Accountants, you are troopers. When things get busy, you put your head down and work incredibly hard to support your clients and get things done. But whether it’s the busy season, the catch up after a well needed holiday or the knock-backs of a worldwide pandemic – when the work piles on, often the marketing gets put off.
You worry you won’t get any marketing done and you’re afraid of losing momentum after everything you’ve achieved so far. But you Just. Don’t. Have. The. Time. Like, honestly.
If you’re feeling this way, know you’re not alone. We’ve seen how frustrating it can be and even experienced the strain ourselves at PF when things get busy and client work takes priority. It feels like a catch 22, because you’re thinking good marketing will help become less busy.
BUT you feel like you need to be less busy to do good marketing…!?!
Release the pressure valve so marketing doesn’t feel as big and intimidating
You might be thinking you have zero time because mentally marketing feels BIG. It doesn’t feel like a task you can smash out fast and tick off your list. Writing blogs requires drafting and writing and editing and publishing. Recording a video requires good lighting, no distractions, a couple of coffees, practice (and about 100 takes). It all sounds like way too much bravery and effort and thought. So you put it off for today… and tomorrow… and the next day…
If it always feels like this big, you’ll never find the time and something else will always be the priority. Even when you’re a little more freed up, you’ll procrastinate, and as it turns out, procrastination is just fear of something. Fear of failure, fear of the unknown, fear of getting in wrong, fear of being judged. Even fear of success! “If this goes well, what am I letting myself in for?”
Once you see there are some small steps you can take with the time you have, your mindset will start to shift and you won’t feel so much pressure. You’ll see marketing doesn’t have to be a big scary unknown, even when you’re stretched.
You can do a lot with just 10-30 minutes
In our last Content Creators call, we talked about how it feels when things get busy. One of our clients shared her struggle in knowing what steps to take with the marketing pieces she already had. She had a few finished blogs, and several almost-done blogs, but she was working all the hours under the sun and the drafts were left unpublished.
It can feel really overwhelming when you’ve started taking steps in marketing but you don’t know what actions to take to get it over the finish line. You can join our Content Creators Community to get the nudge you need on a month to month basis, with feedback from the team on your work (plus support from other ambitious accountants).
And for right now, here’s a list of quick actions you can take in 10-30 minutes to keep the momentum going.
1. Find an image for a blog or spend some time creating a bank of images
Once you have a blog written, there are some follow up admin tasks you’ll want to complete to get it ready for posting. Sourcing an image to go with the blog is one of these tasks, and it is often a time consuming part of the process.
- If you have 10 minutes: Find an image for an existing blog you’ve written but haven’t posted. Here’s a list of the best free image websites. Once you have the image you’re one step closer to getting the thing published.
- If you have 30 minutes: Scour those free image sites for lots of ‘on brand’ images and create yourself a bank. Create a folder in Google Drive and save those photos there. This means in the future, you won’t need to spend the 10 minutes per blog finding an image, you can just refer to your collection! (Not sure what it means to be on brand? Here’s a helpful explanation).
2. Publish one blog post or Create a bank of blogs on your website ready to be published
Going into the back end of your website to publish a blog can feel like walking into a bar when you’re not a local – you don’t feel like you belong and you don’t know how the place works.
You deserve to know how your website works, even if you’re not interested in spending much time hanging out there. So don’t worry, I’ve got you covered.
- If you have 10 minutes: Just publish one blog you have ready – here’s a step by step from WordPress to show you how. You’ll find a similar simple guide if you use Rocketspark, or another builder like Squarespace or Wix.
- If you have 30 minutes: If you already have a few complete blogs saved in your documents, spend your time uploading all of them to your website. You can then schedule them (wordpress) or save them in draft form (most other web builders). You’ll either have your blogs going out automatically, or you’ll only need to press one button on the day you want them to go out. Either way, it makes your life a lot easier.
Here’s are some videos to show you how:
- Save all your blogs as drafts to Rocketspark (or another web builder – Squarespace, Wix etc.) ready to go live whenever you want them to. Here’s how!
- Save all your blogs as drafts and schedule them in wordpress: Here’s how!
3. Copy and paste an existing blog as a LinkedIn article
Don’t have any new blogs yet? You only need five minutes to repurpose an existing blog by sharing it on LinkedIn as an article.
