I want to market my business, but I don't have time. What do I do?
This is by far the most common complaint I hear. You're busy! I understand. But the good news is, marketing doesn't have to be time consuming.
If you have a clear marketing plan, and a clear message, marketing can be quick and painless. You may even enjoy it. If you want a marketing plan that actually works, here are three easy steps.
1. Pick one thing, and do it well.
Marketing can be time consuming if you try to do everything. If you want to use social media, email, paid advertisements, website promotions, and a dozen other ideas, you will be working another full time job.
Pick one platform and dedicate yourself to that. Choose the platform that fits your business the best. If you run a photography business, focus on Instagram. If you are a consultant, focus on email. If you want help choosing your platform, contact me anytime at email@example.com.
2. Create a simple marketing plan.
This step is key. If you don't have a plan, you will burn out in a few weeks. Without a plan, you will not have any motivation to keep going when things get busy.
Plan your content, and create a goal for yourself. If you want to post four or five times every week, plan ahead.
Your marketing plan should also include a goal. Why are you doing this? To sell a product? To grow your audience? Pick a goal, and stick to it.
3. Be yourself.
Don't worry about sounding intelligent or professional. Social media is about being social. Many business owners try to sound like a business, and they lose the relatable personality that makes businesses successful on social media.
Just be yourself. Speak simply, and don't overload your audience with too much information. Whatever you choose to do, don't overcomplicate it. You will wind up confusing yourself and your customers. Keep it simple, and do on thing well.
If you don't have any time to devote to marketing, you do have a few other options.
First, you could hire an ad agency. They are professionals, and they are trained to handle your social media accounts. If you choose well, the end result will be professional and it may be effective. However, it will be expensive. And it may not work. Remember what I said in the third step- be yourself. The ad agency is not you. They don't have your experience, or your inside perspective on your business. Therefore, their marketing content will sound more like a sales pitch and less like an actual person. And that's important, especially on social media.
You could also hire someone. This could be even more expensive, if you hire a trained professional. You could also hire a college student to manage your account. They will probably be tech savvy, but not as professional. If you feel like you know someone who could do it, talk to them about it! The benefit is that they will be able to sound more human, and represent your business well. You could reasonably expect someone to manage your social media and email marketing for 5-10 hours per week.