Finding the time for your marketing activities

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Finding the time, motivation, and energy to be consistent with your marketing activities on top of your clients’ projects can be a real challenge. Tune into this episode to uncover the shifts you can make to increase your visibility without overwhelm and attract new clients more regularly. 

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As a solo entrepreneur, self-employed service provider, or small business owner, it can be a real challenge to find the time, motivation, and energy to prioritize your marketing activities, as well as other tasks like bookkeeping. 

As long as you have clients coming to you through word of mouth, things might seem fine. However, as soon as the influx of clients slows down, you might suddenly feel the urge to focus on your marketing. 

The key to consistent growth is shifting your focus from being just a service provider to being a business owner 

The problem is that you can only see results from your marketing efforts when you are consistent with them over a certain period of time. 

In the long run, not implementing a marketing strategy will hinder your business growth and keep you stuck in the hamster wheel. 

So, how do you break out of this vicious circle and make your marketing activities a priority in your business without feeling overwhelmed and jeopardizing your clients’ projects? 

What you will learn:

  • The mindset shift to prioritize marketing activities 
  • The three-step flow to stay consistent with your marketing without feeling overwhelmed

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[00:00:00] The time is now episode 305. It is not easy as a solo entrepreneur or small business owner to wear all those hats in your business, and you might be more passionate about working with your clients than dealing with all the other aspects of your business, including your marketing activities. So how will you find the time to make your marketing strategy and the implementation of it a priority?

[00:00:28] The time is now to figure out how. Welcome to the time is now. The podcast show designed to take action and stay on top of your game to make a bigger impact with your business while creating more freedom and purpose in your life. This is your host, Amel Derragui. As your business and marketing coach, I am here to help you get the clarity and the action plan You need to position yourself as the go-to expert in your field and grow a business that is aligned [00:01:00] with your needs.

[00:01:01] This is your time to create more growth, alignment, and impact with your business. How many times have you found yourself very frustrated of not being able to carry all the different hats of your business, and particularly your marketing? This is the number one challenge that I hear from so many so entrepreneurs, self-employed people, and small business owners.

[00:01:29] Even the bigger companies that I worked with in the past and even now have sometimes this struggle as well. Marketing is often the thing that falls off the wagon when things get too hectic. Although it is the thing that will help you when you are consistent, generate a consistent flow of clients and visibility.

[00:01:50] So my big call for you is to make this a priority, but I also understand why it is a challenge. First of all, [00:02:00] your core expertise is what you deliver to your clients, right? So very often as a small business owner we're like. I don't wanna take care of this. I want to focus on what I'm really good at, so I totally understand.

[00:02:13] Also, you might struggle in terms of time. On top of running your client project, there's little time left for you, your wellbeing, your family. So again, marketing is the last thing that you manage to make time for. So when you have a regular flow of clients who are coming, this might not feel so much of an issue.

[00:02:33] However, as soon as your clients start slowing down, you might suddenly start stressing out, saying, oh my God, I did not take care of my marketing, and while I'm working on a client's project, I'm not working on getting the new client. The thing is that whenever you work on your marketing strategy and implement it, the result of this strategy comes from the consistency and not the one or other operation or social media posts you make here and there.[00:03:00]

[00:03:00] If you want to have a regular flow of clients that comes beyond your own one-on-one efforts, then you need to create a system in place that allows you to be consistent with your marketing efforts. Because as I said, the results come from being consistent. It's all about positioning yourself for mid and long term.

[00:03:21] So how are you going to manage to be consistent with your marketing when you have so much to do? I will be sharing here with you some very practical tips. But before I do that, I need you to understand that for this to work, there is a big mindset work that needs to happen. In fact, very often when we're a small business owner or self-employed, we don't necessarily take our business as a.

[00:03:50] Company. We'd rather look at our business as a series of projects with clients, and this is the thing that needs to change if you want to [00:04:00] create a business that first of all grows over time, but also allows you to create consistent revenue growth over the time. So having this mindset shift. From going from being a consultant or an expert in your field to actually becoming an entrepreneur who runs a business makes a whole difference.

[00:04:21] Because if you look at yourself as an entrepreneur who's running your business, you will realize that your activity go beyond the project that you are implementing, but rather at having the vision and having the overall outlook on your time and how you're spending it, all the different activities. Of your business and not just your projects.

[00:04:43] I think this is really key. When you start looking at your business that way you start suddenly really planning and strategizing in a way that helps you grow a business and not just manage project to project. So really try to think about [00:05:00] that as you are working on your business and shift a little bit your thoughts around how you see yourself in your work, and consider yourself as a business and not just a consultant, coach, trainer, facilitator, or any type of other service you might provide.

[00:05:18] It is the same, even if you're selling products, especially if you're producing them yourself. I can understand how that can be very daunting task to run all those hats, but it's so important that you move from producer to actual business owner and CEO of your company so that you can implement the next tips that I'll share with you.

[00:05:41] So once you have made it your top priority to run a business and implement all the activities of business, including your marketing strategy, which is again, often the one that's being put on the sidetrack, then here are a couple of things that I think will help you [00:06:00] do this in a strategic way and avoid getting overwhelmed.

