Thoughts from Bigfoot Digital’s Social Media Executive, Ellie Pate on how she balances work with her hobby.
How I Balance Working as a Social Media Executive with Writing for My Blog
A few months ago I co-created a food and culture blog. It’s all about recipes, café and restaurant reviews, travelling and culture, and I love it! It’s a great way to add a creative element to things I’m doing all the time anyway – cooking, eating out, travelling. We started to really concentrate on and develop the blog whilst I had a few months off in between jobs. Due to the fact I wasn’t working, I could dedicate all the time in the world to it. Hours and hours I would spend engrossed! But then I found the perfect job here at Bigfoot Digital, and I jumped at the chance to join this fantastic digital marketing agency as a Social Media Executive.
When I started my new job, I was concerned that I would put the blog to one side. There were some teething problems – but I seem to have found a good balance. I thought it would be good to share some tips that work for me when balancing a job with a creative digital hobby.
Research, Plan, Execute.
Similar to the work we do for clients at Bigfoot, a huge amount of balancing your out-of-work time is researching and planning. Research your industry, your community, what other people are doing. For me this meant looking at other food blogs, researching upcoming restaurant openings, planning that next amazing trip! All pretty fun things, I’ve got to admit. A huge part and purpose of this research is deciding what you want to achieve. For a client it may be growing their brand or getting more online orders. For us, it was fulfilling a niche and learning more about cooking and dining. Once you know that, you plan. I love planning. Seriously – I’m addicted to lists and notepads! We plan where we want to eat, what recipes will show a good balance between sweet and savoury, what our posting schedule will be. With good research and planning, you don’t have to wing it. It makes your creative time a lot more effective if you know what your general structure and aim is before you start.
Posting and scheduling tools.
Any social media executive’s saviour is the scheduling tools! I didn’t really utilise these before I started at Bigfoot, but now they are a crucial part of keeping my blog up-to-date and active. We publish on WordPress, which allows you to schedule your posts for any time of day. There are also loads of tools out there for scheduling Tweets and Facebook posts. A huge part of our brand is our Instagram page. Although there aren’t yet scheduling managers for Instagram, I find saving a draft of your photo and caption really helps. I can spend time picking the perfect edit, wording and hashtags, then save it and post when needed. This is great for when I need to post on a weekday, in work hours. At first, I felt as if I could only post on the weekend or evenings. This felt so restrictive and gave us no flexibility in reaching the biggest audience. With scheduling tools, WordPress would post my blog for me, and I could simply post my Instagram shot in 20 seconds on my lunch break. Much easier!
The little things add up!
Stop thinking that your creative hobby needs to take up hours every day for it to mean something. It doesn’t! Take a quick picture, edit it, post on Instagram. Your followers know you’re there, your brand is a bit more active and that whole process will maybe take you 5 minutes maximum. Or keep lists of things that inspire you. Save articles that you want to utilise at a later date. Notice how much you do in your daily life that can contribute to your creativity. We can be doing the simplest thing, like shopping at a supermarket, when we notice an amazing new product or food we want to try. Add a little flair, some pictures and context and that becomes a blog post!
For help managing your social media accounts, get in touch with a social media executive at Bigfoot Digital to discuss your requirements.