Men have a better work-life balance

According to a study by the Office for National Statistics men have got a better handle on their work-life balance than women do.

Looking just at the north west of England, it would appear that men spend seven hours more, each week, on leisure time than women do. As an average across the UK, men relax for six hours and nine minutes per day, while women are stuck with five hours and 29 minutes.

The study, which uses data from 2015, seems to suggest that men had more “free” time, because they engaged in less unpaid work than women.  For example, women were more likely to be using their non-working time dealing with children, cooking, cleaning or shopping.

Whilst this is undoubtedly true to a certain extent, I know many of my female friends who would loudly agree with that explanation, there is also another one.

Now, I’m going to stick my head above the parapet here, and may well get a ton of backlash, but so be it.  Men are far more selfish with their time than women are.

That’s certainly been my experience, and I’m not necessarily saying that they are wrong (or right, for that matter).  Men are far better at jealously guarding their hobby time, fitness time, TV time or whatever it is – whilst women, who do tend to fall in to more nurturing roles, will put everyone else’s needs first.  Facilitating other people’s enjoyment, instead of focussing on their own leisure.

Equally, and I can only speak from my own experience, men are better at asking for help, and delegating when it comes to their own businesses.  The vast majority of my clients are male.  Not because men are incapable of doing the tasks that I handle for them, but because they realise their time could be better spent elsewhere.

I’ve had conversations with numerous female business owners who admit they need help, but are too scared to let go.  They’re so used to doing it all on their own, that they can’t imagine another way.  Two years later, they’re no further on, but far more stressed out.

As women, we really need to give ourselves a break, and be mindful of the fact that Superwoman is just a myth. You’re fine as you are – you can do anything, but not everything.

As a wife of one and Mum of five, I’m still struggling to come to terms with that concept.

Is Facebook going to be the new LinkedIn?

In case you’ve not heard, Facebook is reportedly testing out a brand new Resume/CV feature, suggesting that the social networking platform could soon be in direct competition with LinkedIn.

As things stand, you can already add your professional experience with your friends in the “Work and Education section”. However, the update which is currently being rolled out to select members, will see a revamped version of this.

Screenshots of the update suggest you will be able to include detailed summaries of your previous roles, as well as what you’re currently doing – and potentially what you’re looking for.

The good news is that this section will be separate from your personal profile, meaning only recruiters will be able to see it.  Equally, it means recruiters won’t have to sift through photos of your nights out, children or culinary masterpieces to ascertain if you’re right for the job.

We can’t help but wonder if it’s just another attempt to squeeze revenue from existing members – will you have to pay to access this function, and will recruiters have to have a separate membership to be able to access your CV’s?

There is no doubt that social recruiting is becoming a big thing, with more and more savvy recruiters thinking outside the box and talking to potential candidates away from traditional online forums.  However, the job is already hard enough without adding more potential pools to look through.

Personally, we’re more concerned that rather than differentiating, all platforms are becoming a little too same-old.  LinkedIn has already added SnapChat-style geofilters for events and conferences, and now Facebook is potentially breaking down further barriers.

As users, are we looking for a one-size fits all platform that can perform every function, or is it better to have specific channels to meet our specific needs?

 

Head over to our Facebook page and let us know what your thoughts are.

 

Why I am not a Social Media Expert

Given I make a living, in part, as a direct result of social media, it may seem just a tad illogical to state I am not a Social Media Expert. Yet, here I am, stating it proudly, and in writing. No takey-backy’s.

When I first told my husband what I was writing this blog on, he laughed and said “that’s an interesting approach to marketing”. He might have a point, but hear me out. The simple truth is the reason I don’t regard myself as an expert is because, when it comes to social media, I don’t think anyone can be.

The word “expert” is easy to define: a person who is very knowledgeable about, or skilful in, a particular area.

The problem is “very” is a pretty vague measurement of knowledge, especially when expertise isn’t based on a set amount of experience or particular qualifications.

As such expertise is very much open to interpretation and based on the perceptions of those around us. To my clients, who have little or no experience of social media, I may well appear to be an expert. I know more than they do; but that doesn’t make me an expert in and of itself.

Social media is a phrase that encompasses one Hell of a lot. In fact “social media”, as a definition, refers to websites and applications that enable users to create and share content, or to participate in social networking.

