The Reality of Working From Home
Have you ever had one of those days where, despite your best intentions of productivity, you cannot seem to get 5 minutes of free time to sit down at your computer?
I know for me, those days happen much more often than I’d like to admit… it’s a definite hazard of working from home with three little girls!
So what can you do on those days when you’re out of the house all day, running from gymnastics lessons to soccer practice, followed by a quick stop at the grocery store? Or you’re at home, but your child has an inexplicable clingy day and refuses to leave your lap without bawling?
But it’s not just moms who get pulled away from their computers… maybe you’re on a beautiful vacation and can’t see lugging your laptop to the beach and getting tiny grains of sand stuck in your keyboard.
Or (and I truly hope this isn’t the case for you!!) you find yourself in the situation we did in Barcelona in 2013, where our apartment was robbed of all 3 of our MacBooks, and getting new laptops in a foreign country was a nightmare.
What is the solution for entrepreneurs in any of these moments?
Your smartphone of course!
Here are 17 ways to grow your business, stay consistent with your followers, and work on personal development from your phone:
1. Read books on Kindle or Blinkist.
Every successful entrepreneur extols the virtues of reading as much as you can, so that you can learn from others’ experiences and shorten your learning curve. The Kindle app allows you to squeeze in a few pages while you’re waiting in a checkout line or at the doctor’s office… I’ve used it to read books like Rich Dad Poor Dad, a guide to Facebook Ads, and currently I’m reading Sam Walton’s biography.
If you’re looking to get quick overviews of the concepts in major business, leadership, and self-development books, then Blinkist is an awesome app. They condense the main points of non-fiction books into a 15- to 20-minute read, and they have a wide selection of titles available.
2. Listen to motivational books on Audible
Audible lets you get the same benefits as physically reading a book on your phone, but it lets you listen to books when you’re doing something like folding laundry or driving in the car. I’ve listened to books like Vagabonding and Secrets of the Millionaire Mind, and right now I’m listening to Tony Robbins’ Money: Master The Game.
3. Find content on Flipboard to post on Social Media
Flipboard is a great app that lets you choose the type of stories you’re interested in seeing (like technology, social media, and current events) and then shows you the latest and trending stories in those categories. You can save the stories into magazines within the app or share them on social media. I tend to find a lot of great stories from Huffington Post, Entrepreneur, Inc, and pickthebrain.com on Flipboard.
4. Use Facebook’s Pages app to post on your Facebook page
Respond to comments, and do anything else you would normally do on your fan page on a desktop computer.
5. Use HootSuite Mobile to schedule content for your social media posts
If you aren’t already using it, HootSuite connects with over 35 social networks and allows you to plan and schedule posts at optimal times.
6. Grow your Pinterest boards
This one is almost too fun to count as work. :) But if you’re using Pinterest as a marketing tool, you can take some time on your phone to create or add to your boards. Find some cool marketing infographics, link to your latest blog posts, or create and post a beautiful picture with a motivational quote.
7. Engage with potential customers on Pinterest and Instagram
like their pictures, comment on them, and follow them. Again, this doesn’t even feel like work! Spend some time searching through hashtags and topics to find people who fit in your target market, and then start building a relationship with them. I hope it goes without saying, but always be genuine in your interactions… that’s the only way to be a good leader and build lasting success.
8. Stay active on Twitter
You can do everything on the Twitter app that you would do on the desktop - tweet new content, retweet others’ content, reply to messages, and find and engage with new people.
Stay On Top Of Things
9. Work on your Facebook Ads
Did you know that Facebook now has a separate mobile app for their Ads Manager? It has full functionality to allow you to check your Ad stats, edit your budget, and even create new Ad campaigns, all from within the app.
10. Check on your list with the Aweber Stats app
The app doesn’t allow you to create emails, but it does let you see how many leads you’ve generated that day and see the current stats on your email broadcasts and autoresponders.
11. Respond to emails in your inbox
This is a pretty basic one, but you can always respond to emails from your phone. And if you don’t have messages that need responses, you can take a few minutes to read any other important emails that you’ve gotten.
12. Write a blog post or email blast in Evernote
Evernote automatically syncs across all your devices, so you don’t have to worry about your content getting lost if your phone restarts or figuring out how to get it from your phone to your computer easily. You can organize your content into notebooks, and you’ll be able to create content even while you’re away from your phone.
13. Use Siri and voice dictation to write when you don’t have two hands free… or if you hate thumb-typing
If you dismissed the last two options because you can’t imagine writing anything longer than a text message on your phone, then get dictating! Speak slowly and clearly, and be sure to tell the phone when to use punctuation. Then go back over the text, clean up any mistakes, and you’re good to go!
14. Shoot a video blog post and upload it to YouTube
This is another pretty basic suggestion, because if you’re doing video marketing, you’re most likely using your phone for it anyway. But if you aren’t shooting videos yet, give it a try using your phone camera, and then instantly upload it to YouTube. You can use the native camera and photo apps on your phone, or try out some apps like JumpCam or SocialCam to add edits and then blast the video out to multiple social media sites.
15. Create cool pictures to post on social media
I personally like the app Over, but there are so many great photo apps out there, so use whichever is your favorite. Inspirational quotes over a scenic background are always classics, but you could also make pictures like small bulleted lists (example: Top 3 Online Marketing Blogs) or promotional photos of your products. You could also use an app like FaceTune to edit a new profile picture of yourself to use on social media sites.
16. Chat on Skype
If you have freelancers or team members that you need to stay in contact with while you’re away from your computer, then Skype is still a great way to do it. There are many apps now that allow you to chat, but Skype continues to be where most professionals interact, and it's very convenient if you find yourself needing to switch easily from a text chat to a voice call.
17. Do online research
Maybe you’ve been meaning to look up the names of some magazines that your target audience would read, or you want to start learning about Instagram marketing, then use the time on your phone to research those topics and read up about them. You can take notes on what you read in Evernote (or save the website to it), or you can save your findings in the app Pocket.
So there you have it - 17 ways to banish excuses and stay productive, even if you can’t be on your computer!
Do you have any other suggestions of how you work from your phone? Leave a comment and let me know!
If you love the idea of working from your phone (and laptop :)) but don’t have a business home yet, click HERE to learn more about our team. As a member of our team, you will get a 21-step blueprint for online marketing success, along with 1-on-1 coaching and a wealth of training resources!