In 1996 Alanis Morrisette released her song ‘Ironic’.
In case you’re too young to know it, it was about the irony of life and included lots of examples of how ironic life can be. What’s most ironic about the song is that most of Alanis’s examples aren’t actually ironic at all!
Despite her terrible examples, Alanis was right, there are heaps of ironies that we live with every day.
- The most delicious foods also have the most calories.
- Kids who are able to have an early night, don’t want to. Grown ups who can’t, would like nothing more.
- Genuinely decent people who would do a great job at leading the country, don’t have enough of an ego to put themselves forward for the job.
I try not to focus on these ironies too much, because they can really start to get you down.
Let’s talk about marketing irony. You know that feeling when you’re swamped with work and barely have time to breathe? Well, guess what? That’s exactly when you’re supposed to spend time on marketing! Talk about bad timing, right? It’s like the universe is playing a prank on us.
What drives this commonly experienced situation?
A couple of factors create long lead times in service based businesses:
- There’s often a huge time lag between a potential customer becoming aware of you, and them actually deciding to become a client (YEARS in some cases).
- Then, even when they’ve decided to become a client, it can take a long time to get the project started, delivered, and paid for.
I’m sure you’ve experienced something like this: your business is quiet, so you ramp up your marketing. You get some new clients. You get a few more new clients. Suddenly you’re ridiculously busy. It’s an ‘all hands to the pump’ situation. Everyone on your team is scrambling to keep up with the demand, and marketing gets pushed to the back burner. Fast forward a few months, and you find yourself twiddling your thumbs because you haven’t done any marketing, and the pipeline is empty. Ouch!
Whether, for you, marketing activities mean creating a campaign, drafting blog content, newsletter content, whipping up video content, social media posts or even that book you’ve been working on since 1962…
Fitting it all in, and keeping it going when you’re super busy with clients is often a challenge.
When you aren’t continually consistent with your marketing, the time lag can cause a yo-yo revenue effect. To smooth out this up and down turnover situation you’ve got to keep on consistently marketing your business, even though you’re busy with service delivery.
Interestingly, this situation is often exacerbated by a second irony:
The people in your team who have more time to create the content your business so desperately needs are usually the less experienced, less client facing ones. And, they don’t have enough knowledge to create that high-value, high-impact content you need in order to stand out! ARGH.
It’s a bummer isn’t it?
But, don’t worry, this is solvable.
In fact, these two ironies are fortunate for us, in that they’re the reason we exist. We’ve cracked the code and developed systems to support businesses just like yours.
We specialise in unlocking the genius lurking in the heads of time-strapped CEOs or management teams, so that we can get to work on creating high-value content on your behalf, even when you’re drowning in work.
For each client we work out the best system to minimise their time investment while still providing us with just enough technical info on their specific service.
Some examples of these methods:
- The business owner gives us a ten minute briefing once a month
- We plunder their recent pitches and presentations.
- We send someone to their premises once a quarter to take photos or video content and find out the latest on what’s going on.
The essential pieces you need in place to keep your marketing running smoothly
No matter how we get the ‘raw’ information from our client, we know that there are three things we also need in place to help things go smoothly, minimise interruptions and questions from us, hit the nail on the head first time, and avoid last minute panic to get content out on schedule.
Having these three things organised could help you too:
1) Editorial Calendar
Sounds fancy, but it’s just literally just a plan of which content topics we’ll focus on and when. It also includes the working titles, publish dates and who in the team is providing the raw info for us to write from. We like to make a plan that ties topics in with the overall business objectives where possible, so that we can drive demand for specific services at the best times for the business and help to make the most of available capacity.
2) Approved messaging
For every client, during our kick-off process, we create a messaging overview. We’ll also make sure that it has been reviewed, amended and signed off by a senior member of the team. The messaging overview includes all the marketing messages, in a ‘raw material’ format, that we need to include in our content to help our client find, attract and convert new business. Having this constantly updated and ready to go means that when our actual content is presented to our client to sign off, it’s closer to the mark and the approval happens more easily.
3) Repurposing processes
We LOVE repurposing, and we do this a lot. Taking previously published blog posts and turning them into social media posts, or email content is built into our plan. This makes it easy for us to just get on with creating content for our clients without continually bugging them for new ideas. It also means that we’re getting good value out of the pieces that our client has already invested in.
We exist to make life easier, and save time for our clients, so that they can stay focused on their own customers, growing their business or hiring great people, without being constantly pulled back into marketing, or dropping lots of balls.
If you or your team are focused on delivering a great service, and you want someone else to handle your marketing, why not book a no-obligation chat with me? I’ll explain how we could help and answer any questions you have so you can figure out if we’re the right people to help.