>Working with clients over the years, I’ve seen the impact a work schedule can make. Creating the right schedule can sometimes be a tricky thing; the good news is, when you find a schedule that works for you, it can make a big difference in being productive, getting your marketing done regularly, and feeling on top of things. While there is no empirically “right” way to schedule yourself, there are a few things to consider.
Are consistency and accountability related?
Consistency is the capacity to show up for something over and over, to produce results that are equivalent over time; stay the course, steady as she goes.
Accountability means you stay true to your word, that you can be counted on. You say what you’re going to do, and you do it, holding yourself answerable.
What do these have to do with getting the word out about your small business?
I know you have good intentions about marketing your business. You may even have a pretty good marketing plan. But if you’re a typical self-employed professional, you don’t always follow through on the intentions or plans you make.
Sometimes you get busy with client work. Paying business is a good thing, of course. But if you stop marketing completely while you focus on your clients, you’ll have no business waiting for you when the work ends.
We self-employed professionals are graced by a mixed blessing. No one is looking over our shoulder making us do the things we know we should. Hooray, there’s no boss breathing down our necks! But also… Uh oh, that means we’ve got only ourselves to answer to! Nowhere is this dilemma more obvious than in the area of marketing and sales.
When was the last time you put the amount of effort into marketing that you intended? For most self-employed professionals, getting marketing tasks accomplished is an ongoing challenge. You don’t have a boss looking over your shoulder ordering you to make those follow-up calls or write those blog posts. It’s easy to get distracted by client emergencies, family responsibilities, and technology issues. Then another week goes by without enough — or any — attention on marketing.
You may have put a considerable amount of energy into figuring out how to market your business, and coming up with smart plans for what you’ll do. But if you fall short on execution, even the best plan won’t help you get clients.
Here are four approaches to making sure the marketing activities you’ve chosen for yourself actually get done.
When you look at your marketing to-do list, do many of the items on it look all too familiar? Have entries like “call Dolores Sanchez” and “follow up with Wallingford Corp.” been copied from a previous week? Putting off unappealing tasks may be human nature, but for a self-employed professional, procrastination can be deadly.
Delays in contacting a prospect can lose the business to the competition. Failing to get the word out about an upcoming event may forfeit dozens of opportunities. When prospects don’t hear from you for a while, they forget you exist. Wasted marketing time can never be recovered. By the time you realize you might not make your sales goals for the month, quarter, or year, it may already be too late.