A few weeks ago, I happened upon an informational whitepaper written by John Jantsch of Duct Tape Marketing. John offers several excellent tips in 7 Steps to Small Business Marketing Success, but I found one of his steps particularly effective. In “Step 7: Living By the Calendar,” John explains the importance of making marketing a habit. As a marketer, I know this is crucial to creating a consistent marketing program. But as a small business owner with little time to work on my own marketing, I also understand the difficulty in making marketing a priority.
Marketing is like any new hobby or habit. You have to set aside time in your busy schedule to tackle the task. Since reading John’s whitepaper, I’ve been doing my best to “live by the calendar” and have found it very helpful. Here’s my method for creating a marketing calendar:
- Make the time. Dedicating just a couple hours per week to marketing can pay big dividends. You can set aside one day or break up the time into smaller increments each day to focus on marketing your business. I’ve found that I have extra time first thing in the morning that I can use to catch up on blogs and Twitter.
- Prioritize your projects. Create a list of all the things that need to be done in your marketing program and rank them by importance. You can devote your precious few minutes to the most effective means to market your business and postpone projects that are less time-sensitive or beneficial. For example, I put my time and effort into creating new content for the blog and put off other updates to my website.
- Reassess and repeat. A good marketing program takes dedication and patience. You’ll quickly notice that you’re marketing to-do list is never-ending. As you cross each item off your list, take note of how much time it took, how efficient you were and what you could improve next time. I’ve learned that I tend to write better in the morning when I have a clear head and can focus better on design right before bedtime.
As John says: “The secret to getting marketing done is to make it a habit.” Creating a marketing calendar is an effective way to force yourself to stick to those habits.
What other methods do you use to stick to your marketing program?