Can’t make time for marketing? 10 tips to get you started
24th, May 2023
Are you struggling to find the right balance between your responsibilities helping clients and running and marketing your business? There is no magic to finding time for marketing. You have to make the commitment and then prioritize and plan ruthlessly to make it happen. But, to help you get started, check out these tips:
1. Have a plan and goals. Who do you want to target with your marketing? Why do you want to make more time for marketing? What are your goals? How much time and resources are you willing to commit to marketing? What specific activities will you undertake? Creating a plan that answers these questions helps ensure you don’t waste time on random acts of marketing that aren’t well-coordinated and won’t bring you closer to your objectives.
2. Block off time for marketing. Set aside time daily or weekly and put it on your calendar like any other appointment. Also, ensure that you schedule it at a time of day when you have the energy to put toward marketing and can guard against distractions. Hold your calls. Don’t check emails. Stop multitasking. Even if all you can manage is 10-15 minutes at a time, engage in some kind of marketing activity to help you stay accountable to yourself and keep your momentum.
3. Determine what is the highest and best use of your time. Recognize that you can’t and shouldn’t do everything on your own. You should not spend time on things that can be done by others. Evaluate your strengths and weaknesses. Prioritize work that only you can handle and delegate the rest.
4. Effectively delegate and/or outsource. Professionals often hesitate to delegate or outsource marketing activities due to concerns about cost or relinquishing control. However, delegating or outsourcing certain tasks to employees, specialists or freelancers can be a smart investment. Remember time is money. If others can do it more cost-effectively, efficiently, or with more skill than you, give it to them so you can focus on your core responsibilities and high-value strategic initiatives.
5. Leverage technology. There is no shortage of products to help you market more efficiently. These include email marketing automation, social media scheduling tools, content management systems, and customer relationship management (CRM) software to automate repetitive tasks and save time. Artificial intelligence tools have also exploded in use. For example, ChatGPT and its competitors can significantly cut the time needed to research and produce content. AI has also been incorporated into a wide variety of existing products like grammar checkers, marketing analytics tools, design software, customer service chatbots, etc. Importantly, AI can also help you get your client work done and run your office more efficiently, freeing up time for marketing. (Note: always verify the accuracy of information from AI tools and edit and tailor results to your specific needs and circumstances.)
6. Start small; don’t overcommit. A common problem is making unrealistic commitments of time. If you get busy, you won’t be able to meet your goals and you may pull back even more. You market less, which means your efforts will be less effective and results will take longer to achieve so you’re tempted to give up until you have “more time to market,” which never happens. Instead, it’s best to focus on one area and make a small commitment and stick to it. Make it a habit. As you get used to it, add additional time and/or responsibilities to your plate.
7. Review your results. When you write down your goals in your marketing plan, you should also put down how you want to measure success. Marketing is cumulative and there is rarely a straight line from one marketing activity to new business. Instead, many activities intersect and build on each other to help you bring in a new client. However, you should check your metrics. Are people opening your emails, reacting to your social media posts, commenting on your speech or article? Is website traffic up and where is it coming from? Are you getting calls? Use analytics tools to help you identify which marketing efforts are yielding the best results and which should be adjusted or eliminated. By prioritizing high-impact activities and eliminating ineffective ones, you can optimize your marketing efforts while maintaining a balance with other business priorities.
8. Set aside short periods of time for social media. Social media is one of the most powerful and cost-effective marketing tools that exists because it allows you to reach new people as well as strengthen relationships with existing contacts. Incorporate social media into your marketing plan and make sure that every week you take a little time to both post content and interact with people online. Setting a timer will keep you from spending too much time on social media. Also, focus on one social media platform to start (Linkedin is the best for professionals). Then as you get comfortable with it and are ready to devote more time to social media, add another platform.
9. Repurpose everything you do. Did you write an article or do a presentation? Then, slice and dice it into a blog post, social media posts, charts, infographics, or video. Or vice versa – take multiple short pieces of content and combine them to create something longer. Revise social media posts a little and reuse them again a few weeks or months later. Promote your activities and achievements in your email newsletter, on all your social media platforms, and your website. The point is that you should always be looking for ways to reuse and repurpose whatever you do or create. Not only does this save significant time but you can reach more people by delivering information in many formats using multiple marketing channels.
10. Be consistent. Many professionals make the mistake of engaging in marketing sporadically. They work hard to get attention, then vanish. They lose momentum and visibility that they have to spend extra time to regain. Consistency builds brand awareness, establishes credibility and fosters trust with your audience. Whether it’s posting on social media, sending out email newsletters, networking, writing, or speaking, maintaining a regular presence will help you stay top-of-mind with your target audience.
The next time you say you don’t have time for marketing, ask yourself whether you are taking these steps to prioritize marketing.