What’s a typical day at work look like for you?
Do you leave work feeling like there’s so much to do, there’s not enough time, and you’re only one person, how the heck are you supposed to do all of these things, and now some genius decides growing the business is a great idea on top of that?!The good news is you’re not alone.
One major theme that we see among all of our clients is:They simply don’t have enough time in the day to properly market their business.
If you can’t properly market your business, your business will not grow.Whether they’re the owner of the business or just an employee with too much on their plate, our clients need their marketing strategies to work well on a tight schedule.
In this post we’ll explain some ways that you can do the same, with pros and cons included for your convenience.
Marketing automation software can save you time (and money!) if you first invest the time and money to do it right.Marketing automation refers to platforms and technologies that allow marketers to automate repetitive tasks, measure tasks and workflows, and more quickly respond to tugs on all their lines.
Our preferred platform is MailChimp, but there are hundreds of different platforms available to suit your needs.
Pros:It makes life really easy. Once you get all your information put into the software, you’ll wonder how you ever functioned without it.
You’ll be able to segment your customer base, create conditional and semi-personalized marketing responses for your site, and lots of other cool stuff.Testing capabilities. Marketing automation makes it easy for you to test different CTAs, landing pages, text, images, and more.
Insight. Automation software can show you the entire marketing and sales funnels, and bridge the gap between sales and marketing. (That is, if you even have a sales and marketing department.)Either way, the software can give you data and information that you wouldn’t see otherwise.
Cons:It’s easy to be lazy. Yes, marketing automation will make your life infinitely easier. But that doesn’t mean you can set it and forget it.
To get the best results, messages should still be personalized for the individual as much as possible.You’ll have to rely on/invest in technology. As we all know, technology is a blessing and a curse. On its best days it makes us say, “Wow, I can’t believe I’m alive to witness this miracle of human innovation.”
On its worst days, it makes us say things like, “G**damn piece of s***, what do you mean there’s a f***ing internal server error?!”
And you’ll probably have to pay for good automation software
Marketing automation takes some time to learn, and that can be too much of a commitment for people who are already strapped for time.
Creating content is its own monster, and while you can cut some corners, there aren’t any real shortcuts. You just gotta sit down and write.
If you’ve committed to marketing your business, one of the things you’ll have to do is create content.
However, there is a way to make content creation seem less intimidating: a content calendar.A content calendar is like a long-term personal checklist that breaks down the writing process into manageable chunks.
A good calendar will give you a good structured plan, while still helping you meet your marketing goals every month.
Pros:They keep you on track and focused. Instead of sitting at your computer with your head in your hands mumbling “what do I write what do I write,” you have your topics and dates laid out well in advance. No more last-minute scrambling for ideas.
Not that I have any experience with writer’s block. Nope.
They align your content and business goals. When you plan your content ahead of time, you can match it up perfectly with major milestones and other events. You’ll look well put together from any angle.
When Google is happy, everyone is happy. Praise Google.
Cons:Feeling constricted. Some people work better with a defined schedule, others feel creatively smothered. You’ll have to decide for yourself whether the payoff is worth the constraint.
Scout’s honor. The only person who can hold you accountable to the calendar is yourself. If you’re not in the habit of creating content, it can be very easy to slip away from the schedule that you set.
The best laid plans… So you’ve got your calendar all planned out, and you’re feeling good about it. Then, whoops! Your business is suddenly going in a completely different direction than you could have ever imagined. The calendar that you so carefully crafted is now all but useless.
SchedulingContent scheduling is a great tool for busy marketers.
When you schedule content, you create a post on social media/your blog/wherever that is ready to go, but the system waits until a date of your choosing to release it.
This is different from a content calendar in that the calendar is a guideline for you to follow to create content more easily.Content scheduling means the content already exists, but your content management system holds it back until a specified date.
So you can schedule a bunch of posts at once, set them to go out days/weeks/months in advance, and forget about it.
Pros:Works while you sleep. Scheduling posts in advance means you don’t have to spend half an hour staring at your Facebook every day.
The less time you spend on social media and updating your blog, the more time you have to work with clients and make sales.
