I’ve been asked to speak at the Agents of Change Digital Marketing Conference in Maine in this month about how I weave digital marketing into my day job. I’m really looking forward to seeing the leaves in New England in the Fall. Here’s why I was asked to speak (it certainly wasn’t because of my crazy-good looks):

Mike Foti, Innovate Home Org

·       I lead 2 businesses (Innovate Home Org and Innovate Building Solutions) and blog on both sites. I crank out 6 blog posts during each 4-week span. These articles range in length between 1,000 to 2,500 words.

·       Our blogs generate traffic in excess of 50,000 unique visitors per month (2 times more than my web site).

·       We post to 8 social media accounts weekly.

I’d love to say this is no sweat at all to do. If I made that claim – I’d be lying!

I’d love to say I’m always motivated to crank out content and don’t ever struggle for ideas. If I made that claim – I’d be lying!

I’d love to say I do this all myself and I’m such an amazing dude I must refer to myself in the third person (like a few celebrity-closet-buyers or football stars). If I made that claim – I’d certainly be lying (and full of myself)!

What I will tell you is weaving digital marketing into my ‘day job’ has been critical to keep my business alive. I’m not sure I’d still be in business today if I hadn’t invested time and energy to learn content creation techniques and processes. Being completely dependent on digital marketing agencies or pay per click consultants (although I do believe it’s smart to use them) is not a place I want to be.

If you know in your gut you need to do more of this ‘digital thing,’ but don’t know how to find the time and keep up with your crazy-busy day-job, I can feel your pain.

In this article I’m going to provide you with 5 foolproof lessons I’ve learned to make digital marketing part of my day job. I hope these lessons help you.

Lesson #1 – Don’t wait for inspiration, be driven by discipline and perspiration

Anybody who tells you they’re waiting for divine inspiration to descend upon them to crank out social media and blog posts – ain’t never gonna do nothin’ with digital marketing!

It’s all about (self-imposed) schedules, processes and deadlines (ouch – that sounds like work). I schedule which days I’m going to write posts, edit posts and find images to go with the articles. My excellent cohort and team member in digital marketing (Michelle) has deadlines when she’s going to have the images resized and social media posts are going out. Our digital marketing company is going to send out emails to our prospects and past customers every Tuesday and Thursday.   

It’s a disciplined process. It requires perspiration.

You may ask, “Mike – when do you find the time to think about your topics and write?” We’ll I’ll have to fess up and tell you I work when others aren’t working. I write on Saturday mornings at 4:30 AM (and do laundry at the same time- my wife loves this!). I write on Tuesday mornings at 6:00 AM. I edit articles when I’m shaving in the morning. I put the word process changes in when I’m at the office.

It’s a disciplined process. At times it sucks. Winning at digital matters to me (and our company). As Hans and Franz would say on Saturday Night Live – ‘no pain, no gain.”

Lesson #2 – Become a reporter. Write about jobs with are inspirational, cool or solve common problems.

Not sure what to write or post about in your digital marketing program? This is a common problem. It’s not that hard. Be on the lookout for the following:

·       Inspirational projects – Some of you do some of the coolest closets and garage projects for uber-unique clients. Think of yourself like a field reporter for your local news. Ask your customer if you can come back, get pictures and write to them about their job. After you’ve written the post send it to your customer and ask them to share it on their social media networks. If you’ve got a job with a heart-warming story behind it, put that story on the top of your list. I loved a blog post by Valet Custom Closets who shared a custom closet project for a woman with Stage 4 cancer. They not only shared a cool job, they shared an inspirational story.

·       Unique solutions to common problems- Not all projects are going to be inspirational stories, but we do see common problems, daily. Maybe it’s people who struggle with a spouse who is a slob. They want to design a his and hers closet which works for both (and possibly motivates their spouse to clean up their act). Maybe it’s a garage where they only have room to park one car and you can show how your cabinetry and storage solutions allow them get all the cars inside now.

Lesson #3 – Get help and don’t be surprised when you say, “Doggone it, she’s better than I am!”

In the beginning I used to do almost ‘do it all’ when it came to digital marketing. I wrote, edited, found and adjusted the images and posted to social media.” I got busier and I got smarter. When we were looking for an inside customer service/office admin person I also looked for someone who could help me with digital marketing. When I hired Michelle, I involved her in our meetings with my digital marketing agency, I delegated resizing images (we use a program called Canva) for our blog and social media posting to her.

One day I was looking at a recent post and I said to Michelle, “Doggone it – you do that nicer than I did!”

Lesson #4 – “Rinse and repeat’ is not only important for wash cycles or shampoo and conditioner treatments  

If you think you’re going to post your social media update one time and you’re going viral, you’re as delusional as me thinking I was a future NBA star (note – my basketball ‘fame’ was being the 12th man on a 12-man team which went 2-13 in small high school with 82 people in my graduating class).

Here’s some harsh cruel facts:

·       Every 60 seconds there are 136,000 photos posted on Facebook.

·       Every 60 seconds there are 360,000 tweets on Twitter.

Social media channels are getting loaded. After you’ve invested hours on a blog post how can you expect 1 social media post to make it go viral (assuming Trump or Khloe Kardashian aren’t going to retweet it for you this time)? You can’t. It won’t.

You need a ‘rinse and repeat’ strategy. You need automation to get the digital ‘word’ out.

In our company Michelle uses the apps Meet Edgar and Buffer to automate and repeat our social media posts. She creates different versions of these posts, so they don’t feel repetitive and we ‘schedule them out’ over weeks and months (most of our content is ‘evergreen’ so it’s not time-sensitive). For our Pinterest pins we use a program called Tailwind. We make several pins for each article and schedule the pins to multiple Pinterest boards over a few months.

These scheduling programs help us to get our content out over time and to ‘rinse and repeat’ without it chewing up too much time.

Lesson #5 – Don’t be afraid to ‘freshen up’ oldies, but goodies

Let’s say you’re going on vacation and your spouse and kids won’t be lovin’ you blogging and social media posting when you’re supposed to be there with them. However, you still want to stay disciplined to keep the ‘content train ‘a-running.’ How can you keep email correspondence, social media posts and blogs happening when you’re away?

The best way I’ve found is to freshen up the ‘oldies, but goodies.’

Go to your Google analytics and find old posts which are popular. Go back to those posts and upgrade with new things you’ve learned and spin them out again. If we’re being honest, many of your prospects and customers didn’t read them the first time anyway. This is a way to get ‘fresh’ content without investing a lot of time.

Conclusion

I wish I could tell you this digital marketing stuff is simple to do and weave into your day, but it’s like everything else you do – it requires commitment and hard work (bummer!). With that being said, winning digitally is critical since this is where homeowners are finding us to do their closet, garage, entryway and home office projects. Are you ready, willing, able (with effort and training) and disciplined enough to weave digital marketing into your day job?

Help from me

I’m not a digital marketing consultant (and I don’t have time to play one on TV either – plus nobody is calling me to do this anyway), but as an entrepreneur, I do help enjoy helping other entrepreneurs. If you have questions – I’d love to help. Visit our storage and closet organization blogProfessionally Organized – or call me on the phone (216-310-1074). I’d be glad to give you my 2 cents to get you rolling. 

Have something to say? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below.