Always falling behind with your marketing efforts? Sick of playing catch up? This week Katie shares the 3 fail safe strategies she uses across The Whin to keep on top of all the moving parts of marketing and continue to grow our audience and the business as a whole.
Welcome to The Whin Big Podcast! This is episode 48 and if you’re fed up feeling on the back foot with your marketing, you’ll love this week’s podcast. As always the full episode is packed with useful insight and advice, so don’t forget to jump into the audio and to catch all the gold!
This episode is sponsored by our Instagram MOT. This 20-point checklist will take you through all the most important things you need to get right in your Instagram marketing. Hit the big yellow button below to sign up for the free training and download the checklist.
Running your business – especially if you’re a solopreneur – means wearing many hats and multitasking at all times. Katie recognises that keeping on top of multiple projects means it’s not always possible to keep the rest of the plates spinning.
“It’s not in my nature to be super rigidly organised. I like to do what I feel like in the moment. I tend to rebel against systems.” – Katie
Strategy #1 – Flip fake deadlines into real deadlines
Assuming you hit your client-work deadlines (if you’re not, that’s a whole other podcast episode), let’s talk about self imposed deadlines for marketing projects for your own business.
If you’re someone who likes to shift the deadlines around to suit your ‘in the moment’ feelings it’s time to say goodbye to this approach..
Does this sound familiar?
Say you want to create a new free download for your site. You give yourself a deadline of writing the download for ‘next week’, with a plan to get it on the site a few days after that.
Then ‘next week’ creeps closer and…
You decide it wasn’t a priority really, you shift the deadline to the next week. And the next. And the next.
Get someone else involved who cares about your deadlines, or can encourage you to care about your deadlines.
- Book a contractor or freelancer to create the work by deadline
- Talk to a co-conspirator or work buddy and set up an accountability agreement
- Work with a business coach to push you toward your deadline
“Find someone who loves lists and deadlines and make them part of the team.” – Katie
When Katie launched The Whin Big podcast, she put a cast iron team of people together to guide her toward essential deadlines. Her commitment to producing the podcast is strong, but without the support she might not enjoy the process so much, making it harder to commit.
This works for Pinterest pins, social media graphics and other types of marketing materials that work towards her marketing goals.
What if you don’t have the budget or the contacts for accountability?
Lean in on commitments to your audience. There’s no better way to set – and stick – to deadlines if you tell your audience ahead of time you’re launching something.
Announce your plans in advance. Your audience will get excited, curious and ready for the products or services coming up. If you give yourself a 1-2 week lead in time so you can engage with your audience about your plans, chances are they’ll be ready to buy from you as soon as you launch. Which means there’s a double reward to sticking to this deadline:
- Achieving your goals
- Generating income
Strategy #2 – Call time on guessing how long things take
Feeling disorganised and working harder and longer than you need to can really impact your mental health and work/life balance. Katie’s approach to this is to get very realistic about how long tasks take to make the to-do list not only more streamlined, but achievable.
After setting up a weekly newsletter, or another large, weekly marketing activity, Katie felt overwhelmed because the task took longer than she wanted it to.
If you’re someone who feels the same way, then perhaps looking at timings in a new way can help you achieve more of your goals – and finish work at a reasonable quitting time.
Without adding more overwhelming systems in place, Katie uses her past experience as a guide for blocking out time for tasks. This comes from practice, and completing the same task a few times over to get a strong idea.
“The more you do your marketing tasks – posting to Instagram or writing a blogpost – the better you get at estimating how long the task will take.” – Katie
Having working examples of each of her marketing tasks makes it easier for Katie to block out the right amount of time in her schedule to complete them. Here’s some other tips for making that easier:
- Allow for distractions. If you know you take frequent breaks to scroll through Instagram – build in that extra time to keep your schedule realistic. If you ignore the inevitable scrolling time when planning, you’ll put too many things on the list. And this leads to overwhelm, feeling disorganised and untidy.
- Make life easier for yourself by identifying where you can save time. For example, Katie regularly sends herself links to useful items for her weekly email newsletter so she can minimise research time on the day she writes the newsletter.
- Set a timer the first couple of times you take on a task so you can get a clear idea of how long it takes and makes scheduling easier.
- Bend time! Some activities take 45 minutes that can be done in 5, because you’re searching for perfection or maybe you’re just faffing about. If you’re recording your times you’ll see which areas you’re wasting time.
- Batch tasks together – if you have tasks with different moving parts, try batching similar tasks together. Often working on one thing (like scripts for the Whin Big Podcast) inspires Katie and she can write a few scripts at the same time. This makes scheduling and recording so much easier as much of the work has been done already. Can you think of areas in your week where batching tasks could work?
“This is beneficial to your feeling of being an organised person. Of staying on top of your workload and getting your marketing done, without it being an overwhelming burden on you.” – Katie
Strategy #3 – Write it all down
No matter what the task or item is – create a master marketing list. This means you won’t have to rummage through notebooks, lists or your memory to find that really cool idea you had for a social media post the other day.
- Every time you have an idea for a blog post – write it down.
- Every time you complete a task and it springs up two more – write them down.
- Every time you say to your audience you’ll do something – you guessed it, write it down!
Keep the list separate from general tasks so you can pick a couple from your marketing list to add to your list each day, rather than jumbling everything together.
On avoiding scheduling your day the night before: “I planned out today’s schedule last night and I’m going to throw it out the window….This morning, I missed the first 45 minutes of tasks and that’s a real bummer way to start the day, to sit down and realise you’re already behind.” – Katie
Care to share?
As a kindred spirit who avoids building strategies and complicated systems to keep organised and on top of your daily tasks – what tips can you share with Katie?
Share them on social media and Katie will include her favourite ones in her email newsletter next week.
Get in touch on Instagram
Or drop her an email
We’ve talked about different strategies for planning and organising your content in the past!
Podcast: The ‘Not-a-Strategy’ Approach to Instagram marketing
Video: Planning a monthly content calendar – if you really want a fancy template… Back in 2017 I stuck with this one for a good three months! Since then I’ve learned I’m not a fancy calendar person.
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