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Planning The Perfect Marketing Week
All the great marketing strategies, tactics and technologies in the world count for nothing if you don’t get your marketing done.
In this week’s video I focus on a much-overlooked aspect of marketing: how to plan your activities every week.
Do this right and your marketing will get prioritised and you’ll make great progress. Do it wrong and you’ll end up in a vicious circle of underachievemnt.
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Here’s the link to Dan Ariely’s video on how your calendar is messing up your priorities.
In outline, here’s the Perfect Marketing Week system I recommend:
- Step 1: Make sure you put your key marketing projects and activities on your calendar. If you don’t, they’ll get pushed out by emergencies, ad hoc requests phone calls, emails, and other less important tasks that need doing now. Planning important projects into your calendar keeps them safe.
- Step 2: Make sure you spend at least 20% of your time (1 day per week) on marketing and sales activities. Spend any less and you won’t be doing enough to drive the growth of your business. If you’re a startup or looking to grow fast then increase this to 40% or more. And if your business model is to be seen as an authority or expert in your field and earn much higher fees than average, then you’ll need to spend more time on marketing and thought leadership to build the authority to earn more per day in your remaining time. Finally, if you run a leveraged business where delivery is online or done by others then you’ll want to spend more time on marketing yourself.
- Step 3: Split your marketing time across the week so that you have at least one big slug of time dedicated to marketing so you can get “in flow”. My preference is one half day per week plus an hour a day on the remaining days. Ideally do your marketing in the morning before you get worn out by client work.
- Step 4: Spend about 20-30% of your time on deepening your relationships with your existing clients, 20-30% of your time nurturing relationships with prospects and ex clients, and 40-50% of your time on lead generation. You’ll usually be able to fit one big activity: writing an article, going to a networking event or doing a webinar into your week alongside the smaller tasks. Spend the remaining 10% of your time at the start of the week reviewing what went well and what didn’t in the previous week, and then planning your activities for the upcoming week and crucially, writing them in to you calendar and committing to doing them.
Hi. It’s Ian. Welcome to another five-minute marketing tip. This is tip number fifty one. That’s almost a year of five-minute marketing tips we’ve been through together, you and I. To celebrate, this and the fifty second five-minute marketing tip are going to be all about a really important area that I think is often overlooked. It’s about getting your marketing done. You can have all the great marketing techniques and strategies, and online technologies in the world, but if you never managed to get any marketing done or any sales work done, then you are not going to get any results. In this week’s video, I am going to show you how to plan the perfect marketing week. I will see you after the swoosh.
Hi. Welcome back. We are going to be talking about planning the perfect marketing week. Planning is vital. Dan Ariely really has a lovely video about what he calls the tyranny of the calendar, because when we put things into our calendars, they become sacrosanct. We always try and make the commitments we put in our calendars. When loads of ad hoc and other things come in like emails, phone calls, somebody pops into the office, you have an emergency from a client, then you push the other things aside, the things that aren’t in your calendar or that are just on a to do list. The stuff on your calendar, stays there. The problem with that is, most of the time, the only things we put in our calendar are meetings. Meetings which might not be very important, end up being sacrosanct. Big, important things like writing that article, doing that presentation, doing the re-vamp and working with your web designer on that, big specific projects that aren’t tied to a specific time, get pushed out of the way because they are not in your calendar.
The solution to that is to make sure all your key marketing activities, and frankly, your other activities as well that you want to make sure happen, are in your calendar. Even if you are not meeting with anyone, put that activity in your calendar, schedule it, and make sure you do it. The very fact that it goes in your calendar, and you are being constantly reminded of it, because you print it out or it’s own Outlook or whatever, means you are that much more likely to do it.
Knowing that we are going to put things in our calendar, how much time should you spend on marketing? I found a good rule of thumb that works for most people, is about twenty percent of your time, or one day a week. I know some people who spend more, some people who spend less. Often, the people who spend less time on their marketing struggle to win enough new business.
If you are in start-up mode, or you are trying to rapidly grow your business, you probably want to spend more time on marketing. You are going to have that time available, because if you are in start-up mode, you haven’t got all the clients you are looking for yet. Maybe you are up to forty percent of your time on marketing. If you are in a kind of authority business, where you are a real expert and leader in your field, again, you might want to spend more time on marketing where marketing includes creating thought leadership material, going out and promoting, PR, presenting, being on TV. What you are doing there is you are investing more time in your marketing to get a higher fee rate during the remaining days of the week that you are actually charging to clients, and that equation can work really well for you. The other time you might want to spend more time on your marketing is where you are in a really leveraged business. Either like me, most of your material, your stuff is delivered online, or if you’ve got other staff that deliver that for you, then you can spend more of your time on marketing. That’s a good leverage use of your time.
