There are days when you just lose your focus. You procrastinate, check out social media, browse the Internet for some meaningless stuff or start sending random messages.
Even your mile long list of tasks cannot bring you back on track. There’s simply no escape on such days!
“Talent is cheaper than table salt. What separates the talented individual from the successful one is a lot of hard work.” – Stephen King
That being said, you also need to remember that success requires some smarts.
The recipe for success therefore combines hard work with tenacity and a little bit of common sense.
After all it totally makes sense to take the faster, easier and more efficient way to be successful, especially when it is available. Being the most hard-working is not enough; the goal is to become more productive.
I have a few productivity hacks that every entrepreneur can use to rev up their marketing efforts:
- Schedule your to-dos in realistic chunks.
- Automate wherever possible. There are tons of tools out there to help you do that.
- Simplify your tasks and processes. Use templates to break them down.
- See if you can delegate or outsource anything.
- Be lazy! More about this later.
You have no doubt come across these ideas before, but as you probably know, it is very, very difficult to implement them in your daily routine. Let’s see if I can get you to do that…
1. Forget To-Dos, Scheduling Is In
For years, marketing gurus and successful entrepreneurs have been asking us to maintain a to-do list.
While they are good to prioritize your tasks, the issue with to-do items is that they seem to be endless.
No matter how hard you work, the list keeps on growing. As time passes, we feel less and less inclined to give the to-do list any attention.
This is where scheduling comes in. Scheduling is more realistic in nature; it gives you a more practical idea about what you can get done within a given time. It teaches us the practice of doing tasks when it’s efficient.
For scheduling a task, you need to sit down and seriously consider your available time that can be designated for accomplishing certain tasks in a particular day.
It also helps you stop procrastinating. You will have a lesser urge to procrastinate as the decision of working on a given task is already made and you have a deadline hovering over you.
Research also shows that scheduling helps you to better manage your free time and increases quality of life. It is therefore a game plan.
2. Automate Your Organizational Operations
Staying focused on a given chore is often challenging, especially if you need to multitask. But the good news is there is no dearth of productivity tools available for entrepreneurs and marketers these days.
When you want to accomplish more things at the shortest possible time, automation is the answer to your question.
Today you have a productivity tool by your side to manage every aspect of your business, from time management and invoicing to social media management to email marketing.
These tools are reliable and offer customized solution to meet the needs of businesses of every size and stature.
For example you can use Yast, Rescue Time, Everhour, Toggl, etc. for time management.
To automate your invoicing process you can use tools like FreshBooks or Nutcache for invoicing or PayPal Payments.
Similarly, you can manage all your social media accounts using a central dashboard via Hootsuite.
Additionally, you can leverage other social media management tools like Buffer, SocialOomph, Sproutsocial and Crowdbooster to boost your social reach.
There are many such serious timesavers out there; all you need to do is keep your eye out for these productivity tools to boost your efforts. The following are a few things you should consider automating in marketing:
- Delivering gated digital content
- Discovering online content
- Signing up to the mailing list
- Delivering messages to subscribers
- Sharing blogs/articles on social media in real time as you post them
- Welcoming new followers on Twitter account and automatically following back
3. Simplify Things
Now this is different from automating. You can still do things manually while simplifying them.
The goal is to make the process easier. It generally involves reducing the number of steps required to complete a task.
Use templates for sending frequently-used messages like welcome messages, inquiries, invoices and the like instead of creating them afresh every time.
You also need to create content to market your business online. While it is true that you need to be detailed and very focused with your content, there are ways to simplify things here.
For example, you can create templates and boilerplates for blog posts, press releases, videos etc. This will help you concentrate on the subject matter instead of spending time and energy on their form.
4. Delegate Tasks
It is next to impossible to do everything yourself while getting them done well. Decentralization is essential in marketing.
By delegating some of your tasks to your team members, you can get more work done in less time.
Outsourcing is also an option that you should seriously consider. The question is what should you outsource?
This totally depends on you; however, I have a few suggestions:
Consider outsourcing things that you are not good at or you don’t enjoy doing.
For example, if accounting or bookkeeping sounds challenging to you, why not hire an accountant or outsource it to some third-party vendor.
Similarly, if you are not good at transcribing webinars or any other web related technology, there are hundreds of freelancers out there that can help you accomplish the task in an efficient way.
5. Spend Less Effort
“I will always choose a lazy person to do a difficult job, because he will find an easy way to do it.” – Bill Gates
This is called working smart. You need to get a bigger impact from anything you do. The goal is to obtain better results without exerting more effort or time on a given task.
For instance, we all want to reach out to a wider audience using our blog posts. Now writing different posts for different blogging sites will take up a lot of time and effort.
A smarter way is to get the blog syndicated on various other blogs. Another option is to write guests posts for renowned blogs that have a huge number of readers.
Likewise, you can smartly tweak your sales pages and opt-in forms to keep them interesting as well as to increase your conversion rates.
We have 24 hours in the day to complete all our tasks for a given day; it is therefore imperative to use them wisely.
Always aim to end everything early and schedule a timeline for each task. If you succeed in consistently implementing the above five ideas, I doubt you’ll fail to improve your productivity.
Also, it is important to maintain a positive outlook. Some days are just bad; no matter how hard you try things seem to drag on.
Don’t lose hope; rather, stay positive and do things that are humanely possible and then a little more.
Do you have any more hacks that solo entrepreneurs or small businesses can easily try out?
Please discuss with me in the comments.