Save time on your marketing...How to reduce the amount of time that you spend on marketing is something I am asked on a regular basis. Its not that you don’t want to do it, its just that you are unsure on where to start. Marketing yourself or your business isn’t an easy thing to keep up with AND  it’s the first thing that is dropped because we haven’t got any time to look at it or work on it. Before I can answer this question fully, we will need to do a bit of research, so we are then able to reduce the amount of time that we spend on our marketing.

Marketing is something that has to be done on a consistent basis and I’m not saying it should be done every hour or every minute but at the very least every day. However, the hour/minute thing is completely dependent on the type of audience you have or are targeting and what you’re trying to sell to them.

Consistency is the key to marketing, so the people who will be seeing our message will then become ready to buy our product/service.

Marketing is one of those things that has to be done all the time and if you are not keen on it or run out of ideas, it’s always worth working with a company or consultant who will help you to stay consistent. Once you stop marketing your business, people stop seeing your brand and your message, baring in mind we need to be showing them our brand and message between 7-15 times BEFORE they are ready to buy.

As a business owner, it’s quite difficult to keep that marketing going and to keep on track because you actually have to do the work in the business as well as market it, tell other people about who you are, what you do, how you do it, who you help and who has bought from you, etc. Chief, cook and bottle washer as they say, however this is truer of businesses that have fewer people on their team.

Marketing is probably the hardest thing for a business owner to keep on top of unless they’ve got somebody else doing it for them (like a Marketing Manager, Consultant or Agency) to help them to keep on track. Check out Amanda’s “Brain Picking” Sessions.

So to make sure that you’re not spending or wasting too much time, I have 4½ techniques that I would like to share with you:

1: Find out who your target audience is.

I want to know who your target audience is without you saying “anybody who…”. We do not sell to “anybody who…”. We do however, sell to particular types of people. As long as we understand exactly who is our target audience, we don’t then waste time with “anybody who…”, we spend time with the people who want our product/service.

2: What type of marketing has worked for you in the past?

What I would like you to do is; Create a list of the last 3, 6 or 12 months of your marketing activities. Have you created posters, flyers, a sales letter, a banner, are you networking (word of mouth) or have a referral process? This is so you can see how much you have already done. The next step will show you and what has actually worked for you.

2a: Once you have created your list, I would like you to have a look at the last 5, 10 or 20 clients you’ve worked with and find out which marketing elements they have come from.

3: Keep doing what works and stop what doesn’t work IMMEDIATELY! When you have created your list (#2) of marketing activities you’ve completed in the last 12, 6 or 3 months (that have worked) along with where the last 20, 10 or 5 clients have come from (#2a), you will be able to see what’s working. So my question to you is;  How can you make the elements that are currently working, work harder for you?

A young entrepreneur I recently trained to use “Social Media for Business” said to me “I don’t know what is working within my marketing?!“. The easiest answer to that statement is to start tracking your marketing.

There are many ways in which we can track or monitor our marketing. Every piece of marketing that we do, we need to measure. Sometimes we forget to ask the main question; “How did you hear about us” but this should be part of your business process and should be asked every time you have a new person/business come to you. Build this into what you do every day and then keep it somewhere where you can review it at least once a month.

Marketing should be done for a three-month campaign at least. If you do it once and you don’t get any response, you’re not going to think it works or want to carry it on. So you need to carry on for at least three months. I’ll say it again at least three months.

In the list we created (#2), if your top or one of the top marketing elements is word of mouth, why not find another marketing element which is the same as word of mouth, something like social media, referral schemes or competitions? Why not let everybody share you with other people, the people that they know.

4: Is quite simply plan.

When I was in college, my Mum used to say to me “Perfect planning prevents poor performance”.

If we have a plan and we know what we’re doing, this means our outcome is going to be even better. Planning for 12/6 or 3-months will enable you to focus and prepare for the next stage. If you haven’t got a plan, what will happen is quite simply NOTHING! You will not know who you’re targeting nor know what marketing you need to be doing or when you’re going to be doing it, to generate the valuable leads for your business.

When you have a plan, you have all of those things in place. So, in answer to the question, “How can you reduce the time you spend on marketing?”, you need to plan, understand which marketing elements you need to implement, know who your target audience is and you need to execute your plan consistently.

If you have found this helpful, please share with one more person who you think will get benefit from reading this or if you would like to share a tip or thoughts about what has been mentioned please feel free to leave a comment!