Develop a style guide. Create sell sheets. Perform market research. Write new blog post. Check in on Google Analytics. Look into a new CRM. Add new employees to website. Answer social media messages. Check out latest organizational tool. Post rave review client emailed you. Run a website audit. Outsource white paper topic.
You’ve been so busy keeping projects moving and clients happy that you’ve let your own marketing priorities and efforts fall to the wayside. Now the to-do list seems impossible, endless. It also feels like everything needs to be done NOW, because letting it remain is too much a risk to the growth of your business.
Can you tell we’ve been in your shoes? We can empathize. We’re still there once in a while. But doing all of this great marketing work for our kick ass clients has taught us a thing or two about marketing priorities and how, well, to prioritize them. Without setting marketing priorities, you run the risk of failing at your initiatives and strategic goals, because you’re approaching them with no strategy!
You Can Do It!
So first, know that the list is manageable and that should it be too much, there is plenty of help to whom you can outsource the work. Upwork, though we’re sure you’ve heard of it, is a marketplace of freelancers. And while sometimes you have to dig to find the right fit, you will find it.
HubSpot, a simple but effective software, is an incredible source to streamline all of your inbound marketing efforts. It’s literally the hub of your marketing work and how effective it has been in generating leads and turning them into customers. Oh, by the way, we’re HubSpot certified [wink, wink] for when you need help. The point is: everything that is necessary will get done with the right resource and some diligence.
Organize Yourself and Priorities
Setting priorities and understanding what needs to be done when and why is crucial. A quick guideline on this:
1. Write down every task floating through your head.
And keep the list open for the next day or two. Chances are that items will keep popping up, so don’t consider your list even 90% complete until you’ve given it time to develop.
2. Organize your to-do list into three categories.
Organize priorities based largely on the kind of impact the task has on growing your business.
- List 1: Preventing pissed off people: Tasks in this list include things like cleaning out a full inbox so you can answer any emails that came through last week, month, maybe even last year, and responding to social media inquiries. Dedicate a few hours to getting your inboxes to a fresh start. Tomorrow, when you come it, everything will be at ground zero, so your messaging tools will require only about 10 minutes of your attention.
- List 2: Keeping your brand clean: These tasks could range from updating your office location on Yelp! to doing market research. You want to make sure that the digital footprint you are leaving is clean, consistent, accurate and attracting the right buyer. Blackbird has evolved from a web development firm to a full-blown marketing agency. Staying current and relevant has required work, research and adaptability. Not to pat ourselves on the back, but here we go: these qualities have been key to success. They are key to yours, too, so these are tasks that should be ongoing and require regular attention.
- List 3: Growing your business: Without clients, you wouldn’t exist, right? But the clients keep your attention away from your marketing initiatives. It’s a vicious cycle that you must break. Tasks here will be more along the lines of finally checking into Slack, running a site audit and updating sell sheets. They are all necessary, but can be performed by dedicating an hour a week to checking a task off the list. There is no urgency now, but there will be if you don’t give these tasks some attention on some scheduled basis.
3. While you’re in organizational mode, plan and delegate.
Develop an editorial calendar, grow a list of reliable freelancers, create a username/password file. Get ahead with some general housekeeping. Your future self thanks you.
What Are Your Competitors’ Marketing Priorities?
Pay attention to what others are prioritizing. Yea, we know – this is more research, and doesn’t really check off any task currently on your list. But looking at what others’ marketing priorities are will show you if you’re on target or forgetting anything crucial.
Finally, to stay relevant, you must learn — about new tools, media, email marketing tactics, stop words, marketing automation, website responsiveness, any and everything new. And we don’t mean all at once, but sign up for a few meaningful newsletters. Visit a few blogs [ahem] regularly. Know the leaders and access their knowledge. Dedicate an hour of your time a week to grow your knowledge so that you can apply it to growing your business. Building an internal encyclopedia of knowledge will benefit you and your customers.