Over the past few weeks, we have been creating your marketing plan for the next 12 months.
You have reflected on what has been working, what hasn’t and what you can improve on. (Part 1)
You have envisioned where you would like to go, who you want to serve and what you want to get done. (Part 2)
And, finally, you created an actionable schedule for getting it all done. (Part 3).
However, I would be remiss if I left it there.
The planning is just the beginning. And, for me at least, it is the easy part.
The work starts when it comes to doing.
In staying on path.
In committing to the work.
In facing the fears.
In showing up.
You have all of these ideas and dreams. You can see how amazing things would be if you just got the work done.
But soon enough distractions will strike and you need to be prepared for it.
Here I want to share some strategies to help you complete your plan! Both practically and in mindset.
Tip #1 – Set aside the time
If growing your business through marketing is a priority for you, you need to schedule in the time to do it…. and commit to it!
So often we think of leaving marketing to the spare moments.
We dream of being able to set aside a week or a weekend just to get things done. If only…
The truth is, that time rarely comes. So I want you to allocate some time each week to work on your marketing.
Whether it is one hour or one day, it is important that you do it.
This is time to not only work on the projects that you have on your list but also on the week-in week-out stuff that needs to be done like social media, blog posts, etc.
What I do is have 1 day a week where I work “on my business”. This may sound like a lot but I am still in the early growth days so it is a higher priority.
If you have a full schedule of clients or of keeping up with orders, then perhaps you only need a couple of hours to maintain that level.
It is totally up to you.
Tip #2 – Schedule in “Buffer” Time
Everything takes longer than you estimate… always. Even if you add time to your estimates, things always come up.
So plan for this! Allow some “catchup” time in your schedule. You can use this for marketing or any other business task but it is good to have it there.
Even better, schedule some time out too to make sure you have plenty of white space to ensure your creativity comes through.
Tip #3 – Batch where you can
I have heard this tip over and over again and, until recently, never implemented it for myself. I got so used to writing blog posts last minute or thinking on the spot about what I would post to social media that day.
One day, I decided enough was enough and I started batching.
That one day a week I mentioned above… one of those a month is dedicated to writing and another is dedicated to social media. The other 2 are dedicated to bigger projects.
Once they are done, they are done. I don’t need to worry about them for 4 weeks apart from quickly posting them.
The amount of stress this removes is amazing and it creates so much more free time to do the important client tasks through the week.
Plus, there is the added bonus that all of my content flows so much better because everything is on theme!
Tip #4 – Automate and Outsource
You do not have to do everything! There are so many ways in which you can eliminate tedious tasks from your business.
One of the best decisions I have made is getting a VA – even if it becomes a large ongoing expense.
This is because this helps me make sure that things actually happen! For example, some weeks I don’t feel the “social media mojo” and even though I batch create a bunch, my VA creates a certain number of posts so at least I have a minimum going up every week.
In addition, she can take away some of the tasks that don’t bring me joy or that I would totally just skip over (*ahem* proofreading).
Another way you can cut down on the work is using some automation tools.
Using ConvertKit, I have some great welcome sequences set up which means every new person on my list gets a little taste of what I am about and how I can help them while also providing value.
Using SmarterQueue, my Twitter runs 90% on autopilot, as does my daily FB Group prompts and a few of my Facebook Business page posts. Now, with the addition of the Instagram App for Android, I’ve even been able to batch schedule weeks in advance photos for my Instagram that will pop up on my phone at the time they are ready to post.
Using Evernote, I can access my captions and hashtags from any device so I can just copy and paste.
These days there is a scheduling or automation tool for almost anything and the amount of time they save generally makes up for the cost.
Tip #5 – Regular Check-in’s
The truth is priorities change through the year. And if you don’t deviate from your marketing plan at all I would be shocked.
But there is a difference between thought out deviations and full on distractions.
So to combat this make sure you check back to your marketing plan every once in awhile and ask yourself if you are where you want to be and if you need to switch around some of those priorities.
Moving priorities and projects is totally OK but anything new that comes in needs to be weighed up with those in mind.
