We, as is our invariable custom, commenced Humpday with a conversation – in our minds (Wednesdays tend to make us wonky). The topic that got our underpants twisted was ‘how do creators straddle the thin line of full-time work with social media careers?’
They do it all, and they do it well.
When there are just so-many-hours in the day, how do they accomplish everything? So, we spoke to our community to find out how to handle a side hustle when you already have a day-job (or are still in college).
How To Balance A Career In Social Media With A Full-Time Job?
It’s tricky but doable. With the right strategies in play (think: smart work, not hard), a creator can balance a full-time job with becoming an influencer on social media.
Find Out Your Motivation…
For us, once the work-day is done, we clock out. Completely. If you tell us to go home and do some more work, we’d probably look at you like you asked Voldemort to tango.
That’s where the foundation of building clout on social media enters. The motivation to put in more effort after a whole day of drudgery has exhausted you.
Ask yourself, why are you missing time with friends or a whole night’s sleep. Is it to make people more aware of marginalised issues? Or is to get more moolah to travel the world? The answer becomes your motivation. Let it guide you through hours of slaving over the content.
…And Have A Goal
If finding ‘why you’re doing it’ gets your sleep-deprived body to work the next day, the goal helps you in the long run.
People who are happy in their profession or look at social media as time-away from college will burn out sooner than later. Devoting two or more hours every night to cement your online profession is possible only if you have a target.
For instance, when you know that six months down the line school will end and allow you to focus 100% on social media, then sacrificing a get-together with friends here and there is not a burden.
Likewise, if the goal is to quit the 9 to 5 job in three months, then surrendering sleep or free time for your side hustle is not a #PrettyBigDeal.
Dedicate Work Hours…
When the career goal is to be a social media influencer, then start treating the side hustle like a second job (if you’re already working) or part-time work (if you’re in college).
Looking at it as a profession invokes a more serious attitude, and you start holding yourself accountable. To bring a change in perspective, set dedicated work hours. Pick the time you are most comfortable with and then stick to it. For instance, Sunday morning from 9 to 12 are your influencer work hours.
…And Plan Meticulously
Pre-defined work hours are one side of the coin. The flipside is a plan of attack. A meticulously generated plan lets you do 3 times the usual work, so:
- Sit down and pen every little thing that needs to be accomplished, from creating content to posting it.
- Then plan each stage of the content creation.
Every time those grey cells say “do it on Friday,” change the narrative. Think “On Friday, I’ll click and edit the photo of the dress and come up with the caption.” When you are clear on what you are going to accomplish and in how many hours, more work gets done.
Tackling work with social media means you are bombarded with N number of tasks. One of those chores falling through the cracks is a possibility. Use a calendar (paper or app) to schedule every little obligation and do it purposefully.
What’s intentional scheduling? Thinking for more than 10 seconds before slating it. For example, you put down “shoot a photo at 5 p.m.” When the time comes, you realise the sun has set and that golden hour to capture Instragammable photos is gone. In this scenario, your schedule is essentially useless.
Ergo, consider all factors before adding it to your calendar. E.g., if you are reviewing a new café in town, arrange it for a day or time when you can complete errands in the nearby area.
… And Automate The Rest
Irrespective of how many sleeps you lose or how religiously you plan, time will be short. Fortunately, the digital world allows you to automate a lot. Instead of cooking up a tweet and publishing it at the same time, write a few of them beforehand and use an app to post them on pre-set days.
There are dozens of tools that automate posts. Consider them as the best friend of a professional trying to make it big on social networks.
Students Pay Attention To These Extra Tips!
Students have a harder and easier time at cracking social media vocations. Tougher because studies are time-consuming, and you don’t have the financial bandwidth to explore much. Easier because schools offer a lot of resources. To that end, here are three extra tips for content creators in college:
Use the campus
When you look at campuses from behind the shutter, you realise they make for gorgeous backgrounds for photos and videos. Instead of searching for beautiful places to shoot, take advantage of the university’s architecture.
Find a course or club
Where can you learn the tools of the trade? In a school. Discover a course that helps you further your influencer goals. If not that, then search for a club and join it such as a photography group or a writing club that can take your content from amateur to professional.
Search for collaborators
If you think you’re the only student with a side hustle, think again. Within your sphere, you’ll notice at least one more person trying to crack #InfluencerLife. Reach out to fellow students and find a creator to collaborate.
The 2 Keys To Offsetting Full-Time Work And Influencer Career
Do not wait to do something tomorrow or the day after, when you have the time to do it now.
Create an ethical mindset. Ignoring a brand, creator or your socials because you’re too tired or not in the mood is beyond the pale.
Make procrastination and mindset the two pillars of balancing a social media career on top of school or job. Avoid the first and embrace the second.