Do for yourself what you do for others.
It’s hard to prioritize your own business when there are billable hours that demand your attention. But the one thing that has been ingrained into many creatives because of the insights by Ilise Benun, consistent marketing creates consistent client projects on your roster. Making the time to fit in your own marketing helps you to avoid the severe feast and famine cycle so many of us fall into.
When it comes to fitting in time to work on your own marketing you can take a couple of tacts. The first would be to wait for some free time when you aren’t busy. The idea sounds great, doesn’t it? When you have client projects you focus on them. When things are slow, you have time to bring in new business. But this is the crux of the problem. You create for yourself a feast and famine cycle. Both cycles are anxiety-inducing and not so much creative inspiring. So you don’t serve your clients or yourself in the end.
The smarter option is to schedule in the effort so you are working ON your own business instead of just IN it.
Tips to fit marketing into your schedule:
- Solo business retreat. Whether you are thinking annual, bi-annual, or quarterly… plan to get out of your office, literally, and book a hotel room, air bnb, or borrow a friend’s cabin. Bring materials and supplies so you can hunker down and finally focus on yourself and your business. This is the time to plan and strategize your marketing plan, and vision for your business.
- Be the client. Before you even dive into marketing your business, you need to have a solid strategy. Whatever time tracking software or workflow you have, create a folder/project in your calendar with your company as the client.
- Time blocking. Look at your week and set aside a reasonable block of time to work on your business. Make sure you also have a list or plan of action items to work on.
- Delegate. If blogging or social media writing is part of your marketing plan, this is an opportunity to contract out the work. More than likely a pro in writing will do a better job in less time than you would, and this frees you up to work on those billable hours.
- Reduce time doing administration tasks. Utilize wondrous online apps and tools that are built around freeing up administration time on social media posting, scheduling meetings, and even proofing/editing. For social media check out Hootsuite, Buffer, Recurpost, Sprout Social, and Monday. For scheduling meetings how about Calendly or Doodle. Need a quick proofreader? Grammarly has helped me catch a few mistakes when I have a short turnaround on marketing copy.
If you find that you need more support than your own skillset you have a couple of options. Check out Ilise Benum, the Marketing Mentor. She is the queen of creative marketing and offers coaching, workshops, and various business downloads that can get your marketing juices flowing.
Another option would be to join Creatives Roundtable and become part of a community of creatives at all stages of business development. Learn from each other as well as find inspiration, motivation, and cheerleaders who want you to succeed. People who ‘get’ you.
Written by Crystal Reynolds