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HomeBusinessUsing technology as powerful tool of the trade 

Using technology as powerful tool of the trade 

Streamline and refine digital-social-mobile strategies for business

The profession of tile installation is such a wonderful contrast to our digitally-driven world. Amidst all the pervasive technology, there’s nothing that replaces the hands-on craftsmanship and artistry of a contractor skillfully using the tools of the trade. That’s why it’s an ironic twist that contractors today need to include digital-social-mobile solutions among those tools in order to manage and grow their businesses. 

Whether you’re as adept with tech as you are with traditional tools or challenged to strike a balance, here are practical-tactical approaches to support your business goals.

Get your assets in order

In Williams’ slide from her Total Solutions Plus presentation, she shows that poor tech hygiene leads to a reduction in creativity, performance – and sanity!

Research has found that business people lose multiple hours every week searching for the digital files and emails they need to get work done. So much valuable time wasted! This finding came from study of office-based workers. Though there’s not specific data for professionals who are on the move from jobsite to jobsite, it’s reasonable to surmise these business people are equally – if not more – strained to access the digital photos, documents and messages required at any given time.

Prioritize the organization and access of your digital assets so that you and anyone on your team can get to and share them quickly – anytime, anywhere.

Use cloud-based file hosting service with a good mobile app.

By storing your files to the cloud, you make them accessible on any device with an internet connection. In choosing a service that offers a mobile app, you have ease of file retrieval and sharing from your phone. Service options include Dropbox, Box.com, Google Drive, to name a few. In selecting a service, be sure to consider ease of sharing links to files and how much storage your business needs.

Get photos and videos off your phone and into the cloud.

Too much time spent on the socials is disruptive to your brain and your precious time.

Tired of scrolling hundreds or maybe thousands of phone photos to find examples to send to potential customers? Constantly getting alerts about no more storage on your phone? Move your photo and video assets to the cloud ASAP! Not only will this free up storage on your phone, but it will make it much more simple for you to find and share images and videos on the fly. 

Organize as you go.

Don’t approach file and photo organization as a giant, all-in project you have to conquer in a day. Tackle it as a one-by-one process to avoid overwhelm. Many people try to do too much when it comes to getting digital assets in order, only to burn out and give up. Grant yourself the gift of ‘slow and steady’ to win this race.

Keep it simple, smarty!

When creating your organization system, think “big bucket” folders and aim to become your own search engine. Use broad categories and name files with your go-to words and terms. For example, you could make a folder for “Bathroom Projects 2023” to make it simple to find those specific jobs by year. Employ this same approach for your email file folders. 

Keep your socials professional

Social media is a great tool for promoting your business, connecting with colleagues and learning. However, the developers of social media platforms intentionally design them to keep you clicking even when your promoting, connecting and learning are done. Too much time spent on the socials is disruptive to your brain and your precious time. To use social media without it using you, give these tips a try.

Did you know that it takes around 23 minutes to get back into the zone anytime you’re interrupted? Limit (or eliminate) notifications to maintain focus! 

Schedule your social posts.

Stop checking your likes! Use a posting automation service (Hootsuite, Later, etc.) to schedule and post promotional content. Not only does this aid in consolidating your content creation efforts, but it can steer you away from being on the social sites too much and too often. 

Set boundaries for social media time.

Decide in advance when and how long you will check social media each day. Be as specific as possible in deciding and setting these parameters, and respect the boundaries you set for yourself. 

Know your “why” for using social media.

Are you posting to reach potential customers? Are you logging on to connect with fellow contractors? Before you dive into posting and perusing social media, be clear on why you are there in the first place. With a clear “why” for your social media activity, you are empowered to stay focused on your purpose with less mindless browsing. Also, the definite “why” is the foundation for being able to measure the effectiveness of your social media presence and pivot/try new things if needed.

Just say NO to notifications

At her TSP session, Williams showed the magnitude of tech and digital practices and habits on our lives is staggering.

Did you know that it takes around 23 minutes to get back into the zone anytime you’re interrupted? Considering how many notifications pop up on digital devices throughout the day (often dozens per hour), people are perpetually pinged. And nobody’s got time for that, especially a busy pro like you who must concentrate to get stuff done. 

Thankfully, there’s an easy fix for this: turn off all notifications, or, better yet, never turn them on to begin with. 

Of course, you can make exceptions to be alerted if your spouse or child texts you. Otherwise, nix all the notifications, and, instead, actively choose when to check your devices for any pertinent messages. By choosing to check, you’re engaging in communication on your terms and at times and in ways that support – not disrupt – your work flow. 

Need more insights about managing digital-social-mobile tech for business? Click over to TheDigitalLifeAcademy.com for more (but only do so at the time of your choice so as to not interrupt your day!).  

Irene Williams

Irene Williams is founder of The Digital Life Academy and a coach, speaker, and author on personal development and digital wellness strategies. Previously, she spent 25+ years as a marketing consultant in the flooring and building products industries. Find her digital business card at irenewilliams.biz.

Irene earned a BA in Professional Writing from Baylor University. She serves on the board of Borderless Arts Tennessee, the state organization for arts and disabilities, and occasionally tackles a half-marathon for good measure. She's based in Nashville, TN.

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