Throughout my years in business I have noticed some clients have more difficulty than others in getting their marketing done. What seems like a small bit of feedback takes months. One in particular teases me and himself for my having to nag him regularly for feedback or direction. I asked him just today what holds him up most and he said it’s partially lack of time (the most common reason) but also that some things push him out of his comfort zone. The best thing you can do in both of these common cases is schedule it in and ask for help. Here are some tips on how to do that.
Take Charge of Time.
Looking at even small marketing tasks can seem quite daunting when you’re busy. But, if you plan it out, even a little, it’ll make your life easier – and remember, you don’t have to do it all in one week.
It’s a common catch 22: when you’re really busy, you don’t have time to market so you don’t fill the funnel. When existing work comes to an end, you’re then scrambling for more, often performing emergency/reactive manoeuvres that aren’t so well thought out. Marketing is something that needs to be done constantly, regardless of business activity so scheduling over time is very useful.
Once you’ve decided on major goals, break them into smaller tasks and spread them out over the year, assigning them to specific people. Make them actions you/they can realistically commit to, knowing you have lots of other stuff to do as well. For regular things (like newsletters) create a process or check list for it so you aren’t reinventing the wheel each time. Schedule it in like any other work or meeting.
Ask For Help.
Once you get beyond a certain size, you can’t do it alone due to the time commitment and expertise needed. For example, many Rapport clients start out intending to write their own newsletters – to save money or they think it should come from them. They then find they have no time or it’s too difficult to pull an article out of thin air when not a professional writer. So, after several months there’s no newsletter, no repeat touch-point getting to their audience = missed opportunities. I shared with clients that I too was finding it hard to get Rapport’s newsletter done, so I assigned our writer Beth to do it. She still needs information from me or the rest of the team but acquires it in small, painless chunks then presents me with a complete newsletter ready to put in our template. Plus, with a little research, it’s easy for Beth to pull articles out of thin air because that’s what she does. Now Beth does newsletters for many of our clients too.
Free Marketing Help
Another tip is to get someone internal to help. They could create/manage your marketing calendar, complete small tasks for you and make sure things get done. It doesn’t have to be all you.
When you’re the big kahuna and responsible for a lot of things like the work, sales, client management, etc, it’s easy to push marketing efforts aside. When it’s part of someone’s job, what they’re paid for (internal or external) they are waaaaay less likely to push it aside.
Use Your Experts, Your Way.
I find the way and level at which clients want to interact with us varies from extremes. One may say ‘I completely trust you, I have no time for this stuff, just do it’ while others may want to be really involved in every minute detail, talk everything through, etc. Both are fine.
People who’ve never hired someone in this field may have no idea how to proceed. Or, they’ve had very different experiences. A simple example: client is all stressed out and says ‘I have no idea what we should blank blank blank’ in the very first meeting. I tell them they don’t have to figure that out, it’s my job – that’s what they pay me the big bucks for. ‘Oh’, they say looking relieved.
It’s my task as the account manager to determine their preferred interaction style as well as to educate them on what we intend to actually do for them so we both know what to expect from each other. However, it’s also okay to change tacks midstream. The client I mentioned earlier usually likes to get very involved and have deep discussions, but today he said ‘you know what, this is out of my comfort zone, you figure it out and make a recommendation’ – which is what I would do for most clients. Speak up and ask for more help if needed.
Also, let them do their thing. Back to the newsletter example; Beth writes articles (and more) for a living – it’s easy for her. We have clients who ask us to create websites with content management systems, then ask us to make all changes for them anyway because it’s just easier, they don’t have the time. Let your experts do what they do best while you do what you do best and most easily.
When you are paying experts to do work for you, use them to their full potential. You should also feel comfortable saying how you want to work, talking things through with them, questioning ideas and solutions, asking for more or less help, or for things to be done differently.