Finding time to do marketing
Are you doing everything but your marketing?
Small business owners tell me all the time that they really struggle with “finding time to do marketing”.
So, here's the process that I follow to make sure my marketing gets done!
Step 1: start with a plan
Start with having a marketing plan so you know what you need to do and when.
It doesn’t have to be a complicated plan. A simple spreadsheet of what to do, in which month, is enough to get you started.
Step 2: Commitment is THE key
It’s not really about finding the time. It’s about making the time.
You really have to mentally commit to finding the time.
To make the time to do your marketing you really, really have to believe in the value of marketing.
If you don’t believe your marketing is delivering value to your business you’re never going to make the time to do it.
AND If your marketing activities aren’t delivering value and helping you achieve your goals, then you probably need to revisit your marketing plan.
So go back to step 1.
Step 3: Time Blocking
Block out your calendar.
Book a recurring meeting with yourself at least an hour once a week. And make it the same time on the same day. As I said, recurring.
Or if you can do half-an-hour each day, then put that into your calendar. Find what works for you.
If you need to, make your calendar show as private so people don’t book over the top. Close your door if you think you will be interrupted. If you work in an open space, find a private area.
Make sure people know you are NOT available at this time.
Because I live and breathe marketing and it’s everything I do.
I also follow this practice for my working on the business and non-marketing stuff.
Step 4: Document what you have to do
Use checklists, or project management platforms, whatever works for you (I use Asana with recurring checklists).
A lot of what I do is the same “task” on a regular basis. I have those tasks set up in Asana, so when I’ve done it on the assigned date and tick complete, it auto appears the next day/week/month etc.
This way, my marketing to do list is generated for me.
And after client meetings, when there’s new or additional work to do, I go straight into Asana and add that work to my to do lists.
Additional tip: allow time immediately after meetings to document your actions so you don’t forget them. This also helps with prioritising your marketing work and linking back to your marketing plan to make sure your marketing is effective.
Step 5: Batch
This is important. Batch your work and work on on one thing at a time. Don’t try and multi-task.
Batching means working on similar marketing activities. For example, I have one day a week to work purely on social media. Another day to do newsletters. Another day to work on websites.
My head gets in the marketing activities I’ve planned for that day and away I go. Anything else (unless it’s really urgent for a client), waits until I’ve planned to work on that type of activity.
If, for some reason, I do have to “drop everything”, then I will work late that night or get up extra early the next morning to make sure I get whatever got dropped the day before gets done.
That leads me to…
Set early deadlines
As an example, I craft social media for my clients at least a week in advance.
So, if something happens on my social media day that I don’t get everything done I have some leeway in the rest of the week to finish the activities.
Having early deadlines allows some flexibility within my “batching”.
And it means I get my marketing done!
The most important thing
Out of this process I think the most important thing is your mindset.
You really need to value marketing. And you need to look at your attitude towards time.
Rather than saying I’m too busy to find time for marketing, flip it and say I make time for the important things AND marketing is important.
Rather than viewing everything else is a priority, see marketing your business as a priority.
Remember that no matter what your business is, you are in the business of marketing.
Focus on this, and you will find yourself finding the time to do marketing!