Episode 50

Bringing Ease Into Social Media with Sam McFarlane

January 26th, 2022

Listen


Today we’re chatting with Sam McFarlane from Sam Says Social about how to reduce overwhelm and keep a fabulous flow with a project management tool, like ClickUp.
We dive into:
  • Being across the right social media channels for your target audience
  • Reducing overwhelm with scheduling social posts in advance
  • Keeping track of tasks and progress with ClickUp
  • Where to start with social media posts to build engagement
  • How to use LinkedIn effectively
  • Why reels are getting so much traction

Connect with our fabulous guest

About Sam
Content marketing and social media management is vital to business success, however it’s no surprise that online marketing is often neglected in an environment of competing demands. Sam McFarlane from social media and management consultancy, Sam Says, helps busy business owners increase their online visibility and brand recognition by taking the overwhelming task of online marketing off their already swamped to do list.
Connect with Sam on Instagram
Sam’s Website

 

 

 

Connect with Nicole on Instagram.

Visit Nicole's Website.

Get the Action Takers Guide to ClickUp here.

Join the Take Control with Nicole Facebook group here.

Join the waitlist for The Members Lounge here

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Full Episode Transcription

Nicole Smith
Welcome to Take Control with Nicole. As business owners we experienced firsthand the fine line between our personal and business lives. During our conversations, we will look at simple hints and tips to create time, reduce overwhelm, and help you to navigate through your journey to where you want to be. If you're looking for smarter ways to work, and create space and time freedom in your day, then you're in the right place. All right, let's go.

Nicole Smith
Hello, hello and thank you for joining me for this fabulous episode of Take Control with Nicole. Today I have the amazing Sam McFarlane here with me and we are going to be talking all things streamlining ClickUp for social media managers. But firstly, I would love to introduce you to Sam. Sam is from social media and management consultancy called Sam Says. She helps busy business owners increase their online visibility and brand recognition by taking the overwhelming tasks of online marketing off your already swamped to-do list.

Nicole Smith
Well, hello, thank you so much for coming along and joining me today. Social media is one of those topics, isn't it that is so important to all the business owners, but sometimes can give us a little bit of eek in our day. So, I'm excited to have this conversation.

Sam McFarlane
Absolutely. Hi, Nicole. Thanks so much for having me today. I'm excited to talk to you all about how ClickUp can really help social media managers.

Nicole Smith
Fabulous. Well, let's start right at the beginning. We want to know all about you, your business, what you do, what makes you smile and laugh and all the fun things. So over to you.

Sam McFarlane
Thanks, Nicole. So as you said, I'm a social media marketer. And I helped predominantly service-based businesses by creating on-brand social media content that helps them stand out online. So I work across LinkedIn, Facebook, and Instagram, they seem to be the three main platforms that my clients are on. And what makes me smile. Gosh, lots of things. Champagne is definitely one, chocolates another one. Normally I say the three C's and Chai, Chai lattes.

Nicole Smith
Love that. The three C's, we love a good three methodology. Right, I talk about that a lot in that power of three, isn't it like three priority tasks for the week or three actions that you're going to do. But I like that one champagne, chocolate and Chai.

Sam McFarlane
Or you could say coffee? Because I know you're a bit of a coffee lover.

Nicole Smith
That's perfect. That's me. Definitely. Oh, amazing. Well, social media. So I know, when I started my business, it was one of those things that everyone was like, you've got to be online, you got to be on visible doing the things, all the things and it can be a little bit daunting at first, because there's all these people telling you all these things that you should be doing. And all of a sudden you're posting every day and trying to pull content out of nowhere and having no real plan. Because when we first start, you know, we've got to try and test. So what do you do for us small business owners or business owners to help remove all that ahhh, into ease.

Sam McFarlane
Absolutely. So essentially what I do when I start working with a client is really get to know who they are, who their ideal customer is, what the particular pain points might be. And then I really feel like I can talk to that particular audience and share that information that will educate the audience and really help them understand a little bit more about that particular business owner and how they can essentially help. But it's not all about just, you know, pushing out messages, because obviously social media is a two-way communication platform. So it's an opportunity to put a thought out there or ask a question and then wait for a response to come back and have a conversation around that. So really, it's about finding out who my clients are what they want to be known for on social media, and then really putting together a plan for them for their social media content. So I can really develop a month's worth of content at a time for a client, and they'll know exactly what's going out on what particular day. And of course, there's there's room for, you know, the ad hoc stuff that comes in that needs to that needs to be part of that social media plan. But essentially, it means for my clients that they've got social media content mapped out for a month, and they don't necessarily have to think you know, every day when they wake up, oh god, what am I going to post today? Because like you said, when we start out in business, we really, you know, we're told that we should be doing this and we shouldn't be doing that. And I heard someone say a little while got what you should all over yourself because there's just too much you know. And as you know, when you start out in business, as you know, you're everything. You know, you're the bookkeeper, you're the accountant, you're the legal team, you're the HR team, you know, and you're a social media manager as well, not to mention the work that you're actually doing for your clients. So there's a lot there.

Nicole Smith
It is, isn't. I think when you first start a business, so you're, you're kind of, it's gonna be fun. It's gonna be easy. It's not maybe not easy. But then you discover ah, hang on. Okay, so if I actually want to find a client's, I've actually got to be out there be that on socials be that at networking events, connection, all of it comes back to connection, though, right? And I love what you said there. It's a two-way street. And I think that that's something to be really mindful of when we're putting content out there. It's great to have those, I guess, the information pieces if it's on a particular topic, or did you know or something like that. But if we can encourage conversation and connection, then that's just going to be so much better, right?

