Do you find time to exercise?
Me? I like to do yoga. It's gentle, yet effective. Builds muscle tone and bone density, improves posture and circulation, and literally clears my head (bye-bye sinus congestion). Most noticeably, when I practice yoga consistently I enjoy more energy and fewer aches and pains.
If I were smart, I'd dedicate at least 30 minutes to yoga every day. But invariably, I get busy. I put other priorities ahead of exercise and before I know it it's been a week, 2 weeks, a month since my last sun salutation.
What happens next is fairly predictable. My muscles and tendons tighten, I lose flexibility and balance, and my back starts to ache. By the time I pull out my mat again, it feels like I'm starting over from scratch.
What happens when you take a break from marketing?
Marketing your business isn't so different from working out. Done consistently it provides all kinds of benefits: more leads, more sales, and a healthy cash flow. You know marketing is vital to your financial health, and if you were smart you'd set aside time for it every day.
But you've got customers to serve, a family to care for, and every once in a while you like to do this little thing called sleep. So marketing falls to the bottom of your priority list. Before you know it you haven't posted to social media in a week, you're blog hasn't been updated in a month, and you can't even remember your email marketing login. Then, predictably, your sales pipeline starts drying up and find yourself scrambling to start over again.
Fortunately, unlike your waistline, there are ways to keep your marketing in shape even when you aren't actively working at it.
Marketing Tip #1: Automate
One of the advantages of living in the 21st century is that we can rely on technology to do a lot of work for us. This is true of your marketing, too.
At the enterprise level, marketing automation is a category of software capable of collecting, storing, sorting, analyzing, and utilizing huge amounts of data about prospects and customers. (Think Amazon and the way they way they keep tempting you with that new toy you really can't afford. There it is in your email, and online ads, and OMG is it on sale?)
For a small business or startup, marketing automation may be as simple as using a social media scheduler or a drip email campaign to stay in touch with prospects over time.
The point is to leverage automation to keep your marketing mojo going even when you aren't fully focused on it.
Marketing Tip #2: Curate
Marketing--in all its forms--demands content. Lots of content. And producing that content demands time and energy you don’t always have.
The good news is that not every piece of content you share needs to be 100% original. Content curation is the discovering, gathering and presenting of digital content surrounding a specific theme. You probably already take advantage of content curation on social media by sharing articles, photos, or videos created by others.
But you can also curate content in your newsletter, blog posts, and on your website. The nice thing about it is that you can take content you already consume (industry news, case studies, infographics) and put it to use building your brand.
Just be absolutely sure you give proper credit to the creator because plagiarism is not cool.
Marketing Tip #3: Delegate
Your customers are the lifeblood of your business, so you always put them first. Even ahead of things you need to be doing for your own business - like marketing.
Why not put that "customer comes first" attitude to work for yourself by becoming someone else's customer? You don’t have to hire a full-service advertising firm in order to get quality assistance with marketing. Just look for someone who specializes in the area where you need help and choose a provider who takes the time to understand your goals, target audience, and unique selling proposition.
"But I can't afford it!" you say?
Think about this: every hour you spend on marketing is an hour you're not spending on billable work (or something even more important, like resting or reconnecting with loved ones).
Meanwhile, every hour your not marketing, you're potentially sacrificing future business (which you need in order to stay in business).
So the real question becomes how can you afford to NOT to ask for help when you need it?