Don’t worry, you aren’t alone. There are many coaches and marketing professionals who have created programs to try and simplify the process, but unless you have a system in place or hire someone to handle the task for you, it often gets put to the back burner.
Part of why marketing is often pushed to the bottom of the to-do list is because you aren’t sure what to do next and the mere process of figuring out what to do takes time. For that reason, we recommend putting together a marketing calendar which will allow you to plan ahead for your marketing activities.
A marketing calendar is a simple document that can be broken out into quarters, months, weeks or days, but should span a 12 month time frame. How frequently you decide to undergo a marketing activity often depends on your budget and time availability. Types of marketing activities you may include are direct mail, networking, blogging, online advertising, email marketing, webinars, trade shows and social media.
Once you have created the marketing calendar, you may need to break it down a little further. For example, if email marketing is one of your activities, you’ll need to create a content calendar to outline the topics that you will include in your emails. When you break out the topics for your email newsletters, it makes it easier to get the newsletter completed or provides you an opportunity to curate content ahead of time, outsource the writing or delegate the layout before the due date.
Don’t think that any marketing activity can be completed quickly. A good marketing activity requires planning. For example, if you want to send an email newsletter, you need to decide on the topic, call to action, goal for the email newsletter and how you’ll measure the results. Email service providers such as Constant Contact and Hubspot recommend 1-2 hours for the planning, 2-3 hours for the content creation, 1-2 hours for creating the email layout which includes images, subject lines, editing, testing links, and re-editing. If you haven’t sent an email in a while, you need to add updating your list to the time equation. Even though email marketing is one of the most cost effective forms of marketing, it takes time to do it right and time is money!
Everything takes time. Having a calendar and a plan helps to make sure your marketing gets completed efficiently. If you need help getting your marketing accomplished, give us a call.