Have you ever looked at your to-do list and just wanted to run away? Sometimes, procrastination gets the best of us self-employed people. It seems that everything is priority and we tend to put some things on the back burner. The thing is, if the items on your to-do list have to do with marketing and Client Attraction, then you don’t want to ignore them (if you do, your pipeline of prospects will be empty in 6 months).
Procrastination creeps its ugly head in my business every now and then. Personally, I think it’s more overwhelm than procrastination and the list can be so overwhelming that I tend to go in avoidance/denial mode, preferring to just not deal with it. (Has that ever happened to you too?)
Realistically, you can’t ignore having to market yourself, so you sometimes just have to bite the bullet and do what it takes. Here’s my personal action checklist to take me from procrastination to massive action:
1. Prioritize: Your list may be a mile long or just a half page long. Either way, the best way to get into action is to sort out what your return on investment is going to be for each item on your list (financially, time-wise, resource-wise) and then sort them by the one that will reap the most benefits (e.g., clients and revenue) from the littlest output on your part. You’ll start with that one.
2. What’s getting in the way? Sometimes, I find procrastination is more about something getting in the way than anything else. It could be you don’t have every piece of the puzzle to be able to move forward into accomplishing something. It could be you don’t know how to do ONE aspect of it. It could also be that this is a SHOULD and isn’t absolutely necessary to your success. Whatever’s holding you back, just get clear on it.
3. How long will it REALLY take: I’ve found that often, I delay on a marketing task (or any task, for that matter) because I anticipate it taking a lot longer than it really will. To get past this, look at a task and ask yourself how long it will realistically take to get done. Then, take out the to-do list and write down the time it will take you to accomplish it next to each item (15 minutes, 2 hours, etc.).
4. Schedule it: Look at your calendar and find time slots that correspond to the time allotment for each task you did above and schedule them, as if they were client appointments you were unable to cancel.
5. Just do it: Once you’ve got the “task appointments” scheduled in your book, just do them. You’ll power through them like you’ve never done before. It’s actually pretty cool. Your Assignment:
When marketing yourself, take notice of when you start slipping into procrastination mode (it happens to most everyone, believe me). Prioritize the tasks on your list to focus on the ones that will get you the highest return on investment, notice what’s getting in the way or what piece is missing, and solve the issue accordingly, establish how long it will take to get done, and then schedule it in your calendar. You’ll have no excuse not to do it.
Remember, there’s never a point at which you can say (about marketing), “I’m successful now, I might as well take a nap.” Notice the very successful entrepreneurs you look up to. They never stop marketing. In fact, they’re always adding new things to their existing marketing plans. Do the same. Get past your procrastination and into Client Attraction. ALWAYS BE MARKETING and you’ll always have clients (especially if you have systems in place).
Copyright (c) 2007 Fabienne Fredrickson