Sam McFarlane
It's so true, because that's how we build relationships, isn't it? You know, we, we ask questions, we get to know each other. And really, social media is a great way for people to get to know you and your brand and your business. Because it gives us the ability to share that little bit of the behind the scenes stuff, which we wouldn't necessarily put up on our website. But you know, we're happy to share that across social media. So it's a really great way of building that know, like, and trust, which in marketing is what we're really aiming for in business.

Nicole Smith
And it's an extension of our business strategy, right? So we're talking about avatars, and you're talking about, you know, attracting the right people that you want to work with. It's just the extension of doing that. Do you support clients to help discover that sort of, if they're not aware? Yeah, you can sort of talk them through? Or is it more that they come to you and they say, This is who I am, this is the business, this is who I'm trying to attract. This is what I like to do. So I like videos or not videos, or posts or, and can you guide them through all of that wave of which platform to use as well, I imagine.

Sam McFarlane
That's right. So I have clients coming to me at different stages. So they might be new in business, or they might be, you know, a little way down the track. So the clients that are newer in business, and they might not necessarily know who their ideal customer is, generally I'll start with a question about, okay, well think about who Who is your favourite client. And even if you haven't had that many, you'll definitely have some standout points that you're like, I really like this particular thing about this client. And once you start to map out that list of the favourite things, then you sort of start to draw upon a particular area where you can niche into. Now, I think sometimes, you know, we might think how ideal customer is one particular person, but then, you know, through conversation with the client, sometimes we'll find out that actually, you know, it's not just that person, or there might be more than one ideal client that we're trying to talk to. So, yeah, I guess I try and work with clients at the particular stage that they're in because that messaging is the most important thing. I mean, if you get that wrong, if you're talking to the wrong audience, then it's just not going to land. So it is really important to think about who that ideal customer is, and bring it back to that. And that can also determine which social media platforms you then be part of. Because I'm certainly not an advocate for being across all the different social media platforms, because there's just too many and that would be a full-time job in itself.

Nicole Smith
Yes. But that's it. Like there's obviously the three like LinkedIn, Instagram and Facebook, but you're right. There's YouTube and Tik Tok and all these other things that I have no idea that are but I am sure there's millions out there, maybe not millions, but yeah, a lot. A lot. A lot.

Sam McFarlane
Yeah. And I think, yeah, with LinkedIn, Facebook and Instagram, they seem to be popular for those service-based professionals. But if I was targeting, you know, if I was looking at product-based business, then you've got Pinterest, as well, which is a great platform for product-based businesses. So and of course, you know, Facebook and Instagram are good for them too. But there's a lot.

Nicole Smith
And it's sometimes like when you first start it's like, you know, those kind of top ones, you know, like I've got to be on them all. Gotta be doing all the things and it's it's great to have someone like you come in and go actually, no, we don't. Because if you do this, this and that, that's going to be more impactful, because your people are there, and you're going to feel less like ah, because there's not so much going on. And I loved what you said and how you support people by doing that month's worth of content and getting it scheduled, and out. Because I know that that's where I'm aiming to be, we kind of keep getting close. And then things shift and change. And anyway, I'm working with the new business integrate OBM. So we're going to get things happening, which is so exciting for me, because I like to be organised surprise, surprise.

Sam McFarlane
But it helps!

Nicole Smith
It does. And it allows what they've told me and I'm sure that's what you tell your clients is that those moments of inspiration, or I've seen this thing that I know you'll be interested in. You can do that, because you've got the capacity, not have to think about I've got to get that post today, because it's already scheduled.

Sam McFarlane
Yeah, that's right. It definitely takes away that overwhelming feeling. When we've got, you know, already too many things to do. And it's just another thing on our list that and yeah, sometimes, you know, you're waiting for inspiration to strike and it just doesn't strike when you're putting so much pressure on yourself. So yeah, this mapping out, and scheduling in advance really does help take away that overwhelm.

Nicole Smith
For me, when I have an understanding of the types of posts, the people I'm talking to. If it's the format, the format it's going in. Even having that at a higher level, then going into actually create the content, if you're still doing this all yourself, it's that real sort of step stages that you go through, isn't it. It's not like, okay, tomorrow, I'm going to do a post quick do that one. And that one, even if it's planning out. How have you, well, you probably be experienced lots of business owners at all stages where they are doing it themselves, and also for people in your field and your business, how they work and how they're doing their things. And if we move into ClickUp, because I know that's what we're talking about today, but it's all relative, wherever you are. That planning process, it can really make or break or make it an enjoyable process or make it something you like, don't enjoy doing. So how has for your business, ClickUp in particular, or any of the systems you use make it, made it a little bit easier for you more enjoyable to use.

Sam McFarlane
Oh, it's so funny, because when I started my business, you know, almost nine years ago now, I obviously only had you know, I started with one client, surprise surprise. And back then, you know, I would have each month I would sit down and say okay, this is the client. And this is the stage that I'm at. And it's just a handwritten list. So I've created the content, I've sent it to the client, I've had the content approved, now I've scheduled it. So it's like, just ticking like I used to have columns and I'd just tick, and it was a very manual process. But you know, as I took on more clients, and as I started to build a team around my business, that process was just far too overwhelming. Because when you have, you know, when you have over, you know, 20 clients, then all of a sudden, how do you keep track of them all if you just writing them down by memory. So it became very apparent to me that if I did want to continue to grow, that I needed to do something else around that, and I was fortunate enough to meet you at a retreat earlier this year. And I think it was that, that aha moment was like, oh that's what I need, like I need Nicole to come and to get all of this stuff out of my head, you know, all of these processes that I've built up in my head over the years, and just to map it all out for me so that I can grow and that, you know, you can have that team and start to outsource more effectively. But also just managing the tasks and where everything's at because it is very easy to lose track of things along the way.

