How busy am I compared with you?
And is my ‘busy’ more purposeful than yours?
Could my ‘busy’ be more productive in the grand scheme of my objectives?
Could a change to my ‘busy’ breed better results?
I ask the questions around ‘busy’ because we all know people, particularly in business, who will tell us they’re simply ‘too busy’ to cram another single task into their daily agenda.
To them they are ‘maxed up to their eyeballs’, ‘burning the candle at both ends’ , ‘overloaded and overwhelmed’ (and a million and one other catchlines to suggest too darned busy to accommodate another demand).
In many cases, it’s true too.
We’re all busy people trying to be all things to all people, but do you sometimes wonder if we aren’t occasionally getting too busy with the demands that reap little commercial results, and neglecting those that could pay dividends time and again?
Marketing and its many nuances of PR and social media is one of the areas that business prospects tell me time and again they have too little time to consider.
They would very much like to plough time and energy into some active marketing to help lead them to more customers and contracts, but when they’ve no designated support to help in doing so, it can fall to the sidelines and be replaced by urgent finance matters, operational issues, HR problems.
The truth is, yes, if you want to create a defined marketing strategy and implement a complex PR plan for your multiple business strands or product offerings, that’s not something you’re going to do over five minutes sipping a cup of tea and dunking a digestive.
And yes, if that’s your ultimate need and intention, it’s a good time to call in someone like myself and ask for consultancy support to get you on track.
But just because the enormity of a task can leave you feeling bemused and confused, it’s no excuse to shy away from some of the smaller measures which could start your journey and immediately make you appreciate what marketing could be achieving.
With that in mind, I thought it would be useful to look at what a mere matter of 15 minutes a day could do for you in terms of consistent marketing productivity.
Of course, I’ve not timed these to perfection, and you may say that tackling just some of these will take you longer than 15 minutes, but even that small quarter of an hour segment of your day spent thinking solely around PR and marketing activity is bound to get the grey matter working and generate some key opportunities.
Make a social media posting to one or all channels:
Social media gives you an always-on opportunity to have dialogue with your customers and prospects. It reminds people you’re there and takes no time compared with sitting on the phone trying to pitch an update to a journalist or send out a mass mailing to your database. As a starting point in your daily rituals, it’s exceptionally worthwhile.
Think about what you’ll post and what reaction you hope to achieve. Will you post a picture of your product, a link to the shop area of your website, or repost an article pertinent to your industry that could generate discussion – with you at the centre of it?
Think about the call to action. What do you want to happen from that posting, and is it likely to take place?
The Child’s Play version of PR:
Okay, so writing a tailored press release and targeting a segmented media list can be time consuming. You may want a consultant to help you with it.
In the meantime, stop saying you’re ‘too busy’ to make a start.
Take a blank sheet of paper and write down Who, What, When, Why, Where.
Is there anything which could fall under these headings which references something ‘new’ and worthy of storytelling within your business?
WHO – did you just appoint Janet to the position of Finance director?
WHAT – what’s happening on the shop floor? Is a new product being created?
WHEN – What’s the timeline for your next big company landmark? Note it.
WHY – Why has the business had a great week or month? IS there something in the way the industry is performing that could be an angle for you to share with the press or your social media followers?
WHERE – have you just reached out into a new location? Are you distributing further field? Where are you staging your next event?
These triggers will take you five minutes each day to reflect upon, and may well lead you to recognise potential for press or social media stories.
Start the creativity flowing in this simple way.
Communicate with one new and one old customer:
Yes, marketing and PR in their simplest form are all about relationships with others.
How long would it take you to drop an email to an old contact or to note the name of a business you drive past on your way to work?
One old and one new business target each day could be all it takes to start some new marketing leverage.
It starts internally:
Don’t keep the task of marketing and PR to yourself – even if you do head the business.
In that allocated 15 minutes you could have a moment’s conversation with a member of staff about an idea to raise the profile of their departmental team, or you could mail out to staff and ask them for their ideas and inputs on possible stories / fundraising activities / reasons for celebration within the company.
Share the task of generating marketing and PR opportunities.
Review and Reflect:
Done fully, reviews can take a long time and need the support of a professional, but even in just that 15 minute window, you can look back over the last week of social media postings, or the last press release you sent.
Likewise, you can take a quick flick around the internet news channels at what competitors are doing and saying in your industry.
It’s a matter of moments, but can generate all kinds of ideas for getting you the awareness and exposure you’re after in the longer term.
REMEMBER: You will always be ‘busy’ with something in your life – be it business or personal. It’s about how productive and appropriate we make those ‘busy’ periods, and which achieves us the most satisfaction and success.