You schedule everything else. Maintenance on your car. Health checkups. Soccer games, Scout meetings, dinner dates. Why wouldn't you schedule your marketing? If they aren't locked into your schedule, you won't get to your marketing tasks and you won't ever see your marketing strategy kick into gear.
You eat regular meals to keep yourself thriving. Regular marketing will keep your business thriving by providing the nourishment it needs - new customers and more sales. I schedule a morning a week to write newsletters and manage the various on- and off-line tasks that keep traffic coming to my website and convert prospects to clients.
If you haven't done so already, block out time each day or each week to spend on marketing -- a minimum of five hours a week. Follow these steps to help keep your marketing on tasks on track.
1. Set your marketing goals. How many new social media contacts do you want to make this month? How many articles do you want to publish? How many times a month will you publish a newsletter?
2. Create your calendar. Whether you use an online calendar such as Google calendar or another digital format or you still use your pen and a planner, a calendar to is an essential part of your marketing schedule. Once you have chosen your format, start scheduling your activities for the month. Write down due dates for articles and newsletters, allot time for posting to social media, and allow time to track your results so you know what works and what doesn't. If you need further help with using a calendar, see my blog post "How to Be Organized - Use a Calendar!"
3. Get to work. Step three is really that simple. Follow your schedule and implement the plan you have laid out.
Creating and following a marketing schedule will help keep your marketing on track. Your calendar doesn’t have to be carved in stone, though. Be sure you leave room for on-the-fly promotions and last-minute opportunities as well. And as always, with ANY business schedule, make sure you leave time for you to re-energize and recharge. Don't overdo it! And don't stress if you don't get all of your marketing tasks completed. Determine why you weren't able to complete the task. Then determine if it's something you want to reschedule. If so, add it to next month's schedule. If you find yourself repeatedly skipping a particular task, then you need to determine why you're resistant to doing it and how to overcome that resistance. But that is a different blog post!