You and your team are working hard to advance the project, but your working hours do not match your ambitions.
Sometimes your to-do list feels very long. You and your team are working hard to advance the project, but your working hours do not match your ambitions. You are dealing with multiple projects and goals with limited resources, and some things must change.
When your team can’t grow, it’s time to be creative. I looked for a set of ideas to help independent marketers or small teams make the most of every minute. This is what I found.
- Learn from others’ mistakes
- Reuse content
- Use text expander
- Create a template
- Cut off channels that are not provided
- Find inspiration everywhere
- Communication gains and losses
- Prepare in advance for unproductive days
- Automate tedious tasks
1. Learn from your peers (so you don’t repeat their mistakes)
While our instinct is to keep decisions in-house, learning from marketers at other companies will give you new perspectives and may allow you to skip some difficult and time-consuming lessons.
Asking marketers for advice in a Slack group is a great place to start. For example, one Superpath user asked the community how they should structure their teams. Instead of spending months or years of trial and error redesigning a team’s workflow, leaders ask others to share their experiences. At the very least, they can rule out some definite impossibility based on the answers they get.
However, this also applies to smaller decisions. Not sure about specific guest posting opportunities? Instead of spending your precious time writing this article and seeing if it gets you results, ask others if they have guest posts for the publication and how it went. You can’t make decisions based on other people’s experiences, but you can definitely make decisions based on your own.
When you find the right community, you’ll find plenty of people willing to help.
2. Invest in content repurposing to make each piece go further
Creating a new blog post, webinar or podcast takes a lot of effort. So when new work goes live, you want to expand its reach as much as possible. Repurposing content for social media or other channels can save you time creating content, fill up your content calendar, and (bonus!) improve the performance of each piece.
There are various ways to repurpose content. For example, you can turn a one-time webinar into a blog post and downloadable guide to creating a segmented lead funnel. Then you have evergreen content that will still drive traffic long after the webinar.
Keep looking for opportunities like this, and you’ll find yourself returning to your day for a while.
3. Set up text expanders for common marketing phrases
Taking a few seconds off your writing doesn’t seem like a big deal. And, of course, it won’t drastically change your team’s output. But setting up a text expander can make writing feel smoother. Instead of writing keywords, phrases, calls to action, or descriptions over and over, you can create shortcodes to fill in common text.
Data scientist Kristie Wirth uses snippets to answer common questions and other tasks. If your content profiles require the same information, text expanders allow you to fill out each document faster. You can even create snippets to quickly compose a message in Slack when you need to provide a project status update or follow up with information you needed yesterday.
4. Create as many templates as possible
You have to make decisions, you have to generate ideas. So why waste time setting up documentation? Templates allow you to focus on the important work and maintain consistency across your team.
If you need a new template, Zapier can provide you with:
# Branded Messaging Frame Template
# Email Marketing Template
# Social Media Marketing Results Report Template
# Facebook Ads Strategy Template
# Introductory Template
# Product Marketing Template
# Customer Journey Map Template
5. Cut out channels or tactics that don’t deliver
Your time is precious and your goals wait for no one. This means that you need to assess the effort and impact of the project. If a particular tactic or channel is underperforming, consider dropping it and spending your time on higher-impact tasks.
I used to be active on LinkedIn and hope to find more clients. Then I abandoned the site for a while and realized I was still interested in my profile. As I dug deeper, I noticed that keywords on my page boosted my business more than sharing posts and adding hashtags. Since I don’t like LinkedIn, and the amount I use it doesn’t make much of a difference, I’m officially removing it from my workflow.
You can’t be everywhere, so you need to figure out where your efforts are paying off the most.
6. Look for content inspiration everywhere
A backlog of ideas helps when your inspiration stalls. That way, you’re not staring at a blank screen for hours on end and backing up the rest of your to-do list. Especially for areas where you don’t feel as strong, having a place to start can save you some precious time.
Set up a place for you (or your team!) to jot down ideas or starting points for ideas. Your thought journal needs to be accessible: bookmark it, pin it in Slack, whatever works.
Since posting on social media doesn’t always come naturally to me, I try to capitalize on my personable mood days. A simple Notion page with a drop-down menu for each idea allows me to store a lot of text in a small space. Color coding also helps me remember the ideas I’ve used so far.
7. Communicate wins (and losses) with your team
Positive team relationships make collaboration easier and keep morale high. But sharing wins and losses can also save time. For example, if one teammate reported how their subject line improved open rates, other teams could jump straight to a proven method rather than trying to reinvent the wheel.
Sharing marketing results can also remind everyone where your team is working, making it harder to get distracted by shiny new projects that take time away from your main target.
There’s no shortage of marketing tasks that can be automated, and depending on your role, you’ll find many specific things you can delegate to your computer:
8. Prepare for unproductive days on productive days
Balancing to-dos with the productivity of natural change can be difficult. Take the time to assess how you’re feeling and identify easy tasks versus tasks that require a lot of mental effort. Freelance writer Rochi Zalani recommends keeping a no-brainer to-do list.
Justin Pot has a similar idea: use the good days to plan for the bad. By recognizing when you’re highly productive, you can capitalize on those moments to prepare for less productive days.
Setting up automations to work on items on your to-do list is a surefire way to free up time. Not sure where to start? Here’s how to know when automation is needed. Often, repetitive tasks or tedious steps like adding something to a to-do list or tagging email subscribers are a good place to start.
# Social Media Automation
# Email Marketing Automation
# Referral Marketing Automation
# Event Marketing Automation
# Leadership development and management automation
# Start with a marketing audit to find out what you need to kick the curb — or a robot.
Productivity is a process
Increasing productivity is not a one-time goal. You can’t perfect a system and keep it the same from now to forever. As your team, goals, and business change, so will your time management strategy. So if the process doesn’t feel perfect, don’t worry.