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No time for marketingLast week, in my post, “Is your 2012 marketing plan done? If not, you’re late!” I explained how to create a marketing plan to help you meet your goals.

But many people, even people with a marketing plan, don’t get their marketing done. They get behind. I have this problem myself, so I’ve thought about it a lot.

Do you find yourself working so hard in your business, taking care of clients/customers, perhaps creating your products and services, that you don’t have time to work on your business? By working on your business, I mean planning and marketing.

If so, believe me, you’re not alone! This is a common problem. Here are 4 possible solutions.

Wait, it might get better!

Your schedule will wax and wane and this is natural. So, if you’re too busy now, wait a couple of weeks and see if things change. You may not be able to work on your marketing projects every day, especially your big ones like creating videos. But if you get to them without too much delay, don’t worry, you’re OK.

Schedule your marketing tasks

When you have completed your marketing plan, including monthly projects, the next step is to schedule them. Just writing them down in your marketing plan isn’t enough. Fill up your calendar with a little marketing activity each day. I’ve put my projects on my calendar through April so far.

Having these tasks on your calendar will help you to get them done!

Schedule your day

Even if you have your marketing projects scheduled, you might find that your daily schedule doesn’t give you enough time to get them done.

It’s easy to start the day looking at your e-mail and then find that it’s 5pm and you didn’t get anything on your schedule done. Oops!

The solution is some self-discipline regarding your daily schedule. I can’t make you self-disciplined, but having a daily schedule really helps. Here’s mine:

10-12 Projects

1-2     Email

2-3     Writing (posts, articles)

3-4     Email, misc.

4-4:30 Exercise

Because I start late and end early, I fill in during evenings and weekends as necessary. That’s a choice I have made.

Do I always stick to it? No! But it still helps me.

Two big tips to help you keep to your daily schedule:

  1. Turn off email notifications! You shouldn’t see or hear anything when an email comes. You choose when you want to see your email.
  2. Keep funny YouTube video watching for the evening, after work

Do you have other time sinks that aren’t productive for your goals? Try to keep away from them during working hours.

Get help

It can be that your business plan is simply too ambitious. One person can’t do everything and a business, whether a social entrepreneurship or anything else, can only grow so fast.

But if your marketing tasks are necessary to grow your business, and you aren’t getting to them even after scheduling them, you might need some help.

Perhaps you need a marketing manager. Or you just might need an assistant (such as a Virtual Assistant) to take over some of the more mundane tasks that you do every day.

Help can be expensive, but if you can’t afford a full-time employee, try a part-time one. If you can’t afford a part-time one, try to get a college intern; you can often get a bright student for free. I’ve had several and they were so excited to get hands-on experience in Internet Marketing.

Another option is to hire a Virtual Assistant from a country where wages are lower. I used to share a full-time Virtual Assistant from the Philippines with another businesswoman and now she works for me full time. She is a great asset to my business and my sanity!

Let me know in the comments if you have any questions about hiring an intern or Virtual Assistant.

Good luck! Please share your challenges and successes with getting your marketing done by leaving a comment.

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    2 replies to "What to do when you don’t have time for marketing"

    • Karen

      Do you have any tips for hiring a VA from the Phillippines ( or another area even)? Where to look? What to avoid? Anything might be helpful. Thanks in advance.

    • Ellen Finkelstein

      Karen, it’s always a good idea to find referrals from other online entrepreneurs. You can try craigslist.ph but you’ll get lots of replies and will have to interview them and weed them out. You could ask for references.
      You can try Upwork.com also.

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