In last week's peptalk/webinar, The Only Marketing Tools You Need for 2012, (see what people tweeted with #mktgpeptalk), I suggested that creative professionals should spend 1 hour per day interacting with prospects.
Since then, I've been surprised to receive the most questions about that. They're essentially all variations on "How should I spend that daily hour of marketing time?"
One person wrote, "You recommended spending one hour a day on outreach. You also talked about developing a target market and acknowledged that it takes time. Should that one hour a day include the time it takes to work on a target market or should that be counted as separate time?"
Here's a short answer, but if you want to see exactly how I think you should spend your time, you'll find it in my latest Marketing Plan + Calendar for 2012.
First of all, the point I was making is that marketing must become a habit if you are going to keep a constant flow of prospects coming your way so you can choose which ones to work with instead of desperately taking whatever comes along.
I suggested that a minimum of 1 hour per day should be spent interacting with your prospects -- as opposed to perfecting your marketing materials, which will never be perfect!
However, if you don't have a lot of work on your plate and therefore have more time, by all means, spend more!
As for how that time should be spent, this is where it gets difficult to generalize (and if you want to chat with me personally about it, take me up on the free mentoring session I offer) -- but I will try!
By interacting, I mean "prospecting" (listen to this podcast with Martha Retallick of Western Sky Communications, about how she spends her daily prospecting hour):
- On LinkedIn, adding people to your network with a personalized message....OR
- On LinkedIn, initiating or adding to discussions where your prospects will see your "expertise" ...OR
- Emailing and calling your best prospects, to let them know you're serious about wanting to work with them....OR
- Attending a networking event.
Those are a just a few ways and no, that doesn't include the time it takes researching the events or finding places to connect with your prospects, because it's too easy for that to take too much time and then suddenly the hour is up and you haven't done any real interaction.
Let me also add that one of the most important elements of marketing is momentum. That's why I recommended doing whatever's necessary to make it a habit. Spending an hour every single day can move you in that direction.
If you have trouble figuring out what to do, my latest Creative Professional's Marketing Plan + Calendar will tell you, whether you're an Advanced or Beginner marketer. It even has an eCalendar component that will add the tasks to your iCal every day.