What I am hearing from small business owners and other organizations who count marketing among their many tasks is that time is one of the biggest challenges. Those who wear many hats in their businesses are so inundated with customer service, inventory management, product development and administration that marketing can take a backseat. The problem is that marketing needs to be consistent to be effective.
Do you struggle to find enough time to update your blog, create or update a Facebook page, or send out your monthly e-mail newsletter? Here are three ways to make time for those necessary marketing tasks.
- Plan ahead. Take one day each month to plan your marketing tasks for the next month and do all of the necessary work in advance. For example, on March 15, plan for April. Write all of your blog postings for the month at once and schedule them to be posted throughout the month. This block of time allows you to focus on the task at hand, so you can be creative and not rushed to get the task done.
- Schedule time for social media. As sites like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Biznik grow in popularity, it has become almost necessary for businesses to participate. Unfortunately, active participation can take a big chunk of time out of your day, so I plan my activity in blocks. Twitter and Facebook are ever-changing, so I login to both each morning. I have my Twitter updates automatically posted to Facebook, so I only need to type status updates once. For LinkedIn and Biznik, time isn't as critical, so I set aside down time (like when I'm on hold or have idle time on the weekends) to make updates to my profile, view the community forums, etc. If I get a message or invitation to connect, it will be e-mailed to me and I can address those as they come in by logging in as needed (once a day, max.)
- Delegate marketing tasks. If you have a tech-savvy employee, or an intern with a silver tongue, consider having them help with some of your marketing tasks. A tech-savvy employee, for example, could easily create a blog or Facebook business page or event for you. A silver tongued-employee might help brainstorm ideas for blog postings, events, your April promotion or your next newsletter. If those resources aren't available, consider outsourcing some of your marketing responsibilities to a marketing professional. You can find anything from a virtual marketing expert who offers a la carte services to a full-service marketing, PR and advertising agency.
If you have other time savers to share, I welcome your comments!