With so many growth hacking tips and tricks out there it can be enticing to want to try them all. The internet is full of noise and agencies like mine and other businesses are scrambling for new ways to rise above the chatter and be heard. Often times what happens instead is we burn out from doing too much. This never leads to growth and is one of the main causes of businesses failing to ever reach their potential. So what can we do to maximize our online marketing efforts without burning ourselves out?
Whether you run a marketing agency like me or own your own business, you know or at least somewhat understand the power of inbound marketing. Simply put, it works very well. The issue is that we often over complicate it and for beginners, or those new to the inbound method, it can seem extremely overwhelming. If you're going in with the mindset that you can do it all and you’ll just have to suck it up, that may work in the short term. But eventually you’ll burn out and could actually hurt yourself more than help.
Let’s briefly take a look at the effects of trying to do it all.
When trying to do everything, you have to really stretch yourself. But what if there just isn’t enough of you to give? Embracing your limitations is very healthy and will lead to more focused and productive work. For a little more insight, check out this great post from Seth Godin.
Unfortunately, I’ve been guilty of this in the past. When trying to do it all, the clock becomes your enemy. Instead of focusing on the task at hand with the intent of doing it well, the goal simply becomes to finish the task at all cost. Your marketing needs to be exceptional if you want to stand out. Exceptional work doesn’t just happen, it takes focus, purpose and time. Slowing down and removing things that may seem urgent and giving your best to the things that actually matter, is a must.
This is what makes Inbound Marketing beautiful and at the same time can be confusing for others. Inbound is a method, not a set of rules. I’ve seen a lot of companies and small business jump right into tactics without ever defining their audience. This is a huge mistake. Before you ever begin a process, you must know and understand your buyers. They help dictate your approach. Example: If you run a plumbing company in a small town, twitter is probably not your best bet… make sense?
So by this point I hope you get that you can’t do it all. But what should you be doing?
Your buyers are the cornerstone to all of your online marketing efforts. If you don’t have them clearly mapped out, you will struggle. Check out some of the posts below to learn more about how to define your audience and even a free template to get you started.
After you know who you are marketing to, give them what they want and need. Educate them, add value to their lives and position yourself as an expert. This could be through your blog, social media or with your website. Only focus on areas that add value.
If you are not tracking your efforts, you are wasting your time. You can’t understand what is working and what is not working if you don’t track. By understanding what is working and what isn’t you’ll be able to give your time to what will have the greatest impact on your business.
If you’re anything like me, you wish you had a few more hours in the day. One way I fixed this stress was realizing that I can’t do it all. For me the issue was more of business related tasks like bookkeeping. After struggling with it for way too long, I fired myself and hired an awesome online bookkeeping company. If you don’t have the time to devote yourself to marketing your business, hire someone who can take your vision and put in into action.
Trying to do it all won’t get you to where you want to go. If anything it will actually prevent you from reaching your potential. We put a lot on ourselves and not only is this not helpfu for our businesses or customers, it’s really bad for us personally as well. Check out this great article from Fortune Magazine on that topic. Stop trying to do it and focus on what you can do well.
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