Often when I first speak to clients, they tell me they are overwhelmed by marketing because they either feel like it's a 'full time job', or they feel unsure how to maintain consistency of their marketing activities whilst also juggling client work and other responsibilities.
Some of the questions I get asked are;
How much time should I be spending on marketing each week?
Do I really have to write new content for each different channel?
Do I have to post on social media every day?
How do you or your other clients get marketing done with everything else there is to do?
Should I get someone to do it for me, and if so, how do I know they are spending their time (and my money) effectively?
In this article, I'm going to address one of the most common of these questions, which is; "how do you or your other clients get marketing done with everything else there is to do?"
Here are three ways you can build marketing activities into your routine without it feeling like a full-time job.
01. Schedule It & Commit To It
A great mentor of mine (Tony Robbins) says that if you decide to do something, you must schedule it, or it won't feel real. If it doesn't feel real, then you're not really doing it. Once you schedule it, it's happening because the act of scheduling it is the act of making a commitment to yourself to do what you've said you will.
Scheduling consistent time in your week, every week to work on business development, marketing and improving your business operations is a surefire way to progress your business. However, it does rely on a commitment that YOU must make to yourself to not let other things get in the way of it. Once the time slot is scheduled, you MUST stick to it. It's always tempting when a client calls to change their appointment, or a new opportunity pops up, to make yourself available by dismissing the time you've scheduled and putting it aside because you don't place enough value on getting it done.
If you put that time aside and only ever prioritise new opportunities or clients, you will NEVER get it done. I know this because it used to be me. I would try to put things in the diary that I knew I needed to do for the business - financials, legals, website updates, writing an article, reaching out to someone, working on business planning etc. - and then when a client wanted that time, or an opportunity came up suddenly, I would simply say; 'yes' and move the scheduled activity back to another day. Of course, when that day came around, something else came up and I would move it again.
So, if you want to master marketing and turn it into a pleasure, not a chore, you have to schedule it. Otherwise, it will always be the thing on your 'to do' list that you consistently copy over to your fresh 'to do' list every single week.
"I know people who are super consistent at putting marketing on their 'to do' list every week, but not at all consistent with actually getting it done!"
A great way to shift your perspective on this is to treat yourself as a client of your own business. Do for yourself the same things you do for your clients. If you scheduled a client appointment, then bumped it at the last minute to meet with another client instead, would that be an acceptable way to do business? Would that be a great experience for the client you bumped? No? So, then why do you keep doing that to yourself? Why do you keep bumping yourself for other people?
There's one thing I know for sure. If YOU aren't served first, your clients won't be served at all. In other words, working ON your business is the same effect as putting your oxygen mask on before assisting others.
02. Systemise It
Next, you need to build a system. I help my clients create a system that works for them. A system that works around their lifestyle and business schedule, not the other way around. A system is what helps you embed marketing into your weekly schedule and form it into a regular habit.
If content marketing is a key part of your strategy (HINT: it most definitely should be because content is the key to improving your organic reach across search engine results), then you need a system for creating a content research repository, a content library of relevant, re-usable content, a regular schedule and marketing plan for content placement; and a systemised approach to topic generation and keyword research.
61% of marketers say improving SEO and growing their organic presence is their top inbound marketing priority. Source: HubSpot, 2018
If you are regularly posting your content on multiple social media channels, then you need a system for creating the post content, researching and using hashtags, getting your content out to groups, a regular schedule and marketing plan for posting that meets the differing needs of each social channels target audience usage behaviours and finally a way to track engagement metrics and measure results.
If you have a very diverse marketing plan with multiple activities, then you'll need a clear marketing calendar that not only outlines the campaigns and content itself, but also includes the tasks you need to complete in order to prepare the activity in the preceding days and weeks.
03. Automate It
Finally, don't take on the whole burden yourself. There are hundreds of useful softwares and platforms out there to help you manage content, social media and email marketing.
Once you have a system in place and you've got your mojo working, you can integrate softwares into your system to help you manage everything ongoing.
Here are a few of my personal favourites;
Social Media Scheduling: Buffer
Content Planning: Trello or a good old fashioned spreadsheet
Email Marketing & List Building: ConvertKit, Mailchimp
Post Image Creation: Canva
Forms: Google forms
Keyword Planning: Google Trends, Ubersuggest
Tracking & Measurement: Bit.ly or for full sophistication - Google Analytics and Google Campaign URL Builder
Grab Your Free Marketing Results Canvas & Marketing Mini-Series!
Subscribe now to get instant access to the only framework you need to write a marketing strategy; "Marketing Results Canvas". Plus! Get Stevie's 10 week email mini-series and learn how to create a seamless Marketing Strategy for your small business.
The Change Starter® is a boutique marketing consultancy that builds outsourced marketing teams for established businesses who are committed to growth. Apply for a FREE Marketing Accelerator with Stevie to get crystal clear on the next steps you can take to promote your business to the right audience, at the right time, in the right place.