I started my Mompreneur journey 2 years ago and it is time for me to share a little bit about how I ended up here - a virtual marketing strategist & social media expert. It has been fun, fantastic, exciting, exhausting, stressful, terrifying and overwhelming all all at once!!
Shortly after my daughter was born I was faced with a really difficult decision - return to work or stay at home full time. I realize that having the choice was/is a luxury and I do not take that lightly.
I know many moms would do anything to be home with their littles while others can't imagine not returning to their work. I was pulled in both of these directions. Fortunate to work at place I loved, with people I loved, at a job that I enjoyed and was actually quite good at so the thought of quitting, even if it was to stay home with the two people I love the most in this world, was incredibly difficult.
I was happy where I was professionally and was sacred to step out of the workforce for fear that it would take years to make-up for the time I was home. I was actually surprised by the pull I felt to stay home as I was not the little girl that dreamed of being a mom. I dreamed of a career (think SJP from Sex and the City). My dreams changed though when I met my husband. I no longer only dreamed of a career but also a family.
Being a mom is hard. And when you are home by yourself all day (and sometimes night) it can be isolating and lonely. Don't get me wrong there are amazing perks to being home but I missed work. I missed my friends, going out for lunch, dressing up and having adult conversations. Hell I even missed my commute! But when I was deciding whether to go back to work or not I felt so much guilt. Guilt on both sides.
Moms are supposed to want to stay home and raise their babies, right? I let societies expectations and everything I was seeing on social media get into my head. I was making this choice based on what I thought was "right". Not only did I feel the guilt about NOT wanting to stay home but I also felt guilty for WANTING to stay home! Such a catch 22!!
I felt so much pressure to go back to work and use my education. I was told not to "blow your whole career up and stay at home for the next five years because it is so hard it is to get back into the work force after being a stay-at-home mom."
I knew that staying home meant my family's life would be easier for my family. No more using vacation or sick days when our children were sick. No more deciding whose job is more important today. I would be the one "raising" my kids (which is such bullshit!) I was so torn and conflicted that it took me a long time to decide - just ask my girlfriends!
But I took the time I needed, listened to my heart and focused on what was right for me. The one thing I did know, was that if I made this choice based on what I thought I should do vs what I wanted to I was not going to be a great mother - stay-at-home or not!!
It wasn't that I didn't want to be at home with my kids, it was that I wanted something that was mine. I will say that being a stay-at-home mom is the biggest and hardest job I have ever had but there was still something missing.
I knew that I needed something for me. Something that was all mine. But what does that look like? What do I want to do? What will fill my cup up? Am I doing this for me or because I think I should? SO many questions!!
When I made my choice I still didn't have that clear answer I hoped for but I knew that I wanted the best of both worlds. I wanted to create a life that worked for and supported my family but I also wanted something that was stimulating and interesting to me.
So I took a chance. Left a job I loved to start building the life I love.
It's hard but I really am proud of what I have built over the last two years. I enjoy the work I am doing and I love that I am able to spend so much time with my kids.
Now don't get me wrong, there are definitely days I want to throw in the towel on this whole entrepreneur thing. I will say that I work more now than I ever have but I am doing what I love and it's all mine!
It took me a while but when I made my choice I jumped in with both feet and here we are today!! I don't pretend to have it all figured out but I can honestly say that I have no regrets!!
I also learned that there are no right or wrong answers when it comes to raising our babies as long as we do what is best for ourselves and our families.
Thanks for reading friends! If you can relate let me know! I'd love to hear your story.
Do you feel overwhelmed (or annoyed) with all the webinars, courses, programs, masterclasses, Facebook Groups & Emails that hit your Inbox or appear on your feed EVERY.DAMN. DAY? Me too.
I know that there is lots of amazing information in those emails and posts but there are so many that it's impossible to figure out which ONE thing I should actually be doing! In fact, I end up trying to do ALL the things and it's just waaaaaay too much! I do a half-assed job, get overwhelmed and end up getting NOTHING done!
