I Don’t Have Time to Market
This is a complaint I hear from my clients ALL THE TIME. They’re so busy with client work that they don’t have time to market their business. This can turn into a vicious cycle, especially if the client work isn’t recurring. It’s feast or famine: you’re working flat-out to get to all your client work; then the projects finish up and you don’t have your next gig lined up. So you put in a whole bunch of time marketing, and the cycle repeats itself.
It’s exhausting, stressful — and unnecessary.
Always Be Marketing
Marie Forleo and other experts say it best – always be marketing! The trick is to set up systems that run automatically, even when you’re busy with client work, so that your business never misses a beat.
Here are four of my best strategies for making time for marketing in your business even when you’re totally slammed.
#1 – Choose a marketing strategy and a communications plan.
Keep it simple. Any marketing strategy that you choose should include:
- Creating excellent weekly content that provides value to your audience. Show people you can help them by actually helping them, before they ever pay you. This builds a ton of credibility and trust.
- A lead magnet – – an asset that people will want to download (a video, checklist, free guide, etc.) that teaches people something valuable.
- An email funnel that will lead people from the lead magnet to another free offering — whether that’s your free Facebook group, a free webinar, or a free strategy session or discovery call.
- A plan to convert folks into paying customers (via some mechanism, such as that group, webinar, or discovery call).
No idea where to start with your marketing strategy? Email me all your questions at brooke AT brookeadamslaw.com and I will individually respond with some sage advice.
#2 – Schedule it on your calendar — and follow through
I confess that when I first went full-time in my business, I was having trouble blogging consistently. Part of the problem was that I had a backlog of client work that had been on pause while I was finishing up my 9-5.
This solution is going to sound so simple that you’re going to be tempted to disregard it. But I cannot tell you how powerful it is when you actually do it.
Schedule time for marketing on your calendar. And then, when it’s scheduled, do it.
Now, I have a recurring event set on my calendar on Monday mornings from 9:30-10:30 to write blog posts. When it hits 9:30, I don’t check my email, I don’t wonder what I should write about; I choose the next topic on my master list of blog posts and I sit down and write a blog post.
Treat it like a client call. Don’t reschedule it for a client project, and don’t flake out on yourself. You won’t be in business long if you don’t show up for your appointments!
#3 – Schedule time to complete projects, not to “work on” projects
I learned this from my coach, Brooke Castillo, and it is LIFE-CHANGING.
I schedule an hour to write a blog post, and at the end of the hour, I have to have produced a blog post. I write it, I format it, I choose pictures, and I schedule it.
My coach says that people always tell her that they don’t know how long a project will take. She’s full of tough love on this topic: it’ll take as long as you allow it to take. Last week, she shared that she had an hour scheduled to produce two podcasts. She recorded them, formatted the files and uploaded them to Dropbox before a live coaching call.
She was like, “Would I have LIKED to have had two or three hours to produce these two podcasts? Could I have spent more time on the topics I was talking about? Yes. But I had scheduled an hour to produce them, and I produced them in an hour.”
When I started scheduling time to produce a result, rather than to “work on” projects, my productivity went through the roof.
If you’re resistant to this idea, remember the last time you were up against a deadline. You had to finish a project for a client; you had to complete something before a phone call … and you got it done. When you can create this kind of pressure for yourself (even artificially), you can produce so much more than you ever have before.
#4 – Keep a running list of projects
Keep a running list of marketing projects you want to try. Then, the next time you have a client cancel a phone call, or you finish a project early, don’t twiddle your thumbs and wonder what to do next. Pull out the list of marketing tactics, pick one, and do it.
#5 – Schedule out a six-month business plan
What are your short-term goals? Where do you want your business to be in six months? Do you want to be selling courses? Have a larger email list? Be further along in your goal of hitting six figures (or multiple six figures) this year?
Once you know where you’re heading, block in some plans for how you’ll get there. If you want to launch a program this year, when will it run? When will you start promoting it? This will give you a good idea of what types of marketing you’ll need to do month by month.
Be sure to check back next week for the final post in the series: “I just don’t know what to do.” If you have questions about your marketing strategy, shoot me an email at brooke AT brookeadamslaw.com and I will share some advice!
July 22, 2018