All small business owners wear too many hats, we understand that. Not only are we running a business to make a profit (hopefully), but we are Husbands, Wives, Mothers, Sons and Daughters with lots of competing responsibilities and inevitable interruptions.
So, how do we find enough time to market our businesses online?
Sounds like a time management blog, doesn’t it. But in all of my experience as a coach, traditional methods of time management don’t really work in today’s over-stimulated environment, what I see are people becoming firstly, overwhelmed; and secondly, stop being strategic about online marketing.
The first lesson is, there is never enough time. And when you understand that, you can start thinking strategically about the use of your time.
All time is relative. According to The Doctor: “People assume that time is a strict progression of cause to effect, but actually from a non-linear, non-subjective viewpoint – it’s more like a big ball of wibbly wobbly … time-y wimey… stuff”. Ergo: time flies or drags depending on what you’re doing – whether you are enjoying or not – we know that is right.
And that is the key to managing time for anything that is an important goal in your life, is that it exists in your “wibbly wobbly … time-y wimey” mind. You can create it. You can get up at 5am and go to the gym! You can leave work at 5pm to pick up the kids and devote time to them! You can find time to think like your customer and create marketing that works!
It’s time (pun intended) to remove any self doubt or limitations you have around “not having enough time,” or it not being “the right time” to manage your current online marketing effectively. Here are the “wibbly wobbly … time-y wimey” steps:
Regain control of your marketing time through a review
Just like a Dietitian would advise if you were trying to improve your diet: Carry a diary and record all your marketing activities for a week. This will help you understand how much you can get done during the course of any working day and where your precious time is going. You’ll see how much time is actually spent marketing and producing results; and how much time is wasted.
Create a Goal to maximise your marketing time
As I have stated before: time is a thief in social media world without a clear purpose or goal for your efforts! Schedule blocks of time every working day for high-priority actions. I make a point to schedule at least one hour every working morning to marketing activities that lead to income (note: before looking at emails or social media!). Then, I take the next 30 minutes to plan the rest of my day. It’s important to not let yourself be interrupted until you complete your daily time plan.
If you work from home like I do, it is very easy to be interrupted, so put up a “Do Not Disturb” sign when you absolutely have to get online marketing work done. Practice not answering the phone and checking e-mails during this time. It requires discipline at first, but you can make it a habit, just like that early morning workout.
Use tools to reach multiple platforms and to engage more easily
If you can’t afford to engage an Assistant or VA to help you, there are many low cost platform and App solutions to maximise your marketing time investment. I provided more detailed information recently here.
What I see every day is small businesses making their marketing more and more complex by thinking that they need to keep up with online marketing developments. I don’t really see it working that well for them. However, you can choose to make online marketing more simple, and more targeted, saving yourself time with a focus on clear purpose and goals aimed at engaging the right customers and bringing increasing income to your business.
Finally, remember that it’s impossible to get everything done and celebrate that there will be low priority actions that will never be done (perhaps until you have the income to hire an Assistant). But, remember the 80:20 Rule. The odds are good that the achievement of a clearly focused 20 percent of your priority activities will produce 80 percent of your results.
If you feel like sharing your own online marketing issues in the comments I’d love to discuss them.
About the author: Teresa Bassham is Chief Coach of Zenworkz Authentic Marketing, and is passionate about educating small and medium business professionals to create their authentic marketing and brand message, attract more ideal customers and create a marketing plan to achieve success. Please contact me if you would like help reaching the right customers online. Visit my website for free resources and subscribe for weekly e-News updates on all topics related marketing.
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