Nicole Smith
Absolutely. And that's for across any business really, it's, you know, when you are doing things and when we start, we all start like that, right? There's all the things, doing all the things and we do it the most, the quickest way at that point, because we're still discovering what our processes actually are, and they're never set in stone. So at this point, this is how we do it. And this works well. And that's fabulous. But three months down the line, you might discover ohh I don't need that step anymore, or we found this other tool that's going to cut out three steps. So yes, amazing. But being able to build it in a system like ClickUp, or Asana or wherever you are in the world, you've instantly able to scale because you've got something that's repeatable. So and also your if you've got your training manuals in place as well, you can just bring in more team members to support you for the different elements. So,

Sam McFarlane
Yeah, I just being able to allocate different tasks to different people and putting due dates and you get reminders. So you know, everything goes in there and then you don't have to think about it again. because then you're just prompted along the way as to what needs to be done and when. So it's just brilliant. It's such a time saver and, you know, takes so much away from my mind. So I can really focus on what it is that I love to do.

Nicole Smith
Yeah, absolutely. I know, I've got another client in the same space as you. And she was doing similar planning on a board, a pinboard. So each month she'd go and have the monthly calendar and handwrite out with the the pillars that were going to be used and, and that take photo, and then the team would do the thing. And so we looked at the game, moving it in and building it in a way and designing it in a way that again, was replique, oh my gosh, the word reprete

Sam McFarlane
Replicable?

Nicole Smith
That's the word. Yeah, and instantly, it just was like, oh, wow. Okay, I can see now I can see what we can actually do. So yeah, so the steps in the parts that make up social media or marketing, even, you know, the elements in the areas that you work in. As a person that's doing it themselves. It How can we, I guess, identify what we actually need to do when we don't have the beautiful expertise of someone like you that we can contact? What do we do?

Sam McFarlane
Where do you start? It's a really good question. And I think that starting with, you know, working out who that ideal customer is, obviously, that you're talking to so working out, you know, what's their age? What do they like to do when they're not working? You know, what are their hobbies? What are their, you know, passions? What, you know, do they like travelling, what, you know, do they have kids, what is it. So finding out, like really drilling deep into that, so you can work out how to have those conversations, but then also and you touched on content viewers, so working out, you know, what it is that you want to be known for, and setting up those content pillars. So I always like, you know, when I'm mentoring particular business owners, or just giving some coaching or training, I have four very basic content pillars that can pretty much be used across any business. So the first one is a promotional style post. So obviously, that's telling people about your product, or your service. Testimonials are really good here. So that's social proof. And then there's that educational piece. So you know, educating people, what it is you do, and how you help, so tips and tricks and really sharing as much helpful information as you can. Because when people see that helpful information coming out, they're going to keep coming back for that and seeing you as a thought leader in that space. And that's really what you want to be known for. And then you know, obviously, when it comes time that they want to hand that thing over. And I'm sort of focusing on the service side, because that's where I tend to work, but you're going to be top of mind for them, because you've been helping them along the way. So promotion or educational. There's also like a connection style piece. So that might be, you know, asking a question of your audience to try and get some information from them. And obviously, to help with engagement. But you know, you might also shout out to someone in the community as well, because this is like another, you know, support small style posts that can really help on social media. And then the fourth piece, which yeah, and this may or may not work for every single business, but that's inspirational. And I mean, I think I'm not just talking about having quotes and, you know, inspirational images and things like that it doesn't, it doesn't just have to be that it can just be more about you know, and that can be some behind the scenes stuff as well. So what, what inspires you, you know, what, what keeps you going what, you know, sharing that a little bit about you and your business as well. And that really helps people get to know you.

Nicole Smith
It's, um, I have so many extended questions on all of that, but I'm gonna start with the inspirational part. You never know who is watching you. And looking at you in a way that you look at other people, if that makes sense. So you're, we're all at different stages. And so we look at it for other people and their journey and go, ohh I would love to do X Y, Z, or, look what they're doing. Like, that's fabulous. And I remember when I first started, I'm like, I can't, I can't show it that like, it's so like, I can't. I've got to be business. Business first, you know, corporate and stuff. And then I realised, actually no, people want to know who I am. And then I started to be more me and leaned into it. And then all of a sudden, like, people did want to know who I was and connect with me. And I was like, oh, I still am like, oh my gosh, someone else has come into my world like woohoo.

Sam McFarlane
And I think I actually heard you talking about that on another podcast, maybe where you were sort of talking about how you felt like even had to dress a certain way and, you know, not be about the jewellery and the headbands and things but like, and as I think you came around to that realisation was that stuff about you with the jewellery and the headbands, and the beautiful dresses and the makeup. And, you know, that is you. And so that's what people are gonna be attracted to, and have a talking point and also think about you as well, because when they see like a cool headband, like that you would wear, it's probably going to be like, Oh, I reckon Nicole would like that. And, you know, you all of a sudden gonna get these messages. Like I was thinking about you because I saw this and, and then, you know, you're popping up top of mind for people. And yeah, that's, that's how we get to know that's how we get to know people and build that know, like, and trust and we can say, ah, Nicole likes pretty lipstick. I like green lipstick, too. Or, you know, when you're shopping. Oh, wow, that's a gorgeous dress that would look amazing on Nicole, you know, like, you start to build, like, we get to know you. You're removing that red velvet, you know, rope that goes across, you know, and you're letting people in you're letting them in.

