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When I sit down to work on marketing my business, I always start with great intentions. But then I find myself scrolling social media, signing up for (another) course or webinar, or reading news or blogs. How do I build better habits when it comes to marketing my business?
I think building good marketing habits is something that we all struggle with, especially because so much marketing is done on social media today. We network through Facebook Groups, Instagram stories, and guest blog posts instead of at Chamber of Commerce meetings and meetups. It's easy to sit down to do a quick update, and find yourself 3 hours later in the rabbit hole of learning how to run a webinar.
The best way to build good marketing habits is to have clear, achievable goals. I personally like to have 3 “must-dos” each day when it comes to marketing or growing my business. They may be:
- Schedule 15 social media posts across all of my profiles.
- Edit a free eCourse. (I consider this a part of marketing because the eCourses are lead generation tools for my business.)
- Check top referrals in Google Analytics.
The goals will vary from day-to-day. If you've taken my productive marketing eCourse (it's free), then you should already have the start of your daily marketing to-do list.
Set Time Limits
Work will always expand to fill the time available – just like your shopping cart will fill up to meet your budget. If you manage your time the way you manage your bank account, you may find that you can get a lot more done.
For example, I may give myself 2 hours to do the three tasks I've outlined above. If I have time left over, then I engage with other social media posts to expand my network and my brand, or tackle something else on my master to-do list.
If I need to write a blog post, I schedule how much time I have for research, writing, and creating or finding graphics. Again, if I don't use the clock to keep myself accountable, then it's easy to fritter away hours “researching” (aka reading the internet. Fact: That article about iPhone X vs Google Pixel 2 has nothing to do with Facebook ads.)
One of the greatest keys to productivity and developing good habits is called “habit stacking.” (I'm not going to research who coined the term – you can google it if you're interested in learning more.) Habit stacking is simply “If this, then that” in real life. For example, you could say “If I put on my pajamas, I brush my teeth. If I brush my teeth, I floss.”
When we're talking about marketing habits, it would look something like this:
- If I read a good article to share with my community (a la curating content), I will save it in Pocket to share it later.
- If I am scheduling social media posts, I will check Pocket for third-party content to share.
- If I finish a blog post, I will schedule 5 tweets, 1 facebook post, and pin it.
- If I connect with a potential new client, I will schedule a follow-up reminder in three days.
You may have to start these with a checklist, but over time, it becomes really natural. Before you know it, you're flossing every day, following up with prospective clients in a timely manner, and filling your social media with great content. And it doesn't feel like work.
Use Shortcuts and Automation
Don't be afraid to use shortcuts to help you build better habits. If you want to build a morning workout habit, you may want to sleep in your workout clothes. If you want to be really productive with your social media time, bookmark the groups or pages that you visit the most often. That way, you don't get caught in the endless scrolling – you can get in, share what you need, engage how you want, and get on with your time.
You can also use tools to automate some of your actions, making it easier to build good habits. IFTTT and Zapier are popular tools that allow you to connect some systems and make it easier to build good habits. For example, you could create a label in Gmail that flags all new contact requests from your website, and then use Zapier to create Trello cards for every new email that comes in with that label. This keeps you from using your inbox as a to-do list, saving you time and increasing your productivity.
What are your favorite marketing habits and tools? I'd love to hear about them in the comments!