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Even when marketing is your actual job, there are things that never seem to move from the ‘should do’ list to your ‘to do’ list, and to done! This is even more true when marketing is just one of the responsibilities you have amongst many others. Here’s our run down of some of the best ways of getting this stuff done. ~ Bryony Thomas, Author | Watertight Marketing

One of the things that is almost always true when I’m undertaking a review of a marketing set up is just how many of the suggestions I make are met with a, ‘Oh yes, we’ve been meaning to do that for a while’. That’s because there are some core marketing tasks that aren’t mind blowing revelations, they’re downright common sense. They’re just not being done. So, how do you move key marketing tasks from your ‘should do’ list to ticked off and delivering for your business?

Why isn’t it being done?

For many of our smaller clients there’s the very real challenge of not having dedicated marketing resource and so squeezing things in around other responsibilities. But, even within our larger clients who have a marketing team in place, there are things that never quite get ticked off. Not because they don’t think they’re a good idea, but because they just don’t get to it. The main reasons we see for this are:

  • It’s too hard: The task looks too big or too difficult and you don’t know where to start or when you’ll have enough uninterrupted time to get it done.
  • It’s too boring: This is classic of those recurring tasks that come up week in week out, and just get a bit dull to be honest.
  • There’s no straight line to results: Lots of marketing activities, like blogging for example, aggregate into long term benefits over time. Immediate return is almost impossible to see, and so it often falls off the radar.
  • It’s not urgent: Other things are screaming louder and need doing to a deadline. This makes incremental improvements or investment pieces hard to carve out time for.

How to get things done

I’d be amazed if you don’t have a few marketing tasks that fall into one of these categories. So, what do you do about it. I’ve been asking around to find out what really works for people. Here’s my summary of the best techniques out there:

  • Get buy in: Get your MD / CEO to read Watertight Marketing, or re-read it yourself, to get senior support for why this stuff is important.
  • Surroundings: Get your working surroundings right for you. Sometimes that means changing the scene for certain types of tasks. There may even be a soundtrack that gets you firing.
  • Standards: Often perfectionism is the culprit here. Lowering your standards to get something good enough out into the world really can make a massive difference.
  • Chunking: Breaking tasks down into smaller chunks works well. If you have something big to do, work out the first few steps and separate them out as tasks to tick off.
  • Rewards: Give yourself something to look forward to that you reward yourself with when the task that needs doing gets done. A nice way to do this is to couple tasks you love with those that bore you, rewarding yourself with the fun stuff when it’s done.
  • Diary: Use your diary to make appointments with yourself to get the work done. Work out when is your most productive time for the type of task in question and put in it for then.
  • Eat the frog: Get up early and do a big task you’ve been putting off first thing, not only do you get it done, but you get a boost of productivity fro m having ticked it off all day.
  • Pomodoro: Set an alarm for 20 minutes and simply do 20 minutes of something you’ve been putting off.
  • Hackathon: For a big job, consider a week where it’s your sole focus, with a target of getting it done by lunchtime on Friday so you can celebrate in the afternoon.
  • Inspiration: Follow people who do the thing you’ve been putting off really well, watching them do it can help remind and inspire you to do it yourself.
  • Buddies: Find people who need to do the same as you, and buddy up. Co-accountability and a bit of competition can work really well.
  • Accountability: Get a paid coach… it’s really very motivating to have paid for the privilege of being nagged. It’s amazing what you can get done knowing you have a call coming up where you’ll be asked about it.
  • Outsource: If a task is genuinely important, and you really aren’t getting to it – either through capability or capacity, it may be time to think  about outsourcing it.

Consistency is key

A lot of what makes marketing effective is simply rolling your sleeves up and getting stuff done time and time again. There are definitely exciting projects, but not everything will make your heart sing. That’s why we often make the analogy with exercise – you don’t always feel like doing it, but you always feel better when it’s done.

What would you add to this list as things that help you get done the things that you don’t always want to do?

Bryony Thomas

Bryony Thomas

Author & Founder, Watertight Marketing

Bryony Thomas is the creator of the multi-award winning  Watertight Marketing methodology, captured in her best-selling book of the same name. She is one of the UK's foremost marketing thinkers, featured by the likes of Forbes, The Guardian, Business Insider and many more, and in-demand speaker for business conferences, in-house sales days and high-level Board strategy days.

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