Marketing is essential if you want to build your business to 6-figures and beyond. It’s also something that can take up a whole lot of your precious time if you don’t know where to focus your attention to maximise your efforts.
My community tells me (on repeat) that one of their biggest marketing challenges is finding the time to strategically plan, create and execute their marketing consistently. And I get it!
You didn’t start your business to become a full-time content creator… And even if you did, you don’t want to spend all your time scrolling social media platforms when you have clients to serve and a life to live right?!
So in this episode of the How I Do Content Podcast, I shared my fave 5 time-saving hacks to make not only marketing but your life so much easier!
Time vs money
Time and money are the 2 elements that are going to be key factors in your decision-making process as you build, grow and scale your business.
So when you start your business – you’ll more than likely have more time than you do money. And as your business grows – you’ll have more money than you do time. This means your priorities when it comes to your marketing will shift and change over time.
This is why not only am I sharing time-saving marketing hacks, but I’ll go a step further and share some different options depending on the stage of business you’re at AND whether you have more time or money on your side!
1. Strategically planning your marketing
The simplest way to save so much time on your marketing is to have a plan. When you don’t have a plan for your marketing – don’t be surprised if you end up with less time to actually serve your target audience and clients.
In your content marketing strategy you need an overall plan for the year AND then break it down into 90-day blocks. This gives you some structure and clarity plus is flexible enough to pivot and shift when things change (which they usually do!)
What to include in your content marketing plan
In your plan you want to be clear on:
- Your goals and objectives
- Your messaging (for your business, your offers and your personal brand)
- Your offers (including any new offers in the pipeline)
- Your launch periods
- You lead generation and community growth periods
- Your time off
- Your marketing channels
- Your content process
- Your budget
- Your team
When you’re starting your business it’ll probably be a little looser because you’re trying different things and figuring out your place in the market. Then, as you grow and scale you’ll simplify and streamline because you want to save time and money.
Now because you have MORE TIME when you’re starting your business and you’ll be trying different things I recommend creating your own strategic marketing plan including the things I’ve just mentioned.
If this feels completely overwhelming to you – you have access to Dumbledore-level content marketers for FREE at your fingertips. Sign up for some free masterclasses, listen to podcasts, and do some research by watching YouTube videos – up-skill yourself. Or pay for a one-off strategy session with a marketing wizard of your choice.
On the flip side, if you don’t have the time to spend researching and learning for yourself – this is where ongoing coaching and mentorship is your best friend. I support my clients in strategically planning their marketing activities – both long-term and short-term. And I do this with my coach too. We continually plan, action, review and refine together and I love having a sounding board for my plans.
2. Stop spending all your marketing time solely on social media
You might be sick of me saying this BUT in 2023 the BIGGEST waste of your precious time is social media. I know this to be true because I have the same conversation with frustrated and overwhelmed business owners on repeat.
Now I’m not saying ditch social media content completely but you do need to shift the way you think about creating content AND change your habits when it comes to your content marketing efforts.
I’m a big believer in investing time in creating strategic and high-quality content. Content that performs well regardless of the format it’s in.
Social media isn’t the hero of your content strategy
It might surprise you to know this, but social media is actually the last channel I plan and create content for – my podcast episode is first followed by email marketing and bringing up the rear is Instagram.
And I’ll let you in on another scandalous secret of mine – most of the content I share on Instagram is what I feel called to share in the moment. I usually create and hit publish on my Instagram content on the same day and I don’t batch-create my Instagram content.
I can do this because of my strategy and the way I view my marketing is the complete opposite to most. The moment I shifted my focus away from social media – marketing and creating content felt SO MUCH EASIER and more fun! I no longer feel like I’m held hostage by what Instagram wants me to create. My business doesn’t exist to serve Instagram – it exists to serve you.
Honestly, trying to keep up with all the Instagram changes all the time is exhausting! Who wants to be spending all your time focused on keeping up with the never-ending updates? Not me!
Remember social media posts are only one part of your content strategy. Start looking at other ways (ahem, long-form content) and other platforms to market your business and still grow your community in the long run.
Outsourcing isn’t always the answer
Many small business owners believe that simply outsourcing your social media is a great way to get it off your to-do list and out of your mind. But I actually don’t recommend this unless you have a clear marketing strategy and understand the role social media plays in that overall strategy. Otherwise, it’s going to be an expensive exercise and you may find it difficult to reach your marketing goals and objectives.
