11 ways to fit marketing into your calendar

Rachel Klaver is a marketing strategist, specializing in lead generation and content marketing.

OPINION: It’s usually hard for us to find time for things we don’t like or things we find difficult or things we deep down think are a complete waste of time.

If you’re a small business owner who always manages to run out of time for marketing, chances are you consider marketing one of those things.

When you review your week, it would be obvious that you always complete the tasks that you consider most important.

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One of the biggest problems with marketing is that it’s not ideal for the dopamine kick of instant results. The only type of marketing that can give that is a single social media post, and even that is a fickle thing.

One day it’s getting all the likes and comments, and the next it’s decorated with tumbleweeds. We need something more to help us hold on.

Rachel Klaver: For a few, launching an online course was a huge success, but for many more, their course, membership program or online offering didn't make them the money it did. they hoped.

Provided

Rachel Klaver: For a few, launching an online course was a huge success, but for many more, their course, membership program or online offering didn’t make them the money it did. they hoped.

I wanted to share with you the strategies I teach my clients, who often come to me for a strategy and action plan, but unless there are changes in mindset and behavior, they can end up with a really good list of things that they’re “never quite going to get around to”. I’ve also shared those, and a few other points on this week’s episode of MAP IT Marketing.

Be very clear about your goals

Knowing your reason for pushing through the learning curves, habit building, and marketing admin drudgery will make your job a whole lot easier.

Like any lens, the more specific the better. It doesn’t matter if you don’t reach your goal, because just having one would help you go further than not having one at all.

While I hit my business goal for signups for my coaching call, I only hit 40% of my book presale goal this year. Both results are due to me sticking to a plan and staying consistent, which is not a natural trait.

Goals keep you from being distracted by new ideas and opportunities, or campaigns, and they also help you make better choices about where, how often, and how you market.

Focus on sustainable content

The promise of social media’s high dopamine levels often allows us to spend more time and energy creating social media content before anything else.

Instead, we should spend time making sure our website reflects us and works really well for our ideal customer. We should create our lead generation and email sequences so that we have a place to take those who are interested.

And then we should build from the more enduring types of content first, including blogs on our website, YouTube videos, or podcasts.

One of the benefits of creating those big, juicy pieces of content is that it helps with the next step.

Focus on redirected content

A big chunk of content is super easy to break up into multiple single posts. For example, I could take this column and make each point a separate article or a short video.

It also helps you create content that’s related, makes it easier for someone else once you’re ready to outsource some of your marketing, and helps you stick to those goals.

Get the basics right

There’s no point spending hours creating content on a social media platform if your bio isn’t optimized and engaging for people who might want to follow you.

Take the time to set them up well and also add links to your lead generation and heavy content for people who want more.

Block out your marketing time and stick to it

Customers can’t see your calendar. They can’t see that Wednesday afternoon is your marketing time. It’s just a time when you can’t see them. Figure out what time you’re going to give, book it into your calendar, and make it happen.

You should also treat yourself as your best customer. Arrive on time, with a plan, and everything you’ll need to get the job done. You and your business are worth it.

Create in batches “like steps and content”

As an easily distracted person, this was a huge habit-changer for me.

I’m going to block off my marketing time for a week for planning and preparation. The next session could be spent writing my heavy content, following my special media posts, designing the images, and then finally, my short videos.

There's no point spending hours creating content on a social media platform if your bio isn't optimized and engaging for people who might want to follow you.

123rf

There’s no point spending hours creating content on a social media platform if your bio isn’t optimized and engaging for people who might want to follow you.

It’s amazing how much you can do when you focus on one step or type of content at a time.

Use automation whenever possible

Automation saves me and my clients a lot of time (when they start using it!).

You can automate social media responses for frequently asked questions. You can use a social media planner.

One of my favorite automation tools right now is one that takes my tiktoks, removes the watermark, then automatically posts to YouTube and Pinterest, while saving for Instagram and Facebook.

Often people spend a lot of time using a free tool because it’s free. I love a good free marketing tool, but if a paid tool takes an hour less of my time per week, and that’s less than my hourly rate, it’s a great tool for our business.

Prioritize obtaining a virtual assistant for administrative support

If you’re a small business owner and find it difficult to be everywhere, using a virtual assistant can help.

As you work on your marketing tasks, start recording how you do each and save them to your “VA Jobs” file.

Once you have a bunch of tasks and you have a budget, ask a VA to take those repetitive marketing tasks off your hands.

Take one learning curve at a time

One of the biggest hurdles in marketing is the icy response of fear. It’s knowing what to post, how to post it, and how to make it all work together. To add to that, social media platforms change all the time, and constantly updating what you’re up to can feel a little exhausting!

I am also sometimes overwhelmed. It’s a constant journey of learning.

I learned to break the learning into sections, identifying what is really going on with the blockages and breaking them down one by one.

For years, I was afraid of YouTube. Once I realized it was a mix of “How is an ideal YouTube video constructed?” and “How do you use editing software?” I was able to learn the skills I needed and started creating.

Am I perfect? Absolutely not. Am I improving and becoming more confident? Totally.

Be kind to yourself, be patient with your learning, and you will see progress.

Build a canvas

There are times, when we are learning, that we spend time on a platform to deepen and learn new skills. I recommend it and do it myself.

Never lose sight of the web you’re building. Every type of marketing should link to another type, whether it’s your print ad and website, a link to your Facebook page on your YouTube channel, or a link to your podcast on your LinkedIn page.

Be aware of why you are not marketing.

I’ve lost track of how many people will come to us for a marketing strategy, hoping this will fix everything when the problem is more about timing and prioritizing for the right reasons.

If your business is going through a huge upheaval, or you’re having staffing issues or something else that’s more important than marketing, it’s always good to take some time to focus on that. But this should not be a permanent situation!

Good marketing, on a regular schedule, will facilitate business growth. It will attract your ideal customers. This will increase sales and help people trust you, but will train and refer you.

But it takes focus and time. It’s like everything we do, it’s worth doing. You have to put in the effort for some time before you get results. And you have to trust the process.

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