[00:06:05] So the first part is to have clarity on your strategy. Very often the reason why it gets very overwhelming to implement your marketing strategy is because it's not a hundred percent clear. So you need to have key pillars to your marketing strategies. There are defined and clearly set so that.

[00:06:24] Implementing it is just a matter of rolling out that strategy rather than having to overthink every single action you take. For instance, every single social media post, every single aspect of speaking engagements or any ads you decide to run if you have a clear strategy. All of that is just a declination, is just the implementation of that strategy.

[00:06:47] So in terms of strategy, there's a lot of components to consider, but I'm just gonna run a couple of them. Number one is your target audience. This is so important that you're very clear about who [00:07:00] is your target audience, what is that specific niche you're targeting and. What are they thinking? What are their pain points, what they're looking for?

[00:07:09] It is so key to be so clear about that. Then comes the positioning, making very clear about how you're positioning yourself in your market, as well as your value proposition compared to all the other players in your industry. Your messaging is as well, very important. What are the key words around your messaging?

[00:07:28] What are those key? Things that people should immediately know about you when they think of you or see you somewhere. Also, having a clear idea of what kind of voice do you wanna have, especially when it's about your content. Are you more the type that will be the friend, or the guide or the expert? Make sure to have that clarity so that you use the right voice when you implement your strategy.

[00:07:54] There's many other aspects of your marketing strategy that you wanna consider, but one of them is your content, [00:08:00] obviously, because that's the one that very often most solo entrepreneurs, small business owners, struggle to be consistent with, which is creating consistent content. By content, I mean not only your social media posts, but knowing what is that key.

[00:08:15] Type of media that you are using to communicate with your ideal client and make sure to show your expertise through your content. So you also want to be very clear about what are your content pillars, what are those key topics that will position you as the go-to expert? So I could go on and on on the different aspects of your strategy, but I do think that these ones that I've just listed are some of the key ones that will help you be very clear about how you will implement your marketing strategy and then be more effective at it time-wise.

[00:08:50] If you are struggling to define your strategy, then I highly invite you to seek out for help. And I'm here if you need my support. This is what I [00:09:00] do with my clients to clarify that strategy. Make sure to reach out. I. So don't wait any longer if that's not clear. But once your strategy is clear, then comes the second part that is also very important, which is setting up a system and a schedule.

[00:09:18] One of the things that I hear a lot about this challenge of being consistent with our marketing and our content is the whole time and energy it requires. Again, when your strategy's clear it is. It's much easier. However, there is a way to make sure that you don't spend more time than you should on your content and your marketing, but it does require at the beginning to create the space, to make the time to actually set up a system, set up a system, but also try it out and correct it so that you really find the way that works for you.

[00:09:58] Again, it all goes with [00:10:00] making it a priority. So there's two folds that have said creating a system and creating a schedule. So. Ultimately, it's about, first of all, sitting down and looking at your calendar, looking at how you are running your business, how are you dividing your time with the different activities of your business.

[00:10:19] So I highly recommend you to sit down, make the time to sit down and really analyze your schedule, analyze how you're spending your time, and look at what's working and not working for you. So that ultimately you can as well create the time in your schedule to make these activities, especially your marketing a priority.

[00:10:41] I. Another one that often falls off the track is the accounting part that a lot of people do last minute in a rush when we're super stressed. So the same strategies that I'm uh, sharing with you here in terms of marketing, you can also apply them to other activities such as accounting. So really take the time to analyze how you are spending your [00:11:00] time and what will you change to do it differently, but.

[00:11:04] Also have in your calendar, maybe having color codes might be helping for you too. To really design a calendar every week, just like in school where you had math from this time to this time history, from that time to that time. Create a schedule that you're very, very diligent with that really tells you every day of the week what kind of activities you have.

[00:11:27] For example, in my case, Mondays are really focused on the key activities of my business are related to strategy, accounting, and administration. And Thursdays are focused on marketing and content. The rest of the time are focused on clients and on Fridays, I do make some time for my own personal growth.

[00:11:48] This is my schedule that works for me Now find what works for you. If you don't make it in your calendar, it will never happen. And if you don't [00:12:00] have a consistent calendar of activities that you focus on, it won't happen either. So, although I know how hard it is to sometimes and. Like, especially when we have client projects to run, those projects take over so much of our time, but also we tend to make our clients a priority, which is completely normal, right?

[00:12:21] But sometimes it's important to set some boundaries so that you don't jeopardize your own business. By trying to make the best work for your own clients, very often you might actually be jeopardizing your own business by not setting some boundaries in terms of schedule and how much time you spend on those projects for your clients.

[00:12:42] For instance, I simply don't take any clients on Mondays because that's very important because I know that if I don't do all the other activities that are important, I won't be at some point able to serve any clients. So once you have created that time, that specific to the [00:13:00] activity you under run, including your marketing.

[00:13:02] Um, the other thing that will make it even more efficient is that you set up a system in place. So that's another part where I work with my client on, on creating a system that works for them. But for example, for me, I batch my episodes, my podcast episodes, um, most of the time, sometimes it's not possible, but 90% of the year my episodes are planned.

