How do you develop a cohesive social media marketing campaign when you are balancing multiple streams of income, or are working a full time job while pursuing your passion at the same time? That was the #1 question I received at the Atlanta Spark and Hustle conference for women entrepreneurs.
Here’s my solution:
Make no apologies. The days of working 30 years for a corporate conglomerate are over. Companies don’t guarantee lifetime employment, and the public doesn’t expect it. Multiple streams of income are the new norm. I’m the founder of a social media start-up and I published an award-winning book on quilting. Not exactly related, but I make no apologies for it. I’m a social media leader and a I love quilting. Period.
Be honest. Tell your social audience what you do and why, and be completely open if this new venture is not your day job. Leanne Vogel, a holistic nutritionist and blogger at Healthful Pursuit, is candid with her readers and potential clients: while nutrition is her passion, her day gig is a Senior Marketing Manager for an online payment company. People respect honesty, and it will build your credibility as well as an understanding of your schedule.
Protect your position. If you have a full-time career, check with your manager and human resources about their social media policy. Do they have restrictions about what you can say about your work? Do they frown upon promoting your side business? You don’t want to jeopardize your full-time career for the sake of building a dream venture you hope will materialize. Take care of your financial needs first.
Make connections. Are your primary career and sideline related? Can you make connections that allow you to have one social media presence that encompasses them all? If you have multiple streams of income from a maternity line of clothing and hosting children’s consignment events, your clients will be interested in both. You have several options for handling those social media identities:
- one blog that covers both brands
- give each brand its own Facebook page, listing your other brand in the Featured Likes sidebar and on the Info tab
- use separate Twitter accounts for each brand, again listing the other account in your bio
- sign up for a Google+ account (get an invitation to Google+ from me – you’re welcome!) to promote your passion without the commitment of a blog. Google+ is a blend of a blog and Facebook: a social network with no limits on space, formatting, or what you post.
Focus. How can you give your current and potential clients value without sacrificing your own needs? If you can’t live without the income from your full-time career, that’s where your focus needs to be. Build your dream start-up without sacrificing your salary. Create that social media account for your sideline and promote it in your personal time. However, if you are juggling multiple businesses, decide which one is your priority and build your social media presence around it. Certainly mention and promote the other ventures, but always tie it back to your main identity.
Remember this: Online, it’s not about YOU. It’s always about the CUSTOMER. Figure out how to give your clients what they want without sacrificing your own needs.