Time is precious. As a small business owner, you know that better than anyone.
In between coordinating vendors, supporting staff, paying bills, and financial planning, you also need to produce your product or deliver your service. Not only do you have to become a master of your trade, but you also need to become very skilful in all other business areas – and fast. Whilst being a small business owner can bring freedom, new opportunities for growth and an undeniably high level of self-satisfaction, it is also time-consuming and often overwhelming.
So, when someone asks you how your marketing is going, do you smile – or do your palms get sweaty? Do you proudly state that you’ve got it all under control, or does your heart beat when they ask about your email nurture campaigns, content pillars or TikTok strategy?
For small business owners who have immersed themselves into the vortex of marketing management, we applaud you for your bravery. A simple google search of “how to manage the marketing for my small business” would have unearthed mounds of “helpful” content spanning SEO to CMS, CRM to SMM, Email, Content Writing vs Copy Writing, Graphic Design, Photography – but wait – now Videography? Social engagement, automations, AI… Data-led marketing. Ads? Print Ads, google ads, social ads, pixels…
Pause. Take a breath.
Before the heart palpitations go too far, let us quickly tell you; this is not one person’s job. As one human already managing so much in your business, you cannot expect to know and have time to do everything that appears in a google search for small business marketing tips. And you aren’t alone in the overwhelm; the reality is you would need a full marketing team – or agency – to handle everything that just appeared in your google search. But, considering that would cost hundreds of thousands of dollars and is 100% superfluous, how will you solo-manage the marketing for your small business?
This blog post will share how you can finally feel in control and have a healthy relationship with your small business marketing.
Before implementing any marketing plan, it is essential that you are realistic about how much time you have to execute a strategy. Whilst this might not be the first thing you consider when figuring out how to save time in marketing management, it should be. How can you be economical with your time if you don’t know how much you have to spend?
For example, if you have two hours maximum per week to dedicate to marketing, then planning to post three times on TikTok per day, writing a daily blog post and producing a weekly YouTube video might be overkill. But, if you can realistically carve out ‘X’ amount of hours every week to dedicate to your marketing and then create a strategy that you can execute in that time frame, then you will set yourself up for success – and not failure. Remember, you can always increase the volume/time you dedicate to marketing, but we recommend starting conservatively and building up as you get into the swing of things. This will help to give you a feeling of accomplishment rather than disappointment when you ultimately cannot execute your plan.
Once you know how much uninterrupted time you have to dedicate to your marketing each week, it’s time to get economical about how you spend that time.
Spending time creating content for channels your customers aren’t using is like carrying water to the sea; it’s ineffective and a waste of time.
It all starts with who. Who are your customers, clients, and audience? Who are the people buying your product or booking your service? Once you know who they are, you can research and discover where they are showing up. Perhaps there is no point in being on social media… because none of your customers are there. Perhaps there’s no point wasting time writing long blog posts because your people prefer watching YouTube content. Once you know where you need to be showing up, you can create a strategy that connects with your people and be more effective with how you spend your time on marketing.
In the midst of your busy day, the last thing you want to worry about is “mind blank”. Sitting down to create content for Instagram or write an email newsletter and feeling utterly uncertain about what you should write about.
This is when a content catalogue can come in very handy. To save time when planning your marketing, having a list of ready-to-go topics relevant to your industry, product, service, and customer needs or wants can make all the difference. Rather than leaving the “what” of your marketing to chance, your catalogue will provide a starting point for each piece of content.
This part will be easy if you know where people are showing up. Having a clear strategy of when and where you are connecting with your ideal customers will help you to ultimately be more efficient at every stage of your marketing workflow. Rather than wasting time on platforms your customers aren’t using or paying for an advertisement that your ideal client will never see, a strategy will pave the way for consistent relationship-building across a few – and we emphasize a few – chosen marketing channels or feeds.
When putting together your strategy, remind yourself of how much time you realistically have for execution, and be careful to only bite off what you can chew
For many of us, creativity isn’t something that comes naturally or easily, especially when you spend most of your day in the logistics of your small business. Marketing is a different kind of creativity, so it can be challenging even if you are a creative-minded business owner. The content you create needs to connect with the people you are trying to sell to.
So, how can you harness that creativity effectively, and how can this ultimately be a time-saver when managing your marketing?
Ultimately, getting ahead with a clear plan is the best way to get in control of your marketing and save time. And how do you get ahead? With a marketing calendar.
By having clarity over when and where you are communicating and what you are saying, you will truly be in control – and save time – as you manage your marketing.