[00:13:25] At least one or two months ahead. For that, you want to have a production system, and that one really depends on each person and, and each business. Uh, but setting up a production system that makes it easy for you to not have to think anymore, but simply implement is also key for you to be able to be very productive and create your marketing activities and implement them with less overwhelm.

[00:13:52] Then comes the third piece. Once you have your strategy, once you have created your calendar and your systems comes the part [00:14:00] that I highly recommend you to start as early as possible in your journey. Even if at the beginning you might not have a lot of budget for this, you can start with baby steps, which is.

[00:14:10] Delegation. There's a lot of parts of your business that you don't need to do on your own, and the earlier you start delegating the better, and sometimes it doesn't require a lot of investment. You can start with a VA, for instance, for a couple hours, and then the more your revenue grows, the more you can invest in a solid team.

[00:14:29] But here's the thing, a lot of the people hesitate to, to delegate, first of all, because it's not always easy to find the right person I know. And the second is that sometimes it feels like delegating takes more time than actual doing it yourself. And that's the. Biggest mistake that most small entrepreneurs and small business owners are doing.

[00:14:49] Again, it's all about going from being a consultant or an individual or self-employed to actually becoming a business owner. If you are a business owner, you will [00:15:00] take the time it needs to create the team. You need to train them and make them independent. So make the time for that to happen. Create the routines in your calendar and create the patience you need to be able to create that team over time.

[00:15:15] I think this is really important. I will link into this episode. Um, my other episodes are specifically dedicated to how to create that team. But one of the things as well that I wanna, has really emphasize here, and I know that that's also roadblocks for many people and that's why they don't delegate, is make, wanting to make sure that our marketing is perfect.

[00:15:39] Wanting, for example, to make sure that the words we have are. Perfect and making sure that we're not making mistakes. We're so afraid to put things out there that might be wrong, and if we can't control every piece of it and we delegate to somebody, then we can't make sure that it's a hundred percent correct.

[00:15:56] So here, there is a balance between having [00:16:00] high standards but also not looking for perfection. I believe that it's okay if 80% of your time your content is not a hundred percent, and then make sure that 20% of that marketing or content is spot on, although it's not related directly. I love this code that says.

[00:16:20] 80% of your results come from 20% of your focus. So make sure that some parts of your messaging and your marketing strategy is something that you're really focused on and putting a high focus on making sure that it's accurate, correct. But the rest of the time really make sure that, first of all, you trust in your expertise that is good enough.

[00:16:42] You trust in your systems, and you have trust in. In really helping your team to get to the point where they can be independent and not need you to. Prove every single thing that they do. But ultimately what matters again, is not always the quality. I'm [00:17:00] a big proponent of making sure that you put out there the best you can.

[00:17:04] However, what would drive results again, is consistency much more than quality. People are not gonna read every single word you're gonna put out there, for instance, but they will notice that you're showing up regularly. So make sure to focus on consistency rather than the quality of every single post or effort you make, because the quality in your marketing is first of all, your consistency.

[00:17:31] So. In this third part, it's really about going from, again, being self-employed to becoming not only a business owner and entrepreneur, but also becoming a leader. That's where you wanna head if you want to grow a meaningful business that not only generates more revenue for you, but also more alignment with your needs, as well as more impact for the people you serve through your business.

[00:17:59] [00:18:00] One more thing about these three steps, strategy, system, and delegation. Know that this is exactly what I do for my clients. As I said before, I always start with a strategy, but then I also help my clients create the system that works for them. And finally, once I have worked with the entrepreneur to help them create their systems and their strategy.

[00:18:19] I also coach the team to be able to implement the strategy so that the entrepreneur does not have to worry about it. So if this is something that you're interested, make sure to schedule a call with me. I will put the link in the shortness of this episode so that we can figure out how I can support you, and if we're a good fit for each other, go to the time is now biz slash three five and you'll find.

[00:18:45] All the information mentioned in this episode and related episodes that might complete this topic. So if you are really serious about your business and wanting to take it to the next level and create a real [00:19:00] business that create consistency and growth over time, the time is now for you to make your marketing your top priority, but also it'll require some real commitment to making it happen.

[00:19:13] And that will require some time at the beginning. But trust me, once you have set up those routines and those strategies and those systems. All the rest will be so easy for you. I've been thinking about this episode while I actually was on holidays in the Sahara of Algeria, having no access to internet at all, and while I was not reachable by internet, my marketing and my content was still running out there.

[00:19:40] It's such an amazing feeling of freedom to know that while you are on holidays and cut off from the rest of the world, your marketing is still working for you. And as I came back, I had a few messages from people who have listened to my podcast and episodes who. Are setting up calls with me to be able to talk about how to take action so you [00:20:00] can see how when you have the right strategy and the right systems and the right team, you can actually finally be able to not only have results, but also relax at the times where you need to relax and focus on yourself so that you don't have to work all the time.

[00:20:17] I hope that this episode will helpful for you. If you have any questions, don't hesitate to reach out to me and again, make sure to take action. The time is now for you to create more growth, alignment, and impact with your business.

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