Do you ever feel like doing something … anything … else instead of promoting your business?
You’ll puke if you have to pitch one more “influential blogger.”
You’ll throw a hissy fit if you have to write one. more. freaking. tweet.
And forget about crafting a blog post for your “ideal customer,” writing a “compelling newsletter,” schmoozing through that “women’s networking event,” or hosting that “client-attracting teleseminar” … blarf!
The whole thing just makes you want to put on your jammies, curl up under a blanket and eat an entire bag of Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups while binge-watching Gossip Girl on Netflix.
I’m here to tell you: there’s a better way to publicize your biz.
And you can still eat melt-in-your-mouth chocolate treats and indulge in any angsty teen drama you choose.
It’s about integrating business + pleasure into one super-swirl (sweeeet!) — instead of keeping all of your to-dos in totally separate buckets (so tedious).
Follow these 6 steps to make sure there’s no separation between your life, your work and your secret pleasures.
Step 1. If it sucks, don’t do it.
If you completely despise Twitter or break out into hives at the thought of attending yet another awkward networking party … just. don’t. do. it. Seriously.
If you’re not having any fun, I guarantee no one will have any fun connecting with you, either — face-to-screen, or face-to-face.
There are a million ‘n one ways to spread the word about your business, so find the channels that feel natural and chillaxing, and stick with those.
Having FUN is profoundly attractive — your dream customers will pick up on your tingling energy, they’ll swarm you like E! Entertainment photo-bloggers trailing a celeb at a red carpet movie premiere. Snap, snap!
Step 2. Design your dream workspace.
No, you don’t have to call in the crew from Extreme Makeover: Home Edition. All you need to do is make sure your workspace doesn’t feel like a Room of Doom.
Just for kicks, pretend you’re an over-the-top celebrity, and create your own “rider.” What’s on your must-have list, in order to do your best work? Fresh flowers? Chilled sparkling water? Peony-scented candles? A half-pump vanilla latte, served in a ceramic mug — never a paper cup? A silver bowl of M+Ms — with the green ones removed? (Get some inspiration — or just have a good laugh — by reading the 9 craziest tour riders of all time.)
Whatever you need, you can have. And what you need … usually comes down to a handful of simple pleasures.
Step 3. Switch up the scenery.
Feel like gettin’ out of the office — or house? Switch up the scenery by setting up shop outdoors on a red-checkered picnic blanket — or working in an adorable cafe with unlimited cappuccinos at your disposal. Psychology studies prove that travel boosts creativity – even if you’re just “traveling” to a new corner of your own city!
(And psst. Here’s a list of cities around the world that have free public wifi. Just one more reason to hit the town, with your laptop in tow!)
Step 4. Shrinkify your “work” hours.
Most of us think we have to work for 8 solid hours a day — but that’s an outdated mindset left over from 19th century England, when lawmakers decided that children under 13 should only be “allowed” to work in factories for a maximum of 8 hours a day. (Yikes. Even the staff at Downton Abbey had it better!)
Let’s lose the grim, clock-punching worldview, already! As a playful experiment, try working for just 2 hours a day. Yes, really. Pick one day this week, and set the clock for 2 precious hours.
This time constraint will force you to strip your to-do list down to the bare essentials, and focus, focus, focus. I guarantee you’ll double (or maybe triple!) your productivity.
It’s like pushing your body to the limit for 10 minutes of high-intensity circuit training, instead of plodding along on a treadmill at a snail’s pace, for the whole afternoon — maximum impact, minimal time investment.
And when you’re done? Spend the rest of the day enjoying your guilty pleasures, of course!
Step 5. Give yourself what you want — first.
Let’s say you’ve got two things to do this afternoon: 1. Write that blog post called “10 Ways to Lose Weight” (you’ve got zero motivation to write it + you’re completely bored with the topic — but never mind that!) and 2. Go to a hip-hop dance class (which sounds like the most. fun. ever.)
You might think it’s smart + responsible to finish the damn blog post before doing what you really want to do — shake your booty in Zumba class. But in fact, giving yourself a mini-break (especially if it involves moving your body!) is proven to make you more creative, at work.
So, go to Zumba. Get your groove on. Once you’re glowing with sweat + totally refreshed, think about what you really want to share with your audience. Is it a hip-shaking music playlist? Maybe a list of awesome dance classes and where to find them online? Or a story about how indulging in what you love can (actually) help you shed weight + feel better?
You make the rules in your business — and your life. Dessert before dinner? Why not! Zumba before blogging? Totally.
Step 6. Make BFFs.
If your whole body seizes up in a panic at the thought of pitching yourself to the media — there’s a good reason. Typically, pitching yourself to media hotshots feels like a total drag because there’s no existing relationship.
You’re left sending a cold email, which feels icky + impersonal. It’s like loitering outside Ellen + Portia’s Hollywood mansion, praying for a personal invite to the rockin’ house party inside. But if you’re not on the VIP guest list, you’re just going to get booted by the bouncers. Sayonara!
The solution? Focus on creating lasting relationships, rather than transactional situations. For example: if you want to start writing guest posts for high-traffic blogs, start by choosing one blog that you genuinely adore. Leave a couple of thoughtful comments. Help the blogger out by re-tweeting her work. Send a hand-written “you rock my world!” postcard, in the mail. By the time you reach out to pitch a guest post, she’ll already know, like + trust you. You’re in!
Always, always, always work to create genuine, lasting connections with people you think are the bee’s knees. If it helps grow your business — fantastic! (And in many cases, it will.) If it doesn’t help grow your business, you still win karma points because you’ve sent some love + attention towards a kickass human being who deserves it.
(And that’s something worth dancing about.)