Whether you are a nursing mama pumping to build up your milk supply because you are returning to work, or an exclusive pumping mama, it only takes that first day to realize just how time consuming pumping becomes. Add that in to the time you are actually feeding, burping, rocking and diaper-changing your newborn and the day flies by. (Notice that doesn't include the luck of any sleeping time!) As you settle in to your new routine and find those small moments of energy and reinvigoration to get-back-to-business, here are 7 ways to grow your business while pumping.
If you are using a double-pump like mine, your hands may be tied-up. (Definitely invest in a good pumping bra.) For the first couple of weeks, I worked on habits like brainstorming, watching online courses, and reading other mom blogs. It felt productive while letting me balance both pumps at the same time. Finally I invested in my first pumping bra from Kindred Bravely, and it was a game-changer! Some women may also have the fancy new hands-free pumps like the Willow which does the trick, too. (If you have tried it, I'd love to hear your feedback!)
- Brainstorm New Blog Post Content: Any online business should have a website or blog, no matter how big or small. Even if you are on Etsy, there are such cheap options for self-hosted websites that you are missing out if you're not telling the world more about your ventures. This habit is one that I love for anyone pumping, even if you are not hands-free yet. Make it a game and challenge yourself to hit 20 blog ideas during your 20 minute pumping session. You will thank yourself when you feel completely uninspired a week from now!
- Schedule Pinterest Pins Using Tailwind: In the online world, consistency is key. Admittedly, I am anything BUT consistent when it comes to social media. Sound familiar, mama? Mompreneurs have all the same time constraints as other solopreneurs, with an extra huge added obligation. We have a sweet helpless baby who needs us at their beck and call. Even before I became a mama, I tried out Tailwind and now swear by it. I can schedule an entire month of Pinterest pins in one sitting. Game changer! I used to sit down and do this once or twice a month. Now, I'll use a pumping session to add as many Pins as possible to my scheduled queue. That way, I stay as far ahead as possible for those times I inevitably forget about social media for a week or two at a time. (You can also schedule Instagram posts on Tailwind too!)
- Follow Social Media Accounts in Your Niche: Regardless of which social media platform you favor, it's safe to assume it's made to be mobile friendly. Stop pointlessly scrolling through your phone or playing games while pumping. Instead, jump onto the social media account you are focused on growing and make a point to follow new accounts in your niche. Sometimes the user will notice and follow you back on their own. However, I always like to add a little hello message when it's a great person I want to connect with. This always helps to stand out, and of course to open the door to an actual conversation and “meeting” someone instead of being another number on a followers list.
- Interact on Social Media: Similarly to habit three above, use a breast pumping session to have quality interactions with users on your social media accounts. Use some of the time to respond to likes, comments and messages that others posted on your account. Then, proactively reach out to accounts you are trying to build relationships with and add meaningful comments that will inspire a response from the user.
- Respond to Customer Inquiries: Rather than checking email constantly throughout the day, let them pile up. Then, use one or two of your daily pumping sessions to respond all at once. This works for Etsy and other marketplace sellers and their message inbox, too. Every time you switch between tasks you are losing focus and losing time. Now, if you are tied to an outlet to pump anyway, you can sit at your computer and knock out a full day of email replies.
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- Create a New Product or New Product Listing: Are you a creative entrepreneur? Use pumping time to create a new product or at least one new product listing on your website. Sure, you may not be able to work with resin art if you are tied to your breast pump, but you can build out the listing on your website. For instance, I currently have over 50 digital products waiting in my “draft” section of my Etsy shop. I hate the tedious part about adding all of the detail, finding the perfect tags and writing catchy titles. If I just post ONE of these new listings during a pumping session, that could add up to over 50 new listings in my shop by the end of the week!
- Analyze Your Data: Still not hands-free? Jump behind-the-scenes of your business while you pump and pull up some data in your business to analyze. This is a good chance to check your Google Analytics if you haven't lately. How is your traffic doing? Do you know which platforms are bringing in most of your business? Or maybe you haven't really thought about which of your products are the most popular lately. Have you dug into the data Etsy provides to see which of your items are getting a lot of views but not converting into a sale? Maybe it will help you realize the details are wrong, the photos are not great, or you forgot to list the product with free shipping. Now a quick-click and you'll have a fix that brings in the money!
Think about how much your productivity will increase if you use even just one or two of these hacks during a few sessions this week. Mix it up. Try brainstorming blog posts at every pumping session on Monday, scheduling pins at every session on Tuesday, etc. Or try a different one of these tips at each session throughout the day. See what works for you and adjust accordingly.
Have you tried any of the above? Do you have any other favorite go-to productivity hacks during pumping sessions? From one new mompreneur to another, I always love to hear new tips so share in the comments below!