“It’s Friday” can be the best opportunity for your business.
It can also be used as a great avoidance technique.
One of the things that can set apart your accountancy firm’s marketing is the ability to push forward when everyone else pushes back. And there is every reason in the world to give up, back off, step back: but there’s every reason to do the opposite. To press forward, step up, and move in.
I’m a huge fan of taking rest in order to preserve and maintain creativity. (It’s one of our four pillars here at the Profitable Firm). But there’s a big difference between focused, chosen rest (with no guilt) and a slow winding-down that has you sitting in front of the computer achieving nothing of any purpose.
Here are the top excuses we hear (and use) all the time. Which one is holding you back?
1. It’s Friday.
The Friday mentality can really put a damper on your focus – or it could be your big opportunity to finish whatever has been on your marketing to-do list. The whole business world starts to relax by about midday Friday, and by 4pm it’s unlikely you’ll get a reply to your email. Why not make that your moment? Those of you who have a content marketing plan that we’ve created have a list of 48 blog topics that are custom to your firm. Pick one, jot down a few key points – or even write the whole blog. It will take you an hour or two and be a far better use of your time than flicking through old LinkedIn emails you don’t really care about.
2. The weekend is coming.
That’s great! You have some big plans – or no plans at all. But don’t let your marketing suffer when your plans aren’t here yet. Stay focused, finish the project or the video or the website page or the new logo, and then go enjoy that weekend. Which brings us to the next excuse…
3. The weekend is here.
I remember watching Downton Abbey and laughing with Lady Violet when she asked, “What is a weekend?” Many accountants are fairly good (or shall I say, fairly traditional) about taking a proper weekend. Finish on Friday afternoon, spend time with family, perhaps check the odd email now and then, but in general switch off until Monday. And that can be a very good thing if you truly switch off. But too often we are checking our phones, flicking through emails, wasting time and calling it work. If you’re going to spend time on something over the weekend – even if it’s just an hour – put your whole focus into it. And then finish, switch it off, and go do something you love. Or nothing at all. That way you’ll enjoy both the work and the rest.
4. It’s Monday.
When you think about excuses 1 – 3, this starts to just get funny. You can’t work on that marketing task (or any other task) because your brain is winding down on a Friday. You can’t work on it over the weekend because, well, it’s the weekend and you’re doing fun things. And you can’t work on it on Monday because you’re recuperating from all those fun things you did (and your brain hasn’t kicked into gear yet).
Granted, a lot does seem to hit on a Monday morning. Your email box explodes, the phone starts ringing, the things you didn’t finish last week are now more important than ever….but although a lot of things in business and life surprise us, Monday never does. It comes after Sunday, every single week. And if you plan well, you can use your Monday to beat the excuses. After all, so many other people are using it as an excuse that you’ve got even more of an opportunity.
5. It’s lunchtime.
It’s nearly 5pm. It’s not 9am yet. It’s rainy. It’s sunny. The parcel didn’t arrive. The parcel did arrive and I need to open it. The payment didn’t come in. The internet connection is slow. There’s no wifi….
You get the point. There’s always something. Always a reason you can’t finish, can’t start, won’t get anything done.
These marketing tips are my “no excuses” content item. I write them myself, personally, every week. I used to think that if I was more ahead of the game I’d write them months in advance, but there’s a real benefit in writing content that’s based on the activity of the week. It’s current, it matters to me, and so it’s easier to write. (And, hopefully, more relevant to you.)
I’m often cutting it a bit close to the wire, but I nearly always get it done on time. Partly because of my self imposed deadline. Partly because there are hundreds of people eagerly awaiting my next marketing tip. (Right? …Guys? You’re there, right?) But mostly because, no excuses. I’ve written marketing tips on planes, on the London underground, on my phone, literally on the back of an envelope. If it needs to get done, it gets done.
Avoid the typical excuses by being ready for them
The thing is, everyone uses the Friday, weekend, Monday, weather, traffic, holiday excuses. And because you know these are coming, you can prepare for them.
A marketing to-do list, or a content marketing plan, is your best defence against the typical excuses. That way, when the excuses kick in, you can kick them back out. Things get quiet, and no one is replying to your calls or emails, and you’re tempted to just leave it – well, now’s your chance to beat out everyone else. Get that one marketing project done. Even that one very small item, like reviewing a blog post or replying to your graphic designer about the new logo.
It’s remarkable how inspiring it is to achieve something that has been sitting on your (virtual) desk for days – or months, or even years. My team knows that when I have several big projects hanging over my head, I don’t like it. I get easily frustrated. But the moment the work is finished and there’s space to breathe, I am incredibly inspired to do more. Press on further. Start the next project. There’s nothing like a small success to inspire you to greater ones.
Like you, I very often don’t get done what I want to. Sometimes deadlines have to be shifted because life happens. Other times it’s just poor planning on my part. But many of our self-imposed excuses we are simply borrowing from everyone else: and we don’t have to.
I’ll leave you with Gary Vaynerchuk’s video “August is the month to go all in”. Remember as you watch it that all of this is meant to inspire you, not discourage you. If you’re going to go on holiday, or take a rest, or enjoy time with family – you do that. Enjoy it as it’s meant to be enjoyed. But if you’re just frittering your time away with excuses, watch and learn. And get going.
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