I work with a number of accounting professionals on their personal, niche and firm marketing plans. Part of that collaboration includes weekly, monthly or quarterly meetings to discuss progress made toward the items on their plan. No matter the professional or the firm, many clients often have a number of items that don’t get completed. The most frequent reason they give for not making progress on their marketing plans is “I didn’t have enough time”.
Frankly, I can relate. There never seems to be enough hours in the day to get everything done. With demands from clients, family, and friends, it’s a wonder we get anything done. But one thing I can guarantee – there definitely won’t be ANY hours available to work on marketing activities if those projects are left to chance.
Here are three tips I share with clients when they are having trouble getting traction on their marketing efforts.
Treat Marketing like One of Your Top Clients
You would never say to yourself, “I’ll get to that client project if I have enough time at the end of the day.” So why would you say that about marketing activities that can help you grow your business and potentially advance your career? By shifting the way you think about marketing, and treating it like client work, you will bump it up on the priority list.
Think about the ways you work best on client work. Do you schedule the most important projects at a certain time of day when you are at your strongest? Do you block time on your calendar so as not to be disturbed? Whatever tricks you use to be the most successful at your client work can be applied to being successful in your marketing activities.
Make Progress in Small Steps
I am thrilled when I see an accounting professional get excited about marketing. Those professionals who demonstrate a high level of passion and commitment have the highest chance of being successful at marketing. But many enthusiastic professionals also run the risk of getting caught up in the excitement by trying to accomplish too many projects all at once.
Avoid this common mistake by setting marketing objectives that are attainable, yet slightly stretch you beyond your comfort zone. Then, break down those objectives into even smaller actions. For example, you might be tempted to commit to writing 12 articles in a year, but you have never written an article in your career. Perhaps start by committing to writing just 3 articles the first year and increase that number as you gain more experience.
Don’t Reinvent the Wheel
Experience makes us more efficient. Once you’ve done something once, you can typically do it faster the next time around. You can also gain efficiency by learning from your peers. You can apply these principles to marketing projects. If you like how you created a presentation, create a template so that you aren’t starting from scratch the next time around. Or if your colleague has a marketing email that they send to their prospects, ask if you can use it to share with your prospects.
If you are working on a marketing plan and meeting with an internal marketing professional or outside consultant, you are already taking an important first step in being deliberate about your personal and firm growth. Ask your marketing professional or consultant about ways you can work on the ideas mentioned above or for other great ideas they might have for making better progress on your marketing plan.