Planning is not something that comes easy to everyone. Some people are more 'in the moment' which is a fabulous trait and something I am often jealous of.
I, however, always have to plan. I love a good list and have a list for most things in my life. When it comes to my working schedule, planning becomes even more important. I work on many different areas of marketing for a whole range of businesses. If I didn't properly plan, I wouldn't meet deadlines, wouldn't know how much time I had to fit in projects, meetings and training sessions and my clients wouldn't know what was happening and when.
When I initially start working with a new client and we talk about the planning process and working with an idea of the next few month planned out, this can make a huge difference to how they see their business and plan their activity overall. It helps them to think about events in the calendar that are coming up, what they need to prepare for and where there are opportunities to create sales and offers to increase business.
For a lot of people, efficient planning within their work comes down to the tools they are using, or not using, as the case may be. Where there are multiple people within that business who all need to work to the same schedule, something as simple as a shared Google calendar can make all the difference. A tool that is free to use and accessible on the move, on numerous devices.
Most of the businesses I work with are creative and the people within them have to spend the majority of their time making, creating and selling. To add in marking activity on top of this can create a lot of work, which can often look overwhelming. This is where planning can help to ensure that your marketing activity is something that becomes second nature within your business and is a process which actually helps you to focus on the essential key areas. There are a huge range of planning tools available out there and the need for these will differ for each business. Its all about finding what works for you and helps you to manage your marketing activity on top of the creative work you have to undertake within your business.
Here are a few of my top tips for planning out your marketing activity:
Try to create a provisional plan for at least three months ahead. List the key events and occasions in your diary that your business needs to be ready for.
Set aside one hour each month to plan out your social media activity. Gather together as much content as possible and plan this into your calendar. This should make posting daily on social media a short job for the day.
Use your social media planning time to also reflect on the month that has just passed this will give you a great insight into what worked the month before and where to focus your precious time.
Try to add your daily tasks to a calendar and allocate time blocks to each activity. This will help you to focus on getting each job done in the time allocated. It will also help you resist trying to fit too much into each day and feeling frustrated at not achieving enough.
If you would like to discuss how you could better plan your marketing activity into your daily, weekly and monthly routine, just get in touch.