How to Keep Your Marketing Consistent, Especially When You’re Busy

How to Keep Your Marketing Consistent, Especially When You’re Busy

By Joel Widmer | Content Marketing

Oct 03

Have you heard the story of the ant and grasshopper?

The grasshopper spent the summer romping through the field and playing music while the ant prepared for winter. When winter came, the ant sat cozy in his home, surrounded by food. The grasshopper went cold and hungry.

Your version of the fable may be different, but the moral is always the same: You must prepare for bad days before things get bad.

Keeping a business alive works the same way. None of us are immune to slow weeks, months or even years (the winter in this metaphor).  

When we’re busy and customers demand our attention, it’s easy to put our marketing on the back burner. But when the slow season hits, we wish we'd done more marketing.

So how do you keep marketing, even when you’re busy?

Focus on Important Tasks With the Biggest Return

When you’re strapped for time, it’s smart to focus on the tasks that add the most value. I know that isn’t easy, but I’ll show you how it pays off.

I’m sure you’ve seen the Eisenhower Decision Matrix. It’s a simple framework for making smart decisions, a visual way to rank tasks and projects based on our needs.

eishenhower decision matrix

Using the matrix is straightforward. Plot your tasks into each quadrant. Box one is for urgent and important tasks, box two is for important but not urgent tasks, etc.

“Important” and “urgent” don’t mean the same thing. An important task is one you can’t forget or abandon. An urgent task is one that needs to happen right away.

Related: The 7 Best Business Productivity Tools For Your Mac

For instance, paying your credit card bill is important, but not urgent. You can’t ignore it, but it doesn’t have to happen today. Unless today is the due date, in which case the task becomes important and urgent.

Once you’ve divided your marketing tasks into each quadrant, discard the tasks in box four, delegate the tasks in box three, then work on the tasks in boxes one and two (in that order).

This approach makes sure you only spend time on tasks that benefit your business.

Deciding which tasks go in each box requires looking at your marketing from a high level, long-term perspective.

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Great Marketing Doesn’t Come From Urgency

If you operate from a place of urgency, your customers will immediately detect your desperation.

Not only that, it’ll hurt you in the short and long term.

When you operate from a place of desperation, you are also more likely to give unnecessary discounts, make compromises that you wouldn’t ordinarily make, and behave reactively instead of proactively.

Take a look at your marketing strategy and content. Answer this question:

Is your content so good that people will want it all year?

Does your content offer so much value to someone’s life that they’ll find it useful when they don’t need your services?

Will someone read your blog before they need your solution? Will they read it after you’ve solved their problem?

If not, you may need to rethink your strategy.

Content Nurtures the Relationship

Content can set expectations with your customers and prospects before and after the purchase.

Imagine you’re a real estate agent for a minute. After you sell a house, it’s easy to forget the buyer. People just don’t need real estate services often.

So when your customer needs to buy a new house in ten years, will they come back to you?

Usually no.

Why? Because there’s no relationship.

There’s no reason to track you down. They probably don’t even remember your name. They’ll go with whoever their brother recommends, or maybe that guy with his face painted on a bench.

Now, if your goal is to get that one customer as a repeat buyer, content may not be worth your time and effort. But I hope you aren’t thinking that small.

By nurturing a relationship with the buyer, you’re also accessing their entire network. All of their friends and family become prospects, leaving you open to endless referrals. This works in any industry.

The mere exposure effect tells us that people are more likely to recommend and buy from someone they’re exposed to frequently.

If your old customer drives past that painted bench every day, they’re more likely to go with that guy, even if they’ve used your services successfully in the past.

To compensate, you must create more exposure opportunities.

You can create these opportunities with a system that works all the time to attract, qualify, nurture, and convert prospects into customers, even when you’re busy.

The best system uses a conversion focused website, high quality content, lead magnets, and automated email sequences. (Paid ads work well with content and serve as alternate routes into your system.)

Here’s an idea I’ve successfully used with clients that works across any industry:

Create a simple monthly newsletter with the goal of becoming THE local authority on all things that matter most to them. If you’re a realtor, include upcoming family events, new restaurants, housing news, and any other info, education or entertainment your clients can’t get enough of.

Total time to create a monthly newsletter for you? Maybe two hours a month.

Next, set up a personal email from you that goes out every quarter just to say “hi” and ask if they need anything or have real estate questions.

Total time to set up quarterly, automated email check-ins? Two to three hours if you’re starting from scratch. (Remember you only have to set it up once and you’re finished.)

Now you’ve gone from zero communication with past clients to adding value to them 16 times a year. The best part? This scales. So it doesn’t matter if you have 10 clients or 10,000, it’ll still only take a few hours each month to keep in touch with all of them.

Remember, this probably wouldn’t be worth it if you look at clients as one-and-done projects. But I know you’re smarter than that. You know a referral is one of the best leads you can get.

So now when you ask for a referral from a past customer, who’s more likely to respond: The customer you’ve been in contact with every month, or the one who can’t remember when you last spoke?

This doesn’t only apply to real estate agents. It applies to any professional services business, regardless of the length of the sales cycle. But it requires you to nurture your customer base, no matter how busy you get.

What To Do Next

Here are the biggest points I want you to take away:

Waiting to focus on marketing until you need work is too late and it puts you in a reactive position. Instead, take a proactive role and focus on what’s important.

When you ignore past customers, you’re throwing away the best sources of repeat business and referrals. Continue to expose your business to them with nurturing content.

Marketing is a long-term game. Even if (and this is a big if) you could drum up business quickly through some marketing gimmick, it will be expensive.

Most importantly, put a content system in place that attracts and converts new business without your constant involvement. 

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About the Author

Joel Widmer is the Founder & CEO of Fluxe Digital Marketing—a content marketing shop that helps smart businesses create, produce and promote their content through a unique one-on-one interview process. When he’s not working, Joel can be found trying new restaurants with his wife, son, and daughter.

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