Have you ever struggled to get back into your marketing routine after a big break? This week’s theme is all about getting back into your marketing-strategy-groove after taking time out.

Katie shares the exact 5-step process she uses to get back into posting content regularly and marketing her business after taking much-needed time out.

CORRECTION: You may notice in the recording that I declare there are only 13 Wednesdays til Christmas. Sorry if that gave you a mini-heart attack. Fortunately, it was an error on my part and as of 25 August, there are 17, of course!

Today's episode is sponsored by the Instagram MOT. This 20-point checklist and free training are freshly updated, so get stuck in to find out if your profile is fit for purpose or needs some attention! Click on the big yellow button below to get started right away.

The importance of resting over the summer

Despite not being tied to academic or school holiday times for at least ten years, Katie still can’t shake the idea that July and August are holidays. She tends to take a more relaxed approach to Marketing and promoting The Whin during these months.

She’s used the time to regroup, catch up with friends and family and generally take some time to think about the future of The Whin and the direction she wants to move into next.

“I really like having a slow season to rest a bit, reflect on my business and my priorities. Particularly this year after all the upheaval over the past 18 months.”

Time to get back into the game

Now that the school holidays are wrapping up here in Scotland, Katie feels ready to pick things up again and move forward.

If you, too, have been enjoying a more peaceful summer and you’re wondering how to get back into things – this week’s episode is perfect timing for you.

Katie takes us through five steps to help you ease back into marketing and get the ball rolling again.

Step 1: Consider your priorities

Take a look at your diary between now and the end of the year and work out what the significant events or gaps are that you want to fill; these could be themes like:

  • Christmas shopping season
  • Product or service launch
  • Urgent need for new clients

Write the months (or weeks) in your notebook and a key topic to cover each month.

No clue beyond the next three weeks?

Don’t worry – just cover those three weeks, and then move onto the following three weeks…and so on.

Step 2: Plan in some time off

Find a week in your plan where you’ll take a week off. And if you’re thinking, ‘hold on, Katie – we’ve just HAD time off’, Katie urges you to remember that feeling well-rested is essential for your business success.

Take a look at the dates you’ve just listed out and find a good spot where a whole week off would sit easily. Katie suggests at the end of a product launch, or big project wraps up.

  • Find a week off
  • Protect the time
  • Thank yourself down the line

Step 3: Get excited about something

For Katie, this is the secret of business success.

She’s the first to admit that getting back into a marketing strategy after taking time off can be tough. Getting back into the swing of things can take a lot of effort, so Katie’s advice is to plan something fun – and achievable – to get started with.

“The better you feel about the first week back, the more likely you are to go back for a second week, and a third.”

Here are a few fun ideas:

  • Team up with a business buddy for accountability, support and motivation
  • Take on a daily posting challenge for a whole month
  • Go live with connections you enjoy talking to
  • Challenge yourself to use up the Reels audio you’ve been saving with great videos
  • Go through your Stories archives and re-purpose the existing video clips.

Don’t forget to share your new activities with Katie over on Instagram. If you tag her using @thewhinco, Katie will tag you and give you a shout out on her Stories to help you get even more reach with your post.

Step 4: Increase intensity gradually

Think about what your posting schedule used to look like and start with just one thing. You can add another in each week till you’re back where to where you were before.

Set yourself gentle goals for the beginning, and don’t put loads of pressure on yourself. Remind yourself how long each of the activities takes to complete – and add in an extra half-hour to account for being out of practice.

“If you were over-generous with your time estimates, you can do a little extra or have a little extra rest.”

Step 5: Pay attention to the response without comparing

Katie’s saved the hardest one till the end. Naturally, you’ll post different content as you get back into the swing of things after a break.

If you’ve had a good chunk of time off, you’re likely to have a renewed focus, a different set of priorities and goals and even some new ideas for inspiration and advice to share with your audience. And – don’t forget, your followers will most likely have shifted over the summer as they enjoyed their well-deserved break.

This means that we can’t predict in advance what will land with people, what they’ll engage with or how much they’ll engage with each post.

Pay attention to the data as it comes in. Look at your insights after a few days and notice some key information, such as:

  • What people are clicking through to your site for
  • What people are sharing
  • What they’re commenting on
  • What email headings make them open your mail

Paying attention to this means you can serve your audience better right now. Try not to compare your numbers at the moment to your past data and insights. The two aren’t comparable, and it could set you off on a dip you don’t need.

“Don’t let your past numbers define what counts as success for you right now. You’ve got to give people – and the algorithm – time to adjust to what you’re doing right now.”

Additional help from the Whin Big Podcast

Katie has talked about market research and mindset tips to help you get ahead with Instagram marketing in a real, data-driven and positive way.

Episode 68: 5 ways to do market research & understand your customer. In this episode, Katie shares ideas and advice on getting the most out of your research.

Episode 76: The Ultimate Guide to Instagram Insights 2021 helps you work out exactly what your priorities are, so you can find the right data to help you push forward.

Let’s move forward together

The five steps outlined in this week’s episode of The Whin Big Podcast are not only Katie’s best advice but the steps she’s been taking to get herself back into the marketing swing of things after a restful summer.

If you’ve been feeling anxious about jumping back into the busy marketing plans and strategies, then why not try Katie’s five-step plan to getting back on track without the anxiety and overwhelm?

Don’t forget to get in touch with Katie over on Instagram with any questions you have about this week’s episode (or any other for that matter).

And if you want even more weekly support from Katie, sign up to her weekly email, which has lots of brilliant advice, support and resources to help you with your marketing (and lots more besides).