We are bombarded with messages and advertising all day - emails, radio, tv, apps. emails, websites, Facebook , Instagram, Google Searches, etc, etc These messages are so in our face that they are difficult to ignore. Actually (fun fact😁), most of these ads are targeted directly at us based on our social media & Internet behaviors!
I feel like I spend so much time scrolling and "learning" that it leaves little room for my actual work! My inbox is full of coupons, sales pitches and newsletters that I don't even read! We all have our favorites, the ones you never miss & always read, but the rest is just noise. It seems harmless but after awhile it's starts to choke the life out of you!
So what do we do about it?
We turn off the noise, the distractions and filter through all those advertisements and messages so that we can actually get our work done or spend some time with our families!
It's time to shut off all that extra noise and clean out our inbox!! If you are like me these distractions just feed my procrastination and stress!!
Here are a few of my favorite tips to help you de-clutter your inbox and clear your mind so you can be your most productive!
1. Make a list - not a huge list but a list that is achievable in a day or week. Be reasonable. Then prioritize the tasks and schedule a time to complete each task based on its priority level.
2. Focus on one task at a time. I like to batch my work in chunks of time. What this means is that I block off time in my schedule to focus on one task. I set a timer and turn off all distractions - email, phone, kids, etc. Work on that one task for that chunk of time. This is so effective because you do not waste time going back-and-forth between multiple tasks or distractions.
3. Unsubscribe from email lists that do not serve you (except for me, obviously 😘😬). You can use a program like Unlistr to help you with this.
4. Turn off your phone (like actually power it down). And if you have a landline (I know, I am dating myself!) turn the ringer off!
5. Find an accountability partner or business buddy - someone that you are accountable to and they are accountable to you.
6. Stop scrolling!. While social media is AWESOME (obviously!!) it can also be a huge distraction! Take it from someone who spends most of the day on social!! It derails my productivity as well as effects my mood. To combat this distraction, I primarily use is Facebook Business Manager to manage my Facebook Page as well as clients but if you are not using the Business Manager you could try a toolbar extensions, like News Feed Eradicator, to hide your Facebook News Feed. It still allows you to work in groups and on pages just no newsfeed.
7. Do a Facebook and Instagram cleanse. Look at all the Groups and Accounts that you follow. If any of them are no longer relevant or interesting leave the group or unfollow them. This will clean-up your newsfeed and help to to make it so you see more "stuff" that is actually interesting to you!
8. Use a scheduler for your social media. There are many awesome tools out there to help make your social media more efficient so use one of them!! Batch your content creation and your scheduling. Pick a day &get it all done in one shot. I schedule content on Sundays, create it on Mondays. This frees up my week to focus on other activities and client work without having to worry about my social media. I have made a list of my favorite free (or really affordable) social media tools.
9. Be prepared! We all are busy not just in business but also in life. What I have found is that the more prepared I am for the things I can control the more successful I am.Not just in business but in your personal life too. Meal plan and order your groceries online to save time. I even batch cook my food for the week on Sundays!
10. Put your phone away. When I am not working I try to make a conscious effort not to be on my phone. I don't want my children to remember me as distracted and always on the phone. I shut my ringer off and only check-in on my accounts at certain times of the day.
11. Clean out your inbox. Make sure that you read that email ASAP. When you leave it in your inbox with the intention of reading it later it just ends up taking up space.
12. Give yourself permission to not be available 24/7. Just because we are so accessible via technology it does not mean that you have to be. One of my favorite tricks that I learned is to include an out-of -office reply on my email stating that I only check in 2x/day. This establishes a timeline, people know you are not always on your email and therefore do not expect an instant reply. Genius!!
I am not perfect and I have to conscientiously choose to focus and ignore distractions every.damn.day! But it has made all the difference!
Be intentional with your time. The more prepared you are the more likely you are to succeed!
I'd love to hear how you stay on task and shut off all the distractions!! Share in the comments.
Have a great week everyone!
As a social media manager I work with multiple clients and social media accounts including my own! It can be difficult to organize, create and schedule all this content and still have to time to live my life!
