets, web platforms, business affiliations, and groups. Once again, overlap is bound to happen, but you will have to determine if you have two profiles on one platform or if one platform can serve both personas with one profile.

Let’s start with the common social media platforms: Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Snapchat.

Futurpreneur.ca does a great job in its Breakdown of Social Media Platforms and Their Uses

Facebook – Used for a wide variety of purposes. Users can join public and private groups, both professional or personal. Facebook offers great, customizable security settings to give you the ability to restrict your profile as much or as little as you like. Furthermore, you can segment your “friends” providing the ability to share personal posts and photos with family and friends and professional content with colleagues and acquaintances. Additionally, you can create a separate professional profile, group, and/or business page. Facebook is the all-around most versatile and adaptable social media platform.

Twitter-Like Facebook, it is used for a variety of purposes, but in a completely different way. With Twitter, you need to know what the users in your area are utilizing it for. In Central Florida, I have found it primarily used for news distribution and business-to-business communication. In other areas, individuals are Tweeting personal information. You have the ability to create a personal profile, a professional profile and/or a business on Twitter. Depending on how Twitter is being used in the areas you are targeting, you can create the account type(s) you need.

LinkedIn-The most focused of the social media platforms. LinkedIn was created for and is primarily used for professional/business purposes. You can create a profile for your professional persona and a business page if needed. Predominantly, the content posted on LinkedIn is solely business related.

Snapchat-A new platform generally used by millennials and younger. This platform is generally used for personal, private communication. Posts are viewable for a limited time by the audience you’ve selected. Additionally, private messages can be sent to groups or individuals which disappear after being viewed. Depending on your professional persona and goals, Snapchat can still be a great method of connecting with your audience. Large corporations, national brands and celebrities are utilizing it professionally. On a smaller scale, bars, nightlife venues, restaurants and breweries are using Snapchat professionally to connect with younger audiences.

When determining if a web-platform, online group, and any other platform or affiliation is appropriate for your personal branding, reduce the opportunity to a simple description and audience. This will help you determine if it’s an opportunity personally, professionally, both, or not applicable. Don’t waste your time joining a networking group that doesn’t put you in contact with the audience you need to reach in order to meet your goals. Don’t sign up for a new social media if it isn’t going to further your personal goals or put you in contact with your friends. Pick and choose wisely. Your time and information is precious.

  1. Security settings

inked0808171604_li.jpgAligning your social media security settings with your personal branding goals is important. Based on your goals, you need to determine what level of access strangers, followers’ friends, and friends have to your profiles, posts and photos. How personal or private is your personal brand? Do you want your personal persona to be completely private and only shared with friends or is your personal and professional personas tied together? How much access the public should have to your personal side should dictate the level of security you choose.

One of the best things about Facebook is that you don’t have to choose. As discussed above, you can segment your friends and give each photo, album and post an individualized level of security/access.

  1. Think before posting – choose appropriate venue

Inked0808171612_LIThis sounds simple, but I see poor judgement in posting almost every day. Before posting content, sharing a local event, or article, determine 1) if sharing it helps you accomplish any of the goals you listed 2) if it does, should it be personal or professional.

For example, I see an article on a local political candidate who I agree with. What goal does this help me achieve? I can raise awareness for the political party I affiliate with and the issues the candidate is pushing. Where should I post it? It aligns with my personal goals and persona, so I should post it on my personal social media platforms, like Facebook and Instagram.

There are many lists of what not to post, and these may seem obvious, but they aren’t because many people make these mistakes daily. Here’s one YouTube video recapping what not to post.

 

 

 

Even when posting on your personal pages, it is important to remember that you are still vulnerable. Simple rule: don’t post anything you wouldn’t want your parents or boss to see. If your post doesn’t add value to your goals or to the readers, don’t post it. Additionally, do not post cryptic open-ended statuses. For example, It’s time for a change, That’s IT. I am DONE dating, This is a big day!, and random celebrity quotes with no explanation.

  1. Control – check, ask for feedback, google.

This is the control phase of your branding. Periodically, assess your security measures to make sure they are still providing the level of access you want. Security settings change regularly on social media platforms and need to be checked.

Make sure what you’re doing is helping you and adding value to others’. Ask your friends (in person, not in a post) what they think of your personal branding and social media presence. Invite them to give you honest feedback. Scroll through a month’s worth of posts and compare them to the goals you outlined. Are you following the plan? Do you need to right the ship and get back on task? During this step, you can delete any posts that do not directly align with your branding plan.

Using an incognito browsing tab, Google yourself. This is the ultimate check-and-balance. Is what appears in the search results what you want visible by the general public? If not, revisit security settings again.

You may find old profiles and material that you no longer have access to. If you do not have access to the old content, you will have to go through the processes to have that information removed. Each site will be different.

This is a dense topic and I’ve only outlined the basics, so stay tuned.

Duh…Don’t do these on social media

By: Nicole Pulcini Mason
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  1. Be unresponsive

Social media platforms are the new community centers and water-coolers. If someone walked up and asked you how old your children were or where the bathroom was, would you ignore them? I hope not. Same premise on social media, especially as a business, nonprofit, group, professional page, or other organization. If a user is reaching out to you via comment or message, it is important not only to respond, but to respond preferably within four hours.

 

Not all messages and comments will be positive. If a user posts a negative comment publicly, reply stating something along the lines of, “Your concern is important to me, and I want to learn more. I will private message you.” You can pick the conversation up privately. Do not delete their negative comment/post unless it is vulgar. Leave it and your reply. This shows others that you care and are responsive. Once communicating privately, you can use your customer service mojo.

 

  1. Lurk and don’t like

If your page isn’t liking, sharing, and commenting, you might as well not exist on social media. Social media is more than just seeing what others are doing; it’s about interacting. Make sure to like users’ and pages’ posts, comment as appropriate, and share messages your page cares about. For example, Reach Brand Management supports local child welfare agencies. When Kids Central or Partnership for Strong Families are having events, we like and share their events/posts.

 

  1. Be self-centered

This builds off on number two. It can’t be all about you: Marcia! Marcia! Marcia! Pages, businesses and users should all be sharing information about others. No one likes to stand next to that jerk at the party who only talks about himself. If you continuously only post about you, your followers will flee. This applies to individuals, as wells as businesses. Social media isn’t just a means of advertising and getting your information out. It is a way to interact and engage. This is simply accomplished by being a good social media community member.

 

  1. Ignore the data

Each social media platform or management platform offer insights. These are there to help you. Take a look at them on a regular basis. Try and notice which type of posts get the most interactions. Are there trends? You should be able to discern what times of day are best to post and what type of content gets the greatest response. For example, one of my clients have more users on between 11:00am and 5:00pm, and they like photos of the hot doctor best.