Do you know exactly what you need to do for your marketing but don’t have the time or energy? Do you hate promoting yourself or are you not sure where to start? There are many different reasons why marketing procrastination might be a trap you fall into.
As a small business owner, you are responsible for juggling a lot of tasks. Naturally, some things may slip down the list from time to time. Unfortunately, however, marketing is not something you can get away with avoiding for long!
Before we begin, it’s important to remember why this is so crucial. Putting off marketing your business means losing out on big opportunities to reach new clients or get repeat business. So when the temptation to avoid sets in, always remind yourself that you have to get your focus back: If the business you’re pouring your heart, soul, time and money into is going to succeed, marketing needs to be a priority.
Procrastinating over putting your business out there can leave you feeling stressed. And you end up wasting valuable time you could put to better use in the process! In this post, I’m going to explore 5 reasons this might be happening to you, and my top tips for beating every single one of them.
So, let’s get started and figure out how to overcome your marketing procrastination in a few easy steps!
1. You feel overwhelmed
The truth is, no matter how long you’ve been doing it, marketing can still be overwhelming. With so many different channels and strategies being plugged, it can feel like there’s never enough time or content to make it work. So if you feel this way, you’re not alone.
In my experience working with clients, one of the biggest causes of overwhelm is trying to tackle everything at once. While looking at the big picture strategy is important, only focusing on that can make it feel impossible! So break things down into smaller tasks.
For example, assign a morning or afternoon to just one section – say, social media. Ask yourself what content you need to create for one channel at a time, and solely put your energy into this. Avoid the temptation to start writing a blog post or looking into networking events – this time is for one type of marketing only.
Narrowing your focus and giving yourself the opportunity to ignore everything else for a while can help ease overwhelm and help you enjoy creating content again!
2. You hate marketing!
Okay – here’s the bad news. Whether you like it or not, you have to market your business. And while putting your head in the sand might feel like a relief in the moment, it isn’t going to help in the long term!
This top tip might be an obvious one, but it’s the only way to tackle this issue: Pick the marketing channel(s) you hate least.
If you’re more of a talker than a writer, consider creating videos for your social media, or exploring the possibility of being a guest speaker at relevant events. Or if you find creating short and snappy content for social media daunting, look at working on your blog to give you the chance to expand more on each topic.
While you might never learn to love it, marketing procrastination is a sure-fire way to keep on disliking putting your business out there. Getting started and seeing the results coming through can light a fire under you and help you to push past the fear!
Still not convinced a blog is relevant in 2021? Check out this post for seven reasons a blog can be a key strategy for your small business.
3. You have too many marketing ideas
Having lots of ideas is great in theory. The problem is, when you’re overloaded with potential marketing strategies, it can become difficult to keep track, never mind put any of them into practice! This can become the ultimate form of marketing procrastination. You spend more time trying to remember that one “game-changing” idea you had than you do actually creating content!
Tackle this by getting organised. You can use a notes app (Evernote is handy for this, or simply the notes app on your phone!) to note down every idea that comes to you.
There are also plenty of bookmarking services, RSS readers and other ways to collect your ideas out there, and what works for you will depend entirely on your own processes. What’s key here is to collect everything, from content ideas to promotions to customer feedback, and keep them in an organised place. Create a folder on your desktop, with sub folders for each category.
This way, when it comes to actually sitting down and putting your ideas into practice, you have a nicely curated list of marketing ideas. No more floundering to keep track!
Check out my favourite small business and marketing tools here to help you get organised.
4. You have no marketing ideas!
Yes, that’s right, points three and four on this list are the exact opposite of each other. While drowning in too many ideas can be overwhelming, having no ideas can feel even worse.
The best way to get past a block like this is to spend time exploring marketing that you have clicked on lately. What are the brands that have grabbed your attention doing? Check out social media posts, emails, adverts, videos and blog posts that you actually click on.
Ask yourself: What is it about that post that made you want to click on it? And when you opened the link, how did you respond to it? Did you engage with the content further? If so, what made you keen to get more involved?
Asking yourself these questions can tell you a lot about the type of marketing that works for you. Feeling engaged with and inspired by other marketing out there can help spark all sorts of ideas. Adapt what you’ve seen, use it as inspiration (not a template!) and create a version that works for your business. This is a fun way to beat marketing procrastination and get creative.
5. You’re too busy to make the time for it
As I mentioned in the intro, time is something we often don’t have enough of as small business owners. With that in mind, it’s easy to see why many people simply feel they don’t have enough hours in the day to effectively market their business. What’s important here is to be kind to yourself. Know that a quieter marketing spell during a hectic time is absolutely okay. Don’t beat yourself up if you haven’t replied to comments on social media for a few days!
Also, if you’re busy right now, it makes absolute sense to adapt your marketing to your needs to not create more work than you can handle. But that only means dialling it down rather than ceasing to promote your business entirely, especially on social media.
So while slowing down for a short period is fine, make sure to not let it become another form of marketing procrastination. Think about it – your marketing is as important as any other area of your business. But if you said “I just don’t have time to create my invoices” for weeks on end, everything would grind to a halt!
First of all, make a baseline of marketing activities a non-negotiable part of your schedule. For example, creating a content calendar and setting aside time regularly to write and schedule posts helps you get social media content out there even if you’re absolutely swamped right now.
Then, dedicate just five or ten minutes every day to respond to comments, engage with other accounts and check in on how content is performing. Just five minutes a day, consistently, is so much better than ignoring your marketing for weeks and then spending several months playing catch up!
To read more about this topic, have a look at these:
How to Run Your Business So It Stops Running You
Set Goals for Your Small Business in 4 Steps
4 Things You Need to Make Your Marketing Work
How to Improve your Social Media Organisation and Get Your Content Out There