10 More Things You Can Do in 10 Minutes Each to Move Your Business Forward

Photo Credit http://morguefile.com/creative/imelenchon

My first post on this topic was pretty popular so I thought I’d give it a second round. Marketing can feel like this huge overwhelming thunderstorm that hangs over our heads when we’re running our own businesses. As if we’ve got TIME to deal with ONE MORE THING! But it doesn’t have to be that way.

Believe me, I understand! If I had to write a 50 page marketing plan and spend 4 hours a day implementing it… well, either it’d never happen… or I’d never get anything else done and never have time to complete the services I need to for my clients and create the products I offer. Or, I’d never get to play with my kiddos and my house would look like a hurricane hit it. There just aren’t that many hours in the day. If I wanted that much stress I wouldn’t be working from home with my own business. Always remember the reason you started your business – I’m pretty sure that “So I can go legally insane and end up in therapy!” wasn’t on your top ten list of reasons, right? Yeah, it wasn’t on mine either.

So my strategy is more of a one-page style marketing plan. I have mapped out a couple of specific promotions I want to do and which months I’ll be doing them. Then everything else builds on that. If I’m promoting a specific product, in the month leading up to it I’ll be writing articles about it, blogging on the topic, etc. If I want to do a holiday giveaway I’ll know months in advance so I can slowly get it together at my own pace.

And then, the rest of my marketing revolves around QUICK things I can do in between everything else that’s going on in my world. So I’ve made it a point to know what I can do in 5 or 10 minutes. Anyone can squeeze in 10 minutes at least a few times a day, right?

Remember that done is better than perfect!  To get these done in 10 minutes each you need to focus on fast action and getting it great, but not perfect, or any of them can easily end up taking an hour instead of 10 minutes.

Now, on to my second list of 10 minute tasks:

1. Write a testimonial.
Think of a product or service you’ve recently received that was fantastic. Now write a testimonial for it and send it to the business along with name, business, URL, and city/state. Include a statement of your permission to reprint it on their site, in their newsletter, etc. If you don’t feel like writing, record it as an mp3 and send. Most (all?!) businesses love to get testimonials or positive reviews and will happily use them on their websites and include your business name and sometimes even a live link to your site.

2. Record a quick how to video and upload to YouTube.
YouTube is a huge source of traffic for many websites.  Using Jing (there’s a free version!) or similar program you can quickly and easily create a short how to video with a tip or step by step use of a product or service you offer.

3. Record and share an AudioBoo.
I had seen these on Facebook from Mari Smith but hadn’t researched them until I came across this post from Coach Jane Lee about using AudioBoo.  Check out more info on her blog about using audio.  You can record and share AudioBoo on your blog, your website, your Facebook page, etc.

4. Submit an article to Ezine Articles.
Notice I didn’t say *write* an article, but *submit* one.  I bet if you take a few minutes and look at your blog, website or ezine archives there’s something you’ve written that’s just waiting to be slightly edited so it’ll work as an article.  Edit and submit!

5. Brainstorm a reason to write a press release & a title.
It can feel like it’ll take a lot of time to write a press release but if you start by just thinking of a reason (new product, new improvement, new service, holiday sale, contest, giveaway, new resource on your site, recent award, etc) and brainstorming the title, then writing that on a note and pinning it up on your bulletin board, you’ll have a great start and then you can write the actual release later when you’ve got a half hour or so.  It’ll be easier to start if you’ve got your reason and title planned.

6. Shout out support to a fellow small business owner or solopreneur.
Pick a small business owner or solopreneur who you feel comfortable referring business to, and who you’ve worked with or learned from, and post a comment on their blog, or write a review for them on Facebook.  Do something public to show your support!  They’ll appreciate it, you’ll get some publicity, and they may just remember you next time they know someone who needs the product/service you provide.  Karma!

7. Order a decal or magnet for your car from VistaPrint.
How fast can you pick one and checkout?  :)  Here are the car door magnets and here are the window decals.  Choose one, order it, then slap it on your vehicle and every time you drive around town you’ll be promoting your business!  (So don’t drive like a maniac.  This one may help you avoid traffic tickets, too!)

8. Email a Letter to the Editor.
This one can be a challenge to do in 10 minutes, but it can be done.  Many news sites offer online ways to share your thoughts.  Choose a topic that’s relevant to your business and that will allow you to share your knowledge and present yourself as an expert by offering your two cents in agreement or disagreement with an article they’ve published.  To keep it quick choose one article and one point.  Be succinct.  Include all your contact info.  You may or may not see it published online or in the print paper but you can leverage this by also sharing what you wrote to the editor on your blog/website and turning it into an article or ezine feature later.

9. Check-in with a favorite contact and send a quick gift.
Who’s been referring business to you?  Get in touch with them to say thank you and let them know you appreciate their support.  Send a small gift.  I recently got an Amazon gift card from someone as a thank you and every time I see the book I picked to order with it I think of her and will definitely refer her services to anyone that they’d be helpful for.  Making herself “present” in my office it’s great way to stay on my mind.  Many online stores allow you to send an e-gift certificate and it can be done in just a few minutes.