Nicole Smith
And isn't that funny? Because I remember so we obviously both know, Suze, I'm in BBA as well as you. And she'll probably giggle at this she'll be like stop being silly. But I remember when I first saw her and met her in person. I was so nervous. I was like, oh my gosh, Suze Chadwick over there like, oh my gosh, like we've spoken on, god we've had 1 on 1 course, we've had BBA course like, I know, she knows who I am. I know who she is like, she's just a person. I was still like, then to flipping it. The first time that happened to me. I was like, don't be silly. Like, I'm just me, like, come and talk to me, of course. And I thought, oh, okay. See what's going on here.

Sam McFarlane
So true, we put people up on pedestals, you know, and we're sort of so inspired by people. And then we're like, oh, my god. It's like that celebrity status. Like, because we follow people. And they're like our celebrities, you know. Like 20 years ago, you know, it might have been, I don't know, Kylie Minogue and we by the TV week, or maybe I'm talking years, I don't know. But you know what I'm getting at. So we kind of feel like, oh, is, there's that person, and they're in another league to us, because they're up there and they're out there and all that sort of stuff. But like you say, they're just, they're just people. And I mean, of course, they're amazing people like you and Suze are both amazing people. But like, does attract likes. Yeah, it's funny that I helped me do that.

Nicole Smith
Just interrupting this episode, for one little message, if you have been listening and love what you hear and want to come in connect, we have a Take Control with Nicole Facebook community, right over there on Facebook, that I would love to invite you to come and join us. We are a supportive community, we are looking to really take action in our businesses, and change the way or evolve the way we're working right now. So I invite you to come on over and join our community and connect with us all. Community is the essence of everything in business, being able to really build those relationships that you can nurture, and grow and support and celebrate each other. Oh, how fabulous. I hope to see you over there, pop on over to Facebook, Take Control with Nicole, see you soon.

Nicole Smith
And I think with social media, it's so fabulous that you have the opportunity to reach out and go, hey, that's amazing, good work on what you've done. Or like I'd love I love what you said here or just being able to know that that's what the DM's for like, we don't just say, hey, come and chat with us. Like we actually want, I want to talk to people, like I love meeting new people and talking and discovering what they're doing. And so like these platforms, that's what they're for, connection.

Sam McFarlane
That's exactly what they're for. And I think too often people think it's marketing and, you know, we've got to be you know, business front and all that sort of stuff, but it's social media marketing. So we put the social into it. So we're allowed to have conversations. And I think, you know, as, as time goes on, even the bigger corporations hopefully are starting to break down those barriers, you know, that, you know, they stand behind their big fences of the corporation. But, you know, these days, people want to know the people behind the business. And if I go to a website, and I can't see that there's actual faces on there and individuals that I might be dealing with, then I'm just gonna move on to the next one because I don't feel like I have any connection with just a corporation. I want to support a business owner, a business. I want to know who's behind the I want to know who I'm going to be talking to, you know, they're humans, they're not robots. So I think that you know, this is going to start to change you know, in the coming years, I hope but yeah, it's really interesting.

Nicole Smith
And it's fabulous to, like if we talk about ClickUp because obviously, super fan but you look at their social media and it's so vibrant and like, you know Zeb Evans, the founder, he's there. He's on their face, bright coloured shirts. I don't know if you saw recently they did a conference and he had full head to toe ClickUp material suit. And I'm like, yeah baby, that's branding. That is like, I want the headband, I need a headband of ClickUp. So I'm gonna email them and get some fabric, let's see, watch the space. But yeah, for me, that kind of just shows me that, like, they're a growing big company, right. But yet they're still human, like they're really human-focused, like, people-focused, community-focused. And that's a really, for me something to look at and be like, yeah, cool. Like, it doesn't matter what size you are. If you want to connect with people, you have that opportunity to do it. So do it.

Sam McFarlane
And that's what's gonna make you stand out amongst all the others, isn't it? Yeah. Because all the others when they're just hiding behind their big corporation walls. But you know, like they're, you know, click up they're standing front and forth, you know, in a suit, in the branded suit. I mean, yeah. Amazing branding.

Nicole Smith
So much fun. Sorry, talking about the feeds, or I never know what the right terminology is, like, the bits with the photos and things. Right,

Nicole Smith
Your right with the feeds.

Nicole Smith
The feeds, there we go. Got it right. So at first like, when I first started there, like, you must have a curated fade, it's got to be all like pretty and matching and all the things and how important is that, versus the actual content?

Sam McFarlane
When Instagram first came out, it was all about that beautifully curated feed. But I think anyone that did try and do that, soon realised that it's very hard to fit life into that feed. And it's perfectly fine if you just want to have a very, very structured, planned social media content feed, great. But life doesn't work like that, things happen. And I remember I was at a lady, that was giving a talk. And she was saying, you know, gone of the days, because one day, she realised that she wanted everything pink and pretty, because that was her brand colour. But she then, she wanted to share a photo of her cat and she realised she couldn't because her cat wasn't pink, and it wouldn't fit in with the feed. So then she was like, okay, I'm done with the curated feed, I'm gonna do real life. So I think, to answer your question, it's not as important as it probably was initially. And look, it does depend on the brand as well. And I have some clients that I work with are very, you know, they want that grid look. They want that, you know, the branded name, the image, the brand and me and that's fine. That's what they want. But you know, when something happens, ad hoc, and I have to try and fit it in, there's a bit of moving around, that has to happen. So, you know, when life gets in the way they guys agreed. So yeah, look, I think it's, it's a lot more, people are wanting that real-life stuff now. It's less about that beautiful, beautifully curated feed. But obviously, you know, you can still have I guess images that are similar colour palette if you still want to sort of mix it up a little bit, but still stay on brand. So there's lots of different ways to do it. But I think ultimately, a less perfection for social media these days is really the way that we're going and more real life.

