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A day in the life of one solo PR/social media consultant (and adjunct professor)

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“What’s a typical day look like for you?”

It’s a question I heard a lot last semester at the University of St. Thomas. The students asked that question of the guest speakers. They asked it when we went on our tours at Best Buy and Padilla. And, they asked it of me!

I also love these “day in the life”-type posts when I see them on other sites. I’m a sucker–I’ll read them almost every time, no matter the profession or person!

So, what does a “typical” day look like for me as an independent consultant and now, adjunct professor? Goes without saying, but there is no typical day! So, I pulled a random day out to give you a glimpse at one 24-hour period!

6:30 a.m.: Wake up; walk dog; eat breakfast; get one kid to school. I am not an early riser person. I leave that to people like Susan Beatty and her 3:30 a.m. runs!

7:50 a.m.: Drive to nearby Starbucks. I always start my day at the coffee shop. I live near 3-4 different Starbucks. I try to mix it up, but often find myself at the one on 54th/Lyndale, although it has to be one of the busiest Starbucks in the city!

8:03 a.m.: Take a peek at the social communities for my biggest client (of 10 years now!), Sleep Number and respond to about 20 comments and private messages on their behalf. Over the last five years, we’ve created a social media playbook document that makes this a lot easier!

8:46 a.m.: Start research and writing a byline for my Trustmark client. Much of the work I do for them revolves around B2B media relations with HR publications, podcasts and blogs. We’re pitching a lot of bylines to these kinds of pubs, and in many instances, I’m on the hook to take the first stab at the draft.

9: 51 a.m.: Putting the finishing touches on a new business proposal I’m very excited about! I proof it twice and send it off, hoping I hear back shortly. It’s for some social + PR consulting for a health care start-up in town. I don’t normally do a ton of start-up work, but this referral came from a friend and I really like the people involved, so I went for it!

10: 17 a.m.: Walk dog–again (don’t look at me like that! I just took you for a walk!)

10: 28 a.m.: Scan LinkedIn; comment on a post where a friend got a new job; make a post promoting a Talking Points Podcast episode we just completed the previous day.

10: 41 a.m.: Do some last-minute prep for class! Finalizing a lesson plan and coordinating details for a few upcoming speakers coming into class. Don’t let anyone fool you–teaching a class is a lot of work!

11:01 a.m.: Draft social content for my Visit Richfield client. This usually involves coming up with creative ideas to sell the city of Richfield and promote tourism (i.e., hotel stays) in the city. Fun creative challenge each month!

11: 44 a.m.: Change into my professor clothes (just kidding, but I do change to go to class); and head over to the University of St. Thomas for class.

12:15 p.m.: Class starts! I review a few to-dos with the students and lecture about social media marketing. I only have 10 students in my class this semester, but they’re all fantastic in different ways.

1:20 p.m.: Class is done–head back to south Minneapolis to let the dog out.

1:42 p.m.: Work on drafting social content for my Sleep Number client for March. I work with the wonderful Kellie Weiland on Sleep Number’s Employer Brand work. We create content for Sleep Number’s Careers Facebook and Instagram pages and the company’s LinkedIn and Glassdoor pages. Super fun work and Kellie is one of my favorite all-time clients.

2:21 p.m.: Follow-up with the 30+ folks in the local mastermind group I manage with a note about our meeting tomorrow. This is a group of senior-level communicators at the biggest companies in town (General Mills, Toro, Medtronic, etc.) We get together every other month to discuss trends, professional development and case studies. I’m so proud I have the opportunity to know these folks (many are friends; this is just a few of the people in the group below) and chat with them each month.

2:38 p.m.: Walk dog. Again.

2:49 p.m.: Daughter walks in the door (she’s in seventh grade); I leave to pick up my son who’s in ninth grade at a local private high school (read: No bus!).

3:08 p.m.: Media follow-up outreach for my Truth Initiative/EX Program client. We made a pitch last week and I’m following up with a few key reporters to gauge reaction.

3:29 p.m.: Blog post research. Writing a post about influencer marketing trends and I’m knee-deep in research. It usually takes me 2-3 hours (at least) to write each post. I’ve been writing at least two posts a week for 10+ years now. I have the process down to a science, but I still love the process!

3:57 p.m.: Check the Sleep Number Careers Facebook, LinkedIn and Instagram pages again for comments. I check-in with these pages three times a day (once in the morning, once in the afternoon and once in the evening).

4:18 p.m.: Do a little work on an Employer Brand presentation I’m giving in the coming weeks (a version of which I gave at Social Media Breakfast back in December!). I created this prezo 100% from scratch, so it took a while to do all the research. I figure I put in easily 30+ hours for each deck like this I build.

4:52 p.m.: Start meal prep for family. My wife texts that she’ll be home in 15 minutes.

5:43 p.m.: Dinner.

6:01 p.m.: Family time; read the newspaper (yes, we still subscribe to the Star Tribune!).

7:15 p.m.: Run to Mall of America with my daughter to shop for dresses for her school dance. I’m lobbying for Father of the Year for the 35 minutes I spent in Pac-Sun watching her try on somewhat inappropriate clothing for a seventh grade dance.

8:47 p.m.: Catch the tail-end of the Timberwolves game. I’m a huge b-ball fan–and Wolves fan, despite their less-than-stellar history. But, with the “New Wolves Order”, I’m all in again this year! #GoWolves

9:35 p.m.: Check on my Sleep Number communities one last time.

9:51 p.m.: Do a little work on another new business proposal. Would like to get that out to the client tomorrow.

10:12 p.m.: Walk dog for final time. I hope.

10:24 p.m.: Check phone for any urgent client issues one last time before I turn it off for the night.

10:32 p.m.: Watch episode of Fleabag with my wife–our new favorite show.

11:12 p.m.: Pass out. Day over. (I almost always fall asleep before my wife! I’ll have to catch the end of that Fleabag episode tomorrow!)

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A day in the life of one solo PR/social media consultant (and adjunct professor)

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