Note: I am passionate about productivity and organization for both individuals and small businesses. However, I am equally passionate about supporting female owned small businesses and believe that we need to raise each other up whenever we can. So, I am so excited to feature my first guest Blogger – Georgina Miller, founder of Crabapple Communications. Her tips and tricks are really helping to keep me on track, and I am happy to have her share them with you. Cheers, Jenn
In order to be effective, marketing needs to be consistent – it’s a marathon not a sprint. However, often this is easier said than done. It is common to have great intentions, but to find yourself struggling to follow through on a regular basis. However, there are some techniques that you can use to give yourself a break and make it easier to produce high-quality content, consistently.
How to Get Started
The first step in getting started in an effective way is to set yourself realistic goals. Don’t set yourself up for failure by aiming to do too much, too fast – you’ll just burn out and become unhappy with what you’re doing. As a consequence, the quality of your work will suffer.
Also, anything you start on, you should keep up and do well, so consider your audience and your business goals. You’re going to have to do this thing over and over again, so what will give you the biggest impact with your audience and help drive you the furthest toward your goals?
Plan your content ahead of time. There’s nothing worse than being creative to a deadline, or thinking that you have to get something out, and not having any idea what. Give yourself a break by using tools that will help you plan and store content ideas for the future so you’re not trying to come up with something at the last minute.
Make sure you plan in the time to create. Use recurring to-do lists and block out the time in your calendar that you want to spend creating, don’t just presume that you will have it. Inevitably, someone else will interrupt that time!
Keep On Track
Once you’ve sat down to create, it can be hard to remain productive in a busy environment, or one with small children in. One tip is to figure out when you’re most productive for this kind of activity and wait until you are. If possible, it is best not to force yourself to do something, particularly something creative as that rarely leads to high quality.
If you find it difficult to concentrate, do something else until you’re in a better headspace for whatever you want to do. Try to create a time and space for yourself to be creative, by setting boundaries with clients, employees and family members. However, sometimes interruptions can’t be helped and whether the person interrupting is an employee needing help or a small (or big) child wanting food, take it easy on yourself and try to get back into the frame of mind you need.
Use the tools available to make repetitive processes easier and automate where you can. For example, think about how you could schedule activities ahead of time such as social media (using tools like Hootsuite or Sprout Social), emails (Mailchimp or Mailerlite) and blogs (on your website platform). Marketing platforms like HubSpot also provide services like workflow automation which enable you to plan a whole logical sequence of activities ahead of time by setting rules.
Review and Reuse
Rather than always rushing to the next thing, try to take some time and see which marketing activities worked particularly well, and which didn’t. This will help stop you repeating mistakes, while enabling you to make the most out of the strongest older activities. If you’re always killing yourself to come up with something new, you’ll soon be exhausted and it might not be the right thing to do strategically anyway.
When something works well, have a think about how you can reuse the same idea. Can you do a follow-up up a little later? Can you make it into a regular feature, or reuse it in a different format? For example, if you have recorded a video, can you transcribe it and use part of it as a blog too?
At the end of the day, spending time laying the ground upfront will make delivering on the day that much smoother, less stressful and help you create content that packs a bigger punch.
If you would like more information on these points, read the fuller blogs on the Crabapple Communications website.
Georgina Miller is the founder of Crabapple Communications, a marketing consultancy that helps small businesses reach the next phase of growth. Specializing in marketing strategy, written content creation and digital marketing, Crabapple Communications helps clients determine the right marketing strategy to grow, and helps them achieve their goals step by step.