No doubt, you keep yourself busy when you work at an inbound marketing agency. You’re constantly managing multiple clients and creating quality content for all of them. Constantly juggling different client projects and everyday duties can take up any inbound marketer’s day, and before you know it – the sun’s down and it’s about time to get going on tomorrow’s duties. There’s no rest! The thing that I’ve struggled with the most is using my time efficiently so I can make room for other important things – not just completing deliverables, but becoming a better inbound marketer by seeking out knowledge and increasing my expertise.
Along the way, however, I've picked up some "marketing hacks" that will allow you to spend less time on manual marketing tasks for completing deliverables and more time learning and growing your marketing skill set.
Okay, this one used to take me the longest and looking back it’s the one that I shake my head about the most. First of all, use an automatic social publishing tool. We use HubSpot, but there are others out there such a Hootsuite, and Facebook even has its own auto-publishing capabilities now as well. Not only should you schedule your posts to be automatically published in the future instead of manually having to schedule them in real-time, you should also schedule them out for longer periods of time. Before, I was only doing a few days at a time. That meant that every few days, I would have to go back in and come up with some new posts to schedule out for the next few days, and so on. Then one day, my boss Eric decided to share a genius thought with me: schedule your social for months at a time! Instead of constantly coming up with new posts, you can schedule out the same piece of content with minor variations in post wording for months at a time – and it takes you the same amount of time. Like, Duh.
Here’s another social tip that I’m SO embarrassed to share, but will anyways – if you’re using HubSpot, it will automatically shorten the links for you once your scheduled post is published. I used to spend so much time reformatting posts in the scheduling tool to try to get it to shorten. Another duh moment. But you live and learn, and eventually, you save yourself a ton of time.
Coming up with a decent blog post can be hard – I know we’ve all experienced writer’s block at some point in our careers. Something that has saved me so much time blogging for clients is coming up with topics for the month ahead of time and then having organized outlines to follow so that I’m prepared once I start writing the article. I lay out what points I’m trying to make, include links to helpful research, the key supporting facts, and how I’m going to tie it all together to make sure I’m staying on topic. That way, when I actually have to sit down and write, the legwork is already done.
Developing and targeting email content can be time-consuming. Something that is a huge time saver is creating a template. Once you know how you want your emails to look, and it can vary depending on what type of email it is, you can just plug in the content and send. That way, you don't have to start from scratch every time you want to send an email and your messaging stays consistent. If you're targeting different personas, you don't have to create 5 brand new, separate emails either. Instead, you can use the same email for each persona, and just switch out minor details such as your content offer or messaging. Setting up workflows instead of manually sending emails will also be a huge time saver for you.
Coordinating with clients can by far take up the most time in your day. Miscommunications can be detrimental and can push you even further behind on tasks. Setting up one point of contact to act as the middleman to send and receive client deliverables has been very helpful for us. Setting up weekly client phone calls to stay up-to-date with ongoing projects is also something that can save you time in the long run. And finally, using planning tools like Trello or Asana that you can share with clients in real-time and use to manage tasks is something that minimizes client miscommunication and allows them to see exactly what you're working on, and also helps them stay on top of anything that they need to get completed for you as well.
These marketing hacks and processes have saved me countless hours throughout my career so far as an inbound marketer. Though they do take some time upfront to set up and get organized, they will save you so much time in the future that you’ll be shaking your head (like me) and wondering how you ever got along without them.