Are you now tasked with the seemingly impossible? Yes, in addition to your current job duties, you now have your company’s inbound marketing on your plate. You’re already stretched thin. So, how do you make the time?
We all have the same 24 hours each day. The key is how you are using those hours, and how you can use them to your advantage.
You can’t make time if you don’t know how you’re spending it. For 1-2 weeks, write down what you did each day and how long it took. Every email, phone call, meeting, visit to your BFF’s cube.
You’ll be surprised at what you find. I promise. For example, every day from 8:00-8:30, you checked personal email, scanned TMZ for something salacious and chitchatted in the break room over coffee.
Another 20 minutes was spent crafting an internal email that could have been communicated more effectively with a 5-minute phone call. Or conversely, the call to that chatty vendor would be more efficiently handled with an email. These things add up quickly. Some are necessary but could be done more efficiently. Others could be eliminated altogether.
You’ll be hyper-aware about how you spend your time. You’ll find more time for inbound marketing. And you’ll be a lot more organized.
Where can you be more efficient and effective with your time?
You’ve now identified ways you can use your time more effectively. Now you’ll need to grab that time and use it. If there’s anything that will railroad your inbound marketing efforts, it’s inconsistency. Being consistent is crucial for success. So how do you be consistent? By making your inbound marketing a habit—just like brushing your teeth or checking your email.
In The Power of Habit, author Charles Duhigg discusses what it takes to successfully create new habits. “Cravings are what drive habits. And figuring out how to spark a craving makes creating a new habit easier.” Figure out your job cravings and which cravings inbound marketing will create. Is it personal satisfaction? Seeing site metrics improve? Becoming even more valuable to your employer?
Creating consistent content is probably the most time-consuming part of inbound marketing. Save yourself time by “outsourcing” some of the content.
When I worked for an IT distributor a handful of my colleagues were actually part-time professional writers. Several others were budding writers, eager for bylines.
Find out who in your organization has the talent and desire to create content. Maybe it’s John in sales or Sandra in tech support. Not only can you find writers (and extra time), you’ll find colleagues who will want to share topic ideas for your editorial calendar.
If you’ve already tried this, look for writers outside the company—guest bloggers who have industry knowledge, a grad student at your local college, even a retiree with the time and expertise to contribute.
If you’re not creating a next day’s to-do list, try it. Before you holler “Yabba Dabba Doo!” take a few minutes to plan the next day. Include meetings, important tasks, calls, and most importantly, your inbound marketing.
This will help you stay organized and make your days more productive and keep you sharply focused.
Here’s a quick sample:
8:00-8:15 –Outline blog post
8:15-10:15 –Write blog post: “4 smart ways to make time for your inbound marketing”
10:15-10:17 –Play with the cat
10:17-10:30 –Respond to emails
10:30-11:30 –Call with prospect
11:30-12:00 –Competitor research
And so on….
Even if a fire awaits you first thing in the morning, you can put it out, then move onto your first task. You’ll have to rearrange your schedule, but at least you’ll have a roadmap for the day to decide what you will and won’t be able to do.
If being this granular is too much, just list your major to-dos, always including your inbound marketing tasks.
What do you think? Will these ideas help you carve out more time for your inbound marketing?