Getting your name out there, whether for your social media efforts or that of a brand, is a lot of work, and it’s a constant task. It can feel as though you’ll lose a month of work if you don’t post anything or make progress for a week. And even then, there are no guarantees. That means that you need to work as hard as possible and keep up to date with what you can do. Marketing yourself can feel like a full-time job, and in some cases it is. Before anything else, we hope that you have a schedule that allows you to work on getting yourself out there.
The waiting room is often one of those places you’ll be just wondering what to do, and there are a fair amount of waiting rooms in life. Sometimes it might be wise to bring a laptop, but other times you aren’t sure whether there will be WiFi, and other times it won’t feel appropriate. Yet barring some doctors’ offices, it is perfectly fine to bring your phone with you. And as you well know, there’s a ton of stuff you can do on your phone. So what can you do?
Here are nine ways you can help to get your name out there using the downtime you have and a smartphone, wherever you might be:
There is hardly a social media platform around today that you can’t work with entirely or nearly entirely from mobile. The most desktop-centric platform still relevant today is LinkedIn, and that still has a robust mobile app that can allow you to keep up with colleagues. LinkedIn also isn’t the platform you check constantly compared to others, according to statistics on the average user.
And while you might not be able to take the best selfie at the doctor’s office, or perhaps you don’t want your Instagram feed to get inundated with such pictures, there is no reason to think that you can’t prepare posts for the future or get some writing done regarding messages and posts you want to make.
This is also the perfect time to respond to comments on your posts, or make comments and connect with creators you admire or want to work with. Do think through what you say, but don't say it? Reaching beyond where you normally would can yield results for you. You don’t miss all the shots you don’t take, but you aren’t going to score any goals either.
If you’re feeling ambitious or feel like you have a long wait in store for you, it could be the time to set up a new page or at least the framework you can work from. You likely have everything you need on your phone (or can access it). With apps and platforms that only truly work on mobile, now is a perfect time. Setup is easy for personal accounts, though if you are going to work with an ad campaign or a paid account you may want to wait until you get into your most productive environment.
If you feel you have competition, then it would behoove you to check on them and see what they’re up to. What is working for them and what isn’t? We aren’t suggesting that you copy them as much as possible, but we do suggest that you consider what your peers are doing and whether it would be worthwhile to form similar habits. See how they interact with others (if at all), when they post, and what they post about. If they are in a similar field to you, then note more specifically what they are posting about and what value they are adding to whatever links they have? What makes people want to get information through them?
Yet while in the course of your research you might be looking at people and pages which are far more popular than you at the moment, now isn’t the time to be making comparisons. Comparing yourself to someone who has been advertising themselves for two more years than you isn’t going to do anyone any favors. You have your own skills and advantages, so embrace those and do not get disheartened.
Another note is that while you are looking at successes and what works, it might behoove you to take a few minutes to look at lesser-known pages that don’t have active followership. What went wrong? What are the pieces of the puzzle that they are missing, and how can you avoid making the same mistakes? Looking at your growth from multiple angles can help you better appreciate your situation, efforts, and progress.
Emails might be the bane of productivity for many people, but that doesn’t mean they’re useless and that doesn’t mean they shouldn’t be addressed. Email marketing is still key to most overall campaigns, and your brand and outreach should absolutely incorporate it if you can.
Setting up a full email campaign for your brand might be something you want to do on your desktop, as is writing and publishing a newsletter. Yet in the waiting room or similar situations can be a great time if you are looking to review such documents and programs.
On the smaller scale side of things, you can still use email even if you are not interested in campaigns. Now is the time to reach out to people or even respond to the emails you’ve been waiting to get around to. Reaching inbox zero isn’t necessarily a goal you should obsess over, but it is a great feeling.
Overall, email can be a complex topic (surprisingly). If you don’t know where to start, consider the following:
In addition to doing research on the competition and how your efforts are going, you can also look into more general topics and learn new skills. There is always room for improvement. There are so many classes and apps you can use on your mobile phone (perhaps with a pair of earbuds if there is sound involved).
For instance, if you want to learn more about lighting for your social media photos, there are classes and resources for that. Do you just want to learn how to use social media better and get more followers? They can’t guarantee results, but there are also resources to help you. You may have to do some searching to find the right sites and teachers, but it’s a big internet and there is absolutely a perfect fit available.
Just make sure that you invest in yourself and get the most out of your time and money. Free articles and YouTube videos can help, but they will only take you so far. We recommend that you try out some paid courses and seek out mentors in your intended field of study, even if it is just peers that are ahead of you and clearly know what they are doing. Downloading a book to keep on your phone can also be a great alternative to random scrolling and surfing the web.
