Oh, the promise of a new year. It is fresh, new and DAUNTING! You must quickly realize that you cannot get everything done. In marketing especially, it is easy to get buried in endless social media posts, hashtag strategies and just freaking writing your blog! Instead, let's figure out what MUST get done and let all else fall away. You've heard of working smarter instead of harder, right? Let's try it on for size. Here are a few quick suggestions and links to help you get your 2017 into focus:
1. Actually WRITE down your S.M.A.R.T. goals.
Everyone has things they "want" to do, but there is little-to-no commitment when they aren't concrete goals, written down and left where you can be reminded regularly. Don't settle for goals. Get S.M.A.R.T. goals.
2. Get your content on a calendar.
At Little Bird Marketing we are sought after for our marketing expertise and award-winning design, but the major value add is how we share the proprietary organization systems we have created in Trello. We have created extensive project templates which we quickly copy for a new client. We then work to customize it based on the clients' S.M.A.R.T. goals.
3. Get past common obstacles and just get to writing that blog already!
Once you're writing take it one step further and look for opportunities to publish your blogs OUTSIDE of your own website. Successful placement of your content with back links to your site do more to expand your audience than organic SEO through blogging.
4. Figure out where your time is going.
Ever wonder where your time is going? Are you tired of seeing that it is 4pm already and you have accomplished NOTHING with your day? You simply cannot achieve your goals until you discover how long it actually takes you to complete a task. Chronic over and underestimation of how long a task actually takes causes constant stress and keeps you setting unrealistic deadlines and goals. Use Toggl faithfully for two weeks and you'll discover what is eating your time and you most likely will be VERY surprised. When YOUR REAL DATA is compared to YOUR REAL goals you can start unraveling the mystery that is the disappearance of time!
5. Batch process everything you can.
One of the biggest ways we leak time is by switching gears. Understanding this makes batch processing desirable, and we try to stack our day mindful of similar projects. Instead of tackling the WHOLE process of a blog post we break the process down and then batch process the step. Batch processing in blogging could look like this:
- generate six months worth of blog titles based on industry keywords
- sketch out five blog posts as one task
- do the research for multiple blogs
- create social media excerpts for all completed blogs
This keeps your brain functioning in related tasks, and creativity is sparked when you see the inter-connectedness of things. This is also how it is possible to get worked ahead. That is why currently at Little Bird Marketing, in January 2017, we already have over 2,000 social media posts written, hashtagged, with graphics and scheduled for the year. We did those last year in batch processing bursts that let us handle like posts all in the same go. Our HubSpot marketing dashboard makes that possible. Maybe we should talk about how that could work for you.
Unsure of what you should be batch processing? Maybe it's time you looked at one of our marketing platform builders. Start Up Smart is designed for that solopreneur with time to get things done. It provides the best advice, organizational system and some technical help to get started. Our Business Accelerator is a three-month process to transform your marketing platform. It is also designed for an internal marketing person to receive the training and take over after the initial 12 weeks.
Still panicking?! BREATHE. Not every business wants to learn this stuff and take it on themselves. That's why we're a full-service marketing agency. Want to have a personal conversation about your goals? Take our free marketing assessment, shoot us an email or just give us a call at 417-782-1780. We're good listeners!
Whatever you do this year, we wish you all the best success in achieving YOUR goals - your S.M.A.R.T. goals!