If you’re like most entrepreneurs, balancing your marketing efforts with the demands of running a business and dealing with clients can be a challenging endeavor. You may find that despite your best intentions, marketing often falls by the wayside due to time and scheduling constraints. However, the key to working smarter and not harder is effective time management, especially when marketing yourself on the Internet.
Here are four ways to maximize your time online and increase your overall business productivity.
Create a monthly marketing calendar. Daily distractions are inevitable, so it’s wise to have a system in place to ensure your marketing efforts are consistent. To stay on track, develop a calendar documenting all of your weekly marketing activities for the month. For instance, you might decide you’ll write content for your blog on Tuesdays and Thursdays and distribute your e-newsletter every other Monday. Also, keep in mind your monthly objectives. Let’s say you’d like to increase the number of newsletter or blog subscribers by 10 percent this month. In order to reach that goal, you would first need to determine the necessary action steps such as connecting with “X” number of people every day or partnering with complementary Web sites.
Write a Guest Post. Writing a guest post every week or so for a blog with substantial traffic is one of the most effective ways to promote you and your business. It allows you to get your name in front of a larger audience with a minimal time investment. You can start by doing a blog search on Technorati to determine blogs in your genre with considerable authority (100+). Then visit their site to see if they have included any contributor guidelines and tailor your email accordingly. If not, simply send them a message stating you’d like to publish a guest post you thought might be of interest to their readers. But make sure your topic hasn’t already been discussed.
Set up Google Alerts to stay in the know. A Google Alert is a great tool for staying on top of industry and client trends. You simply enter the relevant search terms, and it will deliver interesting articles, blog postings and news related to your business directly to your inbox. You can also type in the names of current clients or prospects you’re looking to do business with. When you come across their name in a news story or find an article of interest, you can happily pass this information along. Not only is this a good way to stay in touch with current clients, but it’s also an excellent way of researching new business opportunities.
Participate in group discussions on LinkedIn. LinkedIn groups offer a more targeted approach to marketing your business and making new connections, and have worked great for my business. Each group is comprised of business professionals who share a common interest such as entrepreneurship or technology. The great thing about LinkedIn groups is the fact that you can opt to have a daily digest of group discussions sent directly to your email inbox. This allows you to quickly scroll down the list of topics and offer your expertise on subjects of interest, which is a great time saver.
Need help developing a content strategy for your blog or e-newsletter? Contact Tasha at [email protected] to schedule a 30-minute free consultation.