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Everything you need to know about Standard Operating Procedures

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Definition:

A Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) is a set of step-by-step instructions compiled by a business to help workers carry out routine daily, weekly, and monthly operations/tasks. SOPs aim to achieve efficiency, quality output, and consistency of performance. Definition from Wikipedia


 


Overview:


If you've ever found yourself looking into ways to automate & delegate your marketing tasks, you've probably come across the term Standard Operating Procedure quite a bit. SOPs are some of the most useful systems to have implemented in your business, but what I've found over the years is that no one really talks about SOPs in a way that doesn't sound stale and overly complicated... Which I think is why they're often overlooked - because people either don't understand what they are, they don't understand how helpful they can be, or they don't know how to create their own.


But I'm here to change that 🤝


SOPs are actually extremely easy to put together and can be edited at any time, so they don't have to be permanent and you don't need a bachelors degree to make one either - just a bit of time and patience.


Personally, my Instagram SOP is relatively simple, but I wouldn't remember to do half of the tasks I need to each week without it reminding me of them on their designated days!



 


How To Create A Simple, Yet Effective SOP From Scratch:


I like to think of creating an SOP like putting a puzzle together 🧩


I visualize what I want my end result to be (how many times per week I want to post in this case), and I break down each task that needs to be done in order to accomplish that goal - reverse engineering if you will 🤓


Personally, I like to make SOPs that are on a monthly cycle. Because a lot of the time, I either can't get every single task done in a single week or not every single task needs to be done each week. Creating a monthly SOP allows space for weekly tasks and monthly tasks, so that's the style that I'm going to be demonstrating in this post.


Visual example of a monthly Instagram SOP ⬇️




To get started with building your Instagram SOP, answer these questions:

➡️ How many times per week do you want to post?

➡️ How many of those posts will be a carousel? Picture? Reel?

➡️ If posting reels, how many will be original audios and how many will be to music?

➡️ Are you wanting to post stories on a regular basis? How often and how many?


We're going to start by breaking apart your post tasks, because that will without a doubt be where most of your tasks come from. And for the sake of visuals, I'm going to use an example of 3 posts per week with 1 carousel, 1 photo, and 1 reel (trend).




Now to break down how many tasks each post type will have and tally them all up. Here is my usual task break down for each style of post (please keep in mind that some of these tasks take seconds to complete, so try not to let the list overwhelm you):


 

Reel (Music/Trending Audio):

  • Select audio to be used

  • Pair audio with post idea from Content Categories

  • Collect video to be used (either from content bank or film something new)

  • Edit video

  • Write caption

  • Publish


Reel (Original Audio):

  • Select post idea from Content Categories

  • Write script for chosen topic (this usually takes the place of writing a caption)

  • Film original audio

  • Edit video (removing pauses, breaths, "ums," add closed captions, etc.)

  • Write caption (optional)

  • Publish


Carousel:

  • Select post idea from Content Categories

  • Create graphics in Canva (use custom templates to save time)

  • Write caption

  • Publish or Schedule


Picture:

  • Select post idea from Content Categories

  • Select a photo to pair with the post idea

  • Write caption

  • Publish or Schedule

 


The example SOP will need 3 captions, 1 finished Canva carousel, 1 photo, and 1 fully edited video per week. Based off the information above, the weekly content task list could look something like this:




When the content task list is spread out and scheduled throughout the week, it could look something like this:




You'll notice in the example above that half of the tasks are to prep for the following week. That's intentional. Ideally, I recommend having your content planned, prepped, and edited at least a few days in advance. This is so you're not scrambling to post something last minute, you can create a bit of wiggle room if it's needed, and you're able to maintain your posting schedule week after week.


Now that the prep tasks for the posts each week have been scheduled, we can add the upkeep tasks and fully flesh out the month. For the most part, the only upkeep tasks that are usually necessary are reminders to plan the following months content and/or updating the schedule if needed. The full month of tasks could look something like this:




Now that you have a pretty good idea of how to break down what tasks are involved for each style of post, how you can space them out, and what the monthly schedule can look like, it's time to make yours!


Refer back to your answers to the questions above, tally up how many weekly tasks that will involve, and then plug those recurring tasks into your calendar! If you would like to use the same visual model as the examples, here is a template that you can plug your tasks in to.



 


Scheduling Your SOP With Asana:


Asana is a very user friendly free app that is available for desktop and mobile. There are lots of other excellent task management apps out there, but I find that Asana does everything that I need it to so it's typically what I refer people to - plus it's hard to beat $FREE.99 😉


If you haven't already downloaded the app, you can check out the website details by clicking this button ⬇️



Once you have the recurring tasks of your SOP tallied up and have decided which days you want to distribute each task to, it's time to get that bad boy set up and automated!


When you open Asana, you should see the "projects" button on the sidebar menu. Click the plus button, then click "new project."



You should see options to choose from pre-made project templates or the option to create your own project from scratch. I personally don't typically find the templates to be necessary since it's just a list of tasks, but feel free to use a template if you want to!


Next, you'll want to name your project for organization purposes.



Once you're in your new project, you can start scheduling out your tasks.


Click the "add task button," add your task description to the box, then assign yourself to the task, and assign the due date of the task.



Once you've done that, click on the task again to pull up the "details" section. Inside this section you can add a priority level to your tasks, add deeper descriptions, or notes that you might have for a certain task. There are lots of ways to utilize this area, but those are just a few of my personal favorites.


You can also set these tasks to be recurring tasks. So instead of having to schedule the same task week after week, you can just use the recurring feature to automate it! To do that, click on the date selection tab again. At the very bottom of the calendar box, there is a small 🔁 button. Click it and then select how often and on which days you want that specific task to repeat.



Continue to plug all of your recurring tasks into your SOP project. Once you're done adding everything in, you shouldn't have to do anything else for the foreseeable future. If you ever need to edit your SOP, you can go in and make tweaks to it whenever needed. But until that time arises, all you need to do is cross the tasks off your daily to-do list and that's it! It will basically run itself once you've set it up 🤩


Another notable feature about Asana is that you can view your task list in multiple different viewing styles. I personally am a fan of a monthly calendar view (if that wasn't already obvious 😉), but you can view it in a weekly view, in a standard list, and so on!



 

I hope this helps you to get your Instagram SOP created and scheduled so that you can start feeling a bit more organized with your marketing tasks. As always, if you have any questions about this process or anything else, please reach out. I'm happy to answer any questions that you may have!


See you next time 🫶




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