A month ago today, we welcomed baby Alice into our family. She is our second child, but while I was no longer a first-time mom, there was one big difference: this was the first time I was having a baby and my own business. Which meant more flexible schedule, but also zero paid maternity leave.
So once I was out of my first trimester, in which consisted many times of throwing up, brushing teeth and going to teach an Instagram class, I knew I had to start making some changes and preparing to maintain my business going and even having some income in the months I’d be out taking care of my baby.
TO PREPARE MY 1-GIRL BUSINESS FOR MATERNITY LEAVE, I NEEDED TO THINK ABOUT ALL OF YOUR SOCIAL TEAM’S NEEDS, AS WELL AS MY CLIENTS’ NEEDS.
Here’s what I needed and how I prepared to be away:
SOCIAL MEDIA POSTS
I created over 30 Instagram posts for Your Social Team on Planoly, some already written and scheduled for auto-publishing, especially around the time of my due date. I also uploaded a lot more images that I could use to write other posts, which I usually do while nursing or watching Alice sleep in my arms. That has not been a problem and I have not missed one post while on maternity (and if I had, it would have been okay, too!)
Although I usually write my newsletters one at a time, for the first time I had 5 newsletters created, written and scheduled for December and January. I preach to people to create social media content in bulk, but creating newsletters in bulk is also much easier!
SOMETHING TO SELL WHILE AWAY
I launched my first e-course while I was 8 months pregnant, and prepared my second one right after that for a later launch during maternity (stay tuned!), that way I’d have two courses generating income while I was taking a break from teaching workshops and corporate training.
RESPOND TO EMAILS
I wrote an extensive out of the office message, directing people to my website, e-course, Instagram profile and setting expectations for when I’d be back and available for in-person social media training and consulting sessions.
RESPOND TO SOCIAL MEDIA MESSAGES
I decided to keep doing this myself and just get back to people as soon as I could. I do miss some responses to comments these days, but I am still responding every question and message.
CONTINUE MANAGING MY MONTHLY SOCIAL MEDIA CLIENTS
This is where I decided to delegate. Months before my maternity leave I hired people to manage these accounts for me under my supervision. I trained them, worked with them in the accounts, communicated with the clients and made sure they were good to go for a couple of months completely on their own. It has been working out fine!
BONUS: I even found time -and budget- to order pretty gift boxes for my clients as holiday gifts!
I know what you need and what you can do may vary for each business and person. But think of making a list and tackling each need and challenge at a time. After all, most of us have our own businesses to be in charge of our schedules. So instead of just hitting the panic button, I decided to prepare and be away to take care of my family in one of the most important times of my life.
Manu, founder of Your Social Team