What if you’ve taken the time to create a marketing plan but now you’re so busy servicing your current clients that you’re having a hard time keeping on track with your plan? Is it okay to set the plan aside for a while? After all you’ve got enough business to keep you busy. And, you’re not sure you could handle additional clients right now anyway.
While marketing may not seem like a necessary activity when your business is going gang-busters, it’s only a matter of time before your lack of marketing starts to impact your business. Staying on top of your marketing plan, even when you’re busy, ensures you always have a pipeline full of prospects and clients into your business.
While you may be busy right now, if you stop marketing for the next three months, you may find yourself high and dry when it comes to clients, because you’ve stopped the flow. As an independent professional myself, I can totally relate to being too busy to market. It seems the days are never long enough to get everything on my to-do list done. But as a marketing professional I know I can’t afford to NOT get my marketing done. Here are 5 suggestions … these are things I do and recommend to all my clients
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.
2.- Hang your marketing calendar over your desk on a bulletin board or on the wall. Make a habit of looking at it every morning. This way you won’t have the problem of “out of site out of mind.” I can’t tell you how many clients I’ve had whose marketing plans have ended up in a file folder in a drawer. You’re certainly NOT going to grow your business that way!
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 PDA just like all your appointments and other business activities. I do this with all my marketing activities. I use Outlook and a Pocket PC and it’s the only way I know I’ll keep myself on track. If something is on my calendar, I treat it like any other meeting or appointment and I do it. For example, every Wednesday, a little notice pops up to remind me to write my weekly ezine. If that didn’t happen I’d either be writing it on Monday’s at midnight, or it wouldn’t get done.
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 PDA 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 a habit.
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 producing activities.” These are things like working with clients, creating products and services and marketing. I couldn’t believe the difference it made when I hired some help. I didn’t think I could afford it, but now I don’t see how I lasted so long without help!
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. And, that’s when you know your business will be continue to be busy and profitable for the long-haul.