Your daily to-do list is packed with a number of priorities: meet with a client, review a proposal, interview candidates for a position, discuss quarterly sales targets, and call your accountant.
Oh, and you need to write a blog post and figure out a new lead acquisition channel.
And all too often, marketing your agency gets pushed to the bottom of your list. This seems to be the right decision until three months have passed and your dealing with a prospect pipeline that has dried up and forecasts that cause your blood pressure to surge.
Here are a few tips you can use to get more done in less time and little ways you can improve your marketing outreach and lead generation efforts each week.
15 Tips to Market Your Agency When You Are Way Too Busy
Being productive doesn’t mean accomplishing all 542 things you’ve added to your to-do list. It’s about focusing on the activities that will have the largest impact on driving new leads and new clients to your agency. Try to pick projects that genuinely excite you, as you’ll be more likely to actually accomplish them.
At the beginning of each month or quarter, list your three or five most important projects and priorities for the coming weeks. Then, define the individual tasks for each project, which can be broken up into weekly projects. This will help you to stay on track for meeting your marketing goals while preventing you from becoming overwhelmed and giving up on marketing as you balance other priorities.
2) Include time to complete metrics with your task list
One helpful way to make the most use of your time during the day is to get more clarity around how long it will take you to do the things on your to-do list. If you know that you need to schedule social media posts, and this only take around 10 minutes to do, you can easily do this in-between meetings or while waiting for a client to call back. If you’ve identified that a project -- such as creating a landing page -- will take closer to two hours, then block time off on your calendar to complete the project.
3) Create a schedule for writing one blog post per week
If one of your goals is to write more content for your blog or for guest post submissions, create a schedule for writing a post per week.
Block off time on your calendar each morning to write, edit, and promote your content.
Here’s a sample schedule:
Day 1: Write a first draft.
Day 2: Review, rework, and edit post.
Day 3: Create images for the post and for sharing on social media.
Day 4: Upload your content, publish, and promote it on social networks, through email, to influencers, etc.
Day 5: Brainstorm your next article idea and do initial research.
With this approach, you only have to devote 30 minutes to an hour each day, and you’ll slowly but surely finish that blog post.
4) Reuse your blog posts
It’s a good idea to repackage some of your highest performing blog posts into ebooks. You can do this proactively by determining a topic that you could explore as a series of blog posts. Once you’ve published the posts, combine the text, add more research, images, and information to make it a product that is truly unique. This shouldn’t take more than a few more hours, and then you’ve got a new content offer -- one you know will perform well as it was a top performing blog post -- that you can promote and generate new leads with.
5) Republish your blog posts on LinkedIn or Medium
You could also republish your blog content on LinkedIn or Medium to drive conversations with new audiences. This can help you to get the most out of the content you create and attract prospects to your brand on different channels. Plus, it takes very little time to copy and paste, fix formatting issues, and publish on another platform.
If you’ve got a ton of landing pages, all that were created years ago or poorly done, it can be a more productive use of your time to optimize your top performing pages, rather than spend the hours necessary to create an entirely new campaign.
In less than 30 minutes each week, you could:
Tweak the headline
Shorten the copy and rework it to be more persuasive and descriptive
Test out different form lengths and questions
Test call-to-action copy and design
Make the landing page more shareable
Improve the visuals
Remove website navigation, unrelated sidebars and copy, and other distractions from the main CTA
Revise the kickback (or thank-you) email and include an CTA to an offer that drives the prospect further down the funnel
7) Share the content published by your prospects
Marketing your agency on a 1:1 basis can be a valuable way to introduce your agency to new high-value prospects and nurture these relationships. Consider creating an RSS feed or signing up for Google Alerts on your prospective clients. When an executive publishes a guest post, writes a piece on LinkedIn, or the company receives a favorable press mention, share the content or write a quick note to the prospect to tell them congrats or ask a follow-up question. This is a light-touch way to stay connected and show that your agency is taking an active interest in the brand’s success.
