Marketing Success Strategies -- Five Ways to Make More Time for Marketing
Many small business owners tell me they just don't have enough time for marketing.
Often with all the demands of a business it can feel like you're being pushed & pulled between a long list of things to do. You barely have enough time to take care of your current clients and complete the ever growing list of things to do that often marketing goes by the wayside.
This is a dangerous situation. Without ongoing marketing, any business is likely to experience the feast - famine cycle. Consistent marketing is key to steady growth. But what can you actually "do" to find time for marketing?
Here are 5 ideas to help you get more marketing done. Yes, some of these may be familiar but worth repeating - because I know they work! If you find yourself saying "I know that" then follow it up with the question "but am I doing it?"
#1 Have a Plan
Decide ahead of time exactly what marketing strategies you want to use and then map out the specific tactics and activities. As well assign an amount of time to each task.
By breaking the strategy down into tactics and activities, it makes the plan achievable and easier to accomplish in small bits of time. For example if you're using the Networking strategy, some tactics may be: research groups, schedule events in your planner, write out and practice a 1-minute introduction, create follow-up emails or call scripts etc.
If you have a simple list of actions you're more likely to get them completed. There is no point in bemoaning the lack of time for marketing if you are not exactly certain what you would do with the time once you had it.
#2 Don't look at the task of marketing, look at the result it brings.
Stop looking at marketing as a task, a must do. Instead, consider what the task will create or the result achieved.
I must admit that this is a bit of foolery - especially if the task is one that you don't favor. For example: if one of your tactic under the Speaking strategy is to approach associations to be a guest speaker instead of focusing on the phone calls, emails and speaker profile to write (all things you don't like) think of the result of getting booked. If done well, the result could be: 30 more people knowing what you do, signs up for your newsletter, sales for your product or some meetings scheduled with new prospects etc.
When you consider what you'll gain - the activity or task usually seems easier to find time for and complete.
#3 Track your activities and the results
I often quote - "you can manage what you don't measure" and this is never more true than when it comes to marketing. If you're not clear about the result achieved from marketing, it's tough to convince yourself that the effort is really worth it. With time such a precious commodity, you don't want to waste it on ineffective marketing. Track your results and use your time wisely on marketing efforts that yield.
#4 Leverage your time - ask for referrals.
A solid marketing tactic is to ask for one (or more) referral(s) every day. Many of my clients when challenged to do this are surprised at how this simple task can yield such BIG returns. One skeptical fellow gave it a try and asked his brother for a referral - he ended up with a prime connection to a top company he had been trying to break into for over 3 years.
It's not that people don't want to give us a referral, they just don't think of it or don't "exactly" know who we want to connect with.
Begin to leverage your time and connections - ask for referrals EVERYDAY! But before you do, make sure you can clearly communicate what/who a great referral is for you.
#5 Develop an entrepreneurial marketing mindset
Many people keep looking for the proverbial fish - instead learn to fish. Take marketing on as a lifelong learning; work at fine tuning and honing the craft. It's exciting when you begin to build the skill and get consistent results.
Marketing doesn't always take more time - but it definitely takes more attention and focus. I'm somewhat surprised at the number of people who get into business and add marketing into their day almost as an after thought.
Stop trying to fit it in to an overly busy schedule as a frantic "I need more sales so I'd better do some marketing". Instead, consider it as the cornerstone to your business - and like breathing, do it every day!