Usually, Google frowns upon duplicate content on the internet – but thanks to LinkedIn, you have the opportunity to literally copy and paste a blog word for word and reshare it to a new audience, without getting punished by Google. It’s in LinkedIn’s best interests, because they want you to stay on their platform. Win win.
- If you have (at max) 5 minutes: Turn your blog into a LinkedIn article and get more exposure. Here’s how.
4. Create a short video from an existing piece of content (whether you share it with the world or not)
You don’t need to be feeling extra specially brave to do this one – I promise. I know video can feel very much outside of your comfort zone, and may not feel easy enough for a quick win. But, like any new skill, practice makes you better and more confident. So it’s worth your 10-30 minutes even if you never post the video itself.
- If you have 10 minutes: Take one point from existing blog or article and record a video on your desktop recorder (Loom is free and easy) or your phone. Talk about the point as if you were explaining it or discussing it with a client right in front of you. If a client originally asked you the question prompting you to write a blog on it, even better! Record a video intended to send to them and only them! You may never send it to them, but you’ll have spent 10 minutes practicing speaking to the camera as if you were speaking to a client.
- If you have 30 minutes: If you feel more confident sharing a video you’ve recorded, upload your video to Vimeo by using these guidelines, or upload it to youtube by using these guidelines. Once you have your video uploaded, you can share it your blog, or share it independently on social media using step 5.
5. Create a Facebook and/or Twitter post to share an existing piece of content
Often the fear of using social media comes from not knowing what to share. I could go into detail about what to talk about, what images to use, how to track your success and so on – we have lots of resources on the topic when you have time to dig in.
BUT the point of this marketing tip is to get quick wins with the short amount of time you have. Even if you can follow these instructions three times a week for 10 minutes, you’ll have consistency with your social posting.
Make the ‘what to share’ issue simple for now by sharing an existing piece of content. Grab a link to an existing blog, landing page or video and paste the URL into your Facebook post or Twitter update. The most important distinction to remember when you’re writing a caption to go with your link is Facebook welcomes long captions, Twitter likes you to keep it short (280 characters short, to be exact).
With Facebook you could use your caption space to tell a client story, or share one one of the main points you shared about in your blog or video.
Examples: Here’s an example of how I might share this marketing tip on Facebook and Twitter.
Facebook (I tell a story about why I wrote this tip in the first place):
In our most recent Content Creators group call we had a really great conversation about time (or lack of). They asked, are there any small marketing things we can do if we only have 10 minutes to spare?
When you’re time stretched marketing can feel like too big a task on the to-do list to tick off. We asked our group of accountants if it’d be helpful to have a list of 5 quick wins they could do to ‘tick marketing off’ and not lose momentum. They all said YES PLZ. And so here we are.
Bookmark this list for the weeks you feel out-of-control busy. Just knowing what you CAN do can help give you some confidence and control back.
Twitter (I’ve just shortened the point in my Facebook post. Get to the point fast!):
When the accounting work gets crazy, you will lose momentum in your marketing. Only got 10-30 minutes to spare? Here’s a list of quick wins so you can get good content and helpful information out to those who need it, even when you’re busy.
- If you have 10 minutes: Just create one Facebook post and/or one Twitter post to share an existing piece of content.
- If you have 30 minutes: If you have a social scheduler (like Buffer) you could write captions for lots of blogs. You schedule the social posts to automatically go throughout the month. This is part of what we do when we support our clients with Daily Social Posting – which is another option if you want to save yourself the time altogether.
Do the hardest (or least comfort-zoney) thing first
I feel like I’m always re-learning this lesson. If your to-do list rolls out the door and down the garden path, you’ll have more success with it if you do the most difficult task first.
It may seem more comfortable to do the everyday easy stuff over your morning coffee, but let’s be honest – when it gets to late afternoon and you’re exhausted, you’re even less likely to want to do the thing you’ve been putting off.
Take your 10-30 minutes as early as possible in your day.
- You’ll have more energy for it and it won’t be a looming task all day
- It’ll be more rewarding: If you can achieve the hardest thing first, what else could you achieve in your day?
- Everything from the first task onward will feel a little easier and more palatable!
I hope this list of five quick wins shows you marketing doesn’t need to be the hardest and most uncomfortable thing on your list. Using this to get into a routine when life is mayhem and build up your confidence with baby steps means you can enjoy the time you get to spend on it when you DO have time.