If you find that you can’t afford to spend twenty percent of your time on marketing, you need to be billing five days, four and a half days a week. You’ve got a problem. You’ve got a problem with your fee rate. That’s unsustainable. You are putting yourself into a vicious circle where you are not charging a lot, so you have to work five days a week in order to earn the money that you need, which means you don’t have any time for marketing, which means you don’t have any time to do the marketing that is going to earn you the higher fee rates that mean you don’t have to work five days a week to earn the basic living that you need. You need to break out of that cycle either by just working harder for awhile, over weekends, in the evenings, taking a hit on your income for a while, but you need to get your marketing done to push your fee rate up, and get into a more sustainable model where you are doing twenty percent of your time on marketing.
How do you split that twenty percent of your time during the week? It’s roughly a day. You could do one full day, and a little trickle on the other days. You could split it evenly. I find what works best is do half a day dedicated to marketing, one day a week, and for the remaining four days, do an hour a day on each of those four days. That works really well, I find, for a couple of reasons. One is you get a chance to build up a head of steam in that half day. I’m sure you’ve seen it before, where you work on something, you just get into it, and then if you are disturbed and have to go off and do something else, you’ve spent most of your time in warm up mode as opposed to doing. If you really get into the flow because you have a half day going, whether that’s … it’s especially important if you are writing, trying to be creative, make a presentation. It also applies if you get onto a roll with making phone calls, doing emails and stuff like that. Getting in the flow, getting on a roll really works, so dedicate half a day to do that. I also like spending an hour a day for the remaining days, because it means I’m doing something to build my business every day of the week. It’s a really good habit to get into.
However you split your time, I would always advise trying to do your marketing at the start of the day. The reason I say that is, the minute you start going through emails and processing requests from clients, dealing with emergencies, et cetera your brain begins to get more and more wore out. If you try and do your marketing at the end of the day, your brain will be too tired to do it well. Try and do your marketing in the morning.
Finally, what do you split in terms of activities? I recommend that you spend twenty to thirty percent of your marketing time on marketing to existing clients. Of course, in the remaining three days, four days a week, you will be working with those existing clients, so you will already be building relationships and keeping in touch with them because of the work you are doing. This twenty percent of the time … Twenty percent of eight hours works out to about an hour and a half a week. This time is not related to a project, but it’s enhancing so if I’m getting more new relationships within a client organization, building and strengthening your relationships with existing clients, finding some great stuff and material you can send them, maybe taking them out for a coffee, asking about their business, their social life, et cetera, building that personal relationship. That is going to turn into repeat business. It is going to turn into extension business, where you go elsewhere in the organization. It’s going to turn into referrals to other people outside their organization. Make sure you are spending at least an hour and a half a week on extending your relationships, building and strengthening your relationships with your existing clients, not related to the work you are doing with them.
Then, I recommend you spend twenty to thirty percent of your time, an hour and a half a week, on the same types of activities, nurture activities, but with prospects. These are people you have met. You have got a fledgling relationship with, but they have not turned into clients yet, or they were clients once, but they are not now, and you are trying to resurrect that relationship and build it for the future, when they do need someone. Same sorts of activities. Build value by sending them useful material, inviting them to useful events, introduce them to useful people, build a personal relationship, grab a coffee, ask them questions, find out how they are. An hour and a half a week is time enough to have a coffee with one new prospect every week and send a couple of emails and make a couple of phone calls to keep in touch with a wider range of people.
That leaves you about forty, fifty percent of your time to spend on lead generation. These are very often the big projects that you are going to be working on. Usually you can fit in one big task every week. That might be writing an article. It might be working on a presentation. It might be delivering a presentation. It might be going to a networking event. It might be running a webinar. Usually, in any week, in that half day, usually you can do one big task. If you do that one big task, it is going to help you make real strong progress towards getting more leads and feeding that nurture of prospects, and then feeding that nurture of clients on an ongoing basis. Make sure you are dedicating that time to lead generation using all the different tools and techniques that I’ve been teaching you over the last year or so.
Finally, what do you then do. You’ve split your time in terms of how many days a week, how you are spending your time across the week, how much time you are spending on different activities. The extra thing you need to do is if you add up that twenty to thirty percent, maybe forty to fifty percent, you’ve usually got, in any given week, about five to ten percent free in that marketing time. Spend that planning and reviewing. I always advise at the start of every week, sit down, review what you did the previous week. Tick off those tasks. Look at what worked for you marketing wise, what didn’t work for you marketing wise, take that into account going forwards, and then plan your week.
I always go off to a coffee shop, sit down, it’s nice and pleasurable, have a lovely coffee, plan out my week. You are just using a paper diary initially and then a paper planner originally, notebook and then transfer it to my electronic calendar. All those things I’m thinking of, my one big task for the week, the keep in touch activities for existing clients and for prospects. Put those into your calendar, going right back to what we said at the start, so those activities are planned, and they don’t get pushed aside by the inevitable emergencies, requests from clients, emails, phone calls coming in and you make sure your key marketing activities actually get done. It’s only when you do your key marketing activities that you actually get results from them.
Okay, that’s it for this week. Another tip on getting more marketing done, next week. See you there.