8) Take back control of your day
According to a 10-year study conducted by McKinsey, when you’re in “flow,” you perform five times above your normal productivity level. And it takes 25 minutes to return to productivity after an interruption. It’s no wonder you get to 5:00 p.m., and it seems like you haven’t gotten anything done.
I know you can’t completely escape meetings and interruptions, but you can set boundaries. Create time slots on your calendar that show when you are “Available to Book for Meetings.” This could be afternoons if you are more productive in the mornings, or you could break it up so that you are available for two hours in the morning and a few hours in the late afternoon. The point is to create a chunk of time that is for working on the company, marketing the agency, and other business growth-oriented projects.
You could also create “office hours” each day where anyone on the team can book 10 minutes of your time to discuss client issues, problems, and concerns. Try to corral interruptions into one block of time where you can effectively deal with them.
In addition, audit your calendar for recurring meetings that are unnecessary and unproductive, and delete the ones that are a waste of time.
9) Get the entire agency tweeting
Use a tool such as GaggleAmp or send weekly emails with click-to-tweet links promoting your recent blog posts, campaign launches, and promotions you would like your team to share. Your team members should be advocates for your brand, helping to increase brand awareness and drive new leads to your agency.
10) Reshare popular content
An easy way to drive more social media traffic to your site is to analyze which content performed well on Twitter, LinkedIn, or Facebook, and then to reshare that content. Check your social media analytics or management tool and sort by clicks or interactions or shares or whatever metric matters most to your brand.
11) Use your email signature to drive leads and engagement
One underutilized way to drive new leads and conversions is your team’s email signature. Create a standard template for all your employees to use that includes a link to your website and the agency’s social media profiles. Include a CTA in the template that drives people to your case studies, latest blog posts, content offers, or another promotion. You can use a tool such as Sigstr to manage email signatures and gather analytics on the performance of your efforts.
No one should be this available to a communication channel. I promise you that if something needs your immediate attention, someone will track you down as quickly as possible.
Many productivity experts suggest checking email two times per day. That’s a difficult goal to achieve, but the overall point is to spend less time refreshing your inbox, waiting for something important to show up. Start by blocking off time in your calendar in 30-minute increments a few times per day to handle email. Make the time to handle email communication; don’t let it become something that wastes your day.
Build out a template library for the following cases:
When a prospect submits a “contact me” request on your website
To introduce your agency to a prospect
To reconnect after you send a proposal or do an in-person pitch
A follow-up note after leaving a voicemail
To share new content offers or blog posts around your most popular services
To connect after an in-person meeting
To ask a happy client for a referral
To share case studies and testimonials with a prospect
14) Automate your reporting
A key part of running a smart marketing program at your agency is understanding what’s working and what’s not. You should know at all times whether you are trending up or down against your specific marketing and sales goals. But reporting takes time, and you need access to the numbers you can act on today, rather than after the close of the month or quarter.
Build a reporting dashboard that pulls in the most important metrics. Check this every morning or before you leave for the day.
Marketing metrics you should consider tracking include:
Traffic by source (direct, organic, referral, social, paid, etc.)
Email subscriber growth
Pages viewed per visit
Top exit pages
Search engine ranking for high-value keywords competitors
Part of marketing your agency may be researching inbound leads or prospecting. One easy way to do this every day in 10 minutes or less is to check a few little-known LinkedIn features.
Find people in your network who have recently changed jobs -- a great time to reach out and reconnect -- by clicking on the “Connections” tab and then the “Keep in Touch” button. This will show you who has been making moves so you can write a quick congratulatory note.
While viewing the person’s profile, check out the “People Also Viewed” section on the right sidebar. You could also check out the person’s “Skills & Endorsements” section to find people in your industry who might be interested in your services.
Originally published Jun 7, 2016 9:00:00 AM, updated July 28 2017