For many solopreneurs, summer is a time when our businesses tend to slow down. Depending on your own circumstances, once the kids are out of school, the warm sunny days beckon, bar-b-ques are fired up, the beach is waiting, gardening is taking your attention, or whatever it is that says "Summer!" to you, focus on work just seems to be lost. But business doesn't have to wind down for summer, even if you partake in the summer fun. In fact, if your planning for summer is done right, you should be able to have both.
Planning For Summer Is Planning Ahead
The first thing you need to do when planning for summer is examine your previous strategies, and take a serious look at content marketing. If you are not already using one, a good editorial calendar will help you organize your content placements ahead of time, scheduling your posts in advance for the whole summer if you choose. Whether it's a basic spreadsheet or Google Calendar, whatever your favorite planning tool, getting organized is half the battle. The Editorial Calendar plugin (see Useful Tools list at bottom of post) for self-hosted WordPress users is an excellent way to easily schedule posts.
Review The Metrics
I'm not big on numbers, especially not numbers for numbers sake. Too many people chase the numbers, seeming to think that bigger is better in all instances. But, used properly, numbers show where you are. Looking at the numbers for previous summers can be helpful to understand what to expect for the coming one. Numbers help you recognize what works and what doesn't. You can engage more in the what works part and set the rest aside.
Vary Your Content
It's not only about providing new, fresh, content for your blog posts (and social media) but also about the presentations types your content can be included in. Post blogs and then re-purpose that content into different structures - ebooks, reports, a training video or podcast, etc. As you do this you will find new content to include and new ways to say the same things. It's not just copy and paste, it's about creativity.
Consistency Is Important
Read my post on Wiz's 4 Ys of Success to see my take on Quality, Frequency, Continuity, Seniority. Frequency and continuity, together, add up to consistency. You need to post to your blog often and as part of a regular program. It's all tied together. If you're not doing this now, then between now and the start of summer is as good a time as any to get started. Consistent, frequent, posting is good for your followers and it's good for SEO. Do it now.
Engage In Multiple Channels
You don't just want, or need, to post to your blog. You want (and need) to participate in various channels to your content reaches more people. For WordPress users there are several plugins that can help with this kind of extended engagement. See the Useful Tools list at the bottom of this post. You can automatically post to social media sites, post to RSS feeds, and even send out posts to your mailing list. You don't have to do everything. Find what's manageable and focus on that first -- often what you are doing already -- then add more if, and when, it is appropriate to do so. Get outside your comfort level but don't be overwhelmed.
Hire It Done
If you want to take extra time off during the summer and there is more business to be done than your available time allows, you can always outsource part, or all, of the work. There are virtual assistants and others, qualified individuals, who will gladly take on part time work and, because you can work globally, you can hire someone from the other side of the equator so your summer is their winter -- the time when they are more focused on work, not play. VAs can handle transcribing videos, turning the video sound tracks into podcasts, posting blogs, updating social media, obtaining quality PLR content and more. You'll be surprised how far a little extra help will go.
Full Circle Back To Planning
It all comes back to planning. And, whether it's planning for summer, or any other kind, planning isn't always easy; at least not to get it right. Sometimes a couple of brain-storming sessions with a coach or a mentor can really help get the process underway and on the right path. Set your goals, create your plan, and then stay focused on your objectives.
Some Useful Tools
- Blog Energizer's Blog Planner is a free, helpful, tool.
- My ebook: Wiz's Ten Steps To Staying Focused On Your Objectives.
- WordPress Editorial Calendar plugin is also free.