Research claims that most small business owners do their own digital marketing instead of leaving it to experts. At the same time, they are also completely responsible for other key areas of the business, such as operations, finance, customers service, and product development.
To handle this variety of responsibilities well, you need to make the most use out all of your resources, with your time being the most important one, due to its limited nature.
Time Management Tips for Business Owners Doing Their Own Digital Marketing
Here are some time management tips which will help you be more efficient in the world of digital marketing, at least until your budget allows you to start outsourcing.
Plan your work hours
Planning your work hours can save you from working under a great deal of pressure which is almost unavoidable if you start your business hours unprepared. Otherwise, you’ll end up putting up fires or doing other people’s tasks, instead of focusing on activities which bring the greatest profit to your company.
Here are a few things for you to begin with:
- Determine when you are most productive. Everyone has that time during the day when they are most productive, the hours which they like to spend on solo activities and the hours they thrive for collaboration. Try to determine what works best for you, and try to organize your work hours accordingly.
- Manage your workspace. For handling your digital marketing you might need some peace and quiet, as you’ll be creating content. So, be sure to keep that in mind when making a plan of your daily activities. Think about what it takes for you to concentrate, and make sure that your workspace will provide such an environment.
- Plan time wasters. When planning your digital marketing activities, it’s essential to allow for interruptions, such as phone calls or emails, employee meetings, or anything that can take your mind off the task you are working on, and schedule some time for them too. Block a time box for those activities too, and do your best to fit your tasks into a pre-designed time frame.
Set your priorities
The world of digital marketing comes in all shapes and sizes, and if you don’t select what to focus on, you will waste a lot of your valuable time.
Here is what you should do to stay on top of things:
- Make a selection. There are all sorts of content and different channels you can publish your content on. The key is to define and focus only on what is beneficial for your company. For example, you don’t need to have a profile on every social media platform to be visible and successful. If you are not sure what would fit your business the most, try to determine what channels your competitors use, and what kind of content they provide for their customers. This will save a lot of your time and effort. Also, identify the preferred channel of your target audience and use it to interact with them.
- Make a to-do list. List all the activities you should do during your workday, and mark the ones which are important and urgent, and include the ones that only you can do. You can use a tool like the Eisenhower Matrix to determine which tasks you should do first, which can be scheduled for later, as well as the ones you can delegate. Following the list and ticking off the items when they are finished will relieve you from the anxiety of unfinished works, and give you a sense of progress.
Track your time
After all the hard work we do, engaging in many various activities during the day, it is very hard to determine how long it takes us to complete every individual task, let alone an entire project. In order to become more efficient in your business, you can learn more about effective time tracking benefits. Three key benefits of tracking your time:
- Cost/benefit analysis – First, determine how much time and money you spend working on your marketing project. Monitor some basic metrics of your campaign, and you can get a pretty decent idea as to whether or not your efforts were worth it.
- Review your plan. Getting the picture about how long it takes you to write a single blog post can be beneficial for planning your future daily activities.
- Spot time black holes. If you log all your activities during work hours, you will also notice all the hidden time traps you tend to fall into, and try to avoid them in the future. Time management apps can be particularly useful when logging your work time.
Schedule your breaks
Regular breaks during your day at work are also vital for your efficiency. Skipping breaks and much-needed rest may lead to burnout. This is especially important when you are working on your digital marketing activities, as they sometimes require hours of sitting in front of your computer. If these hours are not planned wisely, the effects can be devastating for your body and mind.
- Use the Pomodoro technique – You can try out the Pomodoro time management technique if you want to be productive, while at the same time maintain a healthy balance between working and resting. For this technique, you should parse your work into 25-minute sessions. After each session, there is a 5-minute break. After 4 of these cycles, a longer break is planned, lasting no less than 20 minutes.
- Change the environment – To be extra productive, it is a good idea to use these breaks to stimulate your creative flow instead of spending them in front of a screen. It is a good idea to get out of your workspace and change your surroundings, as it will help you relax and unwind.
- Be active – There is nothing better for rejuvenation than going for a brisk walk, or doing a sequence of yoga neck and shoulder exercises. Not only will you benefit from it physically, but also mentally, as your mind also needs a pause from all the hard work.
If approached strategically, doing your own digital marketing can be a great way to promote your business, and bring you enough profit to invest in a more professional solution. Be sure to organize your time so that you can keep yourself updated with the latest trends and your competitors’ online activities, as that will help you achieve your goals.
This is a guest post from Marko Maric, a digital marketer and a part-time blogger. He mostly covers topics revolving around marketing, business, and productivity. Follow him online at @mmmaric for more.