04 Dec How To Stand Out Without Burnout
Strategies to Reduce The Marketing Overwhelm
Lately I’ve come across many business owners who are feeling overwhelmed with the mass of things they have to do just to keep where they are. They may well be up to date with new technical innovations that can save them time, and have spent a small fortune on productivity and project management manuals, but they just don’t have enough time to get everything they need done to raise their profile.
The reason I know these people so well is that I’ve been one of them. I’ve tried the to-do lists in multiple forms, but the work never got done. I’ve pondered how on earth I would be able to fit everything in, doing my best to juggle priorities; deciding in the best Covey style what is urgent and important, and then what is urgent but not important etc…until I finally had to call it a day and admit this wasn’t working.
The problem of being in a position like this is that it is your business fails to grow. It stagnates and then, guess what, because it isn’t growing, starts to shrink.
Things inevitably start to morph into a downward spiral which is extremely hard to get out of unless something forces you out. This is what happened to me. A while ago I went through a massive two years of change in my own personal life. It was a combination of common things such as bereavement, illness, broken relationship, moving home, but the end result (especially of them coming together) was that I was knocked sideways. I couldn’t keep up with what I had been doing previously. I wasn’t able to take on the same amount of work and steamroll through it, so I had to investigate different ways of doing things. I found that some worked well, and I still use them today. I’d like to share those with you now.
Rewrite your To-Do List
There’s only one question that matters and the answer is different every day. “What is the one thing I can do to move my business forward today?” So, for instance, today the action is writing this article. Yesterday it was a networking event and making new connections. Some days I manage more than one before I get bogged down in the inevitably busy business of business. I almost always do at least one, and can feel the satisfaction that my business is moving forwards and I am staying focused. That completed, I move onto chatting with the press on behalf of clients, and actually doing my business!
My personal PR clients could quite easily run their own PR campaigns but they just don’t have the time, or feel it would be put to better use doing something else, like their own work. So I get brought on board to do their PR and marketing for them. Taking on someone else to work with you, or for you, isn’t just about freeing up your time. You will also free up your head space as well get that professional’s unique skills and experience working on your own goals. If growth is your aim then you’ll need to do this at some time anyway, and the earlier you do, the more you can concentrate on the other things that need your focus.
Follow your heart
When I create a PR strategy I could completely overwhelm my client with marketing actions and tasks. The exponential growth of social media alone means that there’s often a new activity comes to the fore every few months. But I have found out through experience that what works is to find out what my clients enjoy doing and suggest they work with that. Ask yourself what parts of your business building strategies and tasks make your heart sing? Or, at least, what activities can you bear? I love sitting down with a mug of Earl Grey first thing in the morning and writing my own blog posts, guest posts or a newsletter. I like to focus on a connection with my readers and I get huge satisfaction out of the process. And that’s what gets things done. All too often we forget to focus on the processes that enrich our lives, but isn’t that one of the reasons we start our business? It is different for everyone, of course. You may love connecting with people at events or one to one over a coffee, or even prefer public speaking.
Processes and Systems
What systems do you have in place that could make your profile building more productive? Someone I know uses LinkedIn to get in contact with people that she’s met at events…and does this within 48 hours or less. For myself, I have a list of sites and social media accounts to promote my blog post once I’ve hit go. I don’t bother with creating time consuming spread sheets. I still use my beautiful red leather planner. I like to look at my week spread out in front of me and get a visual representation of whether it is too busy, or perhaps stuffed with too many meetings. I have a Sunday night ritual where I can visualise the week ahead by looking at these pages, and can make sure that I’ve got some rest time that includes space and time to think, exercise and plan.
The importance of pondering
Physical and mental space to think and plan is vital. You need that opportunity to consider what is working and what needs to change. if you find this hard to build into your weekly routine I would suggest booking a retreat for yourself, finding a business and self development workshop that can take you through just this, or perhaps working with me.
I have a firm belief that running your own business should be enjoyable. If it’s become unwieldy or overwhelming it’s time to ask yourself if there’s another way of working that would be better.