Has this ever happened to you: you create a marketing plan and map everything out but later find yourself so busy servicing your current clients that you’re having a hard time keeping on track with that fabulous and robust marketing plan?
Do you feel guilty even considering setting the plan aside for awhile? After all you’ve got enough business to keep you busy. Money is flowing in, and you’re not sure you could handle additional clients right now anyway. Yep, been there, done that!
While marketing may not seem like a sacrifice when your business is fully loaded, it’s usually only a matter of time before your marketing tall starts to impact your business. Staying on top of your marketing plan, even when you’re busy, is the best stabilizer you can have to keep a pipeline full of prospects and clients into your business.
While you may be busy right now, if you stop marketing for an extended amount of time, you may find yourself high and dry when it comes to clients, because you’ve stopped the flow. That’s called feast and famine, and it’s not fun in business or life.
As an entrepreneur I can understand and relate to being too busy to market (or thinking you are). It seems the days are never long enough to get everything on my to-do list done. I wish I could clone myself, but then I’d have “two of me” to manage! Seriously thought, as a business owner and marketing professional I know I can’t afford to let my marketing lapse.
So what’s a busy bee to do?!?
Here are 5 suggestions … these are things I do and recommend to all my clients when they fall in the same boat:
(1) If you haven’t already, create a marketing calendar. Schedule all of your marketing activities in the calendar according to how frequently you planned to do them in your marketing plan.
If you planned to do something monthly, enter it on the calendar once each month. Weekly? Enter it four times per month. Do this for every planned activity. I do mine in Google Calendar and then also job them in my paper calendar.
(2) Put your calendar front and center so that you can see it. This might be over your desk, on a bulletin board or on the wall. Make a routine of looking at it every morning. This will keep you on track and prevent you from winging it with your schedule.
(3) Try incorporating your marketing activities into your weekly and daily to-do list. Enter the activities as to-do tasks in your calendar or smart phone just like all your appointments and other business activities.
With my calendar even my husband has gotten in on the action. He puts personal appointments for us on there and he knows, if something is on my calendar, I treat it like any other meeting or appointment and I do it.
(4) Pick one day per month to review your marketing calendar in detail and to look three months ahead. What is coming up that you need to prepare for now? What do you need to transfer into your to-do list or smart phone to make sure you don’t forget to do it?
I usually do this at the end of the month when I’m doing all my month-end work … things like running sales reports, doing billing, and updating my marketing tracking reports.
Make it a habit to review your marketing at the same time you do these tasks. After a few months you won’t even have to think about it anymore, it’ll become routine.
(5) Consider hiring an assistant or support person to help. If they can take some of the tasks off your plate that really don’t require your expertise, it will free you up to focus on what I call “revenue routines.”
These are things like working with clients, creating products and services and marketing. Brand Excitement now has a task-based implementation program called Booster Shots. If you need help and can’t yet afford a virtual assistant check it out.
When you find a way to get back on track with your marketing and you do it on regular basis, it really does become a part of the way you do business. Suddenly it doesn’t seem like marketing anymore. It’s just what you do to run your business. That’s when it becomes effortless.