Overwhelm is HUGE when it comes to online marketing.
Never before have we been presented with so many options to market our businesses.
This is a fantastic opportunity – but it is also a massive challenge.
Even I, a seasoned marketer, get regularly overwhelmed by all the marketing things I want to, or worse, “should” be doing. Perhaps it’s worse for me than others because I feel like I need to represent in all areas. As if somehow that “proves” that I know what I am doing.
But in truth, simpler is often much better when it comes to marketing.
When I take a look at the business women I admire, I see one common trend – they focus on doing a few things really well.
And if you just focus on those few things it is all much less overwhelming.
So how do you go about doing “less” and eliminating that overwhelm? Here are 6 actions you can take.
ACTION #1: REVISIT THE BASICS
When it comes to marketing, there are 4 basics you want to always consider in your decision making:
- Your Target Audience (and what they will actually pay for)
- Your Core Message (what makes your business awesome)
- Your Strengths & Passions (what you enjoy doing)
- Your Track Record (what has been working well)
These are worth revisiting on a regular basis. Not only because it helps provide clarity on what you should be doing, where you should be hanging out and why you do what you do. But also because things change. Your business is constantly evolving. You are learning more and more as you go along. Even your audience is changing and growing. Therefore we need to grow and change with it.
Sometimes we are in a state of overwhelm purely because at some stage we got lost amongst the “busy” and the “doing” and we forgot the why behind it all.
If this is something you haven’t done for a while I highly recommend getting a hold of the Online Marketing Starter Kit which includes Target Market and Message Mastery Playbooks to help you get this clarity.
ACTION #2: RECONNECT
Once you do the “logical” revisiting of the marketing basics, it is a good idea to balance this with a dose of reflection and intuition.
Take some space to journal, free-write or brain dump. Go for a walk. Pull out post it notes and write out all your ideas. Pray. Meditate. Do whatever it is that you do to create space for yourself and your ideas.
Often once the heavy load of thinking is done we still feel overwhelmed by the “to do” list ahead. By taking this time you should start to see what your most important actions are, get some fresh insight and also get clarity on how everything fits together.
ACTION #3: GET PURPOSEFUL
It is easy to get swamped down in all the marketing things we can do. And often we just end up in a cycle of doing things because it is something we have always done. Or something everyone else says we “should” be doing.
But for our marketing to be truly effective, everything we do needs to have a purpose behind it.
Yes, the overall purpose of what we do is likely to “get more sales” but how exactly will this tactic help you do that? We want to go deeper.
This quick little exercise will help.
First list out all of the marketing channels you currently use, or want to use (e.g. Instagram, Facebook Groups, Google Adwords, Email Newsletters).
Then next to those write down the purpose for each. What does that tactic bring to the table? Is to build community? Is it to teach? Is it to connect?
Then step back and reflect:
- Is there anything that really isn’t fulfilling its purpose? How can you improve?
- Is there something you can let go of or simplify?
- Is there something you should be doing more of?
- Is there something missing?
Ideally, you should have 5 “intentions” (or similar variations) covered at least somewhere in your marketing efforts: Attract, Connect, Educate, Nurture and Convert.
Then, as you move forward in your marketing always approach that tactic, method or channel with that purpose in mind at least 80% of the time.
Want to read more on this? >> Check out this Post “The 5 Must-Have’s of an Online Marketing Strategy”.
ACTION #4: CHOOSE YOUR PRIORITIES
Now you have an idea of the purpose behind what you are doing and you have checked in on your target market & yourself, you need to begin prioritising.
Unfortunately, it is likely you won’t have enough time to do all of the things you want to do at this moment in time. So instead of jumping around frenetically from one thing to another, you should prioritise.
Here is a simple exercise you can do to help you with this:
- List out all the things you are doing now and all the things you would like to be doing
- Choose some criteria. This could be things like “cost”, “time”, “sales impact” or “enjoy-ability” – whatever is important to you
- Score each of the items you listed against each of these criteria on a scale of 1-5.
- Add the scores up and whatever has the highest (or lowest – whichever way you worked it) should be your no.1 priority with the others following in their order.
You could even go all-out and give a “weight” to each of the criteria but this isn’t necessary unless you really value one or two criteria much more than the others.
Once you’ve done this once you should see the value in using this exercise for almost any business decision you make. At the very least, it will give you a “logical” answer that might just get your gut kicking in to tell you the real direction you feel you should go.
Need some help?? >>> I did a Facebook Live on this exercise in The Small Business Marketing Collective Facebook Group which you can watch here. (Note: You will need to be a member of this Free group for the link to work)
ACTION #5: PULL IT TOGETHER
Once you are clear on what you are going to be doing and in what priority, it is important to take that extra step and look at how all of those pieces fit together in an overall strategy.
Do they all form a logical step by step journey that your ideal customer can take in order to buy from you?
Often this forms some sort of “sales funnel” although I feel like it is much more fluid than that.
Ideally, you’d have chosen a mix of strategies that include Promotions, Social Media, Content Marketing, Email Marketing and your Website (The 5 Pillars of Online Marketing). Each of which form a step along the journey AND fulfill each of the intentions mentioned under Action #3 above.
This is where things can get a little complex as it can be difficult to see the forest for the trees.
If this is you and you want some extra guidance to put together your own marketing strategy using the 5 pillars mentioned above, you may be interested in Online Marketing Demystified: a mini-course that guides you through strategy creation over 5 simple steps. Learn more and join here.
ACTION #6: REMOVE DISTRACTIONS
Once you have made the decision on what you are going to do, it’s all about focus and eliminating distractions.
That means unsubscribing from email lists that send you off in different directions. That means only reading blogs or listening to podcast episodes that are on topics which are a priority for you. It means keeping a “for later” file that you can put things in but not feel like you need to look at immediately.
In other words, head down and tail up until the next check in.
It is inevitable that “marketing-creep” will happen. That you start with all good intentions in mind but those shiny objects and that overwhelm will show themselves once again.
That is totally normal and expected.
So long as you are aware of it and that you try to go through these actions on a regular basis (I recommend quarterly), you will keep coming back to the right path for you.