“How can I get all of this done?!” is one of the most popular brand and marketing laments I hear from small business owners and solopreneurs.
We all know that marketing and promoting our business can take a lot of time. Time we just don’t seem to have if we want to also have a life.
First and foremost, crafting a strong, clear brand strategy before you start punching through your marketing to-do list can save you BOATLOADS of upfront time…not to mention money, headache, mistakes and dead-ends. You essentially draw the map before you embark on the journey so you know you’re heading in the right direction.
But even then, just writing a blog post or creating a newsletter or preparing a slide deck…..from idea generation to content development to the technical nuts and bolts, it all takes so much time!
Marketing can be exhausting and a total time-suck. This is coming from….a marketer. (Tweet this!)
Maybe we would all have more fun with marketing if each task didn’t take so damn long!
Here are 6 simple but effective marketing time-savers:
- Create in batches: I schedule “content creation” times on my weekly calendar to work on blog posts, new course materials, or even a new guide. If I don’t do this, I’m distracted throughout my entire week as ideas hit me, or as I use it as an excuse to escape other tasks I should be doing! These times are sacred and I treat them like a client meeting You can focus on cranking out more than one thing at a time and get ahead of your calendar. If you blog weekly, set aside one day every 3 months to create your blog posts all in one sitting. And when those ideas hit you in the shower or while you’re trying to do something else? Simply jot them down in your phone and tackle them when your designated creation time comes.
- Schedule in advance: My go-to tools are BufferApp to pre-schedule social media posts, WordPress to pre-schedule my blog posts – plus Facebook’s native scheduler within my brand page, as Facebook HATES when you use 3rd party scheduling apps and reduces your post relevance in their algorithm, meaning less people see it in their feeds. Scheduling in advance frees up your time and mental energy. You cross something off your to-do list once every so often and then you’re done.
Related to this, schedule ANY task you need to do on your calendar. I live by this. When it’s on my calendar, I know I have set aside time to do it – and I don’t worry about it at all until that time comes!
- Create a text-only email newsletter: Being a brand queen, I adore fancy, beautiful email templates. And it makes sense to use visuals if you show products or need to evoke a mood. But, for me, a) it takes more time to create, find images or deal with crazy formatting and b) my audience often reads my emails on their mobile device, which means text is best for reading on the go. My emails still look nice and neat with formatted text, but there are no fancy headers or imagery. When I switched to text-only emails several years ago, I not only saved a ton of time, but my emails became more like intimate letters to friends (like, you know, ACTUALLY sending an email to a friend!) and audience engagement went up. Just sayin.
- Set a timer for social media: The ultimate time-suck. Even if you follow #2, you still need to get in and interact with your audience on social media – It’s social after all – which possibly means falling down the rabbit hole and linking all over the place for hours on end. Simply set a timer and pop in for 15 minutes every other day or some other interval that works for you. Put this time on your calendar like a meeting if you need to. And make sure you don’t go over your 15-minute mark!
- Use an online scheduler: If I could get back all the time ever spent trying to schedule a meeting with someone over email, I’d probably add three years to my life. No joke. When you work for yourself, this can easily take 20 emails and 2 hours of your day. Some folks pay assistants for this but you can do it yourself. Investing in Calendly was a game-changer for me. TimeTrade and Doodle are other ones (Doodle is great if you have multiple people you’re wrangling into a meeting). While not a “marketing tool” per se, can I just tell you how much more time I have for marketing now that I use this?!
- Outsource: I know this one can get tricky if you are on a budget, but hear me out: If you bill your time out for $100 an hour, isn’t it worth spending that hour on a paying client rather than on updating your website, setting up your email newsletter, writing copy or finding and resizing social media images? What small tasks add up to a big headache for you? What tasks only need your final blessing, not your involvement, to be successful? I posted some outsourcing resources for you in this blog post.
Crave more time-saving tips, sanity savers and realistic goal-setting approaches to avoid getting crushed? Check out: The Juicy Guide to Goal Setting and Time Management: Advice on How to Wrangle Your Calendar and Slay Overwhelm, available right here!
Image Credit via Flickr