And once you’re out of the waiting room, don’t forget to test out and do what you are learning. Practice will beat theory nine times out of ten if you are paying attention. Even if it is on an alternate account you can use for tests, you should be looking to try out new ideas and tests.
If you don’t feel like you can focus too much on what is happening on your screen and read the text and take notes thoroughly, then the waiting room can still be a good place to search out resources and build your personal library. Look both broadly and deeply for resources relating to your field of self-improvement, and put it on your list if it even moderately interests you. Yes, there will be a lot of unhelpful materials, but occasionally you will need to intellectually explore to grow.
When was the last time you went through the past of your social media and websites and checked to see if everything still works in accordance with your brand and values?
With some posts, you might want to look at whether they stay in line with the quality of what you’re doing now. While in some cases it might be in bad taste to edit posts, especially just to make yourself look better, there are ways you can edit your feed and posts without drawing the ire of followers. You may make a note that the post was edited. Alternatively, you could only delete what you know no one will miss. Some posts and content age better than others.
Similarly, what about drafts, emails, and other materials that you send out to followers or potential followers? Is there outdated information on them? Anything you would like to fix up? Now is the time to take notes on that.
It might also be a time to delete old posts that are no longer relevant or might not fit with what you want from your page. Perhaps a mistake was made in one and you put out just a little too much personal information. Some apps and tools can potentially help with this if you, for say, tweet 15 times a day. However, going through manually will give you an idea of what it may look like for a new follower.
Your best ideas will likely not come to you in a void. Instead, they will be variations and additions on what you find online to be working already. It might be something you discuss with a partner or mentor that you then fine-tune for your needs. You know best how you are inspired and get new ideas, but you must take time to cultivate that and immerse yourself in creative spaces.
The grind is important when getting your name out, but so is reminding yourself why it’s important and keeping your own flame alive. None of us have endless fortitude in the face of a steep climb to the top, and you need reminders and encouragement, even self-encouragement, every once in a while. And if you’re looking for more creative inspiration, there is absolutely no shortage of creative works online you can access with your smartphone.
Remember that on top of the research you can do online, you can also simply look at the posts and what people are doing and see how they are succeeding. Sometimes the methodology is more important than the content. Sometimes the fact that something exists and has been done before can keep you going.
Whatever your need, remember that this time doesn’t have to be relegated to mindless scrolling. Review with effort and thought, and write down any thoughts and feelings you have.
If it is a relatively quiet place and you know you might not be distracted or disturbed for a bit while you’re out, then you might be able to reflect for a bit, with or without your smartphone. Journaling might be helpful for some and meditation might be best for others. However you prefer to get your thoughts in order, now is the time to do so.
How does this help you get your name out there? While getting yourself out there and taking action is key, so is making sure you are on the right path, to begin with. There are many roads you can take and options you can use, but you only have so much to work with, most importantly your time.
You need to remember to prioritize yourself and think about how far you’ve come. If you haven’t been making much progress, you should ask why that is. If you have, then reflect on what has been working and what has not been working. While no one is perfect, it is helpful to have your own house in order before trying to get a following.
Now might also be a good time to start thinking about your goals, not only for yourself but for your work. Has the world changed in such a way that you need to modify your short and long-term goals for them to make sense and be feasible? Has your outlook on life and situation made you think about how and why you want to get your name out there? These might be odd questions to ask yourself in a waiting room or on a subway, but they might be the most important questions you can ask.
Depending on how you want to get your name out there, you may need to start locally. There is nothing that you can do online that may make as much an impression as meeting people in person and telling them about your work.
It’s hard to do that from your phone, but you can prepare. Some things you can do from the waiting room include:
Do you have business cards, flyers, posts, or other things you use to market yourself? Now is the perfect time to go over all of that to see if any changes would be recommended.
And if you are worried about how those materials might look on a mobile device, that is half of the point of doing it now. When someone sees those materials, especially on social media, they are far more likely than not to be on a mobile device. Start with the mobile aesthetics and work from there.
In terms of editing the documents or images, that might be something you need to wait until you get home, especially if there are major changes. However, now is the time to brainstorm and take notes, which you can certainly do on your smartphone from practically everywhere.
While we would like to provide exact tips, ultimately there are so many variations and goals here that we couldn’t possibly go over them all. Instead, we think that you would benefit the most from doing additional research on your own and trying to make the materials your own. Go for something easy to read and understand, as people might only look for a few seconds (or less).
There are times when you may just want to sit down and rest, but there is also a lot you can do in the necessary downtime of your day. There is a balance to be had, but we hope you’ve given yourself some ideas to help expand your brand and get your name out there, whatever your goals may be. Good luck, stay in it for the long haul, and may you find the audience you deserve.