Business owners these days seem as polarized as our nation’s political parties.

On one side are the “grinders”— the business owners who work every possible hour they can, every single day. If they aren’t sleeping, they’re working. On the other side are the “balancers”— those who believe in working more efficiently instead of longer hours.

No matter which category you fit into, it seems most business owners agree that time is scarce.

If you want to reclaim some of it, try to streamline your marketing with these seven timesavers.

 

plan blog articles

1) Plan in advance

To save yourself time and writer’s block, create a content plan. Simply put, this plan tracks what you’ll write and when. Include topics for articles or blog posts, social media promotions or giveaways, and newsletters. Do any of the topics complement each other, or make sense as a series? Group them into themes— it’ll make researching and writing much faster since you can do it in batches.

 

blog writing must be done consistently

2) Write regularly

It might take some trial and error, but you’ll need a solid writing routine to produce content consistently. Start by setting aside time to draft, rewrite, and edit your work, focusing on just one of these three purposes per session. Work with your natural rhythms to maximize productivity: Are you most creative in the morning, afternoon, or evening? Before a meal, or after a workout? (And if you’re struggling to feel confident about your writing, here are some tips to get you started).

 

editorial calendar

3) Set (and stick to) a schedule

Establishing regular, recurring deadlines is a must to keep you publishing on schedule, especially if you’re part of a team with more than one person producing content. In addition, your readers will know when to expect—and, hopefully, look forward to—your new content.

For example:

• Monday: New blog post goes live on the website; post link on social media channel #1
• Tuesday: New blog post link on social media channel #2
• Wednesday: Share blog post link in a Facebook group
• Thursday: Newsletter sent to your mailing list
• Friday: Re-share new blog post link on social media channels #1 and #2

 

Social Media auto-publishing

4) Auto-launch your content

Instead of clicking the “publish” button at the right time, use scheduling tools to launch your content consistently. You can schedule social media posts, in advance, for the days and times of your choice with services like Tweetdeck, Hootsuite, and Buffer (all free). Some services include an auto-schedule feature that posts at the best times for each social media platform. For your website or blog, try plugins like Editorial Calendar (free) with basic post planning, or Coschedule (monthly subscription) for more complex content campaigns.

 

 5) Send email newsletters

While one-on-one email correspondence can be an excellent tool for relationship building, juggling individual conversations becomes unwieldy as your business grows. Instead, create email series for different purposes and invite potential clients, current clients, and former clients to subscribe.

These series could feature topics such as:

  • An introduction and overview of your available products or services
  • The basics that clients should know before working with you
  • Helpful areas on your website, like free downloads, your blog, resources page, etc.
  • New products/services and promotions
  • Case studies or showcases of recent projects

And, since most mailing services offer both time-based and trigger-based scheduling, you can set each series to auto-send at a custom frequency.

 

auto-responder email workflow

6) Use auto-replies

Set up your support or customer service email address to auto-reply and reassure senders that an actual person will respond. Use a simple and straightforward message like, “Thanks for contacting us. We wanted to let you know that your message has been received, and will be answered within X business hours.”

Your auto-reply could include additional resources, such as a link to the frequently asked questions (FAQs) page on your website or the recent article/blog post that you’re currently promoting. When you do reply manually, copy your responses into a document that you can reference and paste from later to save time. If you’re using Facebook to receive messages from customers, tools like Chatfuel can help you create simple chatbots to auto-respond.

 

Manage your business contacts with a CRM (customer relationship manager)

7) Streamline business growth

Before you have too many leads to handle, start using a customer relationship management (CRM) system to track sales information, including files sent, tasks completed, calls/emails and meetings, plus set reminders and due dates for next steps. Centralizing this data allows you (and anyone else on your team) to quickly document and review each relationship’s progress. Hubspot and Pipedrive both offer free versions of their products, for example, with the option to upgrade plans and add more users if needed.

You can’t save time by dropping marketing off your to-do list altogether, but your efforts don’t need to be time-consuming to be effective. Use the tips above to simplify and streamline marketing tasks so you can quickly get back to the grind.

Or back to the balance, if that’s more your style.

 

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