Reach your audience at their best hours. If you know you won’t be available when your buyers are online, scheduling can reach them for you.If you have meetings in the middle of the day you can still reach your customers on their lunch hour.No overload. One of the most annoying things for buyers is seeing a news feed filled with posts from one guy. That’s the quickest “unfollow” you’ll ever get.
Cons:Slow response time. It’s great to schedule everything ahead of time – but don’t forget to check your blog and social media every now and then.
Comments and questions from your followers need to be answered promptly and professionally for best results.Missing out. Scheduling all of your posts can make your content lose some of its “oomph.” You might miss trending topics or events that could bring your business some extra publicity.
Outdated posts. If you schedule too far in advance, you run the risk of your posts becoming obsolete before they even hit your page.
Delegate ResponsibilitiesDelegation isn’t a huge industry secret. You’ve probably already thought about doing this, but didn’t really consider it an option for whatever reason.
Maybe you can’t delegate, because somebody delegated this task to you. In which case… might be tough shit for you.
Either way, delegation is pretty great.
If you’re worried about who, what, or when to delegate, start here:
- Choose a trusted, capable individual
- Start with small tasks like posting on social media or doing light research on competitors
- Marketing tasks come in all shapes and sizes: email list management, social media, blogging, news and event promotion, and more. Hand off your personal weakest link to your new minion
- Hold their hand at the beginning, then give them some space to work
- Trust the person you pick.
Pros:Minions. Who DOESN’T want some of these? A person who does your bidding and reports back with the results takes a ton of weight off your shoulders.
Plus, different perspectives on marketing tasks can make them way more effective.
Boost employee/coworker morale. Trusting others with important tasks gives them a sense of purpose.They become more invested in the success of your business (and doing right by you), making them strive to do the best work possible.
Super efficient. Dividing work amongst multiple individuals makes everything run faster. You’ll get more done in less time, and free up more time for yourself to focus on other aspects of the business.
Cons:Teaching. If you plan on delegating, you’ll obviously have to teach another person how to do parts of your job. This can take time that you may not have.
And, at least until they get comfortable with the role, you will probably have to deal with mediocre results.
If you want it done right… you gotta do it yourself. Handing off pieces of your job to another person always runs the risk of less than stellar results, even if they already understand the expectations of the job.
Hire OutWhether you bring on independent contractors, hire additional employees, or solicit full agencies to do some work for you, this is an option that will definitely lighten your load.
Hiring out to professionals, marketers or otherwise, requires a lot of research on your part. You want to get the best people for the best value.So, like with every other option we’ve listed, there is the tradeoff of spending a little time now to get more time later.
Great marketing professionals (individuals or agencies) should be up front about the work they do. They’ll keep you in the loop, report back consistently, and quickly answer your questions or concerns.They won’t take shortcuts (keyword stuffing, link manipulation) and will ensure ALL of your marketing strategies will produce the best results over time.
If something doesn’t feel right about a company, trust your gut. Your business is too important to hand out to any idiot with a Google AdWords account.
Pros:Doing it right. Unlike with delegation, you would take on somebody who is presumably an expert in their field.
You would completely remove the weight from your shoulders, and get great results at the same time.Expert eyes. Professional marketers are more likely to see patterns/issues/opportunities where you don’t, because you haven’t been trained to see them.
They are also able to accurately interpret data and results, and advise you on the best course of action based on those results.
Guaranteed growth and profit. A marketing professional can pinpoint focus areas for growth – things that, again, you may not see simply because you haven’t been trained.
Cons:They don’t understand! Sometimes, an outsider just can’t understand your business goals or your mission.
A great marketer will sit down with you and talk about your goals, but miscommunications can still arise.Divided attention. Many marketing agencies and independent contractors work with multiple clients at once. They probably won’t be available 24/7 to help you with every single problem that comes up.
You gotta pay. Great results don’t come cheap. Investing in a professional marketer could be the best thing you ever do for your company…
Or the hole it makes in your bank account could be one more source of unnecessary stress.
So ends our list of ways to grow your business on a tight schedule.
It’s difficult to grow your business, even if you’re not stretched for time. Be patient and don’t give up!