This is a common workshop topic, and one of the questions I get asked pretty early on in any client engagement.

What should we be doing in social media? 

Should we have Instagram?

Should we be using Pinterest?

How about Vine?

Have you heard of Swayy (or insert other new social tool here)?

My first answer to this is DO NOT TRY TO DO EVERYTHING. There. I said it. The next answer is that it depends on two things: the kind of business you’re in, and the capacity you or your team have to keep up with using multiple tools.

Before you consider adopting multiple tools, platforms, apps, etc. answer this:

Do you have a blog? 

It’s still the first tool to master. It’s still the core of your social strategy. It’s still the ONE THING you must get done for search engine optimization, to establish your company as authentic and thoughtful. It’s still the place where you will prove that your team includes thought leaders in your industry. It’s still where you can tell the story of how your company does what you do better/differently/faster/with more credibility than others out there. Before you start using a Facebook page, tweeting, Instagramming, etc., make sure you’re publishing a valuable blog.

My boyfriend (yes, I have a boyfriend) came up with an ingenious idea. He tries to knock off two annoying things per day. What’s an annoying thing, you may ask? A sample:

  • A call to the cable company
  • Any interaction with your health or other kind of insurance
  • Any legal loose ends
  • Returning something that doesn’t fit or is broken
  • A visit to the DMV
  • Mailing or shipping a physical package at the post office or UPS

Everyone has these tasks to complete and if they build up, it can get pretty overwhelming. Thus the two-a-day rule. I’ve been trying it and you know, it’s really helping. I feel pretty virtuous at the end of the day when I can report into him that I’ve crossed two annoying things off my list.

We decided yesterday that any call to the cable company counts as two, by the way, so if you feel like trying it out, feel free to adopt that caveat!

Try it — tell me what you think. I’m really trying to keep it up — and it seems there’s ALWAYS two things I can find that qualify by the end of every day.

I always ask clients if they’re planning on taking any time off this summer. I’m delighted when they tell me yes. I admonish them when they say they haven’t taken a vacation in years. I have seen the value of time off for every single person I’ve worked with. Getting away from the stress, the colleagues, the commute, the office, and the work itself just has to happen once in awhile. It’s good for you; and if you’re the boss who wants your people to work constantly — know that it’s good for your staff, as well.

Here’s where I really push the envelope. Not only do I think people should take vacations, I think for some people, working more than eight hours a day can be really damaging. A new article in Forbes says there’s evidence that working long hours may kill you. It’s not hard to believe, if you’ve known anyone or been the person who is at a desk all day, never finding time for exercise, eating right, managing stress, and having healthy relationships outside of work. Work less. Live more.

The last firm I worked for before starting my own introduced the concept of “Summer Fridays” to me. Every Friday from Memorial Day to Labor Day the office shut down at noon. It was glorious. It was hard, sometimes, to get organized enough to finish the necessary work to get out on time on  Friday, but the goal was certainly there. I’ve committed to the practice in my own firm and while I’m always connected (unless I’m truly on vacation) by phone, text, e-mail, etc. just in case, it’s important to me to have that weekday time to recover and refresh. (Anyone who thinks  weekends are for that either doesn’t have kids or doesn’t have friends. My weekends are often way more exhausting than the Monday-Friday week.)

So how about you? Will you be taking any time off this summer? 

There was much discussion at a client’s office last week about the use of projects on LinkedIn profiles. It started, because the client has clients of its own. For purposes of sales, lead generation, and peer-to-peer relationship building, they wanted to create a profile for a team member that made sure it was clear there was a relationship with the firm’s customer.

It’s not appropriate to create a profile that shows that customer as the team member’s employer — that’s just not true. Any time you include a client in Experience it’s going to look like you were an employee there — even if it’s simultaneous with your current work experience.

Enter “Projects” as the solution to this problem.

When you add Projects to your LinkedIn profile, they are listed underneath the employer that managed that work. You can list a client company name in the project, and even tag other project team members, but it doesn’t make it look like you had a desk, a parking spot, and a 401k there.

If you need guidance on how to add projects, just follow the instructions here.

Wednesday, June 11 and Thursday, June 12 I’ll be offering social media workshops at a great location on Charlottesville’s Downtown Mall. There are a few seats left for each session, and you can reserve yours now by calling 434-260-7144. Here’s why YOU should sign up:

  1. It’s a way to get out of the office for a morning or two
  2. It’s a way to spend some time in the delightful downtown event venue Old Metropolitan Hall (you know you’ve been wanting to check it out)
  3. You will learn more about how to use social media for your business, your job, and your personal interests than you would ever have believed possible in just half a day
  4. You will meet other, interesting Charlottesville people for possible friendship and business partnership opportunities (and who knows? Maybe more!)
  5. Free lunch, free coffee, and free air conditioning

Follow the jump for more information, or just call 434 -260- 7144 right now and sign up.

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