5 tried and trusted ways small business can save time on marketing
One of the questions I get asked the most is: How do I save time on marketing my business? My response is always this:
You need to know what you’re going to do before you do it!
This means having plans and processes in place to help you do things quickly and with the least amount of fuss. That said, it needn’t be as complicated as you might think. Here’s what I suggest you do to save time (and money) on your marketing.
Have a plan, Stan
I know there are going to be groans, but you need a marketing plan. I also know that those two words strike fear into a small business owner’s heart. It’s not as scary as you might think to put a plan together. In fact, it’s so simple, I’ve put together a template to help you.
I know what you’re thinking:
“But why do I need a plan?”
Imagine you’re starting a journey to a city you’ve never been to. You’re attending an event, let’s say a friend’s wedding. Would you set off on your journey without a plan of how you’re going to get there, on time? No, you wouldn’t.
So, why approach your marketing in the same way? Having a plan for your marketing is the thing that’s going to help you achieve your objectives in the most effective and efficient way.
Now, plan some more…
Yes, more planning. But this is fun. Planning your marketing activities is a creative process as well as a practical one. Get your thinking cap on and figure out the subjects for blog posts, your promotions, social media competitions, all the marketing tactics or activities you will do.
Now, put them all on a calendar and, hey presto, you have your marketing activity plan! Imagine how easy your marketing will be if you don’t have to think about what you’ll do. Instead, you just refer to your calendar and do the activity you’ve planned for that day.
I love doing this bit because I can get my sticky notes out and actually have fun creating my calendar. Want to know how I do it? Read this post I wrote for BusinessZone.
Don’t waste time on the wrong tools
Everyone wants to try the newest thing in marketing. It’s invariably a new social network. But, before you dive headlong into something new, think.
Because here’s the thing:
Your audience may not be using that social network. They may never use it. Do you really want to spend time learning it, figuring out what to post and then adding it to your workload?
Whichever marketing tools you decide to try for your business, first think about whether you will be able to reach your audience with them. If the answer is no, then leave them out of your toolkit.
I love this! It saves me so much time. What do I automate? Mostly my social media and some of my email marketing.
Here’s what I do for social media:
Every day, I set aside half an hour to schedule my social media posts. I use Hootsuite to help me do this. In half an hour, I’ve created the following:
7 posts for Twitter
1 Facebook post
1 LinkedIn post
1 reminder to post on Instagram
That’s it. Now I’m done for that day. Then I spend around 15 minutes in the day to respond to any comments or retweets.
With my email marketing, I use automation to help manage new joiners to my list. You can join my list in any number of ways. In fact, if you download this free worksheet to help you plan your email automation, you’ll see one of my automation campaigns!
Set aside time each month to quickly review what’s working and what isn’t. If you do this regularly, it won’t take as long as you think it might. It will also show you where you should be spending your marketing efforts.
Answer this question:
Do you really want to waste time and money?
No, none of us does, so keeping an eye on how your marketing is performing will help you save these precious resources. It will show you what you could be doing more of (the things that are working) and what you should stop doing or change (the things that aren’t working.) And it will do this early enough for you to make changes.
Use these five tips and I know you will save time on your marketing. It’s all in the prep and knowing what you’re going to do, so you can just get on and do it. So, start from the top of the list I’ve given you and work down it. It will work, promise!