Ever dreamt of escaping the restrictive 9-5 to grow a more flexible and positive business?

This week’s Whin Big podcast is with Helen Denny from Not9to5 – an event and training consultancy that supports individuals and businesses transitioning to a more flexible work life.

You’ll hear great advice on growing an engaged audience on Twitter and Instagram, using hashtags for better engagement and balancing marketing and networking both online and in the real world. Helen talks about the connections between nature and growing your own business.

How a flexible workweek can improve health and business growth

Working 9-5 is not for everyone, but as research continues to show the benefits of working more flexibly, the numbers of businesses and individuals looking to shift to flexible and more balanced work-life are growing. Proving just how much you can achieve away from a desk or a stuffy office this podcast comes from Katie’s home set-up. Helen talks to Katie from the comfort of her boat in Edinburgh. Flexible working at its best!

Social media tip: Twitter and Instagram reach different audiences

Ever wondered if Instagram and Twitter are a good combo for your social media marketing? Helen discovered this combination is a great way to capture the attention of quite different audiences. Here she talks about what works for Not 9 to 5 and how she tweaks her strategy to make the most of the varied demographics on each platform.

“Did you know Instagram’s algorithm knows text-based posts are more likely to have a sales focus so will have far less reach?” – Katie

Scheduling social media content versus sharing live

All too aware of how quickly things change in life, Helen avoids scheduling too far in advance and prefers to balance a shorter-term scheduling plan alongside sharing content in-the-moment. Is this something you could build into your own strategy to free up some time in your week?

How blogging can add value to a social media plan

When you work on your own business – as you know – it can be hard to commit to writing a regular blog, even when you really want to do it. In the podcast, Helen talks about how she reflected on her business and used her own contacts to make space for making the blog a reality. Try out the same techniques Helen used with the reflective questions in the podcast. What can you streamline in your own business to achieve goals.

“Don’t give up if people don’t answer your questions at first. Building trust takes time, but if you keep showing up you’ll get there”. – Katie

How to grow a fully-engaged social media following in 4 key steps

So far, Not 9 to 5 have had a flexible approach to growing their audience online. Finding a way to grow an engaged online community is high on her priority list. Katie shares her top tips for doing exactly that. Listen in for more insight into these tried and tested tips:-

  • Use questions as a way to encourage followers to engage
  • Avoid coming across as salesy with easy techniques
  • Your followers want to be helpful. Ask for insight and opinions on key parts of your business to bring them into the conversation
  • Make sure your face is part of your social media – you’ll build trust when people see you regularly
  • Keep going and don’t feel deflated
  • Showing up, even if you find it tough, goes a long way to building trust

“We want to focus on something that’s a bit different so our audience will get a fresh perspective”. – Helen

How to create balance between your home and working lives

If you know you have work to do to make life more streamlined you’ll be glad to know there are straightforward techniques for supporting you with that. Helen has shared some of the coaching questions she uses in her training and coaching sessions. They’re included below so you can take them away and reflect in your own time, but be sure to listen to how Helen describes the whole process in the episode, as that really helps to put them in context.

Pause and reflect for balance

  1. Take a moment to think about your business over the last 12 months. What have you achieved? What are you most proud of? What challenges have you overcome? What were the biggest hurdles?
  2. Reflect on here and now. Use this time to think about where you are NOW. What solutions can you identify to overcome the blocks? Are there people in your network to support you with this?
  3. Look ahead: A new approach to goal setting. Start with where you want to be in 5 years and work backwards. What steps can you put in place to get from here to there?

Links to other resources & websites

www.not9to5.co.uk

Not9to5 on Twitter

Not9to5 on Instagram

More about Helen and Not9to5

Helen works with individuals and businesses in London, Glasgow and Edinburgh and is based in Edinburgh. She works with a network of partners and associates to deliver consultancy, training and events in the three cities. Not 9 to 5 hosts the annual ‘Highland Escape’ event – a three-day event that blends transformational coaching, business school and relaxing retreat into one. Guests use the time and environment to pause and reflect on their business and set goals and accountability for moving forward in a way that balances work and life in a more meaningful way.