Again, learn about the different platforms, up-skill yourself and create a marketing strategy that doesn’t just include social media. Do this FIRST and then look to ongoing support from a coach or mentor and then outsource parts of the implementation.
3. Repurpose your content
For the love of dogs stop creating single-use content!
I can’t say this enough, but the obsession with shiny new trends and blink-and-you’ll-miss-it content is the reason why so many business owners are fleeing Instagram in droves! Business owners are burnt out from constantly spending so much time on one single piece of content for social media. MAKE IT STOP PLEASE!
Instead of trying to come up with new content every time you sit down to create something – make it easier for yourself and look at the old content you’ve already created and reuse, recycle or repurpose it.
Make your content go further
This podcast/blog content is an extension of a launch email I recently sent as well as an Instagram post and Instagram story series. I said in that email, watch me turn this into a podcast episode – and here we are.
I’m always looking at ways in my content creation process to make my marketing go further. I repurpose my podcast episodes into blog posts to help my content show up on search engines. Whenever I write a launch email that results in sales – I reuse it the next time I launch the same offer.
Or if I share an Instagram story and as a result I get a heap of DM’s – I look at ways to share that message with more people or even create offers to support my community. When you’re starting out I recommend keeping note of these kinds of things and having a place to store this intel – whether it’s Asana or an AirTable or Google Docs.
For your launches – write your launch content in a Google Doc that you can easily find and use launch after launch (For reference – I label mine [LAUNCH EMAILS] Insert offer name + Date of Launch) #yourewelcome
Then when you reach a point where you’re ready to outsource your copy or want to find someone to repurpose your content – you’re making it easy for you AND them.
There’s so much gold to be found within the great content you’ve already created – and if you’re not repurposing your content you’re wasting a whole lot of time!
4. Systems, processes & automation to save your soul (and your time)
Take a look at your marketing as a whole and identify areas where you can create systems and processes and automate as much as you can!
This is one of the easiest ways to save time on your marketing but so many business owners have such a resistance to systems, processes and automation because they think it needs to be more complicated than it actually is.
In all honesty, it’s breaking down your marketing activities into the steps of your process and then eliminating things that waste your time and then automating parts of the process. When you do this your marketing happens without you always having to lift a wand. It also removes the requirement that you have to always “show up” online in real-time.
What does this look like practically in your business?
- Create a repeatable launch process where you have a list of tasks that you (or your team) need to do before, during and after your launch.
- Create a repeatable process for your podcast episodes where you have a list of tasks that you (or your team) do every time you publish a podcast episode
- Set up an automated email nurture sequence for anyone who signs up for your lead magnet to help you build a relationship, add value and present their next step
- Create an onboarding process for your clients (including booking link, payment link, welcome email, contract for signature, guidebook, welcome gift)
- Create an offboarding process for your clients (including testimonial requests)
If you’re in your earlier stages of business my recommendation is to start documenting your processes now. Because when you have the money to outsource these tasks or bring on a team – you’ll probably wish you’d done it sooner. Be sure to check out my episode with Nivek about creating systems in your business too.
5. Practise (on repeat)
Hermione didn’t become the brightest witch of her age by winging her way through Hogwarts, did she? She was curious, she asked questions, she kept learning… and she practised those damn spells on repeat (It’s leviOsa, not levioSA!)
The result? She helped defeat the Dark Lord.
Because the way you master your marketing is by continuing to uplevel your marketing skills. Whenever you learn a new skill IT WILL TAKE time at first. Be patient, young wizard. The more you practise – the easier it becomes – the better you get.
When you’re starting out you’ll do a lot of free and DIY learning
In the first 2 years of my business I didn’t have the money to spend on a graphic designer to create Canva graphics for me so started using Canva’s free templates and then I signed up for DIY Design My Biz created by Jacqui from White Deer Graphic Design to improve my design skills. Then this year I wanted to uplevel those designs so I called on Jacqui and her team to create some new personalised Canva templates for my brand.
It all comes down to deciding what your priorities are and then allocating your time and money to those things. As you can see these priorities will shift and change as your business grows and evolves BUT marketing will ALWAYS be an essential element of your business.
I see you juggling all the broomsticks in your business and as a marketing wizard myself – it’d be rude not to share some of my favourite spells to save you a whole heap of time!