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I am super excited to introduce you this week to my friend Gillian from GillianPerkins.com. She is going to share her top three strategies for running her business in just 15 hours per week!
As an author, blogger, Youtuber, business owner, and mom of two littles, you’d be correct to assume that my life is pretty busy and that I don’t necessarily have a lot of free time. My days are filled to the brim and a bit of a “beautiful mess.”
As someone who enjoys living life to its fullest and has BIG goals that necessitate massive action, finding a way to balance everything I want to do is a must. While friends sometimes wonder why I don’t just slow down, do less, and be a bit more “average,” the fact is that I love what I do and have been a go-getter since my earliest memory.
But even though I love taking action and doing a lot, I also think it’s essential to live in the present, stay relaxed and carefree, and enjoy life. So while I’m quite productive, and from the outside, it appears that I must be extremely busy, the reality is that most days I work less than six hours, and we spend the rest of the time playing, adventuring, and living life.
After new acquaintances remark, “Wow, you certainly are busy!” Their next comment is typically, “How do you possibly do it all?”
So today, in my typical style, I’m pulling back the curtain and sharing my three strategies that allow me to “do it all” yet stay calm, relaxed, and run my business in only about 15 hours per week.
ONE // Focus on What Works
Our culture is saturated with social media, but you can’t turn it on without being confronted with big brands, businesses, and influencers. If you’re trying to build a business or a career as an author or artist, then it seems obvious that you must need to focus on trying to create that same level of visibility for yourself.
For a couple of years, I spent enormous amounts of time working to build up a presence on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook. But honestly, I’m an introvert (an outgoing, fearless introvert, but still an introvert) and sharing regular “updates” with the world is just not my jam. I found it draining, distracting, and not productive.
Because my heart wasn’t in it, growing my presence on social media was an uphill battle. My growth was sluggish, and the followers I did have didn’t seem connected (and certainly not committed). But I felt like I had to do social media, because how else would I promote my blog or business??
Fortunately, I love experimenting and trying new things, so throughout this whole social media struggle, I did continue to test new ideas. Eventually, I found a couple ways of marketing my blog and business that worked way better than the social media grind, were more enjoyable and were easier.
I dropped social media like a rock.
And my business growth exploded within the next six months.
Now, I’m not saying social media is the devil, or that nobody should use it — far from that. But what I AM saying is that you should quit stuff that isn’t working for you. If you hate something and it’s not producing results, then why are you doing it??
The Pareto principle says that 80% of your results come from 20% of your actions. And what that meant to me was that I could quit doing a heck of a lot of stuff.
What was actually growing my business? Turns out, there was really only about four things:
- Guest blogging
- Pinterest marketing
- Facebook ads
- Youtube channel
(And yes, I hear your confusion. “I thought you said you quit social media?” I quit posting daily updates and trying to keep up with everyone else’s updates. I quit Instagram and Twitter, which are based solely on these activities. I didn’t quit using social media as a valuable tool to reach people, as the above list reflects.)
So, strategy #1 for running my business in a minimal amount of time is to focus on what works and let go of what is just busy work.
Read this >> How to Plan Your Weeks Around Your Priorities
TWO // Outsource
If you’ve spent any amount of time in the world of online business, then you’ve probably heard plenty of people singing the glories of “hiring virtual assistants” to save time and be able to do more.
Well, I tried that, but it didn’t work so well for me. Because, a) I was kinda broke and didn’t see how I could invest in my business, and b) these virtual assistants seemed to take more time to manage than their work saved me.
What finally made a difference was this: I stopped trying to just “save me time” and started focusing on building a world-class team.
Instead of trying to hire general VA’s to answer my emails or design my graphics, I hired a smart, local college student, who I could train from the ground up how to help me run my business. This was cheaper than hiring an international, virtual assistant, and so much more effective.
While my new assistant helped me with my day-to-day operations, I started hiring skilled professionals to help grow my business. I hired a dedicated graphic designer who could make my site look as beautiful and professional as I knew that it needed to in order to attract my ideal clients. I hired a talented copywriter — because even though I write other people’s ads all day long, writing my own ads still gets me tongue-tied. I even hired a Facebook ads manager, despite the fact that I do that professionally myself.