Nicole Smith
Well, that makes me happy because that's what we've been doing over this side of the of the Zoom Room. We've got the brand colours and we just kind of inject them in you know where they need to be. And lots of other, me.

Sam McFarlane
Yeah. But I still can tell when I see a post of yours. I still know it's yours, because it's still in that brand alignment. Yeah. You know, it's not completely off. Yeah. I think you're doing a really good job.

Nicole Smith
Thank you. I'd love to say there's a real big plan and design focus on it, but it's very much, this is the post I think this image is gonna work. Let's make it a thing.

Sam McFarlane
Oh, you're a natural.

Nicole Smith
I've got a good team around me who, who learn who I am and I guess this is what you do with your clients as well, really understanding who your client is, what they like, what's good for their business, what's good for their brand, all of those things. So that all just naturally happens when you build those connection relationships. You understand the people. It all becomes a little bit easier, doesn't it?

Sam McFarlane
Yeah, absolutely.

Nicole Smith
Yeah. So good. Okay, so the other points you were talking about the sales posts or the promotional posts, I know this is something that Suze always asks. Have you actually told people about what you do? How can they work with you? And it's upright, like when she first said that I was like, ah, no, I've got lots of beautiful posts going on, lots of educational informational things like what I'm doing in the day, probably the inspirational tick yep. But no, I had never invited anyone to come work with me.

Sam McFarlane
And then you're wondering where all those clients.

Nicole Smith
Yeah exactly. How do you encourage yourself or your clients to actually take that step?

Sam McFarlane
Look, I think you're not alone there because we're, we're pretty humble individuals. And it's possibly that whole tall poppy syndrome. We don't want to, you know, talk about ourselves or promote ourselves, you know, because we shouldn't. But at the end of the day, we're businesses, we're not just here for the fun of it, you know, we do actually want to make some money out of this. So you do actually have to let people know how they can work with you. Because, you know, that's just going to help them at the end of the day, because if they're like, oh, I really love everything that Nicole is doing. I really relate to her. But yeah, and then as soon as you put that offer out there, like, yeah, I want it like, yeah, sign me up. And so sometimes people are just waiting for that offer of how to work with you. And I think, uh, you know, even Suze talks about like storytelling. So you know, just sharing, you know, what you're up to. And she does this really, really well. Like just shares that behind the scenes, what she's working on who she's working with, what she's, what she's up to. And then it's really easy for people to say, oh, you know, I want to, I want to do that, too. Or could you help me with that? You know, you help so and so could you do that for me as well. So it's not like a really buy my stuff sort of out there massive billboard, you know, here's a set of steak knives, sort of. It's not that sort of movie. But you know, it's that. Yeah, it's exactly what she says. It's that storytelling. So you know, telling people what you're up to, and just sharing, because that's that behind the scenes stuff. Because everyone loves like, we're all stickybeaks the end of the day. And we love to know what's going on in other people's lives and what they're working on and what that looks like, because then we can start to work out how we could potentially fit in to that, too.

Nicole Smith
Yeah, that's so true. And that's, I guess, then moving on to same in the actual stories of Instagram. And I don't know, have you dived into the LinkedIn stories at all?

Sam McFarlane
I do put a few up. Yeah. But look, it hasn't taken off. I don't think as they had hoped for but yeah, I do put a few you know, educational tips.

Nicole Smith
Yeah. Yeah. I love your series that you've been doing recently. It's really good. Yes, very good reminder of that. I know with stories, I think we've had this conversation in the member's lounge as well around. I know I need to do it. But I just can't, I just don't know what to say or don't know what to do, or lalalala. And I share that when I first decided I was going to do stories, it was I was really nervous as well, like, and I come from a performance background. So I can go and sing on a stage in front of like 200 people, no issues at all, but have me in a room by myself recording a video that no one can actually see it's not live. I'm like a auughhh. So it's crazy, isn't it? You know? So, at first it was a bit like that. And there might have been a few takes. And now it's just like, actually, it doesn't really matter. Like a, it's gone in 24 hours anyway. Yeah. But people want to know who you are, in all the moments that are going on? Because we're humans.

Sam McFarlane
Yeah, that's right. And that's how we get to know people and that's how we can relate to them and have conversations with them. Because if they're sharing that sort of stuff is what is going on in their life, then it's how you can resonate with people and really develop those relationships. So it's so important and well done. You do do a brilliant job. I need to take a leaf out of your book. That's one thing that I'm not doing very well.

Nicole Smith
It's one of those things though, right? When it's the right time, like you'll probably notice it's gonna say where's my phone but so there because we're recording podcast, I don't want to be noisy. When I'm not feeling it, I'm not on there, either. So it's again, there's we don't want to feel this pressure on doing the things if it's not the right thing for you right now. At some point it might be at some point it may not be and that's totally fine. You do whatever you, whatever is right for you. That's my motto.

Sam McFarlane
Yeah, you do. But I mean, video is super powerful. And it's just a really great way to connect with people. So it is, it is a great thing if you, if you do have the confidence to do it, then definitely do it.

