Do you wake up and start fighting fires and addressing client emails? I feel you. I did the same thing for 13 years.
I was always available. When a client emailed, I was back in their inbox within seconds. I’d drop whatever I was doing to address their needs. I had intentions of working on my marketing, but I’d always push it to the side to focus on their fire.
If you’re reading this, I’ll bet you’ve done the same thing. You’re either neglecting your marketing right now, or you’ve done it in the past. Most of us in the creative game are guilty of showcasing the “do as I say, not as I do” mentality in our businesses. We preach planning, strategy, tactics, and consistency for clients, but we have none of it for ourselves.
This hurts you, your business, and your clients. We should be prioritizing our marketing, learning, and leading by example. The only way to get better results for clients is to learn, do, and then offer it to other people.
When I sold my previous agency and started Special Sauce, I committed to investing in my marketing. I’m now 82 weeks into sending The Recipe (my weekly email with marketing tips), I’ve posted 60+ blog posts and Medium articles, and I actively spend money on Google PPC.
I continuously grow my knowledge and marketable skills, get better results for clients, find clarity for my business, and have a steady flow of leads. All of these benefits come from one commitment I made to my business…spend 20% of every day working on my marketing.
Baiting my hooks.
I work on my marketing between 7:00 – 9:00 am. No client fires, emails, or video conferences are coming in first thing in the morning (usually). This helps my ADD brain avoid distractions and focus on writing for Special Sauce. After 9 am, I have responsibilities to clients. They pay for my attention so I need to give it to them, but until 9 am, it’s all about producing helpful articles.
Putting out weekly content is a bit like dropping several fishing lines in the water. Each article has different bait. If a big fish doesn’t like one article, maybe they’ll like the next. I’m going to get them in the boat if they read enough of my content. I just have to keep dropping baited hooks in the water. That time between 7:00 – 9:00 am is when I bait my hooks.
Investing in my business.
We’re busy. This is great, but it means I’ve often got my head down working in my business. Some days it’s nuts how fast eight or nine hours can fly past.
My company exists thanks to the clients we work for, but I need time to work for my business as well. This is what keeps clients coming in the door, my skills growing from learning, and helps me test ideas before taking them to clients. My business needs investment (time and money) just like all of the businesses that hire me.
Developing a marketing habit.
I’m a big fan of James Clear. Atomic Habits sits near the top of my reading list. If you haven’t read it, go buy it now. Clear walks you through how to develop habits.
After reading it, I built a marketing habit. That habit has been the biggest factor in seeing results from my marketing efforts. Yes, marketing goals, strategies, and tactics are important, but they’re all worthless if you don’t get your fingers dirty by doing the work. Consistent execution is the only mandatory ingredient in the marketing recipe.
Do I miss some days? Absolutely. Shit happens and I get distracted like everyone else. The key is to get back on track the next day.
Unless you’re a celebrity, marketing success won’t come without a habit. Many of the articles you write, videos you shoot, and podcasts you produce will fall flat. This sucks, but it’s a reality you need to accept. Not everything you write or record is going to connect. A habit ensures that you’re stepping back up to the plate and taking another crack at hitting one into the cheap seats.
Writing is hard, but I enjoy it now. Hammering through an article helps me take something from knowledge in my head to knowledge I can share with people who read my emails, buy my training, and hire me. My business is growing through a pandemic thanks to writing. The 20% of time I invest in my marketing is never wasted.
Invest in your business. Spend time every day learning new things, trying new things, and then sharing what you know. Start by spending two hours writing (or recording if video is your thing) tomorrow. Two hours isn’t enough time to finish an article, but it’s the first step in forming a habit.