The fact is that in my own business, I am the boss. And I can’t be the best boss if I’m also the ads manager, video editor, graphic designer, and accountant.
I can do a fan-freakin-tastic job managing Facebook ads for other businesses, but when it comes to my own business, I need an objective outside voice.
So, rather than hiring a general VA to try to “save time” now I focus on hiring talented professionals who can multiply profits. And I can always “afford” to hire people who can make me money. 😉
THREE // Batch Create Content
Every business has tasks that have to be done every day or every week. These little tasks can be really distracting from completing projects and actually making progress on big-picture goals.
I realized that I was spinning my wheels and wasting a lot of time switching from one little task to another, multiple times every day, so I decided to try grouping similar tasks together and getting them done in big batches all at once. What a difference this made! It majorly cut down on the number of hours I spent working each week and made my time much more efficient.
These days I batch video recording, editing, blog post writing, and other tasks that I’d otherwise have to do multiple times each week. For example, I upload two Youtube videos every week — but rather than filming, editing and uploading twice every week, I film twice per month (4 – 5 videos each time) and then edit and upload once per week. This saves SO MUCH TIME because getting set up to film is such a process!
In order to successfully create content in batches, I have to be really focused and inspired. Because, really, who wants to feel like they have to write two whole blog posts in one sitting. Totally not fun. But if I make a fun day of it — hole up in my fave local coffee shop with a black & white mocha, take a couple breaks to walk around the block, and enjoy some time by myself while my husband has my kids — then I’m much more productive and enjoy the process a lot more.
My Weekly Schedule
Because I batch create much of my content just a few times throughout each month, each week is a little different. However, I do try to keep as much structure as possible, just so that I can stay organized and reduce the number of decisions I have to make each day.
Here’s what a typical week looks like with the three strategies discussed above implemented:
- Email & messenger (20)
- Plan next week’s content (40)
- FB group (10)
- Write & schedule two emails to list (60)
- Write guest blog post (90)
- Email & messenger (30)
- FB group (10)
- Network (30)
- Reach out to potential collaborators (90)
- Create content upgrade & opt-in page (60)
- Film 4 videos OR Write 2 blog posts (120)
- FB group (10)
- Reach out to potential collaborators (40)
- Email & messenger (30)
- Film any B roll (60)
- FB group (10)
- Edit two videos for next week (120)
- Email & messenger (40)
- Schedule two videos for next week (60)
- Board Booster (30)
- FB group (10)
- Network (30)
In addition to this work that I do myself, there are also a number of tasks that I currently have outsourced either to my assistant or to other professionals. These include:
- Editing & formatting blog posts
- Promoting blog posts & videos
- Managing my own FB ads
Currently, I’m still managing my own Pinterest marketing and editing my own videos, because I haven’t found someone to do these tasks who feels like a good fit for my team. However, I’m looking forward to getting it off my plate soon!
The above schedule is everything I do to run and grow my business and takes a bit less than 15 hours each week. In addition, I spend 10 – 15 hours each week doing client work, which includes business coaching and Facebook ad strategy. I also sometimes spend 5 – 10 hours writing or creating content, if I’m working on a new book or program.
Keeping a consistent schedule, focusing my energy on what actually produces results, outsourcing, and batch creating content are absolutely essential to being able to accomplish as much as I am able to each week. Without these strategies, I’d be overwhelmed and couldn’t grow nearly as quickly.
If you’d like to learn more about how to organize your business for success, you can download my “Easiest Business Plan Ever.” It’s a free PDF worksheet that guides you through the process of designing an efficient, effective business plan in less than 30 minutes. You can click here to download the worksheet and get started now!
Hi, I’m Gillian! I’m a marketing strategist who helps online entrepreneurs 10X their sales with FB ads + sales funnels. I love combining tech, analytics, and psychology to create powerful marketing systems. When I’m not helping my clients scale their businesses, I’m spending time with my husband and two little boys, exploring new places, or cozied up with a book in a local coffee shop.