Even if you do all of the above, I hate to say it, but you will probably only be 20% of the way to actually get there. Mindset truly is 80% of the implementation.
Distractions, procrastination and perfectionism normally stem from some sort of mindset hurdle. Things like:
- Self Doubt
- Self Worth
- Fear of Success
- Fear of Being Seen
- Fear of Change
- Imposter Syndrome
There are many, many things that can cause stuff like “Shiny Object Syndrome” and “Procrasti-planning” to happen.
While I certainly don’t have this mindset thing all figured out. Here are some of the tips I have found that help.
Tip #1 – Acceptance
One thing I haven’t talked about much because it is so personal has been my experiences with anxiety and depression.
For many years, I tried to suppress it. I tried to push through it. I tried to put on a happy face.
All this got me was heading into a darker and darker space.
I don’t remember the exact moment when things changed, but I know that a key part to being able to live happily despite these disorders has been my willingness to accept it as part of who I am.
Now, if I am having “a moment” or things are beginning to pile up on me. I recognise it for what it is. Accept it. And take the time to work through it. It may take me out of the game for a day or two but that is much better than eventual burnout or feeling depressed every day.
The same can be said for all the mindset issues mentioned above.
It is ok to doubt yourself. It is ok to be scared of being seen. It is ok fear change.
The secret is to recognise it, accept it and work through it.
The truth is it will never truly disappear but we can work on despite it.
Tip #2 – Questioning
Another useful tool I got from the world of mental health is CBT. Cognitive Behaviour Therapy is all about challenging unhealthy thoughts or behaviour.
Cornerstone to this is things like questioning thought patterns like black & white thinking.
In business, when faced with these self doubts it can often stop us in our tracks. We fear the unknown so we don’t make the change.
When I find myself in this situation, I like to ask myself one of my favourite CBT questions and that is “What is the worst case scenario?”
And then I map it out. I describe it.
Then I ask myself, “What is the chance it will happen?” and I give it a percent.
Then I say “If it does happen, what will you do about it?”.
Soon, it is not so unknown. I feel prepared for the unlikely worst case. I can start moving again and get excited about “The best thing that could happen.”
Tip #3 – Accountability
I am one of those people who 99% of the time if I say I will do something, I will do it. And this has worked as a wonderful hack in the world of business.
If I am procrastinating on completing a particular task, I set a due date to have it done by and I announce it to someone. Sometimes just to my coach or a biz buddy, but other times to my whole audience.
There is nothing that gets the fire under the belly more than knowing something will ask you if you have done it or not.
Tip #4 – Combat the Shiny Objects with Strategy
Shiny object syndrome, in particular, is one I see almost all small business owners suffer when it comes to online marketing. There are so many “toys” out there and promises for success that it is really difficult to say no.
By having a marketing strategy and a plan, it makes it simpler to do but it still will crop up.
If this is something that you regularly face, I encourage you to check out this blog post “7 Questions to Ask before you Try that New Marketing Tactic”. By taking the time to self check, you might just be able to avoid that distraction!
Tip #5 – Surround yourself with Motivation
Don’t worry I am not going to go all “woo woo” on you here. While there is much to be said for practices such as affirmations, vision boards and meditations, I’ll be honest with you that is not my jam. If it is for you, then awesome… use it!
For me, it just comes down to positive motivation and you’ll need to find what this looks like for you too.
Maybe it’s going for a walk and clearing your head.
Maybe it’s journaling or practising gratitude.
Perhaps it’s yoga.
Perhaps it’s keeping inspirational quotes at your disposal.
Perhaps it’s consciously surrounding yourself with positive people.
The point is to find something that will help you get positive and motivated.
A favourite, go to, trick of mine is to listen to a podcast episode or watch a YouTube video that relates closely to what I want to work on. It doesn’t take long for the thoughts to start flowing.
There is so much to this Marketing Motivation thing that I could go on and on, but I will leave it there and hope that you can take something away from this that you can begin to apply from today.
Sometimes all it takes is little baby steps of change to make a huge impact down the line.
Here’s to getting out there and growing your business… despite yourself.