Why You're Not Taking A Vacation From Your Business (And What You Can Do About It)
Plus, 4 Tips to Help You Keep Your Marketing Going
It’s summertime. Time for rest and relaxation which is often hard when you are a business owner but it really is necessary.
I've been in business since 2000 and just did something I've never done before. I was out of the office for the better part of 3 weeks. That sounds insane, right?
Keep in mind that I am a solopreneur so I didn't have anyone to cover for me while I was away.
Don't worry, my clients were taken care of and with some careful planning on your part, you can do the same especially with your online marketing. Everything can be scheduled, right? And, guess what? You can also just take a break from posting content - I did.
I started with a mission trip to Haiti with my church. It was amazing and I’m happy to share details with you individually if you are interested. The key takeaway for me on this trip, unrelated to the mission’s work, was that I CAN be completely disconnected and, believe me, I was. In fact, when given the opportunity to get on Wi-Fi, I declined because I was afraid of all the messages I’d then feel like I had to answer. Knowing that I would be completely disconnected allowed me to plan for it.
Here’s what I did:
I started talking to my clients about 6-8 weeks before I left. We are usually 3-4 weeks ahead in planning but I wanted to get even further ahead on our planning calendars than we normally are.
I did have to double down on the work for these clients so that everything could be proofed and scheduled before I left.
I also reached out to my partners so they would not be surprised when they received my out of office messages.
I turned on my out of office messages for email and voicemail with clear instructions on how to communicate with me and when I would be back. This is key. I prefer email communication and I state that in my out of office voice mail. It’s just easier for me to respond in general to emails.
I could have also scheduled emails and social media posts to go out when I was gone as part of my own marketing efforts. I usually do this when I travel but since I was COMPLETELY off the grid, I decided to give my audience a break as well.
After I returned from my trip to Haiti, I had exactly one business day and one Federal holiday at home before my next flight left. This also took some planning as I had scheduled meetings and calls with my clients for that day to be sure everything was on track.
My birthday selfie at Trunk Bay with my son and his dad.
My next trip was to the US Virgin Islands. I was technically no longer off the grid but my cell phone often didn’t work at the best beaches and the Wi-Fi was fairly weak. And, I wanted to vacation. I had updated my out of office message to state that I did have sporadic access to email and voicemail as that was the truth. And I did boot up my laptop a few times for clients while I was there but it was mostly just to check on things.
What are my key takeaways? 4 Tips to Keep Your Marketing Going
1) You can take a break and you should. I need to allow myself to unplug more often. It was incredibly freeing to be completely offline as I was in Haiti.
2) Planning calendars are key to keeping your marketing moving at a steady pace. Please sit down and create a calendar and plan for your marketing activities. So many business owners I know are constantly running and putting out fires. This should not be the norm for your marketing.
3) Be reasonable in your planning. Don’t try to do a ton of marketing activities especially if you are not doing them now. I would prioritize consistent email marketing and a basic social media presence on your top social platform. Once that is steady and routine you can add more activities.
4) Use the scheduling tools available to you for online marketing. I scheduled email marketing campaigns, social media posts, and Facebook ad campaigns all to run while I was away.
Do you find it hard to get away from your business or do you have tips to share on how you do take vacations? Let me know in the comments. You may inspire a tired business owner to take that needed break.