Ever heard the saying, “If you need something done, give it to a busy person.”?
While that may work for errands, many business owners are finding they’re too busy for business anymore. Small business has changed a lot over the past decade and the demands on a business owner’s time have multiplied like rabbits.
Businesses must now connect with buyers offline and on through:
• Creating and providing helpful content
• Tying different forms of content aimed at conversion into the appropriate level of the sales funnel
• Maintaining a fan page and/or multiple social media profiles
• Publishing on thought leader and niche social sites like Medium, Quora, and LinkedIn publishing
• Analyzing your analytics
• Tweaking all of this knowledge and know-how each time a platform changes or rolls out a new feature, and keeping up with new technology
WHEW! And that doesn’t even include taking your marketing to the next level through drip campaigns, newsletters, and building your list.
Hopefully you have someone who helps you with all this, a marketing person or partner, but many small business people don’t.
These activities all increase your know, like, and trust with your customers or clients. People do business with people they’ve established a connection with through these aspects. The list of tasks provided above contains essential marketing practices and to avoid them, or refuse to do them, is akin to ignoring your phone.
But while you may feel too busy to do these things, you must ask yourself are you busy for business or too busy to do business?
The Difference Between Good Busy and Bad Busy
Good busy relates to customers. You have lots of people buying from you. You’re processing so many orders and credit cards you don’t have time to breathe. This is good busy.
You spend all morning on social media but not posting or interacting, just scurrying down one rabbit hole after another. You’ve spent time on social media and have been occupied all morning, leaving less time for other business activities, but you’ve accomplished nothing. This is bad busy.
The problem with being busy – good or bad – is that it’s exhausting. If it’s in service to your customer’s or clients, that’s beneficial to your business. If it’s helping you to establish know, like, and trust, the fatigue is worth it. But social media and digital marketing are not like a treadmill. You don’t get points for just getting on it and moving. You need it to go somewhere.
Being busy doesn’t equal being productive and reaching your business goals.
How to Change a Busy Activity into Business
As a business owner you need to ensure your busy is productive. To do this, have concrete goals in mind. Goals need to be:
• Time sensitive
“Busy” should always accompany its friend “productive.” This means your goal needs to be tied into your business strategy. A goal is not to “get” on social media. Even if you tailor that goal to follow the rules above, it’s all busy work if it doesn’t tie into what you are trying to accomplish for your business.
If regular social media posting is your goal, you need to understand not only the how but the why behind your actions. What are you trying to accomplish? More sales? More visitors to your site? Better quality employees? These are all different goals.
Analyze Your Efforts Often
The best way to avoid unproductive busy-ness is by reviewing your efforts often. Tie your goals into your strategy and ensure you are accomplishing what you’d like by analyzing the results (at least quarterly).
We all have the same 24-hour days, yet some business owners are able to accomplish a lot more of their revenue goals than others. Some of that is luck, and a sexy product or service, but in today’s digital marketing a lot of success depends upon building worthwhile relationships and getting off of that unproductive treadmill of doing the work but not going anywhere. It’s not performing the action that will get you there but streamlining your efforts, and continually pointing yourself in the direction of where you want to go.
Christina R. Green teaches small businesses, chambers and associations how to connect through content. Her articles have appeared in the Midwest Society of Association Executives’ Magazine, NTEN.org, AssociationTech, and Socialfish. She is a regular blogger at Frankjkenny.com and the Event Manager Blog.
She’s a bookish writer on a quest to bring great storytelling to organizations everywhere.