How much time per day should you really allocate for marketing? I recommend that my clients spend up to 4 hours of marketing per day the first 6 months to a year in business or whenever they need a new boost of clients. Many people gasp at that number when I first share it with them, because they usually spend no more than 4 hours per week, if that. No wonder they’re having trouble attracting new clients!
First-time clients tell me they just don’t have the time to devote that many hours to marketing. Well, since I’m always trying to find solutions to problems, we have to look at what’s taking up your time now, and there are usually several non-essential things that are eating up your time. I call these the “leaks” in your day. Here’s what I mean: if you’re spending your valuable time working on non-business items during the day, then you may want to consider putting a “pause” button on these for the first 6 months of working on this System.
It might mean stepping down from that Board of Directors position, taking a leave of absence from that time-consuming project that isn’t giving you a return on your time investment, not going to the grocery store during the day and just deciding that you will go to the gym before 9 A.M. or after 5 P.M. every day, instead of during your workday.
Remember, it’s much more difficult to attract new clients when you’re not out there sharing with people what you do, networking, writing newsletters, articles, following up with potential clients, asking current clients for referrals or working on presentations or seminars.
OK, let’s get really clear on what your day should look like. During the hours of 9 A.M. and 5 P.M. (or whatever you consider your regular work hours), there are only 2 things you should be working on:
1) Client work (the stuff that makes you money)
2) Client Attraction and marketing (the stuff that gets you clients)
Everything else has to go or can wait until after 5 P.M. I know, this is pretty drastic to some, but it’s just got to be something you strive for, at least for the short term.
After 6 months or a year, when you start seeing consistent results in your Client Attraction, you’ll be able to decrease the number of hours you spend on marketing each day and reinstate some of the things you enjoyed doing beforehand but had to put on pause for awhile. (However, you might just be so happy to focus only on Client Attraction and client work during the day, that, as for many of my private clients, you’ll decide never to go back to the old way of doing things.)
“By clearing the decks I was able to reshape my day to include uninterrupted work time and four full hours for marketing. Beforehand, I wasn’t using my time well at all. Reading the paper and answering non-business e-mail first thing in the morning ate up at least one prime hour. Meetings, lunches, trips to the library and health club took 2-3 hours out of each day, including travel time. Errands drained my energy. I barely left myself time to do my work.
I now have most meetings over the phone. Any errand I can’t handle by phone, mail, messenger delivery, or online ordering, I take care of within a one-block radius of my home. I go to my health club early mornings or evenings, and scan the paper while I’m on the treadmill. If I need to go to the library, I do as much research from home first, using online facilities. The result: In six months my client list has more than doubled, and I am in control of my workload for the first time in years.” –Judy Gitenstein, Publishing Consultant, Writing Coach, Editor
Your Client Attraction Assignment:
Clear the decks. If you know that you need 4 hours of marketing per day (that’s what I scheduled per day to fill both of my private practices to capacity in less than 8 months each) then you’ve simply got to make room for it. Your business—and livelihood—depends on it.
Take a pad of paper and write down all of the different things that take up your time each and every day. Include every curricular and extracurricular activity. Be a hard grader! This is not the time to be forgiving. We’re looking for change, not excuses.
Once you’ve done that, underline or check off the things that can go, for at least the next 6 months, to give you the time and space to make your practice what you want it to be: FULL.
Then do it. Make a commitment to eliminate the things (for the short-term) that eat up major amounts of time each day and week. Now, don’t get depressed. Remember, this is not forever; it’s just for right now, a few months, until you get all the clients you need. Then you can slowly start adding things back in. I did.
This mantra kept me going for the first 6 months: “A strong focus now creates a different future later.”
© Copyright 2011 Fabienne Fredrickson