Behind Our Business: Automation and Systems
Now that you have a super organized and effective batch work schedule, let's talk about what you can automate.
AUTOMATE: INSTAGRAM AND STORIES
Automate your Instagram posts (and stories if you want!).
Now that we're trying to show up more consistently, we felt it was time to pay for a scheduling app for IG. What we wanted out of it: automatic posting (without having to approve), desktop capability, and if we ever needed it - the option to schedule IG Stories. Enter: Planoly.
We pay $19/mo to be able to automate our posts and show up more. We usually schedule them and show up a bit later to engage, add hashtags, etc. We haven't ever used the IG Story scheduler, because we like posting real time in our stories and engaging with the content you guys are creating that day, but we think that it's a cool feature and may use it at some point if we're traveling.
New here? Hi! We're a mother-daughter team and we dreamed up this thing. Check our our background stock photos here and sign up for our newsletter to get a freebie every month, plus interviews with talented graphic designers and business owners.
Pinterest has a program called Tailwind and it's free for the first month ($15/mo or $119 annually after that). You can automate your Pinterest posts for months at a time. We try to stay about two weeks ahead - it takes more effort than you'd think.
What we like about Tailwind: it releases Pins at optimal times for increased engagement, we don't ever have to remember to post real-time, it allows us to easily schedule our original content, it provides much more in-depth analytics, and Tailwind has special features only available to its users like Smart Loop and Tailwind Tribes.
Side Note: We tried to use Tailwind for Instagram as well and didn't like it at all. We'd add Pins to what we assumed was our Pinterest queue and Tailwind would add them to our IG queue instead. We decided it was best to keep them separate.
Remember how we said we could tell you what our newsletter topic will be the third week of October 2019? That's because we have a newsletter schedule. In a google doc we have weeks 1-4 written out with details of what should be included each week. Here's an example:
If you subscribe to our newsletter, you know that we share a lot of interviews and once a month we give away a free stock photo. Our subscribers get sneak peeks and exclusive offers, so we do have to add some content in, but for the most part we know what each newsletter will look like.
SYSTEMS: ANNUAL CALENDAR
One of the best things we EVER did for our business, and we cannot emphasize this enough, was calendaring out our entire year. We did this way before we even launched our business.
In a google doc, we listed out each month and then separated them into quarters (Q1 is January through March, for example). We have every artisan collaboration, meeting, photo shoot, and tentative travel dates listed out through January 2020. Each month we review it and inevitably there are things that shift, but it's so helpful and reassuring to have our year mapped out like that.
Remember what we said about how you can't do it all in our last post? That's 100% ok. We are are HUGE fans of outsourcing and we'll share what we outsource and why on next week's blog post.
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