Being #OutOfTheOffice is no reason to stop growing your audience!
When you run your own business, taking a holiday isn’t as easy as booking your annual leave, putting on your ‘out of office’ and waving a smug goodbye to your co-workers who are going to be covering you for the next two weeks.
When you’re a freelancer or solopreneur, the chances are that if you don’t work, you don’t get paid. Which means very carefully planning out your work- and cash-flow if you want two weeks on a beach (or up a mountain, or whatever floats your vacation boat).
So, you’ve managed your finances, and you’ve managed your clients’ expectations – now what about your carefully curated Instagram feed or the weekly email you send to your loyal tribe of subscribers?
Along with clearing all the fresh food out of the fridge, scrubbing excess fake tan off your knuckles and stuffing 25kgs of luggage into a 20Kg baggage allowance, you stay up until 2am the night before your flight trying to find a relevant picture for a post a week next Tuesday… Ugh 🤦♀️
Announce that you’re going to be out of the office and that you’re not going to be posting for two weeks. I’m not a big fan of this because:
- I do not like announcing to the general public that my house is going to be empty for two weeks;
- In truth, very few people actually care that much about your content that they need an apology; and
- In a world where we can easily schedule content in advance, there really is no need to not post just because you’re not physically sat at your desk.
Build your holiday into your content plan. If you’re already planning out your business and the content you need to support your goals on a three-monthly/90-day cycle, then the chances are you’ve got your holiday planned-in and have adjusted your content accordingly. (You’ve not? Then you might be interested in my Mistress of Your Message program!)
Here are my 5 tips for making it easier to create content when you’re going to be #OutOfTheOffice…
1. Don’t start from behind
If you’re creating content on-the-fly or on a just-in-time basis (i.e. the night before), then you’re going to hit a bottleneck when it comes to needing 7 or more days’ content in one go. It’s always a good idea to sit down and batch your content weekly and try to get two weeks ahead (which means you always have at least two week’s content in hand). This way you won’t have to spend any extra time creating content in those frantic few days before you go away (but of course you’ll have to start from scratch again when you get back).
2. Post less frequently
When it comes to content, the two main things are quality and consistency. However, if you generally create a lot of content, this might be hard to keep up with if you’re going to be out of the office for a couple of weeks. But don’t worry – it’s not going to be harmful if, every now and again, you pull back on the volume of content you put out. For example, if you usually post on Instagram twice a day, post just once a day instead, or post every other day on Facebook instead of every day. You could make your newsletter a little shorter than usual – but don’t feel the need to apologise “sorry this is shorter than usual” or tell people that you’re on holiday, just continue to deliver the value that your audience expects.
3. Don’t post things that need engagement from you (or that are controversial)
This advice goes slightly against what I’d usually suggest as, usually, you should be looking for your content (social media posts in particular) to actively engage your audience. However, if you’re on holiday, you’re probably not going to be wanting to be spending the time you should be spending having fun in the sun and drinking cocktails, replying to someone’s comment on your Instagram post (because responding to comments, especially when you’ve invited comments, is essential for great engagement, not to mention, just good manners). Plus, reliable internet connection isn’t always guaranteed when you’re abroad.
Similarly, if you post something that you know will be controversial, you need to be there to get involved in the conversation and defend your position if necessary.
4. Plan throughout the year
I have a folder on my computer that’s stuffed full of completely on-brand rights-free stock photos so that I can just dive in and find one that works for the content I want to post. I also have a folder on my phone dedicated to post and blog ideas that I add to every time I have a light bulb moment. This means that when it comes to creating content for my business, I always have something in my back pocket, ready to go when I’m struggling for inspiration.
5. Cover your posts for the first couple of days back
Those first couple of days back in the office after some time off are always chock-full of catching up with emails and getting your head back into work-mode. Don’t add content production to your to-do list as well. When you’re planning ahead and creating the content for while you’re away, add another couple of days on so that you can ease yourself back into work when you get back (after all, that laundry isn’t going to do itself!!)
You absolutely deserve those two weeks chilling on a beach with a cocktail in your hand – if you plan ahead, you can not only enjoy them stress-free, but continue to grow your audience at the same time!
Want to discover how YOU can become the Mistress of YOUR Message? Take a look here…