10. Create or update your email signature then send out a fun email.
Is your email signature up to date?  If it’s not rockin’ then try WiseStamp (see my post here).  Once it’s up to date find something funny like a joke, YouTube, etc (try looking at www.stufftotweet.com) and send it out to friends and family who don’t mind that type of email.  Your goal is to send something they’ll forward to their friends and family and so on.  Because your email signature will be on every one of those emails.

Ready?  Go!

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21 Comments

  1. You have done it again. Great ideas to get done quickly. Sometimes I have completed a project and still have a few minutes to do something else…this really helps.

    I like the ones that have me doing something for someone else.
    Sheila Atwood recently posted… How To Pick An Affiliate Marketing System That Is A Big HitMy Profile

    1. Thanks, Shelia. I agree! I love “marketing” that’s really just connecting with people, encouraging them, and building relationships. :)

  2. 10 + 10 more = Awesome!!

    I’m going to go along with Sheila Atwood here. Any time you can show support, appreciation, or give thanks to others, there’s definitely a reward. And if you can get that accomplished in ten minutes, all the better!

    Your tips are really helpful and super valuable to all of us as solopreneurs.

    Appreciate you,
    Melanie
    Melanie Kissell recently posted… Competing In “Leading Moms In Business” For 2010My Profile

    1. Thanks Melanie. I’m working on Part 3. ;)

  3. Awesome article Michelle – Your tips are always so right on the money. Our day seems so much easier if we look at it in simple 10 minute tasks.

    Not only will you get things done but the feeling of accomplishment would be amazing!

    Thanks again for another great post,
    Michele Scism
    The Results Lady
    Michele Scism recently posted… 1 Way to Build Your Expert StatusMy Profile

    1. Thanks, Michele. Isn’t it amazing what a difference that perspective shift can make? Instead of “I’ve got to spend an hour marketing… *sigh*” we can think “Oh, I’ve got 10 minutes! Lemme connect with someone!” and it makes it so much easier to get it done. :)

  4. I too, like the 10 minute opportunity to thank some one or do something nice for someone else. I like taking a few minutes and commenting on a post and tweeting it. I really appreciate it when someone does that for me.

    It we took several 10 minute opportunities a day… look what we could accomplish in building relationships.

    Thanks for the links to window decals and AudioBoo.

    1. You’re welcome, Kathryn, glad it was helpful.

  5. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Solo Entrepreneur, Kathryn Griffiths and others. Kathryn Griffiths said: RT @SmallBizMuse: Follow up 2 the first 10, 10 More Things U Can Do in 10 Minutes 2 Move Your Business Forward http://bit.ly/d9s5zh #blog30 […]

  6. You know I love you! ;) I am sitting down with myself and working through these 10 ideas and the first 10 you posted previously. I can get the whole list done by Friday! I’d say tomorrow, but I have several websites I am building, as well as working on my own. LOL

    thanks for sharing! I really do love your blog! Keep the great articles coming! We all can use them!!!

    Blessings
    Kimberly ~ Gypsy Rose

    1. Thanks, Kimberly. And that’s an awesome goal – you can do it!

  7. A very creative list Michele, well done.
    Another app to review for signatures is Autopen – rich text with Firefox and Google Chrome.

    best wishes

    Rob

    1. Cool, I’ll check that out. Appreciate the suggestion and feedback, Rob.

  8. […] Michelle Shaeffer, one of the participants of the #Blog30 Challenge, wrote a post on what to do on 10 minutes to get your business growing and promoting it, even if there is a little time. Of course, it was very welcomed and is one of the posts most commented on the previous mont. So, Michelle decided to do a second list of 10 More Things You Can Do in 10 Minutes Each to Move Your Business Forward. […]

  9. […] Michelle Shaeffer, una de las participantes del Reto #Blog30, escribió un post en qué hacer en diez minutos para ayudar al crecimiento de tu negocio y su promoción, aunque tengas poco tiempo libro. Por supuesto, su idea fue tan bien recibida que se trató de uno de sus posts más comentados el mes anterior. Así que Michelle decidió escribir una segunda lista que llamó 10 More Things You Can Do in 10 Minutes Each to Move Your Business Forward. […]

  10. Michelle:

    Another great list. I think you miss one idea: to write a post recommending a friends blog, with great ideas!! I already do 2 posts commenting this list, one in english and one in spanish. There are good tips again and I like more people to know them!

    Felicidades!

    Gonzalo.

    1. Oh great idea! You just sparked a brainstorm. I need to do a third list – but by asking 10 other small business owners/bloggers to give me their suggestion for a quick business promotion idea and then featuring each suggestion with the links to their sites…

      1. There are mine… I know that other 9 bloggers will do their part! And, of course, you can see my blog to see the post on this…

        (Now I’m doing the translation process, so you can see them in english by selecting “language” on the right bar).

        Saludos!!

  11. […] “10 More Things You Can Do in 10 Minutes Each to Move Your Business Forward” from Michelle Shaeffer. In the main list is the first part of this list; in July she published this list. Great advice. […]

  12. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Melanie Hoffner, Michelle Shaeffer. Michelle Shaeffer said: 10 More Things You Can Do in 10 Minutes Each to Move Your Business Forward http://bit.ly/9ZY2tg […]

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