How can any one person become an expert in all that entails?

I couldn’t build you a social media platform, I couldn’t develop a website or an app. I don’t know the first thing about coding or designing. While I can help identify and build an audience, talk to you about your customer personas and your target clients, I don’t know everything there is to know about marketing and generating leads.

I can come up with ideas and create engaging content, I can schedule posts for you and I can make educated guesses about when your target audience will be online (then review the analytics when they are available), but none of these things make me an expert.

I don’t say any of this to downplay my own strengths and skill set, but simply to warn you about the dangers of falling for an experts spiel. As there is no standardised course, or linear career progression, how are you going to make sure you’re hiring the right person to help you with your social media marketing?

If I am not an expert, how can I possibly compete with a self-professed one? How do you know who is better? It can all get pretty confusing, especially if we rely on words and titles to help us distinguish people and ascertain their worthiness and credentials.

 

If you are looking for someone to help you with your social media either now, or at some point in the near future, here are my tips to keep you from hiring the wrong person.

1.      If you are being pushed to make a decision or sign-up NOW, back away. This approach reeks of sales targets and/or desperation, and is not a sign of someone who really knows what they’re doing. That’s not to say everyone who is pushy isn’t talented, but exercise caution. You want to find someone who doesn’t simply see you as a number, so pay attention to people who make time for you and answer your questions.

2.      Which brings me on to the importance of asking questions! If there is something you don’t understand, ask. If they can’t explain it to you properly, they don’t understand it either! Always question any bold statements about the returns you will get through social media. If someone says they can increase sales by 30% in 10 days, ask them how, and what will happen if they don’t. Do you get your money back?

3.      Ask for recommendations from people you know and trust. Whoever you’re thinking of working with, ask to see reviews, testimonials or even endorsements on LinkedIn. Why not ask for a trial period before signing up to a longer term contract?

4.      Make sure whoever you let loose on your social media accounts knows your business, your products/services and the industry as a whole. Again, they don’t have to be an “expert”, but they must take the time to know what makes you and your company tick. What’s your tone, who’s your audience, what’s your location, what’s your USP? If they aren’t asking all these questions, then they’re definitely not right for the job.

 

If you are on the lookout for some help with your social media in 2017, and want to know if Time Saving Heroes might be a good fit for you and your business, don’t hesitate to get in touch.  Direct Message me on LinkedIn, call 0161 883 2024 or email me at lu@timesavingheroes.co.uk

 

I am always happy to have a chat and answer any questions you might have.

Does your content have these three things?

A few months ago we tried to answer what the term content marketing actually means.  Hopefully now you have a slightly better understanding, and how it can impact on your business, and more importantly, your relationships with your customers (and prospects).

When it comes to creating good content you have to look at three main factors, and this week we wanted to look at these in a bit more detail.

Valuable

Your content has to be valuable to the people who are reading it.  Ultimately you have no control over who stumbles across your blogs or articles, so what this means is the people you are specifically targeting.

No matter what your business sells you need to have a good idea of who you are trying to sell to.  It is these people that need to find value in what you are offering in the way of content.  For everything you choose to share, you need to ask yourself what they (the audience) are going to get out of it. What makes it worthwhile?

Your audience should finish reading your blog, or watching your video feeling as though they have learnt something, or have been entertained in some way.  Your content needs to resonate with their lives and values.

Relevant

This follows on from value. Not only must your content be valuable, but it has to be relevant to them and what you’re able to offer.

The best way to do this is to become their trusted expert; demonstrate that you know everything there is to know about your industry, so they can turn to you with any questions they might have.

Show them that you understand them, and they will turn to you the second they need something.

Consistent

There is no benefit to posting three times a year, or just when you remember you’ve not done anything for a while. No matter how good your content is, if it’s not consistent no one is going to remember it. Which means no one is going to remember you.

Posting regularly over a period of time will ensure you are instantly recognisable, and therefore in the forefront of people’s minds when it comes to looking for a solution to their problem.

 

If your problem is coming up with content, or writing posts that are entertaining, factual and engaging then we have the solution. Give us a call on 0161 883 2024 or email lu@timesavingheroes.co.uk