Nicole Smith
My team just told me that this morning, they have just started with me. And so they're reviewing all the things that I've been doing. And they're like, hi-five, you're doing awesome. But continue with the video. I'm like, yeah, I've stopped with the videos for a, because I was doing the lives for ages. And I loved that. And then I stopped the video. So I know this, next year or this year 2022, that's when this will be coming out. I'm going to ramp up the videos again, because I do enjoy them. But it all comes back to planning. For me. If I have the content, I could just do the things. If I have to think about the content and then do the things. And that's an extra step. So can we have a chat about LinkedIn, versus the other two, Instagram and Facebook? I know they're both slightly different, but I kind of put them in a similar boat, those ones. LinkedIn, I know seems to be really corporate, right, that corporate level. But what I'm discovering is, and what I have recently discovered is that the premise of it is, is about connection is about being able to bring people together. The corporate thing is only because that's where it's kind of people are on there. But I found the posts that are about people celebration, like I popped one up recently about the co working day I did. That was amazing engagement and comments and all the things. So should we be doing a little bit more of that on there being a little bit more human? Like over on Instagram on LinkedIn?

Sam McFarlane
Definitely. Yeah, it is. It is definitely welcome. Now I, I don't think you take it as far as sharing, you know what you're eating for lunch. And maybe I'm not sure about the pet photos on LinkedIn. But I definitely think sharing some of that human element. Because again, that's that behind the scenes stuff. And people love it. Like you said, You got really good engagement from it, because people love to see people. And, you know, I guess the thing with LinkedIn is that, out of all the people that are on LinkedIn, only about 1% of people actually post content. So a lot of people that have accounts, and actually posting anything. So the beautiful thing is that if you do post something, your audience, you know, as long as you connected to the right, people are going to see that content. So the lifespan of the post is going to be a lot longer than on a platform like Instagram and Facebook, and where you're competing with posts from family and friends. And you know, it's very noisy. Both of them are very noisy platforms versus LinkedIn. But where I see LinkedIn, slightly different to the two is that it's that real business to business, networking or social media tool, if you like.

Nicole Smith
Yeah, yeah, absolutely. And I know that, um, what I've also seen is the the celebration posts, they love, love that over there as well. And that's a really interesting 1%.

Sam McFarlane
Yeah, it's huge, isn't it? Like I mean, it's time it's tiny, huge opportunity is what I'm trying to say

Nicole Smith
Yes. Yeah, absolutely. Oh, that's very good to think about, um, consistency, and posting the number of days and all of those sorts of things. I guess what I've, I think I've discovered is that it actually doesn't matter how many days it's more about you being consistent. Is that right?

Sam McFarlane
So true, yeah, absolutely. So talking about LinkedIn, you might be looking at posting two posts a week consistently. And that's a really great number for LinkedIn as a minimum, and then Facebook and Instagram, if you're looking at a minimum three times a week for those platforms. But yeah, it is consistently showing up. So it's all about you know, making sure that if you say look, I can only post once a week, I'm not going to say well, you have to be posting three because that's the minimum. I'm saying, okay, start with that, that's great, but do it consistently. Consistently show up once a week because then you'll build that engagement. The problem is when people start to post, you know, multiple times a day and then nothing for three weeks and then they post once and then nothing for two weeks and then they post every day and it's that inconsistency because then you're not going to have that engagement that's happening on that post and so then you're gonna drop out of people's feeds and then that's where that's what we don't want.

Nicole Smith
So if you find like that you have been doing all the things like someone over here on this side of the screen doing all the postings all the days and we want to reduce it. Is that is that something that if we do it gradually, like just say you're doing six days and you move down to five, like, would that be a massive impact? Or you just might see a little bit of a blip? And then you'll it will realise what you're doing? Or because you're already posting all the rest of the days, that shouldn't be a problem.

Sam McFarlane
I think because you're already posting, quite consistently, it should, it should be fine. And look, you're showing up in stories as well, because that's the other thing. A lot of people are just spending time in stories at the moment. Yeah, and so and less time in their feed, but then there's some people that just spend time in the feed. And there's some people that like both. So I think, you know, stories, I'd say it's great if you can do them daily, and then drop down the other content, if that's what you're wanting to do.

Nicole Smith
And that, that, I guess that brings me to a question. It doesn't matter where you are on the platform, if you're doing something that means you're active, right? So if you're in stories, or if you're doing we haven't even spoken about reels, but that's a whole other kettle of fish. But yeah, Instagram lives or TVs or any of those things. It's about being on there.

Sam McFarlane
It's about being on there and being active. Yeah. But I think you know, if you never put a post up on your feed, but you always or say you've had an account, and you haven't posted in a year on your feed, that you've been doing daily stories, then obviously people do come to your feed, they'll be like, oh, but they're not posting. Yeah, yeah. But they might be the people that only look at the feeds they don't look at the story. So they're not sure what's going on. So I think, you know, in an ideal world, we would be doing both and look, just to touch on reels, because I know that's a whole other topic. But because you mentioned it, look at the moment, because reels is such a new thing for Instagram, they're putting everything behind it. So they're really rewarding people that are putting in the effort. And so you'll see that you get huge traction with your reels. And you know, they'll continue to do that, because it's the new kid on the block, and they want to push everything behind it. So you're certainly being rewarded for that. And I think the thing with reels is that you can also have it in the discoverable section, which then people that aren't following you can come across you all of a sudden, whereas that wouldn't typically happen unless someone did a search on a hashtag that you use or found your handle somehow. So that's another benefit of reels.

Nicole Smith
Yeah, I am, was on a really good reel roll.

Sam McFarlane
That's got a ring to it!

Nicole Smith
Reel roll! I was, I committed to doing 30 days straight. And I really enjoyed it because it was spontaneous. It was like I searched for the one with the little triangle in the bottom left on the music. If you're listening and you don't realise that's a thing. When you're watching reels and you look at the audio, it's got a little triangle. That's a trending one. Is that right? And it's trending? Yep. And I just ave it a go. It's just been fun, you know, even did some singing on them. You know, all those fun things. That's me. And I yeah, I'm gonna, again, that's another thing I'm going to look back into for 2022. So,

Sam McFarlane
Yeah, definitely big plan.

