Many small business owners tell me they just do not have enough time for marketing. If you've been skimming in that area, it's time to get back into the swing and get our marketing ramped up … especially if you want to grow your business!
Often, with all the demands of a business, it can feel like you're being pushed and stuck between a long list of things to do. You barely have enough time to take care of your current clients and complete the ever-growing list of things to do, so that often marketing falls by the wayside.
This is a dangerous situation. Without ongoing marketing, any business is likely to experience the feast – famine cycle. Consistent marketing is key to steady growth. But what can you actually "do" to find time for marketing?
Here are 5 ideas to help you get more marketing done. Yes, some of these may be familiar but they're worth repeating – because I know they work! If you find yourself saying "I know that" then follow it up with the question "but am I doing it?"
# 1 Have a plan
Decide ahead of time exactly what marketing strategies you want to use and then map out the specific tactics and activities. As well assign an amount of time to each task.
By breaking the strategy down into tactics and activities, it makes the plan achievable and easier to accomplish in small bits of time. For example if you're using the Networking strategy, some tactics may be: research groups, schedule events in your planner, write out and practice a 1-minute introduction, create follow-up emails or call scripts etc.
If you have a simple list of actions you're more likely to get them completed. There is no point in bemoaning the lack of time for marketing if you are not exactly certain what you would do with the time once you had it.
# 2 Do not look at the task of marketing, look at the result it brings
Stop looking at marketing as a task, a must do. Instead, consider what the task will create or the result achieved.
I must admit that this is a bit of folery – especially if the task is one that you do not favor. For example: if one of your tactical under the Speaking strategy is to approach associations to be a guest speaker instead of focusing on the phone calls, emails and speaker profile to write (all things you do not like) think of the result of getting Booked. If done well, the result could be: 30 more people know what you do, signs up for your newsletter, sales for your product or some meetings scheduled with new prospects etc.
When you consider what you'll gain – the activity or task usually looks easier to find time for and complete.
# 3 Track your activities and the results
I often quote – "You can not manage what you do not measure." This is never more true than when it comes to marketing. If you're not clear about the result achieved from marketing, it's tough to convince yourself that the effort is really worth it. With time such a precious commodity, you do not want to waste it on ineffective marketing. Track your results and use your time wisely on marketing efforts that yield.
# 4 Leverage your time – ask for referrals
A solid marketing tactic is to ask for one (or more) referral (s) every day. Many of my clients when challenged to do this are surprised at how simple task can yield such BIG returns. One skeptical fellow kept it a try and asked his brother for a referral – he ended up with a prime connection to a top company he had been trying to break into for over 3 years.
It's not that people do not want to give us a referral, they just do not think of it or do not "exactly" know who we want to connect with.
Begin to leakage your time and connections – ask for referrals EVERYDAY! But before you do, make sure you can clearly communicate what / who a great referral is for you.
# 5 Develop an entrepreneurial marketing mindset
Many people keep looking for the proverbial fish – instead learn to fish. Approach marketing as a lifelong learning project; Work at fine tuning and honing the craft. It's exciting when you begin to build the skill and get consistent results.
Marketing does not always have to take more time – but it definitely takes more attention and focus. I'm somewhat surprised at the number of people who get into business and add marketing into their day almost as an afterthought.
Stop trying to fit it in to an overly busy schedule as a frantic "I need more sales so I'd better do some marketing." Instead, consider it as the cornerstone to your business – and, like breathing, do it every day!