One of the first questions Soul Proprietors ask me all the time is “How much time should I be spending on marketing my business?” They nearly fall over when I tell them “at least four hours a day.”
“Four hours?? You’ve got to be nuts,” they say, “I can’t get everything done now as it is!”
“How many clients do you have now?” I ask.
“Well, er, none, right now,” they say.
“Then, obviously, you aren’t spending enough time on marketing.”
This conversation usually goes on and I eventually discover that the new business owner is spending a lot of time fixing up the office, running out to the store, setting up their bookkeeping, calling friends on the phone — just about anything but marketing. It goes on and on like that and they always plan “to get around to the marketing part soon.”
So, if you don’t have at least 4 hours every working day to spend on your marketing, and if you don’t have enough clients, how are you spending your time?
It may be time to find out.
Keep a record of how you spend your day for a week or two. You are likely to find any number of things you’re doing that you can eliminate altogether, assign to someone else, or postpone until you’ve filled your calendar with client appointments.
Make an appointment with yourself
If you want to fill your business with customers and clients you absolutely MUST make marketing a priority. There’s simply no way around it.
Try this: For the next month, set aside at least 4 hours of every working day to devote to marketing your business. Use this time to write, to plan, to prepare ezines, to make appointments. Whatever you choose as your marketing focus should be done during this time.
Put this in your planner as an appointment with yourself and then honor it. Most of us are pretty good at honoring our commitments to others but pretty lousy about keeping those commitments we make to ourselves.
Soul Proprietors always look after their own well being first, everyone else after. Is this selfish? Not at all. You can always take better care of others if you are well-taken-care-of yourself, first.
If you have no clients, then spend 8 hours a day marketing. Yes, 8 hours. Without clients you shouldn’t have much in the way of administrative work to do, so until you start serving real, paying clients, spend all of your time marketing.
Get off the phone unless you’re scheduling appointments. Get off the Internet unless you are doing market research. Get off email unless you are responding to, or generating, client inquiries.
Sorry to be brutal with you here, but you may just simply need to change your mindset and change it quickly. Growing a business requires discipline — especially when it comes to marketing — and there’s no way around it.
The answer to having more time is not found here at this site, the answer is not found at some time management website. The answer is discipline, plain and simple. Make up your mind right now that you are going to start marketing your business, make a plan, and then just do it.
© Copyright 2009 Marty Marsh