One of the biggest reasons people come to me is because the simply do not have time to do all the things that they think they should be doing on social while managing a business and home. In this post I am going to share how I research, organize, create and curate content then schedule it for my social media. I’m not going to lie to you here, social media is a tonne of work, but this workflow will help you manage “ALL” the things that you need to do to grow your social with your own content.
Based on your research, put together a plan for the month. Think about a few things.
Brain dump any and everything that is relevant to your target audience based on the above research that you have done then create and curate content around those ideas and topics. Search the Internet, YouTube, Pinterest or Facebook for content to share on your social platforms that resonate with your audience. This can include viral videos, quotes and articles that you can mix in with your own content to be more diverse. This will also help you create your own content for your audience.
Types of Content that you can create for your business includes:
Create a schedule of your posts based on the content that you have created and collected. Determine what your goals are for the week/month or quarter and schedule that content in a way that makes sense with your business' timeline and over arching themes. Plan your daily posts based on what you can commit to.
Once you have your schedule created go ahead an schedule your content! Depending on your posting frequency and the platforms you are using you should consider a scheduler tool. There are multiple tools out there that you can use that can post to multiple platforms and do a variety of tasks that will make your life so much easier!! One of my favorite tools for Pinterest and Instagram is Tailwind if you'd like to try it.
To make your life a little simpler I have created a list of my Favorite FREE (or Cheap) Social Media Management Tools. This list of tools, programs and apps will help you to save time and money while creating a killer social media following for your business!!
This page contains affiliate links and we have advertising relationships with the stores and companies in this post.
It's almost Valentine's Day! What? Halfway through February, crazy! Time really does fly when you are having fun!
2017 was the year of lots and lots of content being thrown at us from every direction! Large amounts of content are being shared at a ridiculous rate and it has left users overwhelmed and looking for a more personal experience!! Social Media platforms like Facebook and Instagram know this and are now changing the game to give their users a better experience. Social media platforms know that the only way to make money is to keep the user happy on their platform. With so many new products and platforms at our fingertips it's too easy for people move on so the game is changing!
How we have used social media in the past will be different moving forward and we know that social media dies once it stops moving forward. As the User evolves so must the platform meaning that there WILL be changes to the algorithms. As scary as change can be I want to help you embrace the change, evolve and move forward with these social media platforms to grow your business!! We have to adapt to stay relevant!!
What this ultimately means is that to keep your audience happy on social media you need to give them more of what they want!! In 2017, curated viral content was really big. It was sort of as though the more content you shared the better. There was less focus on the quality of the content. Now I am not saying that you should stop sharing curated content that your audience would love but I am saying that if your audience won't love it DON'T SHARE IT!! Give your following the content that makes them stop scrolling. Content is and always will be KING...as long as it's the right content!
How to be successful at social media in 2018.
1. Take risks! How do you know if something works? Try it! Do not be afraid to test out different types, topics and styles of content. If it doesn't perform change it up. Give your followers exactly what they want.
2.Do your research. See what your competitors and industry influencers are doing then try it on your page. Take your own content and spin it the way the major players do. Don't copy and paste but do try out study their strategy and mimic it in your page. It has to have your own personal fare though because it feels at all inauthentic or scripted people will keep scrolling.
3. It's all in the presentation. Find your style and figure out what makes your audience react.
If your followers prefer short quotes to long posts then do that. If they react to your video vs your captions then put out more video. The way the content is presented is as important as the topic of the content.
3. Be consistent. Your followers will come to expect a certain amount and style of content. If you are not present and on your social media you will be looked over. There is so much being thrown at users on social media that if you stop or are inconsistent in your posting you will be forgotten. Things happen very fast on social media so if you are not consistent, relevant and present your following will fade away.
4. Know your audience. You should know everything about your ideal client from their household income to their internet habits to their interests and hobbies. The better you know who you are targeting the better content you will be able to create and share for them.
5. Be genuine. If you speak at your audience you will lose them. People are on social media to be social and find that community. Create that space for your ideal client and you will have a loyal, engaged following.
For more Tips and Tricks check out the my other blog posts!
My name is Melanie Stoppler and I am a mompreneur! I am passionate about many things in my life including being a wife, mother, coffee connoisseur, wine lover & a social media marketing strategist.