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.