Nicole Smith
Big plans!

Sam McFarlane
Lot's of videos.

Nicole Smith
But, all in moderation, right. So all of these things that we're going to do, it's about coming back to your plan, understanding who, what, all the things, purposefully creating your content, right? So once you have the plan, let's not over energise ourselves on things. Let's work beautifully.

Sam McFarlane
That's right. And I think also allocating that time to sit down and create. Because, I mean, for me, it takes a lot to get me to get on video. Yeah, a bit camera shy if you like. So, you know, my plan is to sort of allocate a whole day, and just, you know, have 10 different tops, or something, you know, five different hairstyles, so it looks different. But actually, you know, having like, just batching. Batch creating, because I'm obviously all about batch creating. But you know, really just getting them out and when you're in that sort of video production mood because like you said, you know, when you sort of start out, you're a little bit nervous, and it might take a little bit of, you know, to get going but once you're you're set up and going like you said you're on a reel roll. So take advantage of that. But and that's the same with even with your content planning. So if you sit down and allocate, you know, a few hours every month, you know, sit down, have a glass of wine even if you like and just start to plan out what's good, what's coming up next month, you know, and start to plan out your content. It makes it a lot easier. To come up with that content plan, and then you can sort of slot some things around other things that might be happening. It's a really nice, easy way to do it.

Nicole Smith
And it's, when we have that conversation around that, because I've done that too. And I found when I have invested that time to do that, right at the start, when I was just me doing just everything myself, I whipped it out, I got a big piece of paper at the at the start, I chose a theme for the month, and I did all the things and sat down and wrote all the content and did all the images. And all of a sudden it was all a thing. And I felt amazing because I knew that, a, I knew what was going on, and that the content was ready and raring to go. And it did it flowed it just even with the video, I did a video series and I would record like 4, 5, 6 however many in a row. And it was easy, easy. But then if I got to do one, it's like, I've got to get prepped in the mode like zone and set little bit more energy resources, more resources.

Sam McFarlane
And I think also, if we're sort of thinking about that, in the moment doing the post, we can sometimes neglect our strategy as well. Whereas if you're planning ahead of time, you can really think about your strategy. And like you said, you had a theme for the month. I mean, that's awesome. You know, when when you have you know, your content themes and work with your pillars, you going to be creating that content around that whole theme of things, and not just talking about all the same things or forgetting to promote yourself.

Nicole Smith
Yeah, and at that stage, I probably, there was no promotion in any of that. But I know now, that's the thing, have those CTAs. Those call to actions on the post so that people actually know what we're encouraging them to do. But listen to this podcast, for instance, on the post today, you will see, go and listen to the podcast episode.

Sam McFarlane
And that's a really simple call to action. And people will do it. Yeah. Sometimes we just have to let people know what we want them to do. We have to, you know, specifically say, you know, click on the link in bio to listen to the latest podcast, that's all we want them to do, or, you know, put an emoji in of how you're feeling today. Or caption this image or, you know, like it doesn't have to be buy now, call me now.

Nicole Smith
Tag someone fabulous in this post like, yeah, absolutely. I'm talking about links. I love the link feature in the stories. Love it! I've been using that in particular, on the podcast, theme as well, we now do a podcast story image and pop the link in and I'm like that is genius. Like I know people with 10 K's have had it for a while. But for everyone else, all the other ones, we love it. We need it. And yeah, I'm so excited that that's the thing.

Sam McFarlane
It's brilliant and I love it too, because for so long. You know, clients would ask me how can I put a link in if I don't have 10,000 followers? Might be a little way off that just yet. But yeah, it's good.

Nicole Smith
Yeah. Awesome. Well, is there anything else we want to cover? Before we jump into the three questions?

Sam McFarlane
I think we're there. I don't know I'll let you run the show.

Nicole Smith
Cool, no I think there's, we chatted about all sorts of things, which is what I love about these conversations is you just never know where it's gonna go. And a conversation can just spark another idea. And it's just oh, how fabulous when you're curious and you go down that road, it's so amazing what you can discover. Alright, let's do it. Three questions. Okay. What is your go-to app that creates ease in your every day in your day? Doesn't have to be just one, you can share a couple if you'd like.

Sam McFarlane
I'm a massive fan of Canva, obviously, because I'm creating lots of graphics for clients branded memes. So that's one of my favourites. What else? What's another one? I have a grocery list app on my phone. And that's handy because if my husband needs to go shopping, then we both got access to this list. And we can both put things on it as and when we run out. So that's a little bit of a handy one to close. Not really business-related but helpful in life.

Nicole Smith
So important. So I don't know if I told you this but a couple of weeks ago, I moved our grocery list into our family area in ClickUp.

Sam McFarlane
Of course you did!!

Nicole Smith
And I set Simon up with the app and all of that and the cheeky guy comes up to me the other day and goes Nicole going we're gonna do grocery shopping but guess what I have found this solution that is amazing. It's called ClickUp. Have you heard about it? I'm like ohhh my gosh. But yeah it's amazing.

Sam McFarlane
And thank you.

Nicole Smith
Yeah, exactly. It's coloured, we've got the, anyway, we're not going down there, but it's pretty cool. Whatever works for you.

Sam McFarlane
Is there anything that ClickUp can't do.

Nicole Smith
Haha, um well there are functions that it can't do, but there's some new things. Have you discovered whiteboards yet, there's a new feature go and add that in your view and have a look. It's kind of like Miro, which is like a an online like post-it note.

Sam McFarlane
Oh, wow. I like the sound of that. You should say my desk it's covered in post-it notes.

Nicole Smith
Really good for brainstorming and workflows and all sorts of stuff. So pop on over and have a look at that later. But okay, online or paper to-do lists lover or hybrid?

Sam McFarlane
Oh I'm such a paper and pen person, but I look, I'm trying I'm really trying and Clickup's helping. I still have a paper diary and an electronic diary. And I've got to have both happening because the electronic one gives me dings when I have a meeting because otherwise, I'll forget. So look, I am traditionally, I love a bit of paper and a pen. But I'm really trying to move with time. So,

Nicole Smith
I do as I'm sitting here I've been playing with my new pens that Sebastian, my son bought me a whole pack of coloured pens for my birthday, so gorgeous. You've got to do you, we've we said that earlier, you've just got to whatever works for you. And that makes you feel comfortable and organised. And whatever is gonna work is exactly perfect. And if you moving a different way or whatever, you find your way you find the way that works.

Sam McFarlane
Yeah, definitely. I've got to get into that Clickup so that sounds like so amazing.

Nicole Smith
Okay, what would you do if you created more space in your world?

Sam McFarlane
What would I do? Look, I'd love to say I'd exercise more. And, you know, cook healthy meals and you know, be supermum, but at the end of the day, I'd probably watch a bit more Netflix and oh, you know, read books, read more books. Yeah, I think that's one thing that's, you know, that easily drops off my list. And I'm one of those people that have the books piled up, you know, all the books that I want to read, because I do love reading, but sometimes I just never get around to it. So yeah, look in an ideal world. You know, a bit of exercise, reading, relaxation, maybe a massage. Yeah, maybe some travel. That'd be nice.

Nicole Smith
Yes, travel. Now that's becoming a thing again, which will be so exciting. I keep saying and I've said this a couple because it's just so, a friend of mine. I just can see myself in the south of France at the moment in a garden somewhere in the back of a beautiful villa with a glass of Provence Rose. That's just beautiful. So tasty. That's where, I that where my head is. So that's going to be a thing. At some point. I'm sure.

Sam McFarlane
I can see it. Yeah, I can see there.

Nicole Smith
Love it all. Thanks so much, Sam for coming and chatting with me. It's been so fun. Is there, firstly, how can we find you? And is there anything else that you want to share with the community here today?

Sam McFarlane
I've been such a pleasure to talk to you today. Thank you so much for having me. I really loved it. Now what can I share? Look, I guess, you know, come on over. and I'd have to say, you know, follow me on social media, wouldn't I? Because um, so @samsayssocial is my Facebook and Insta handle. But if you want to connect with me on LinkedIn, I'm Sam McFarlane. So yeah, they're the three ways that you can connect with me.

Nicole Smith
How can we work with you? Since we're talking about promotion? Got to put that in there somewhere. That's important.

Sam McFarlane
Absolutely. So there's a few different ways that people can work with me the most popular way is my done for you social media management service where I basically run your social media for you. So that's, I have a free coffee chat that you can jump in and book on my website, free zoom call just to see if we're a good fit. Another way you can work with me is just with a strategy. So that's more for the people that want to run their own socials but just want to make sure that they're doing the right thing so I do a full social media strategy for you and then I also have my training one on one training and coaching and workshops as well which hopefully I'll get to do some more workshops. I've done some online ones this year but yeah hope for the in-person ones, they're a lot easier..

Nicole Smith
Yeah definitely. 2022 is the year for in-person I'm feeling that's in moderation. Again, though. We were talking before you hit record about how all the things are happening when you come into lockdown everyone wants to see you and invite you and be and do and all the things. And being able to know what's the right amount for us as we go out and back into the world, but in person is definitely a thing in 2022.

Nicole Smith
Wonderful. Well, thanks so much, all of those details are going to be in the show notes. So please pop over, click the links connect, reach out to Sam, if you need any assistance in the world of social media, getting your strategies organised. So you can plan and get organised. And also move it over into ClickUp because you know, there is just whatever your process is, having it in there, using those templates and getting those that planning activities easy each month will just make it just that little bit easier. In the social media realm.

Sam McFarlane
You know what's something that blew my mind with ClickUp that you showed me, is that you can bring in Google Sheets. So, and I'm a big Google sheets person. And that's where I do all my social media plans. So that is just that's huge. Now I don't have to go and search for the Google sheet I just go into click up. There's everything that I could possibly need. It's brilliant. I love it.

Nicole Smith
So good isn't it, it's the, you know, I talk about where we're building really a central operational hub for your business. And however that looks, every business is different. So they all look slightly different. But if we can create that and you connect in those are the tools that you use, because as we said that there isn't a system that's going to tick all the boxes, right. And if you've got something you love, being able to have that all connected in and not have to go searching like you said, are so good makes me sing.

Sam McFarlane
Saves so much time. Brilliant.

Nicole Smith
Well, thank you again so much for joining me today. And I hope everybody that is listening here has a wonderful rest of your day and enjoy creating space and time freedom bye now.

Nicole Smith
Well, there we go. Thank you so much for joining me today. It's been such a pleasure having you onboard. Have we connected on socials yet? If not, please come on over say hi, I'm on all the platforms @theartisansolutions. So I'd really look forward to seeing you over there. And if you enjoy today's episode, don't forget to tag me and I'd love it if you could leave a review. And of course share this with others so others can come and join us next time. All right, then everyone have a fabulous rest of the week and until next time, see you then.


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Acknowledgement of Country

We acknowledge the Traditional Owners of the land on which we work and live. We pay our respects to Elders past, present and emerging. We celebrate the stories, culture and traditions of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Elders of all communities who also work and live on this land.