If you’re working to build a business on the side while doing another job to pay the bills, you know what it’s like to have a very full plate. Days, nights, weekends. You need all available hours to get everything done. Many health and wellness pros I’ve come to meet over the last two years are in this boat. They’re ready to start a new health coaching practice or want to begin working as a personal trainer, but they’re not quite ready to make the leap into full-time self-employment.
One of the health and wellness pros I’ve come to know is Danielle Zeigler, a fellow graduate of the Institute for Integrative Nutrition. I’m not sure where I first came across her site, but I ended up subscribing to Danielle’s blog posts, and I regularly enjoy her insights. She’s a health coach, business consultant, blogger and social media enthusiast who also happens to have a demanding contractor job as a content marketing specialist.
Danielle Zeigler, health coach, blogger, et al
With all that Danielle has on her plate, I thought she’d have great advice for health and wellness pros juggling the demands of both a day job and dream job … so I reached out to get her thoughts on social media marketing and was happy to immediately get a response.
Melanie: You’re active on several social sites and also regularly publish posts on your blog. What tips or advice do you have for health coaches and wellness pros new to social media marketing – and especially to those who might be overwhelmed by trying to “do what Danielle does”?
Danielle: Choose two social media channels and focus on connecting with your audience. Don’t focus solely on the number of followers you have. The goal is to create a tribe, so show your personality, practice good customer service and reach out to other health coaches and wellness pros. What’s better – 1,000 followers who aren’t listening or 100 followers who interact and recommend you to their friends?
I also highly recommend automating and scheduling as much as possible. If you use WordPress, you can edit your settings to automatically share new posts when they are published. For scheduling, I recommend Hootsuite or Buffer.
That’s such a good point about the number of followers, Danielle. I heard someone say recently how, if you had 100 people in a room listening to you read one of your blog posts, you’d be blown away by that size of an audience – vs. bemoaning the fact you don’t have 1,000.
How do you specifically use apps and tools to make social media marketing easier?
For scheduling, Hootsuite and Buffer. I use the free version of Buffer, so it only allows 10 scheduled posts. I use it because you can schedule a tweet with an image for Twitter, whereas Hootsuite only shows a link to the picture. For image-editing, it’s PicMonkey. And my favorite plugin is Revive Old Post to re-purpose old blog posts.
I haven’t heard of Revive Old Post. I’ll have to check that out.
Which social site do you spend the most time on in a given week – or perhaps it’s your blog taking the most time?
I spend the most time writing my blog posts. They can often take up to three to four hours to get everything written, formatted, create a picture and optimize for search engines. However, lately I’ve been spending more time editing images to be optimal for my Pinterest page, and it’s paid off with increased traffic.
In the Social Media for Health Coaches Facebook group I moderate, coaches frequently ask what social media rules they should follow. Changing things up a bit – are there any social media rules you like to break?
I often post during non-peak hours so my posts don’t get lost among all the others. Also, I always tell my clients to experiment. Don’t blindly follow tips you read online (this goes for your brand/blog/business, too). What you do differently is what will stand out and get you hired.
Where do you get inspiration for all of the content you share on your social sites and blog?
I find inspiration from literally everywhere. I use smart phone apps like Diaro or Evernote to quickly jot down ideas as I have them. I usually get ideas while on a long drive or in the shower (since I’m forced to disconnect from technology), so it comes in handy to use Voice to Text or have my phone handy right after a shower. I also use Bloglovin to follow other blogs.
I don’t know much about Bloglovin, other than the name. I’m a huge Feedly fan for trying to maintain order in the 50+ blogs I read each week. That’s what I use to keep up with your blog. By the way, I always look forward to your regular feature, Sunday Link Love. You really have a knack for content curation, and I love the categories you cover (health, fitness and lifestyle; food and nutrition; and blogging and entrepreneurship).
I’ve found that Twitter is a convenient and quick way to contact someone. Also, as I mentioned, putting time into your images for Pinterest is worth it. I don’t spend a lot of time on my business Facebook page, but have gotten a decent amount of referrals from others sharing my content on Facebook (so don’t give up on it just yet!).
What social media strategies do you intend to keep in 2015, and what new or different approaches do you want to try this year?
I’ll be focusing more on Pinterest and Instagram this year as I improve my images, but I’ll continue to post on Twitter regularly and Facebook occasionally. My overall goal is to work more on telling the story of my brand, rather than just curating content and posting a link to my blog posts.
Where do you see yourself in the next couple of years, Danielle? Are you hoping to focus 100% on your coaching, consulting and blogging?
I have big plans for the next few years, including ebooks, ecourses and group coaching. I’m not sure where my focus will fall, completely. I’m trying to naturally let my business evolve and focus on how I can best help others.
What advice do you have for other health and wellness pros juggling the demands of a day job they can’t yet leave, while pursuing their dreams?
Stay positive about the situation and view your day job as the fuel to your passions. It’s either a steady income so you can work on exactly how you want to build your other business; a reminder of why you started pursuing your dream; or a great way to network and get your other business started. Staying positive, motivated and having fun will make juggling all the work much easier.
Thanks for your time, Danielle. This has been great.