Yes, you can find time to market. Here’s how.

29th, Apr 2018

One of the most common reasons I hear for why professionals don’t market their business is they don’t have time. Time is certainly a big factor. It’s very hard to run a business, handle clients and have a personal life. However, I think there is also another factor at play. A lot of professionals don’t like to market. If you dread marketing, then consciously or not, you won’t make time for it. How to get past that feeling is harder. Here are a few tips to help you find and want to find time for marketing:

find time to market1. If you don’t feel comfortable marketing, figure out why. This is the part where you must analyze yourself, otherwise nothing will really change. Are you insecure about your marketing abilities or worried about rejection? Do you believe marketing isn’t valuable or necessary for your business? Basically, until you feel motivated to market, you won’t do it no matter how anyone tries to help you. A management consultant I know has a great saying “Motivate means you must have a motive to act.”

2. Prioritize ruthlessly. Everything you do and don’t do is a choice. You must not only commit to making marketing a priority, but decide what will move down on your to do list. Learn to say no, stop being a perfectionist and cut back on what isn’t an absolute necessity.

3. Develop a marketing plan. Don’t engage in random acts of marketing. Decide on a few things you want to accomplish and identify how you will get there. Be more specific than saying you want to bring in more clients. What does that mean exactly and how will you do that over the next 3 months, 6 months, 1 year? Write it down so you stay focused on your end goal and you are only spending time on things that will bring you closer to that goal.

4. Delegate when possible. You should always be making the highest and best use of your time. That means don’t waste time doing administrative or client work that doesn’t require your level of expertise. On the marketing side, have others handle many of the necessary tasks. You can hire full- or part-time staff or use freelancers. Remember that when you do it yourself instead of giving it to someone else, it is costing you money because your time is money.

5. Start with a small commitment of time every week. It doesn’t matter how much time you set aside, but pick a set amount and keep to it even if it’s 15 minutes. Then gradually add more time as you get comfortable with your efforts. Little things add up.

6. Put it on your calendar. Select a time that makes sense for how and when you work. Don’t schedule marketing time when you are distracted or tired. Trying to do something you may not like to do, when you can’t concentrate on it, will get you nowhere. Once you figure out when to schedule it, actually put in on your calendar like any other appointment.

7. Take breaks to recharge. We all have times when we lose concentration and our energy levels drop. It’s important to get up, walk around and clear your head. When you return to work, you will find that you are more productive than if you had just continued forcing yourself to go on.

8. Don’t multi-task. Research shows that multi-tasking doesn’t work. It has the opposite effect; interrupting your thinking and making you less productive. In fact, resuming work after being interrupted by an unrelated task takes an average of 23 minutes. So, don’t jump from one thing to another Establish guidelines about when you can be interrupted and for what. When it comes to email, designate certain time periods throughout the day to check and respond to email.

9. Use technology. Software and apps can help you with time keeping, scheduling, keeping track of projects, managing your business, automating marketing, etc. Investigate your options and invest in some good tools that will keep you organized. If needed, get training on how to make the most of your technology.

10. Find what you like to do. There are lots of different ways to market yourself. Some people are great at networking at parties; others like to meet people in small groups. Maybe there is a charity, cause or organization that you could get more involved with that is meaningful to you. You could be a good speaker or writer or perhaps you are comfortable with social media. The better you feel about your activities, the more likely you are to find the time.

Marketing is an investment in your business. If you truly believe in its value, you can find time for it. That doesn’t mean it will be easy, but it can be done with the right planning and help in managing your responsibilities.