I’ve been busy with client work this week and am catching up from a family emergency that took me away from my (virtual/home) office for a bit last week, so my blog post is late and way off topic today. But I have committed to posting once a week, and to authenticity (which to me means sharing the realities of working solo), so here I am with an update.

Posted on a bulletin board over my computer monitor is my editorial budget for February. If you’ve been following along, perhaps you downloaded this free resource in January and tried it out.

If you did, today is a great day to turn to page 4 and conduct your five-minute evaluation to see what worked and what could go better next month. Tomorrow, you can print a fresh copy and start all over with that new wisdom to guide you (even if you’re so busy your breakfast is rushed handfuls of trail mix eaten while driving).

My five-minute monthly content evaluation

I know, when you’re busy or have an inkling you didn’t achieve what you set out to do, it’s pretty easy to “forget” to evaluate your work. But in that “forgetting,” you’re missing out on a key learning opportunity. In the spirit of stretched-thin camaraderie, here are my key takeaways from my content strategy in February:

Photo by rawpixel on Unsplash

What worked:

Counting today’s post, I managed to publish one blog post a week, which was my Priority A column for February. I want to build content that people will find valuable in the long-term and that will help establish my authority as a mission-driven communicator, so this was important to me. In terms of production, at least, I succeeded.

I also developed content around a key theme this month, which helped me find natural sub-topics and breaks in my writing.

Finally, while I haven’t gotten around to identifying my KPIs and particular targets for content and social media, I did see some traction with a few Instagram posts and gained new followers and subscribers in February, and derived actual enjoyment from engagement on Twitter, something I’ve periodically had to force myself to do.

(Incidentally, do any other social media managers out there feel totally burned out managing organizational social media and want to retreat to an Internet-free cave every once in a while? It can’t just be me.)

As I’m still early in my business and focusing on one-on-one relationship building, I’m working hard to be okay with this for now. As my own client, this makes me a little twitchy (because I would strongly encourage my clients to have measurable objectives for their work), but there are only so many hours in a day… and I need most of mine to be billable right now.

What didn’t work

As usual, I had big dreams for loads of content and engagement this month, but the double-edged sword of lots of billable work means I didn’t have as much time as I had hoped to devote to Collective Reach.

I really wanted to produce multiple, attractive social media graphics for each of my posts and to Tweet three times a day and post to LinkedIn twice a week.

I couldn’t make this happen, at least not in a scheduled manner. I will certainly scale back this expectation for next month while I figure out what I really want to get out of social media (other than an endless to-do list with no clear purpose.)

Key Takeaways heading into March

  1. I’m not going to worry too much about my volume of social media posts for now. Most of those will move from “Priority B” to “Priority C.” Instead, I’ll engage in conversations that matter to me, set aside a few chunks of time to schedule posts, and begin to think about what I really want to achieve out of social media.
  2. I need to do a better job of identifying a thesis for each of my blog posts in my editorial budget. My ideas were a little vague and ended up overlapping/bleeding into each other when I went to actually write them.
  3. While I love talking values (and the more psychological, less tangible aspects of work in general), I want to be sure to balance that content with actionable tools for my audience in future months. Yes, I may have sneaked another “what didn’t work” into this list, as it’s 10 minutes to daycare pick-up on the last day of February and I have not produced a free resource for this month to send to my email list. The day’s not over yet, though–if I can get everyone to bed on time this evening, I may just win it yet. Don’t forget to subscribe, just in case!

Theres‘ what worked and what didn’t work for me in February’s communications budgeter. See, that wasn’t so painful! In fact, I’m excited to move into March and see what I can build on.

If you’re up for it, head on over to Twitter and let me know what worked for you and what you learned this month that will inform your online communications next month.

Photo by Devon Janse van Rensburg on Unsplash

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: